Has obesity become too big of a problem?
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Obesity is becoming a major problem in the world as of late.
520,000,000 people worldwide are obese and about 1,573,000,000 people are overweight. Most of these people live in countries with good economics overall, such as the USA, China and the UK, which means there is always food available. This is quite the contrast to some countries in Africa, where the children’s bellies sometimes swell from malnourishment.
Obesity is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide, due to its effects, one of which is diabetes. Developing diabetes in your middle ages can cause premature death, since it raises the risks of developing cancer, and liver and kidney diseases. Obesity can also lead to heart problems. 1 out of 5 US deaths are associated with obesity.
I myself am from Sweden, a country where obesity isn’t very prominent, at least if you look at it from a global point of view. Around 33% of the population are obese or overweight, which isn’t a lot compared to the US, where a whole 66% of the population are overweight and 33% are obese.
I believe the reason this difference exists is the availability of obesity related information. In Sweden we receive messages of the benefits of living a healthy life style almost constantly, through posters from sports companies, at food stores, news articles or commercials via TV or radio. While in the US I get the impression that obesity isn’t much of a hot topic, even though the rates keep going up. Also, food is portrayed differently between countries. For instance, in the US there will be advertisements of discounts for burgers and commercials for food will be aired frequently; food is made to look like it is essential to buy that specific product. In Sweden you will sometimes see advertisements for food, portrayed to be practical and easy to cook, or discounts at a local store for fruits and vegetables.
Because it is a problem of big proportion, this should be the time to find a proper solution to this problem, not just in the US, but worldwide. For example; the leaders of the countries where obesity is a problem should invest in getting more information out to the people, and encourage eating healthy food and exercising. If money is a problem when it comes to buying, for example fruit and vegetables, they should work on making prices affordable. The food producing companies should be more specific when it comes to what is in the food, by writing on the package if there are large amounts of sugar or fat. This way, people may become more aware of what they are actually eating.
To sum up, obesity is a problem worldwide and is the leading preventable cause of death, as it raises the risk of developing illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. There are big differences between Sweden and the US, mainly because of the difference in availability of information and the way food is portrayed. The problem could possibly be countered by raising the awareness of the causes for obesity.You can raise the awareness of the dangers of bad eating habits by, for example, suggesting that you in your biology/science/physical education classes watch the movie Super-Size Me by Morgan Spurlock, which came out in 2004.