USAObesity and Overweight
USAObesity and Overweight
The issues ofobesity and overweight are not only a health issue, but also economicand social concern in the United States (Dube et al., 2010).Information collected from The National Health and NutritionExamination Survey (NHANES) reveal that the obesity prevalence hasbeen on the rise over the years. Statistics from recent studies alsoshow the same trend. Although much data is available on theimportance of staying healthy and the dangers of obesity, obesityrate has not decreased (Ogden et al., 2006). Recent studies indicatethat children and male adults are at an increased chance of becomingobese compared to other people. Scholars have found out thatthe tendency of the current citizens to eat unhealthy foods havecontributed greatly to the increasing cases of obese. The currentstudy has been conducted aiming to establish the latest trend inobesity, in the United States. Age, ethnicity, and gender have beenconsidered in the study (National Conference of state legislatures,2012). The research question is to establish whether obesity andoverweight have been on the rise and to determine whether age, genderand ethnicity influence obesity. This paper discusses the findings ofthe study, compares them with available literature and suggests howthe study should have been improved. The lessons learnt the wayforward and the impacts of the findings on the public health fieldare discussed in this paper.
DiscussionComparisonof the findings with availableliterature The findings of the research show anincrease in obesity prevalence from 20.9 percent in 1988 to 34.9percent in 2013 (Kelly et al., 2013). Available literature alsosuggests that obesity and overweight prevalence have beenconsistently increasing with time and the situation is only gettingworse (Hu, 2011). The findings of the study thus confirms the factthat obese cases have been on the rise over the years as indicated byprevious studies. According to many scholars in the medical field,body weight is not a sufficient measure of obesity and this studyacknowledges this fact by using BMI as a measure of obesity, thisenhances the accuracy of the results (Klebanov et al., 2014). Bailey(2006) suggested that BMI be the best measure of obesity prevalenceamong individuals. One of the major goals of this study was tocompare obesity and overweight prevalence among females and males inAmerica and to establish whether one of the genders is affected morethan the other (Centre for disease control & prevention, 2014).The available information from previous studies indicated that menare more prone to obesity compared to women. The results of the studyreveal otherwise with obesity prevalence among females standing at36.1 percent as at 2010 while that of male students was at 33.5percent during the same period (Anderson & Whitaker, 2010).However, the rate of prevalence change between both groups (male andfemale) remained relatively constant during the period. Theresults further reveal that the rate of overweight among both maleand female has remained relatively constant over the years at 33percent. The notable increase during this period was that one forobesity that has increased from a rate of 22.9 percent in 1988 to35.7 percent in the year 2010. The same case applies to extremeobesity that almost tripled from 2.8 percent in 1988 to 6.3 percentin 2010. The available literature had contradicted this statement byindicating that both obesity and overweight are on the rise (Fryar etal., 2012). Interpretation of these figures indicate that the obesityand extreme obesity has been increasing over the years, butoverweight has remained almost constant. In the literaturereview, the available information indicated that the obesity andoverweight affect different individuals differently depending onethnicity. The study confirms the truthfulness of the statementbecause the data collected by NHANES indicate the same fact. Out ofthe 98.6 million people who are Obese in the United States, 50.2million are non-Hispanic white, 12.2 million non-Hispanic black, 1.2non-Hispanic Asian and 13.4 Hispanic (Caulfield et al., 2004).Incorporating the various ethnic groups is a strength of this studybecause it increases its scope.Strange Findings Theresults of this recent study contain some strange findings that werenot expected in the first place. First, the prevalence rate ofoverweight people has been relatively constant over the years withsmall increases followed by small decreases. The availableinformation indicates that the prevalence rate of overweight was 33.1percent in 1988 and 33.0 percent in 2010 meaning the rate of changeis relatively constant. The rate of obesity in United States ofAmerica has been increasing over the years rising from 22.9 percentin 1988 to 35.7 percent in 2010. This is strange because theexpectation is that, as people become overweight, the higher thechances of obesity and vice versa. The second strangeobservation is that the proportion of men who are overweight ishigher than the proportion of women who are overweight, but thenumber of obese females is higher than that of males. Collected dataindicate that the proportion of overweight men is 38.4 percentcompared to that of women, which stands at 27.9 percent. However, theproportion of obese and extremely obese women stand at 35.8 and 8.1respectively compared to that of