Category: Health

Obesity and the risk of diabetes

Obesity is a medical condition that is in more case is associated with the life style that people live. A person, who is obese usually, gets overweight. A person, who is obese usually, gets overweight. The body mass of the individual increases exponentially. These conditions have an adverse effect on the life of the person which in the long run ends up reduces the life expectancy. This condition of obesity has been more common on the developed countries, than in the developing countries.

In various researches conducted across the world, obesity is found to be one of the preventable diseases that are claiming a lot of life worldwide both for children and adults. It is so severe that in the, 21st century, it has been proclaimed as an extremely serious public health concern. In the western world, obesity is considered as a source of stigmatization. Historically, obesity was considered as a sign of wealth and fertility which still holds in some parts of the world (Mantzoros, 2006).

Research Question

Since obesity reduces the life expectancy, resulting in complications that come with it, does obesity result from the food consumed? Is the medical condition related to diabetes? Over the ages, statistics have taken a new turn all together. According to Ferry (2011), obesity has various causes among them, is the excessive consumption of energy food, lack of physical exercise and lastly genetic susceptibility.

Diabetes in the United States is escalating at an alarming rate too. Diagnosed diabetes prevalence rose from 4.9% in 1990 to 8.5% in 2007 and affected all ages, racial and ethnic groups, and education levels for both men and women (Ferry, 2011).). By 2008, 24 million people or almost 8% of the U.S. population had diabetes (Mantzoros, 2006). Diabetes disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities, so effective public health programs require understanding barriers to disease prevention and treatment in targeted groups.

With America’s obesity problem at a record high, the government feels they know what is best by getting in the middle of what’s being eaten. According to a recent Washington Post article; at least 25 states are battling with over 140 bills directed towards ending obesity. Some of these bills include restricting high calorie foods served in public schools, requiring fast-food restaurants to post nutritional facts on the menu, and even taxing high fat foods (Katzen, & Mahler, 1978). This evidence shows that the government is taking action by slowly tightening the waistlines of Americans. This is not the way obesity needs to be fought. Regulating the food available is covering up a much deeper problem: responsibility. Obesity needs to be fought, not through the regulation of American diets, but through the individuals’ responsibility of their health and well-being.

The government’s regulation on the food that is available is pressing against a freedom that can so easily be taken for granted in this country. Why should the government regulate a choice as free as to what is eaten? The issue does not lie with the government but the consumer itself. Richard Berman, executive director of the Center for Consumer Freedom says that, if he was to shorten his own life by eating too much that may not be much different from shortening his life by riding a motorcycle without a helmet on (Katzen, & Mahler, 1978). This is the point many Americans take that opposes government intervention. By regulating fast-food restaurants or even taxing high fat foods, the government is taking responsibility off Americans and placing it in the hands of officials which are exactly not what needs to be happening.

The John Hopkins School of Public Health performed a study to find what groups of Americans were obese and overweight. They found that people of lower socioeconomic status, or lower education level had a much higher risk of being obese or overweight than someone at a higher level (Mantzoros, 2006). These are people who are much less likely to pay the burden of healthcare; therefore, not caring for the consequences. So if, healthy people are to pick up the slack, should not there at least be some sort of financial incentive? Once each and every person in the U.S. is held accountable for his/her own weight, only then will reformation be possible.

There are a small percentage of people in the U.S. that suffer from obesity because it is caused by another disease. Diseases such as Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome are both associated with glands in the body that secrete hormones that allow for fat digestion. These glands, if not functioning correctly, can decrease the rate of metabolism in the body which often causes weight gain. Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome is just a couple of the many diseases this small percentage of the population suffers from. There are also certain inherited diseases of the brain that influence weight gain, along with certain medications. Although it is only a small percentage of the population that suffers from conditions such as these, it is crucial not to forget them.

33% of adults, and 17% of children obese in the U.S., it is obvious something needs to be changed. With much of the country split on whether or not the government should intervene, it is clear that Americans do not bear the full medical cost of obesity.  Healthcare is the issue the government needs to focus on, not the regulation of American diets. Obesity is a private matter and no one should be responsible for your weight other than yourself.

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