Obesity Issues In America

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Obesity Issues in America Currently, the United States is in the middle of a serious and growing health and economic issue: body weight. To be considered overweight, one must have a body mass index (BMI) from 25.0-29.9 units and to be obese, BMI must be 30.0 units or above (Aim for a… 2006). A very high 61 percent of Americans fall into one of these categories with about half of that group being the worse of the two, obese (Ulrich, 2005). And although the thought of an obese person can invoke an adult image, the problem certainly does not discriminate. Children are steadily becoming just as large. In the past four decades, the number of children who are overweight has gone up 100% (Bettelheim, Childhood Obesity, para. 2, 1999). Because…show more content…
1, 2003). According to Buckholz (2005), the weight loss industry is also quite large at about $50 billion a year. And while some businesses are making money as consumers are trying to get rid of obesity, others are making money accommodating it. Buckholz noted that the company Big and Tall is now a substantial portion of the men’s clothing market, claiming about 10% of its total sales. The company is now worth about $6 billion (pg. 6; pg. 2). Amazingly, obesity is so rampant that it has come to the point where it could be compromising national security. Greenblatt (2003) said the military has recently been complaining about its new troops’ health. This is because there are so many new soldiers in the armed forces in less than adequate physical condition due to obesity that they can’t finish basic training (‘Soft and Flabby’ Section, para. 3). Fast Food as the Cause of Obesity Due to the rising costs that obesity is incurring such as health care, costly commercial attempts at weight loss, death, and compromised national security, it would be wise for America to make better attempts at resolving the…show more content…
Currently, in the courts, fast food is being compared to the tobacco companies due to the way they “seduced smokers” (Hirsch, 2006). This is because some people believe that the fast food industry hasn’t warned its customers of their food’s health effects (Hirsch, 2002). However, a huge difference is that, unlike tobacco, fast food has not been found to be addictive allowing for personal control (Mello, Rimm, Studdert, 2003). In addition, nutrition menus are easily available to the public. That’s why on January 22, 2003, a class-action lawsuit against McDonalds was dismissed (Anderson, 2003; Berman, 2003). “If a person knows or should know that eating copious orders of super-sized McDonald’s products is unhealthy and may result in weight gain, it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses,” said U.S. district judge Robert Sweet about the lawsuit (Berman, 2003). Other law makers agree. What are being called “common sense consumption laws” have been voted into law in 20 states (Fast food’s yummy secret, 2005). The federal government is now beginning to do the same. In October 2005, the house of representatives passed the “Cheeseburger Bill” with a huge majority 307-119 vote (‘Cheeseburger bill’, 2005). This bill would be used to stop obesity-related lawsuits against the food industry however it has not been made law yet because it still needs to be passed in the senate

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