Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States that affects two-thirds of the adult population (American Obesity, n.d.). Not only is it physically unappealing, but the health risks involved with obesity should be everyone’s concern. Obesity has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes, and increased morbidity (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden and Curtin, 2010). The statistics on obesity over the past few decades have been staggering. Obesity is preventable through proper nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
Obesity is classified as a chronic illness of extreme relevance that appropriate government agencies have included it as one of its priorities under the national agenda of Health People 2020. Categorized under ‘Nutrition and Weight Status’, the program’s goal was to “promote health and reduce chronic disease risk through the consumption of healthful diets and achievement and maintenance of healthy body weights” (Healthy People 2020, n.d., par. 1).
Defining obesity necessitates understanding the important element of using the body mass index as the framework for computation. The body mass index “determines whether a person’s weight is appropriate for height by dividing the weight in kilograms by the height in meters squared” (Delaune and Ladner, 2006, 345).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially provided separate definitions of obesity for adults and for children and teens, to wit: “An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese” (CDC: Definition for Adults, 2010, par. 2). ...