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Obesity is an epidemic in the whole of United States of America. It has been an issue for many other countries; however, U.S.A is very largely affected by obesity and obesity-related health issues. Obesity starts from childhood and moves on to adult hood. "Currently, around 31% of the American population is obese and about 65% are either obese or over weight" (Intelihealth). Obesity or over-weight increases the chances of heart diseases, diabetes, and "liver failure" (Super Size Me). The current death rate in many countries is rising because of a growing obesity rate; but what exactly is obesity?

Obesity is gaining weight to a level where it could become a health issue or lead to diseases. Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. Obesity is present when total body weight is more than 25 percent fat in boys and more than 32 percent fat in girls (Lohman, 1987). Obesity is caused by many different sources but all of it comes under one category: unhealthy diet. "Unhealthy diet is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases. This unhealthy lifestyle is more and more adopted at early ages" (World Heart Federation). Studies have proved that children are largely affected by the unhealthy food, and their eating habits have been spoilt since they were young between ages 5 to 7. "Studies have shown that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult" (Facts for Families)

There are many different assumptions made about a person who is obese, however not all of them are accurate. When a fat person is seen on the road, people assume he eats a lot and does not work out, but that is not always true. Obesity can be caused by many different factors. The most basic ones tend to be: poor eating habits, over-eating or lack of exercise. These are common and many people think this is the only cause of obesity. But there are other factors like: "family history of obesity, medical illness, medications, stressful life events or changes, family or peer problems, low self-esteem or depression" (Facts of Families).

There are many causes to obesity and there are many risks to obesity as well. "Fifty-nine million Americans are considered obese, and 300,000 die each year from related causes making this disorder the second-leading U.S. cause of death after smoking."(Facts for Families) Obesity is occurring in epidemic proportions. Obesity causes many health issues which finally lead to death and these include:

* high blood pressure

* breathing problems

* stroke

* heart disease

* diabetes

* hyperlipidemia, or increased fats in the body, often associated with higher cholesterol levels

* gallbladder disease

* gout

* some types of cancer

"Nearly one third of adults are obese. Obesity increases as people age. It is a serious condition because it increases your risk of poor health and major illness" (U of M Health Services).

"Like most chronic heart problems, obesity is also a complex interaction between genes, environment and behavior/habits" (U-M Health). Obesity starts at an early age and the question arises on how do children become obese? Many studies have showed that the food children eat at school is a large factor in the growing obesity of children. Food like: pizzas, burgers, french-fries, sodas, chips and many other items which are tasty but harmful. Children do not know what is causing harm, and the only thing that matters is taste. Institution food is one of the reasons why obesity has become an epidemic in this country. There is a lot of unhealthy food served, that makes children have unhealthy food habits from an early age. Also, the lack of physical education in schools has lead to the high rate of obesity. Physical activities are very important factors and many studies have shown that kids who spend more time watching "television" and playing "video games" are at higher risk of becoming overweight. "One in three high school youth do not engage in vigorous physical activity." "Less than 30% attend daily gym class"(Newbold) When children get into the habit of eating unhealthy, and ignoring physical activity; most of them are stuck with these traits till adult hood. Also, obesity could also be influenced by parents. If parents tend to be obese, children also tend to follow their footsteps (U of M health services). These are different ways children become obese, but there are solutions



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