Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Obesity in the United States

By: Lan Lam

Obesity has been an epidemic in the United States for many decades already and continues to be an alarming concern not only as individuals but also to our society. Obesity can play a tremendous role in a person social class along with health risk. According to medical records, obesity is a medical condition when there is an excess amount of fat in one's body which may be linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, lack of breathing, and cancer etc. The easiest way to determine if you’re obese is by calculating your body mass index (BMI), which is the ratio of your weight to your height. Adults with a BMI of 25 or higher are considered overweight and anything higher than 30 is consider obese.


Percent of Obese (BMI > 30) in U.S. Adults
2009 State Obesity Rates
State
%
State
%
State
%
State
%
Alabama
31.0
Illinois
26.5
Montana
23.2
Rhode Island
24.6
Alaska
24.8
Indiana
29.5
Nebraska
27.2
South Carolina
29.4
Arizona
25.5
Iowa
27.9
Nevada
25.8
South Dakota
29.6
Arkansas
30.5
Kansas
28.1
New Hampshire
25.7
Tennessee
32.3
California
24.8
Kentucky
31.5
New Jersey
23.3
Texas
28.7
Colorado
18.6
Louisiana
33.0
New Mexico
25.1
Utah
23.5
Connecticut
20.6
Maine
25.8
New York
24.2
Vermont
22.8
Delaware
27.0
Maryland
26.2
North Carolina
29.3
Virginia
25.0
Washington DC
19.7
Massachusetts
21.4
North Dakota
27.9
Washington
26.4
Florida
25.2
Michigan
29.6
Ohio
28.8
West Virginia
31.1
Georgia
27.2
Minnesota
24.6
Oklahoma
31.4
Wisconsin
28.7
Hawaii
22.3
Mississippi
34.4
Oregon
23.0
Wyoming
24.6
Idaho
24.5
Missouri
30.0
Pennsylvania
27.4


The data shown in these maps were collected through the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor which is a percentage of obesity rates in the United States. According to statistics, high levels of poverty and low levels of education are linked with obesity across the U.S. For example, Mississippi is also the poorest state in America and ranks in the bottom ten in educational spending as well. When unemployment rises, obesity can soon follow because cutting back on expenses often means cutting the healthier, more expensive foods and people also turn to junk food to relieve stress.
As the increase of obesity in the United States arouses the new generation may seek shorter life expectancy due to health issues which contribute from overweight or obese. The government gives billions of dollars every year for medical cost contributing obesity while millions of people spends money on surgery and diet pills to help lose weight, but is it really working?. In some cases I think surgery and diet pills do work but reality you may gain all your weight back. Like any doctor would say to any patient healthy eating and regular exercise would help keep a healthy diet to society. Walking in the park with the family is a great way to keep fit like the picture below.



           
           

4 comments:

  1. The other day I was reading an article about obesity in America, and the rates much like these are sickening. There are so many overweight unhealthy people in the USA, and we wonder why? Perhaps our addiction to fast food and chain restaurants could be the problem. Being more aware of the problem, starting with teaching kids how to eat healthy at a young age could curb obesity in teens and young adults to come.

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  2. Sa'ood Abdul-BasitApril 12, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Interesting post! ironically my organic post will cover part of what you mentioned towards the end of your article but I'll cover the myths of fitness regarding weight loss and muscle building. Its my theory that America has created a huge industry making products that people believe will allow them to lose weight alone. The fact that people do not do enough research on the topic of weight loss also causes them to waste money on buying such products.

    I also believe that the food we eat is a big issue that effects weight. Although I'm a huge fan of fitness for myself & staying in shape, I think its also wrong how many people who are put in the Obesed catagory are shunned & looked down on by our society.

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  3. Brittanie DeShieldsApril 13, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    The map is actually very interesting because the other day in class we were talking about the lower southern states to be more in poverty and things like that have the highest in obesity rates around the United States. I always thought it was rediculous that the healthier foods cost more than junk food. In my opinion it should be opposite so the obesity rates will become lower. If they tried changing the prices on things that could possibly be a start towards ending obesity. Great post by the way!

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  4. Indeed this is a very interesting post. I think I may have heard that obesity and poverty were connected but I wasn't sure how. This was very informative for me considering one might think that those with higher income would be obese as a result of eating more. While on the other hand those with low income would weigh less as a result of not being able to afford enough food. However, now I see why that is not true and what you eat may have a larger effect. In reality those with higher income can simply afford more healthier foods and not have to settle for junk food.

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