Here in the U.S. we love having the bigger house, bigger SUV, higher salary etc so it's no wonder our portions are also out of control. A burger at restaurant can contain up to 1,500 calories, which is what most women should consume in an entire day; or even worse up to 95 grams of fat, which is an entire week's worth. America's preoccupation with obesity is most definitely out of control and is multifaceted as well as not totally unwarranted.
First and foremost is the media's obvious fixation with weight. Actors and actresses are America's royalty and they're praised, admired and envied for being thinner and thinner. The message Hollywood sends is "thinner is better" "beauty equals success" and it simply isn't always true. Young people, most of all, are affected by this bombardment of the wrong message. Many young girls feel so much pressure to be thin they turn to deadly diseases like anorexia and bulimia, and still other girls feel overwhelmed by everything, eat to comfort themselves, and thus gain weight, making the pressure worse. Although the media isn't the only cause of obesity it certainly contributes. And, also sends a message to everyone who is obese, as well as everyone who is not, that they need to lose weight. Numerous companies have made billions selling the next get skinny scheme. The only problem is that typically these get skinny quick gimmicks don't include eating right and exercising. As a result, those who feel most pressured to lose weight end up on yo-yo diets where there weight drops 20 pounds then bounces up another 25 pounds as soon as they stop taking the wonder drug.
Some companies have even put dangerous and sometimes deadly products on the market, all in an attempt to promise people they will lose weight and in turn make millions. Phen-phen was once the wonder drug that millions of people took. Many people had to die, have heart attacks, strokes etc for that product to be taken off the market. Not far behind it was Ephedrine, another product which cased death and serious health problems for people who simply wanted an easy, quick way to get skinny.
The causes of obesity vary greatly, but now, in modern times, it seems obesity is starting in childhood. 1 out of every 5 children is obese by medical standards. Childhood obesity is likely to continue into adulthood and puts individuals at a heightened risk for life threatening chronic diseases as well as stroke, hypertension and diabetes. Childhood is also where eating habits, which typically last a lifetime, are formed (Childhood Obesity ii). The Surgeon General's report on physical activity has been very clear that if people had 30 minutes of physical activity a day, either weight lifting, running, walking, sports activities, gardening, aerobics, dancing etc 5 days a week it would significantly decrease risks of cardiovascular disease as well as type II Diabetes. Studies have shown that a mere 25% of children are actually doing it (Childhood Obesity 9). Children now days just aren't moving around as much as they used to or as much as they should. Instead children are engrossed in television, video, computer and internet games. It's no wonder diabetes in children has also increased. Schools also carry soda and chips and cookies etc which lead to poor diet in children. However, instead of being malnourished