The United States of America is a nation known for our obsession over “big things”. Americans have the biggest cars, the biggest houses, and now, the biggest people. Obesity rates in the United States has skyrocketed and more than one-third of American adults are obese. Some researchers suspect that by 2030, more than half the population will be obese unless Americans change what they consume and how much they exercise. Many Americans are now realizing the deadly effects of obesity and are turning to diets to stabilize and maintain a healthy weight.
But for some people, this cultural solution to the national problem does not work at all, and even gives reverse affects. Although dieting can help an individual to lose weight, it can also lead to gaining of weight because of hormones, the dieting mentality, and our culture as Americans. Although people see dieting as the sure-fire way to losing pounds, scientists have found that dieting actually changes the way their brain and metabolism work. When a person starts a diet, their brain begins to send hormones that tell the body to hoard body fat.
This makes it harder to lose weight because your body thinks that it is lacking food, and therefore, relies on body fat. These same hormones also trigger food craving in the brain, making that individual hungry constantly and eventually succumb to eating again (Naish, 1) . The dieting mentality is also a huge reason why diets can have reverse affects. Have you ever gone to dinner with a friend, who ordered a huge plate of pasta because tomorrow was the start of her diet?
Or, have you ever heard someone say they were going for ice cream because they “earned” it by going to the gym that day? This makes it so diets are nothing more than a storm of restrictive eating patterns, shame, and guilt. A person on a diet may lose the pounds they wanted, but as soon as they reached their goal, they start to fall in the same patterns again and gain the weight they lost, or even more (Johnson, 1). Lastly, our own culture fights against us. We are a nation of fast food and junk food, and are always reminded of it through advertisements.
People cannot go a day without seeing at least one advertisement for the new McDonald’s burger or the new sugary junk food that’s available at the nearest grocery store. These companies are exact in the business of advertising their products, and most of the time, target young children to create a “brand-loyalty” through happy commercials and toy giveaways. We have been manipulated by these companies, and it’s very hard not to indulge in their products. This culture of ours needs to change before we improve our health and stop obesity. In conclusion, diets in America can be too blame for making us “fat”.
Our own bodies, minds, and culture wreak havoc against us and make it very hard to shed those pounds that one wants to lose. Some Americans turn to deadly diets as an answer, such as fad-diets, and also diets that lead to bulimia. However, there are diets that actually work, such as the dieting by lowering portions. Whatever the diet may be, Americans must face the cruel reality that their lives are in jeopardy and must fight off the urge to eat fast food and junk food, and exercise regularly. Or else, we have to face the consequences of the future.
Courtney from Study Moose
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