Did you know that the United States is the second fattest country in the world? At least 1 out of 5 American is consider obese. Experts estimate that annually, about 300,000 people die due to this epidemic. This is also the second leading cause of avoidable death in the nation. The leading causes that contribute to obesity are: eating excessively, getting insufficient exercise, and malnutrition. However, there are other secondary causes related to our culture that are not commonly mentioned.
Overeating is evidently one of the predominant causes. America is one of the few countries that annually celebrates eating contests. An example of these competitions is the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating contest, which is held annually on July 4th in multiple locations. That is not the only eating competition scheduled annually; there are many other contests hosted by big companies across the nation. Events like these, demonstrate that eating is a hobby for Americans. Beyond being a hobby it is also an addiction for people. Psychologists, estimate that seventy-five percent of excessive eating is caused by emotions. People feeling sad, lonely, depressed, bored, and frustrated find eating to be an immediate solution that can satisfy them.
What is evident about emotional eating is that it can cause undesirable weight gain. Furthermore, lack of exercise is another common factor for obesity, not only in America, but in the world. Physical inactivity occurs when a person does not exercise on a daily basis. In our nation the lack of exercise happens due to the rushed lifestyle that we live. Laziness is also a factor that contributes to inactivity; people prefer to spend thirty minutes watching TV rather than exercising. When getting jobs, creating a family, having to pay bills and studying simultaneously it is tough to split up the time adequately. Nevertheless, it’s not impossible to split up the time.
By doing cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, walking, biking or running for thirty minutes every day you will avoid physical inactivity and therefore reduce the probability of being obese. Another common exercise that could also contribute to create a healthy body is swimming. Besides leading to obesity, lack of exercise also causes many other diseases in the human body. Some of them are diabetes, which is a common disease in obese people, as well as high blood pressure.
In addition, malnutrition is also a leading cause of obesity. Individuals suffer from malnourishment when their diet does not meet the adequate requirements for proteins, carbohydrates, calories, etc. There are two different types of malnourishment. The first one is when people eat an excess of junk food exceeding the adequate diet, while the second type is the opposite, when the person is not eating enough food to reach the adequate requirements. This factor can be seen as a cultural issue due to the food composition in some countries.
A big number of United States citizens tend to eat fast food on a daily basis. It is clear that the diet obtained from a fast food is not the best one. Food from fast food restaurants barely has protein or fiber. It primarily consists of carbohydrates, fat, and empty calories. Therefore, fast food diet is not a good nutrition source. Another thing that influences malnutrition is alcohol consumption.
Even though the United States is not at the top of the list of per capita alcohol consumption, the nation has a decent amount of people that drink alcohol on a weekly or even daily basis. Alcohol is not bad when it is consume in moderation, but the problem is that many people consume it excessively and it logically affects the nutrition and health of a person. After analyzing the main causes of obesity it is evident that obesity is an avoidable disease.
There are many habits that can contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating moderately is essential to achieve that healthy lifestyle. Exercising on a daily basis is also vital for a healthy body. The most important habit is adopting a healthy diet that could meet the adequate requirements in terms of nutrition needs. United States could decrease its obesity rate if all these causes are modified. There’s no doubt that it takes dedication to improve one’s health, but at the end of the day it’s worth it.