Obesity – Major Health Problem in United States

Obesity is considered a major health problem in the United States. Obesity has been declared as an epidemic by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is very unfortunate but true that more than 300,000 people die every year due to problems related to obesity. The fact that one out of every three Americans is overweight is highly alarming. The basic reason behind this growing health disorder has been identified as the Americans' inclination to eat to the maximum and exercise to the minimum.

According to endocrinologists, Obesity targets every organ system in the body. Obesity results in number of complicated and acute problems like heart malfunctioning, diabetes, sleep disorders, different types of cancer, arthritis etc. Apart from physical ailments, people suffering from obesity also face some psychological problems like depression, mood swings, appearance consciousness, lack of self-confidence etc.

Unhealthy food habits result in quick weight gain. It is often observed that people casually start consuming snacks as a sporadic tendency but after a period of time it gets converted into a hard-core habit. Junk food taken along with normal food adds a high count of calories to the already existing reserves of the body, which in turn increase the body weight very speedily.

Although number of weight losing programs and packages are available, but the fact is that shedding weight is not as simple as it appears. Discipline coupled with serious efforts and lots of hard work is the key to permanent loss of weight. The simplest way is "Eat minimum, exercise to the maximum". For most people, maintaining the weight is more difficult than losing weight. Inconsistent methods usually take the people to their original obese figures in a few years. Weight reduction programs should be considered as lifetime commitment by the dieters.

Dieters should not expect drastic weight loss in a short span of time as this will only lead to frustration and discouragement. To gain weight is easy but to loose those extra kilos which have piled up over the years is very difficult. Ideal weight can not be attained in a few days or months. This is a gradual process and lots of patience, hard work and discipline and self-control is required. The realistic goal can be achieved only with persistent and sincere efforts.

All the dieters must listen to their stomach as stomach can best indicate when and how much to eat. Most people presume that if it is time to eat then they must eat, even if they do not feel like eating. If a person enjoys heavy dinner and that too at late hours and straightway goes to bed after that, then this adds loads of calories to the body. To fully digest the meal, we should ideally not take any food after nine at night. This would help in avoiding extra burden on the stomach right before sleep time. A balanced exercise routine is also indispensable to loose weight. The doctors recommend brisk walking at least for one hour. 5% -15% decrease in original body weight in a span of 6-10 months is considered as ideal weight reduction.

FDA has approved two medicines Meridia and dopamine, which help in decreasing weight up to 8% in a year. About 200 drugs for weight reduction are under process of research and development. But it is pertinent to add here that these drugs push back the incentive to loose weight through physical workouts and diet control. People presume that they can shun of these extra kilos by consuming pills so exercise or dieting is not required.

Rapidly developing chains of fast food restaurants serve foods that are high in fats and sugar content. Nutrition part is almost neglected. A medium chocolate shake provides nearly 10g of fats, 60 mg cholesterol and around 600 calories. From these figures one can clearly imagine how disastrous can a small chocolate shake be the diet plan of the dieter. More and more people are stepping towards these fast food joints. Due to the craze of fast food among the children and adults, these joints are expanding their branches swiftly.

The definition of 'Salads' which are otherwise considered nutritious has been absolutely distorted by these fast food restaurants. A fiesta salad served at almost all leading food joints provides 27g of fats as it contains cheese, cream, seasoned beef etc. Figures provided by Pizza industry of America state that more than 300 slices of this favorite food are consumed every second. More than 90% of population enjoys pizzas in America that too with high calorie toppings like pepperoni, extra cheese, sausages, chickens and meat etc. Two pizza slices may provide approximately 50-55 mg of cholesterol, 10 g of sugar and more than 500 calories.

Sedentary life-style also plays a pivotal role in making people obese. Due to technological advancements, modern equipments like washing machines, dishwashers, automobiles, elevators, remote controls and other gadgets are being used increasingly as substitutes of physical force and manual labor. Today without much bodily exertion even the most tedious of tasks can be accomplished in a jiffy. Television watching, playing video or computer games encourages inactivity and simultaneously while watching television or playing games people enjoy munching high-calorie snacks for example French fries, chips etc. Result is, dual adverse affect on the body that is – increased high calorie food intake and decreased physical activity. Besides this most people, due to their busy schedule or lack of discipline, can not approach gyms / fitness centers or exercise at home regularly. Children often witness the casual attitude of their parents towards health, and as a result they imitate the same and do not consider exercise as serious affair.

World Health Organization (WHO) recommends regular physical activity for at least thirty minutes per day. It has also given some other recommendations for weight loss like increase in consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grain, decrease in consumption of free sugar, decrease in salt intake etc.

In order to reduce weight, people tend to consume different kinds of drugs that help in weight reduction but they fail to realize that a number of side effects follow the intake of such drugs. Ideal weight can be attained and maintained without these drugs, just with the help of healthy diet and proper exercise. Slow and maintained weight loss, without any side effect is better than a substantial weight loss with number of side effects.