Summary of "Caloric Imbalance and Public Health Policy"
by kevin.tm on April 1, 2014 - 10:24am
Obesity is a severe issue that is undeniable in the United States. BMI (Body Mass Index) is used to determine the level of obesity and is recorded that “22% of the U.S. adult population is obese, bases on a BMI of 30kg/m2 or more” (Kaplan and Dietz 343). This problem does not only affect citizens in the way they look, but also affects their health. Obesity is responsible for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels and many more. According to the article, genes are not responsible for obesity, as they have “not changed significantly between 1980 and 1994”(344). Genes have not changed; however, people have become more obese. One will gain weight if his energy-in is greater than his energy-out. In other words, if the intake of calories is greater than the calories used to exercise, digest and perform regular movements, weight is gained. This is because the excess of energy is stored in the body as fat to protect against an unexpected famine. We are the cause for Obesity. With the availability of food, people tend to eat more and are not supported with the proper conditions to spend energy. Tasks have been made easier through machinery, and cars rather than bicycles are used to travel short distances. If measures were taken to reduce the levels of obesity in our world, people would be healthy and active. One solution is to treat food similarly to Tabaco. There would be warnings on food packages that bring awareness to the effect of overconsumption. Furthermore, there would be an increase in the price of food, as these measures have worked to reduce the number of smokers. Unlike smoking, there is not only one type of food that is detrimental for one’s health. This will make it harder to know how much people are eating and if they should change their diets. Although there were not many studies made at the time this article was written, studies had shown the positive affects of physical activity. Nonetheless, healthcare costs associated with obesity are extremely high. If cases of obesity were lessened, it would save everyone a lot of money. Physical activity does not necessarily mean high intensity workouts, but simply the act of moving more often. An example of this is to relocate stairwells and make them more accessible. As stated earlier, people are using their cars rather than using a bicycle for short distances. It is recorded that “25% of all trips are less than 1 mile, and 75% of these are by car”(347). These distances can easily be accomplished by other means, which would reduce the level of obesity and greenhouse gases significantly. It is important to treat the problem at its origin. If children adapt a healthy lifestyle, they will also pursue it as adults. Role models such as elected officials, parents, teachers and physicians should encourage a healthy lifestyle for others to follow. Although the United States was the only country mentioned, obesity is a serious problem throughout the globe. There are many health issues associated with obesity, which not only cost a lot, but also harm the individual. By informing citizens of healthier choices, and making these choices available to them is crucial. These measures will lead the way for weight loss and a healthier, happier society.
We have proven that obesity is harmful physically. Do you think that obesity is also harmful psychologically, especially with the great influence of social media and advertisement?