This is a segment of a four part study that was produced by The Lancet, the world’s leading medical journal. It examines what was known about obesity, at the time the study was conducted, the economic and health burdens of obesity, the psychology behind it and the actions that need to be taken to prevent and end it. Although there are already some preventive methods such as “get fit plans,” the efforts have not even begun. Researchers have calculated the effects of behavior and different levels of policy intervention to come up with a preventative method to global obesity. Such include factors that will “..improve the food and built environments, cross-cutting actions (such as leadership, healthy public policies, and monitoring), and much greater funding for prevention programmes. Increased investment in population obesity monitoring would improve the accuracy of forecasts and evaluations. The integration of actions within existing systems into both health and non-health sectors (trade, agriculture, transport, urban planning, and development) can greatly increase the influence and sustainability of policies.”
This article discusses a study produced byThe Lancet, the world’s leading medical journal, that proves that America is not the world’s fattest nation.For years, Americans have been believing that they have been living in the world’s most obese country but, according to a study conducted by one of the world’s leading medical journals, The Lancet, America was never even in the top ten of the world’s fattest nations. America is just the worlds most industrialized nation, home to many fast food chains and large portion sizes; there are a significant number of fatter nations that have become this way due to the sudden introduction of American based products such as fast food chains and other processed food items. Obesity is measured through the body-mass-index (BMI), a system that calculates the amount of fat a person should have compared to their weight and height. The BMI states that anyone with a BMI over 25 is considered overweight. The Average BMI for the USA as a whole is 28.4, ranked 20th internationally. A noticeable decrease in the amount of overweight American women was acknowledged throughout the study. (Could this be due to media spins? Are they in fact having a positive impact on society, as opposed to the negative image “being thin” currently has?:: a section of my counterintuitive note)But, unfortunately, while the BMI for the American population has dropped substantially, it is not enough to say that America is slimming down. Sadly, the rest of the world is merely getting fatter.
This source was found through a quick search on Academic Search Premier. The article discusses BMC Public Health’s main goal: the discussion of how childhood obesity is a prominent issue. Childhood obesity effects not only a child throughout his or her childhood, but follows them for years to come. Thats why, according to the article, preventing obesity early on is very important. The research team established a prevention method, STOPP which was based on a similar Swedish program, CHH, combats creating a balanced diet, encouraging physical activity, and evenly distributed sleeping patterns.
The Scarsdale Diet was created by cardiologist Dr. Herman Tarnower and is one of the most effective international diet plans that allows users to loose up to 20 lbs in two weeks. It is a healthier alternative to other popular plans such as Atkins because it includes what they consider to be “complex carbohydrates” such as bread and fruit. The basis is healthy eating: limiting your intake of most carbs and eliminating others. The diet works by using a strict two week diet plan, and considerable exercise, followed by a week span of not dieting.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Program” focuses on getting kids to get out and get active. She targets healthy eating, as well. Her program is centered through TV networks favored by children across America such as the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. The idea is to influence American children at a young age of healthy alternatives.
The article, written by Rogan Kersh and James Monroe, describes the politics of obesity and the seven steps that the government should take to prevent it. Despite previous thoughts, the American government has always been highly involved with the regulation of obesity. It is not just a recent phenomena. In 2001, Surgeon General David Satcher’s called for the American government and public to help fight obesity by saying that the obesity rate has reached epidemic proportions. The problem with fighting obesity is that, unlike other health problems, it comes from private behavior. So, the government was faced with an issue: how can they influence the public sphere? (counterintuitive note). According to the article, you can control private, personal environments through social disapproval, medical-science, self help, media spins, and the demon user and industry concepts. Another way the government can help prevent and maintain obesity is through mass movements in the political sphere, such as the introduction of more interest group action.
F as in Fat. “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011.” – Trust for America’s Health. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Etc. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://www.healthyamericans.org/report/88/>.
This source discusses a study that provides information about how obesity in America has been altered over the past couple of years. Over all, it has been discovered that Americans are not as obese as they were in 2001 when the Surgeon General made his announcement that America had an obesity epidemic. It has become clear that the nations population has actually become more obese than a decade ago, according to data provided by the study.
Rochman, Bonnie, Maia Szalavitz, and Alice Park. “CDC: U.S. Obesity Rates Plateau Overall, But Men and Boys Are Getting Fatter | Healthland | TIME.com.” Time. Time. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/17/u-s-obesity-rates-remain-stubbornly-high
The authors aim to discuss how obesity rates may appear to have gotten larger in American. The reality of this evidence, however, is that the statistics have hit a plateau due to the fact that Americans have not had enough time to generate enough statistical evidence that can prove obesity rates are declining in America. This can be compared to the non-smoking movement that occurred several decades ago; it takes time to take effect.
BMI Not Accurate Indicator Of Body Fat.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 09 Mar. 2007. Web. 02 Apr. 2012.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/64577.php>.