men at 35.5 and 4.4 respectively(Wnag & Lim, 2012). One would expect the gender that has a higherproportion of overweight people to have a higher proportion of obesepeople. This strange finding points at one of the weaknesses of thestudy because the findings does not explain why this isso.Limitations of the Study Ifthis research project had taken in to account other additionalfactors, the outcome would have been better. First, although thestudy considered age, gender and ethnicity, the results would havebeen wider if occupation were considered as another variable thatbrings obesity. The average income of individuals is anotherimportant variable that ought to be considered when researching onoverweight and obesity. Finally, the geographical locations ofindividuals should be considered as a factor that gives rise toobesity (Ogden et al., 2014).LessonsLearnt Overweight and obesity present one of the greathealth challenges in the United States. Despite obesity being ahealth concern, it also presents economic and social problems in theUnited States. From the studies, obesity and overweight are on therise with African Americans at high risk than the rest ethnic groupsof the US. African Americans are associated with obesity because oftheir broad view of food, body image and health (Murphy, 2012). Fromthe study, it shows that, among adults, 32.7% are overweight, 34.3 %are obese while 6 % were found to be extremely obese (Oliver,2006).In America, an increase in the rate of obesity can beattributed to changing in lifestyle with a shift to serviceindustries, unlike production industries. Greater economicempowerment among the citizens is also another reason (Ludwig et al.,2011). Despite numerous campaigns to address eating habits, theproblem has not yet been solved. People clearly know that the obesityis caused by consumption of highly processed and fast foods but dueto limited time and being occupied at their places of work, they willstill opt for such foods (Kaplan et al., 2005).Youth and children arealso victims of obesity because of the sedentary lifestyles. Theytend to spend much of the time on screens either watching movies orplaying games. Spending much of the time on screens means that thereis less available time to sleep and fail to observe a normal coursemeal which are reasons for increased obesity (Khoo, 2011).On theother hand, children who are engaged in household chores are lesslikely to be obese. They spend limited time on the screen and havenormal sleep patterns. Obesity affects the economy because obesepeople are likely to be inactive hence resulting to lowerproduction.Recommendations Schools shouldhave Physical Education programs and where necessary, they should bemade compulsory. Foods that are sold in the schools cafeterias shouldbe observed to ensure they are of the proper nutrition and contributeto a healthy status (Chopra et al., 2002). In the workplace, thereshould be gyms for employees to benefit. Employee’s weights canalso be monitored and their health status checked periodically. Thiswill encourage adoption of exercises among those working. This willresult in a habit that can help lower the prevalence of obesity toimprove the health of citizens in America. To fight obesity in theUnited States of America, people`s lifestyles should change byreducing time spent sitting should be minimized. Sitting the wholeday leads to gain in weight hence obesity. Unhealthy diets alsocontribute to obesity and obesity especially among people who takefast foods. Obesity and overweight are also associated with otherdiseases such as heart disease and diabetes that are very costly totreat. Obesity and overweight should be declared to be publicproblems in the United States. People are required to adopt healthylifestyles. Children should adjust to changes in their surroundingsto ensure they observe healthy lifestyles like not eatingexcessively. People need to be aware on what results overweight andobesity can cause and how it can be prevented.Impactsof the findings on thepublic health field Thefindings will be helpful for various stakeholders including parentsto be able to address obesity. Also with the data it will help themost vulnerable group who are the African-American to adopt new waysof dealing with the problems of obesity and overweight (Khoo,2011).The diet and lifestyle in the United States have been noted asthe main cause for the increase in cases of obesity. Informationobtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey(NHNES) includes the various groups in the United States and theiroverweight and obesity prevalence’s. These findings compose ofchildren, adolescents and adults. Other aspects that were consideredin the study were gender, ethnicity and age as they have an impact onobesity and overweight. With such information, it will be possible tonote the root of obesity in America. The application ofquantitative and qualitative data will help understand the publichealth that obesity and overweight presents. The quantitativeinformation is used to show the number of people affected byoverweight. Qualitative information describes the life experiences ofoverweight and obesity. The qualitative data can be used to study thedifferent behaviors, perspectives and experiences of those peoplehaving obesity and overweight (Acs & Lyles, 2007).
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