Dear Future President,
Throughout America, the obesity rates have increased dramatically partly due to the foods that are produced across the nation and their cost.
The United States is home to the highest number of overweight and obese people in the world. The processed and fast food production has a big effect on weight throughout the country. Americans desire these fatty foods because they are very affordable and easily accessible. Today, more than two thirds of adults are considered to be overweight or obese, according to the NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases). They found that more than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity.
Approximately 10 percent of U.S. adults were classified as obese during the 1950s. In 2011 to 2012, however, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reported approximately 35 percent of U.S. adults were obese; the prevalence of obesity among American adults has more than tripled within the last six decades. This demonstrates the dramatic increase of obesity rates throughout the nation. Since then, fast food chains and production of processed food have become a lot more common. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets. The price of trying to buy good food is nearly impossible for the average family.
All in all, unhealthy foods play a key role in today’s overweight issue. Money is also a key factor in the problem. ABC New’s Amanda Gardener conducted an interview based on affordability of healthier diets. The article stated, “ ‘Americans typically spend 15 percent of their food budget on fruits and vegetables but based on our price survey, low-income families would have to spend 40 to 70 percent of their budget on fruits and vegetables’ Cassady said. ‘We really need to rethink what kind of educational campaigns, what kind of advice we need to give to low-income families.’” This article gives a prime example of how because of cost, the average American family cannot afford to follow a healthier lifestyle.
These issues affect the middle to lower class families that make up a great amount of the world’s population (80 percent). In an article written on fast food consumption amongst Americans, the News Medical Life Sciences states that fast foods reduce the quality of diet and provide unhealthy choices especially among children and adolescents raising their risk of obesity. While these young people are raised in these environments, they become accustomed to these habits. They will eventually grow and carry on the habits they followed and pass it to their family.
Although this is the common belief, not all agree. Many people still feel that obesity is simply a matter of personal responsibility, everyone can play a role in reducing obesity rates and supporting obese children and their parents. For example, community programs can encourage youth to be more active by providing clean, safe places to play, schools can provide nutritious lunches for children and work to combat bullying, and education can be offered for parents and children to enable them to make better choices.
In my opinion, I believe the best way to solve this issue would be to regulate prices of foods. This would allow everyone to have the opportunity to follow a healthier lifestyle and chose a path they may not have been able to before. I also think healthier lifestyle ideas need to be promoted amongst children so they are aware of the effects of this issue. As of right now, many groups and organizations are working together to also prevent obesity amongst children. The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), for instance, has been involved in many childhood obesity activities and initiatives. Their main focus is to educate these young people, then they worry about the advocacy. They have also set up a program to promote healthier foods and beverages. Advertising this kind of lifestyle to young kids will hopefully ensure their healthier lifestyle as they carry it into adulthood.
Conclusively, the research has shown the rising rates of obesity amongst society. With these small changes, we can start alleviating the overweight issue we have in America.