The source discusses that the BMI system is not accurately reflective of modern standards for what is actually over weight as opposed to what the faulty BMI system claims. The article details a conclusive study produced by a Michigan State University research team that proved, as previously noted, BMI does not accurately calculate body fat. The major issue that occurs is that the same criteria for BMI are used for all adults of a specific gender. According to the research team, it does not make any difference to the BMI system whether you are a 21 year-old olympic athlete or a 75 year-old, immobile man. The evidence proves that when evaluating obesity, the BMI system should be used with caution. Also talked about in the article are possible alternative methods that could be used to calculate a man or woman’s obesity; none of these studies have been proven accurate, however. But, the most promising is measuring a person’s height to waist circumference which has thus far proven successful and is gaining a high medical reputation when it comes to evaluating diseases that often come as a result of obesity.
Super Size Me. Dir. Morgan Spurlock. Perf. Morgan Spurlock. Cameo, 2005.
This source is a documentary that was produced by Morgan Spurlock who voluntary set out to discover the health risks of the fast food industry. Specifically, he studied McDonald’s. Throughout his documentary, it became clear that the fast food industry of the early 2000s was not the same as we now perceive it to be. Spurlock exposed the negative health and nutritional benefits that consumers eat when ordering a big mac, the dangers of a super sized option and the way the fast food industry gets around detailing their nutritional facts. As a result of his documentary, there has been a surprising change in the fast food industry that has made food chains such as McDonald’s strive for better and healthier options.
Health Mag. “America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Places.” Health Magazine. Web. <http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411588_5,00.html>.
This article discusses a survey produced by Health Magazine that analyzed over 100 fast food establishments, narrowing them down to the top 10 healthiest places to eat at. Their criteria consisted of: the use of healthy fats and sodium counts, the availability of nutritional facts (which was previously hard to find in fast food chains), and the use of organic and natural produce. As it turns out, McDonald’s was ranked 8th on the top ten list and is not as unhealthy as people claim it to be. One of the establishment’s most popular new techniques that has been incorporated into other establishments is the option to have a side of fruit with every happy meal instead of french fries. And, if you have to have the fries, their french fries are baked in CDA approved heart-healthy canola oil. Also, the chain offers low calorie options such as snack wraps which consist of a mere 260 calories.
DAA. “Dietitians Association of Australia.” Sugar â Not so âtoxicâ. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. <http://daa.asn.au/for-the-media/hot-topics-in-nutrition/sugar-not-so-toxic/>
The source asserts that sugar, which is popularly known as a toxic food that highly contributes to weight gain and obesity, is not as big of a risk factor as many medical professionals are claiming. This study was concluded by the Dietitians Association. In their medical journal entry Sugar: not so toxic, they state that when it comes to sugar, men and women should try to eat it in moderation and limit their intake of foods high in added sugar and low in nutritional value such as soda and candy.
McLaughlin, Lisa. “Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup Really Good for You?” Time. Time, 17 Sept. 2008. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. <http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1841910,00.html>.
The above source argues that while high fructose corn syrup is conventionally thought of as bad for the body and the equivalent to sucrose, or sugar, it is actually nothing similar. Promoted by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), the attempts to get high fructose corn syrup out of the toxic range are surprisingly being supported by the American Medical Association which recently announced that corn syrup does not contribute to obesity.
“About Body Mass Index for Children and Teens.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Sept. 2011. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/childrens_bmi/about_childrens_bmi.html>
The article clearly defines the BMI system and obesity in children and adults. For children, the BMI system is gender specific. It measures how fat, or obese a child is based on their weight and height. Although the body mass index does not directly measure fat, it is a reliable source to indicate how over or underweight a child is. A doctor can calculate a child’s BMI by placing his or her height or weight on a growth chart; a growth chart is able to calculate a child’s weight range in regards to other children his or her age across the US.
Taubes, Gary. “Is Sugar Toxic?” NY Times Online. Web.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all>.
The source defines sugar as the most toxic thing a person can put into his or her body. Sugar produces excess empty calories that can lead to multiple medical disorders such as heart failure and diabetes and also is a key factor in obesity. Although there are good sugars, “salable sugars” such as the ones found at the dinner table, should be omitted from every day meals.
Many people are learning to live a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising but not always striving for thin. The article discusses being happy with the body you are given. The article talks about the negative effects on the current “health craze” on a persons body and how it directly correlates with eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. It is counterintuitive to the entire point that my paper is trying to make.
Defined in the article are the definitions of obesity and morbid obesity. “Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual’s ideal body weight. Obesity is associated with increased risk of illness, disability, and death. The branch of medicine that deals with the study and treatment of obesity is known as bariatrics. As obesity has become a major health problem in the United States, bariatrics has become a separate medical and surgical specialty.” The article then progresses to discuss the treatments for obesity and how it is much simpleir than people commonly think. The article states that it is simply a mindset: you need to believe that you can get through being overweight in order to do so; the author of the article claims that a healthy mind is a happy body. Other treatments include moeration and various other common techniques.
More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese; approximately 17% of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. Within the the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. In 2010, no state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-six states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of 30% or more.