Obesity within lower-socio economic statuses

March 24, 2012
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My real-world topic is not only known here in the United States, but around the world. It is becoming more and more serious each year, and is now being recognized by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The real-world topic I chose was, obesity within lower socio-economic statuses. In today’s world, society has brought up an entire generation of unhealthy habits, fast food, and a sedentary lifestyle. That is why obesity is the number one epidemic in the United States.

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. Body mass index (BMI), is a measurement, which compares weight and height, defines people as overweight. If the person’s BMI is above 30 kg/m, they are obese. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, during 2009 – 2010, 19.6% of males and 17.1% of females aged 12-19 years were obese. These rates rised in years 2010 – 2011, 22.8% of males and 18.6% of females were obese. The area of obesity was more common in the races Black and Hispanic. Hispanics had 25% rate of obesity and Blacks a 22% rate, while Asian/Pacific Islander are 12.1% and White 16.8% obese. This is because these races (Black and Hispanic) are more common in a lower socio-economic status. Obesity thrives here more, because fresh food is less filling and more costly than artificial or “junk” food – meaning that they try to maximize their calories per dollar in order to stave off hunger. A community of lower-socioeconomic status is also vulnerable to obesity, due to risk factors including: limited resources, limited access to healthy and affordable food, and limited opportunities for physical activity. Limited resources and limited access to healthy and affordable food means they are more likely surrounded by fast-food places and Wal-Marts rather than a Whole Foods or nice places to eat as people in a higher socio-economic status do, meaning healthy food isn’t as easy to access in this area compared to others.

There are many causes of obesity. It can be genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, and also lack of sleep. The most common cause is genetics. You can become obese through genetics easily if your mother/father or grandfather/grandmother are obese. This is the most common cause but lately, many Americans have adapted to the sedentary lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle is one where the adult or child does not engage in enough exercise or physical activity to be considered healthy, in other words, a “couch potato”. If you sit and eat on your couch all day, while not engaging in physical activities you can cause serious damage to your body and become obese. Stress is where your body and mind feel frustrated because of being under too much pressure at one time. Stress can cause many effects such as, acne, gray hairs, hair loss, nausea, frequent colds, and obesity. When you’re stressed out, you find the need to overeat. Overeating leads to obesity over time, if you do not get enough exercise. Lack of sleep also causes obesity gradually. When you have a lack of sleep and wake up you crave high-calorie foods rather than when you get a full night’s rest.

Obesity affects people in many different ways. Being obese means you are increasing your risks for various diseases, including, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Obese children and adults are also more vulnerable towards, respiratory, metabolic, and cardiovascular illnesses. Obesity not only affects you physically, but emotionally. When you are overweight and/or obese, you feel self-conscious and insecure about yourself. You feel as if everyone else is much thinner and beautiful than you are. You feel pressured to be perfect and feel if you were thin, things would all be a bit better, and why is this? This is because of our society and media. The media is always presenting and incorporating images of obese and overweight people as being frowned upon, when it shouldn’t. Obesity should be taken seriously not only by physical aspects, but also by emotional. However those who are obese are responsible for their condition and therefore, are the ones who must correct it so they can be healthy.

The main solution to obesity is to lose weight. These four steps are the main things to help you lose weight: smaller portions, exercise, consistency, self-motivation/determination. These four steps are important because having smaller portions and implementing more exercise in your daily life means you burn more calories creating fast metabolism overtime. Emphasis on overtime! This is why you need consistency and self-motivation and determination. We all achieve our goals differently, maybe setting a number of months to see if you get results would help, or even one little change in your diet can save you a couple pounds you could have gained. For example, adding a biscuit a week can lead you to gain 5 pounds a year, cutting the biscuit out of your diet can you lead you to lose the same. You also need to select the right and healthy foods for a balanced diet. According to the pyramid Food Guide, you should have two-three servings of protein, two-four servings of fruit, three-five servings of vegetables, two-three servings of dairy, six-eleven servings of carbohydrates, and barely any sweets, fats, or oils. There are also a number of camps you can attend or programs you can join to help lose weight. There also many camps and programs that can help you lose weight. Such as, First Lady, Michelle Obama’s program “Let’s Move!”. This program is to help prevent and stop obesity by adding healthier food choices and exercise to your way of living. Another solution is procedures and surgeries such as lipo-urgery, but these are extremely dangerous and expensive. It is better to lose the weight in a healthy, and less expensive way. Another solution the community could do is to give more job opportunities in lower socio-economic statuses and add more accessibility to healthy, affordable food.

Not only are there many programs and camps to help lose weight, but many people use diets. Not all diets work and some are unhealthy, but some improve your diet step by step. Such as, low-carb diets. Low-carb diets reduce the amount of carbs you eat in a regular diet, making you less hungry and more energetic, meaning you lose weight. Another diet that gives you great effects is the Paleo diet. The Paleo diet or “ the caveman’s diet” is focused on going back to the natural foods that were here before all the man-made products came into place. Such as, meats, vegetables, eggs, and fruits. Grains and sweets such as, ice cream or a loaf of bread are not included in this diet, because they weren’t naturally here on Earth, they are man-made. There is an international challenge sponsored by NASA called Mission X: Train Like An Astronaut its main target is to solve obesity in youth. It’s a six-week challenge in which kids all over the world participate in exercises used to train astronauts, learn the science behind the exercise, and after each exercise they complete, they gain points. They upload the points to the website, www.trainlikeanastronaut.org, and the points our converted to steps. Where their icon “Astro Charlie” has a mission to walk from Earth all the way to the Moon. Once “Astro Charlie” has completed his mission they have completed theirs. It is not a challenge about what country gets more points, it is about working together to complete the task and get Charlie to the moon.

Eating right and exercising is an important necessity that we need in our lives without these we slowly become obese. Obesity is the number one epidemic in the United States. As the number one epidemic, it is our job to help stop this. If we all work together and help each other be healthy, we can definitely decrease the amount of obesity. As the number one epidemic, it is our job to help stop this.


This chart shows the different races and how obesity affects each one of them. Black and Hispanic are more vulnerable towards obesity. This chart also shows young children from age ranges 6 to 11 and 12 to 19.



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Website



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