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Obesity in America: The Reasons Why

Updated on March 17, 2013


In today’s society, obesity is a major health issue that has been on the rise. The many factors that contribute to obesity in America are food, genes, environment, pressure, the thyroid gland, and decreased smoking. Obesity could lead to fatal major health problems in Americans. These health problems are but not limited to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.

Food is one of the major factors why obesity is a huge issue in the U.S. The amount of calories and unhealthy triglycerides that we consume causes weight gain in an individual. The high levels of sugar that an individual consumes could lead to diabetes. Diabetes is when the sugar levels in the blood are lower than normal. In order to regulate your blood sugar, a person would have to take insulin on a daily basis.

Another factor of obesity in the United States is genes. Genes are subunits of DNA that help maintain cells and pass information off to offspring. In other words, if your parents are obese then there is a higher risk of their offspring being obese. These genes and traits that the offspring receives also help determine hair, eye color, height, skin color, shape of nose, shape of eyes, etc.

A third factor of obesity in the United States is the environment. The environment contains media, billboards, newspapers, articles, and magazines that promote unhealthy foods. These advertisements use propaganda by persuading people into thinking that eating unhealthy foods is good. When in reality, unhealthy foods such as pizza, chicken, nachos, and tacos are really unhealthy for an individual. These foods are bad because they are either frozen or cooked in oils that contain saturated fats that increase your cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

A fourth factor of obesity in the United States is because of peer pressure. Peer pressure is a factor because an individual might feel as if they have to eat more in order to gain a prize or recognition. An example of this would be a food eating competition, where individuals compete to find out who can eat the most. These individuals feel as if they must eat a lot to achieve a title, in order to gain pride from their peers and loved ones. The individuals involved would be disappointed in themselves if they did not win the competition. Another form of peer pressure would be when kids are around family members that ridicule them for only eating a plate of food. These kids feel as if they should eat more because they do not want to be ridiculed anymore by family members.

A fifth factor of obesity in the United States is thyroid problems. The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland in the body that determines the speed at which we consume energy, make proteins, and controls sensitivity. If the thyroid gland is overactive then, an individual begins to lose weight. If the thyroid gland is underactive, then, the individual begins to gain weight. There is not a cure for people with thyroid gland problems but there is treatment. The individuals that have a hyperactive thyroid gland would have to take anti-thyroid agents, or drugs. The individuals that have an underactive thyroid gland would have to take an oral medication which consists of a thyroid hormone.

A sixth factor of obesity in the United States is decreased smoking. Smoking is the inhalation of burning tobacco smoke. Smoking causes weight loss in an individual because smoking causes the heart to beat faster, which in turns helps burn more calories throughout the body. When an individual stops smoking, they gain more weight because they eat more and there aren’t appetite-suppressing chemicals in their body.

Overall, obesity is a huge problem because obesity could result in heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, high cholesterol, abnormal breathing, limited mobility, etc. The causes of obesity are relevant because in order to figure out a solution, an individual must first address the problem. Some of the causes of obesity can be limited or helped such as food, peer pressure, and smoking. The other causes of obesity cannot be controlled because they are hereditary or health problems.

In order to solve a food problem that could lead to obesity, an individual must eat healthier and exercise. The healthy foods that the individual consumes could lead to a decrease in fatal diseases or health conditions. An individual should eat foods such as fish, eggs, bananas, strawberries, carrots, green beans, etc. These foods help the body function more efficiently and help to keep the body healthy.

In order to solve the issue of hereditary, an individual should try to control the amount that they eat and exercise more. When these individuals were younger, the individuals were probably given a choice to eat as much food as they want. As the individual got older, the individual realized that a change needed to be made.

In order to solve the issue of the environment, the individual shouldn’t listen or do an action just because everyone else in society is doing the action. An example of this is when an individual sees an Oreo cookie milkshake on the television. The individual does not have to go and buy the milkshake just because a friend of theirs is going to buy the milkshake. Also, the individual shouldn’t let advertisements persuade them into buying something that isn’t good for them.

In order to solve the issue of pressure, the individual should not listen to the opinions of others. The individual shouldn’t let the opinions of others affect the decisions they make or their feelings towards a certain situation.

In order to solve the issue of the thyroid gland, the individual should obtain treatment for a hyperactive thyroid gland. When the individual obtains treatment, the individuals’ body weight might be able to be maintained and therefore could reduce their weight.

In order to solve the issue of smoking, the individual should try not to eat a lot of food that would lead to an increase of weight. The individual should try to maintain the amount of the food that the individual is consuming.

In conclusion, the main problem in the United States is obesity. Consecutively, the problem of obesity can be addressed, if the causes of obesity are addressed. If an individual can solve the causes of obesity, then obesity can be solved in the United States.

Here are some other links to other articles that I've written:


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    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago

      @Express10 haha, i love how you compare gaining weights as to moving south and expanding, all in all it is very true. We must do something as a society about this situation before it becomes far worse off than what it already is.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      This hub has some great info. Today we have so many shortcuts to getting things done that we don't burn the calories that our relatives of one or two generations ago might have. Another thing people overlook is the fact that as we age, we need fewer calories but many people actually eat more as they age, don't exercise/strength train, and wonder why things are moving south and expanding.