The Primary Cause of Obesity in Memphis: Poor Nutrition, Lack of Exercise, and Poverty It is no question that America’s obesity rates are among the highest in the world. Obesity rates are high in almost all U. S. cities but, which city is the fattest? Newsweek magazine named Memphis, Tennessee to be the fattest city in 2012 (Lollar). There is no argument Memphis’ obesity rates are ridiculously high but, there is controversy about why Memphis is the fattest city and what people can do to change.
Some think that lack of exercise and poor diet is the problem. Some say that lack of education is the issue. Others even think that the government is causing obesity rates to skyrocket. I believe that poor diet and the lack of physical activity are causing Memphis to be one of the fattest cities in the world. This is only one opinion on a topic that is stirring up controversy but is also giving a bad reputation to Memphis, “The Home of The Blues.
” Obesity rates in Memphis are high; that’s a fact. The controversy around this topic is based on the arguments of why obesity rates are high.
There are many arguments made on this topic that will be introduced and analyzed. But first, there are many key terms that the average person might not fully understand. The first term examined is body mass index or “BMI. ” BMI is a measurement that is used to deem someone as being underweight or overweight. To calculate someone’s BMI you divide a person’s mass(kg) by their height(m2) (Wikipedia.
com). The BMI chart lists as follows: very severely underweight less than 15, severely underweight from 15. 0 to 16. 0, underweight from 16. 0 to 18. 5, normal (healthy weight)from 18. to 25, overweight from 25 to 30, obese class I (moderately obese)from 30 to 35, obese class II (severely bese)from 35 to 40, obese class Ill (very severely obese)over 40 (Wikipedia. com). The next term is one that is often used is “overweight. ” This is a term used to designate the area between normal weight and obese. Overweight means having a BMI from 25 to 30. The next term is “obese”, which means a person has a BMI over 30. In 2012, 29. 7 percent of people in Memphis were considered obese. When a person is obese they have enough excess body fat to cause health risks such as heart disease and type II diabetes.
The next key term is “food desert. ” A food desert is defined as “an rea where affordable healthy food is difficult to obtain, particularly for those without access to an automobile. ” (Wikipedia. com). Memphis is a prime example of a food desert being that it is fourth in the country for food deserts. A large number of various fast food chains are all around Memphis, while healthy and more natural foods are much more difficult to attain. The last key term is “saturated fat. ” Saturated fats are made of triglycerides and have only saturated fatty acids.
These types of fats are found in many animal fats including butter, ice cream, chocolate, and cheese. Saturated fats have been associated with many diseases in the past including cancer and heart disease (Wikipedia). Obesity is an epidemic that continues to grow among the U. S. , as well as many other countries around the world. Many ask how and when obesity first started to become such a huge problem in America. One main reason obesity has become so But, why has our society become more and more sedentary over the years? One reason that has been studied by Alabama Cooperative Extension Nutritionist Dr.
Robert Keith is the electronic home media that became extremely popular during the arly 1980’s (Wile). Instead of getting physical activity from outdoor activities, children started to stay inside more and play video games or watching television (Wile). As home video game systems emerged along with newer technology in television over the past few decades, obesity rates have exponentially increases. It is also believed that high fructose corn syrup that was introduced to foods in the 1970’s. High fructose corn syrup is currently found in many foods and drinks such as soda, cookies, Juices, and candy (Wile).