An Obese America

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Lindsay Banninger ENG 122 Hill April 15, 2012 Losing Wait: An Obese America In the words of Jeffrey Kluger, “[…] there is still nothing that defines us quite like our love of chow time” (226). Unfortunately, this love for food has gotten out of control and become hazardous to the American population. For example, “the average weight of a college-age male” went from 133 lb. to 166 lb. over the last century. During the same time period a woman’s average weight increased by 22 pounds (Kluger 226). Over the past two decades, obesity rates rocketed so high that “no state [has] a prevalence of obesity less than 20%” (“U.S. Obesity Trends”). Keep in mind, these statistics do not include those who are simply overweight and have not yet reached obese…show more content…
Social discrimination and low self-esteem are also heavy consequences of being overweight (Marcus and Baron). Professor Jeffrey Schwimmer recently conducted a study in which obese children were asked to evaluate their quality of life. The results showed that children who are overweight typically rate “their quality of life with scores as low as those of young cancer patients on chemotherapy” (qtd. in Marcus and Baron). The study shows how heavily the extra pounds weigh on a child’s mind, but not only children are affected. Just like there are games in which children cannot participate, there are jobs which adults cannot perform due to their weight. “Military leaders”, for example, “report that obesity is now one of the most common disqualifiers for military service” (Obama 230). Obesity has clearly become a “debilitating and costly epidemic” and a solution needs to be reached soon (“F as in Fat”). As obesity and its effects gain awareness, Americans are making more efforts to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Many restaurants are incorporating healthier choices into their menus and “policy-makers are taking action to protect children from the fast-food trend” by limiting “food advertising aimed at children” (“Fast Food”). In 2004 the health campaign Verb was launched, using boldface names to promote physical activity and healthy decision-making. Unfortunately, Verb was terminated in 2007 due to a lack of funds (Kluger 227). The problem with the current endeavors, then, is that they are not void of any possible defects. Implementing stricter regulations on caloric allowances could essentially eliminate those defects, but it would also make room for great debate. It could easily be argued that restricting the calories allowed in recipes is also restricting a person’s freedom of choice. This would not be the case, though, because there would be no cap on the amount of meals one could order at a restaurant, and the option of a home-cooked

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