Obesity, the Largest Health Threat We Face Today Obesity is one of the largest health problems that society faces today not only because of the vast number of obese people, but the amount of health concerns that come with. Obesity has multiple different causes such as food consumption, amount of exercise, hygiene, genetics and more, some of which are harder to control that others. With more than 2 in 3 adults considered to be overweight or have obesity according to the National Institute of health (“Overweight & Obesity Statistics), obesity is a large health threat that doesn’t have to keep affecting people. A large factor in becoming obese is genetics. Certain genes make it easy for some people to become overweight. “If both of your parents have obesity, your likelihood of developing obesity is as high as 80%” (Harvard Health Publishing) .
There are over 400 genes that can influence someone into becoming overweight, but only a few have a great impact. These genes don’t only increase someone’s chances of becoming overweight, but also their mannerisms that can lead to obesity. “Genes contribute to obesity in many ways, by affecting appetite, satiety (the sense of fullness), metabolism, food cravings, body-fat distribution, and the tendency to use eating as a way to cope with stress.” (Harvard Health Publishing) The way someone would gain weight would be if they consumed more energy or calories than what they would expend. The above examples of the impact that someone’s genes can have on them would cause person to consume way to many calories causing them to become overweight, imposing many other health threats.
Although genetics do play a role in becoming obese, environmental factors, or one’s surroundings, are thought to be the leading contributor to gaining large amounts of weight. Weight gain throughout one’s life can be greatly caused by as early as their childhood. Childhood habits such as drinking soda, eating high calorie processed food, and playing too many video games and not being active often influences the rest of their life promoting weight gain. Another environmental factor that can affect weight gain is sleep, “Studies also have found that the less people sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese.” (“What causes Obesity & overweight?”). This is mostly because the hormones that are released during sleep control appetite and the way the body uses energy.
One of the greatest environmental factors is food. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans are eating more calories on average than they did in the 1970s.” (Harvard Health Publishing) Obesity is a rising problem and is being greatly caused by food availability, increased meal sizes, and higher calorie foods. Fast food restaurant are a large cause of this too. “A single “super-sized” meal may contain 1,500–2,000 calories — all the calories that most people need for an entire day.” (Harvard Health Publishing). The increased calories per meal and other environmental factors are making obesity a larger problem than it ever has been before.
The biggest problem with obesity are the health risks that come with it. Obesity can be linked to many terrible diseases, some of which can lead to death. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity can cause high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and mental illness just to name a few. (“Healthy Weight”). Obesity causes many other health threats as mentioned making it the most important health issue we face today. This is because if we manage to decline the rate of obesity, then it will also decline the rate of many other health threats.
Although obesity is a dangerous health risk, there are many things that people can do to help prevent it. Some of which are eating a healthier diet and getting involved in more physical activity. Many people are not exercising near enough, “The government’s current recommendations for exercise call for an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day. But fewer than 25% of Americans meet that goal.” (Harvard Health Publishing).
This means that more than 75% of Americans are not exercising enough. This is greatly contributing to the Obesity rates in the United States. If people would eat healthier foods with less calories and exercise the suggested amount, then obesity and other disease would make a significant drop. Obesity is the most important health issue that society faces today. Obesity is caused by genetic factors, but also environmental factors such as food which can be controlled.
The reason that obesity is such a large health threat is because of the other health threats that it creates like high blood pressure and diabetes. If one exercises and eats right then obesity can be prevented. Although obesity is the most important health issue we face today, it doesn’t have to be in the future.Works CitedHarvard Health Publishing. “Why People Become Overweight.” Harvard Health, 11 Apr. 2017, www.health.
harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-people-become-overweight.”Healthy Weight.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 June 2015, www.cdc.
gov/healthyweight/effects/index.html.”Overweight & Obesity Statistics.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Aug. 2017, www.
niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity. “What Causes Obesity & Overweight?” Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Dec. 2016, www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/obesity/conditioninfo/cause.