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The dramatic increase of obesity in the united states in the past few decades has become a public concern. “ A troubling new report released Friday by the centers for disease control and prevention shows that almost 40 percent of Americans and nearly 20 percent of adolescents are obese- the highest rates ever recorded for the U.S”(Gussone,2017).  Americans’ obesity is getting out of hand like never before, and can cause many other issues. Well, there are many reasons why it is increasing. When someone thinks of an American food first thing that comes to mind is hamburger and fries. There needs to be a change in obesity rates some ways we can do it is by having a balanced diet and staying active.

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In America our lifestyle is fast paced, which makes fast food convenient to consume on the daily basis. Fast food restaurants are everywhere, you can’t escape from them. “The strips of fast-food restaurants along America’s roadways, the barrage of burger advertising on television and the rows of candies at the checkout counter of any convenience store”(Murray,2001). It just seems that fast food corporations control Americans like puppeteers. It is safe to say fast food or overall processed food is not a good option. Eating healthier of course will be difficult if a person is used to eating the greasy, cheesy, fattening food. “Rise of fast food sells correlates to rise in body max”(Public Health,2016). On top of rising body max (measurement of how the mass and height correlates), it can raise your risk of other diseases for example, diabetes. All the extra sugar, fats, and preservatives in fast processed food are not part of a balanced diet and cause diseases like type 2 diabetes. It is devastating for children to be dealing with diabetes, when it could of been prevented by having a balanced diet.

There needs to be a change on our eating habits to have a balanced diet. Little altars in daily eating habits is a good way to begin. Now a perfect balanced meal consists of half a plate being filled with fruits and veggies, a quarter filled with whole grains(brown rice, oats), and the last quarter should have healthful sources of protein(fish, poultry,beans,etc.). Knowing the correct proportions to intake is something Americans tend to forget. Franchises are always coming out with bigger and bigger portions, or as many know it as “super-size”. This just means more empty or “bad” calories. Well, it is difficult to just wake up one day and consume the perfect plate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So, just start small and work your way up!

Instead of having empty calories foods (chips, candy, etc) as snacks start consuming more veggies and fruits. “Adults should consume about 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit per day”(Curfam,2016). Another idea is preparing and cooking a meal at home instead of going out to eat at a fast food franchise. This way the meal consumed will have lower percentage of preservatives, and unhealthy fats and sugars. Maybe, even meal planning so the probability of going out to eat is even lower! Staying away from “bad” carbs is on the right track to balance. Bad carbs include soda, processed grains(white wheat), and sugars. “Because these high-carb foods are highly processed, they are stripped of much of their nutrient value in particular vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fibers”(Curfman,2016). Basically, stating if you eat bad carbs it will have barely to no nutrition value for our bodies. Giving our bodies the nutrition it needs is an important key to keep obesity away!

Now to go even further, Shopping Organic products instead of non-organic products for meals is the way to go. Organic refers to the way products are grown and processed. Basically, organic growers don’t use (Genetically modified food) GMOs, pests are controlled naturally and livestock roam freely. “Organic foods often have more beneficial nutrients…”(Robinson & Segal,2017). Feeding our bodies organic foods means less chemicals and preservatives. Which means eating organic products will let our bodies absorb much more nutrients rather than non-organic.

Another key to keeping obesity away is staying active. “In addition to eating high-quality foods, physical activity can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight”(Harvard T.H. Chan,2015). Staying Active and working out doesn’t have to be intense. Start by walking outside for 15 minutes instead of playing video games and watching television. Americans have become lazier with all the new technology and advancements coming out. No longer do people need to walk in and order food they can stay in their car and go through a drive thru.

There are plenty of options to make staying active fun and entertaining. One way is joining sports in the community. This way it will be more entertaining, rather than running on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Get the cardio in without even noticing! Sports that involve a good amount of cardio are soccer, basketball, football, etc. Parents should start their children young and sign them up for sports. This way as they grow up they will be used to staying active and have a hobby.

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Being involved in sports isn’t the only way to stay active. Joining a gym is another option. Gyms have a lot of different machines to work out different muscle groups. Plus, gyms offer a variety of classes. For example, yoga, boxing, and cycling just depends on the gym. “Additionally, studies have shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which is essential for keeping the weight off”(Semeco, 2017). So, doing some cardio on the treadmill then following up with machines to do some resistance training is a good way to get fit.

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With the freighting rise in American obesity, it is time to start changing habits. American’s can start small and work their way up! But overall the main habit that needs changing is eating habits. Having a balanced diet is the key for keeping obesity rates low as possible, and avoiding fast food at all costs. Additionally, by staying active it can contribute to keeping the obesity away. There is not just one way to stay active there are many options like sports and the gym. Obesity is becoming a big concern and changes need to happen as soon as possible!   

 

Bibliography

Murray, B. (2001, December). FEATURE Fast-food culture serves up super-size Americans. Retrieved February 7,2018,  from http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec01/fastfood.aspx

This is an excellent resource to get more information for why obesity is increasing. It stated how Americans are losing self control on what they are eating. Which, helped me prove how Americans are intaking more than they need. Plus it explained how fast food restaurants are everywhere and convenient.

Why are Americans Obese? (2016, December 14). Retrieved February 6, 2018, from http://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/obesity

This article helped me retrieve information about rising calorie intake. To go in more detail it describes from where calories are increasing. The rise of grains,meats, and fats mostly. Which, is not the foods we need to keep obesity rates low. As well as important differences between a diet and what is nutrition really means.

 

Curfman, G. D. & Parlikar U. R. (2016). Healthy Eating: A guide to a new nutrition. A Harvard School Special Health Report, p2-54. 57. http://web.a.ebscohost.com/chc/pdf?vid=10&sid=94fc5c29-6601-4938-9aed-984baeba8089%40sessionmgr4009. February 06.2018.

A lot of important information came from this article. It went into a abundant amount of details about the right portion size. Also explained the nutrition facts on many important foods. Plus, it described the perfect balanced meal to be healthy. So, I could compare the balanced healthy plate to a fast food item.

Lee, R. E., Mama, S. K., Medina, A., Edwards, R. O., & McNeill, L. (2011). SALSA : Saving Lives Staying Active to Promote Physical Activity and Healthy Eating. Journal Of Obesity, 20111-7. doi:10.1155/2011/436509. February 06.2018.

Overall this article assisted me to find solutions for obesity in America. Mostly giving me a variety of examples of exercises and how it does not  have to be boring. On top of that it explained the importance of staying active.

Robinson L., Segal J.& Segal R.,. Organic Foods: What You Need to Know. Retrieved February 06, 2018, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/organic-foods.htm

The purpose of this article explained what organic food really is. The main point being organic food is a better option to consume rather than non-organic food. This was useful due to most fast food industries buy non-organic foods to sell, so they can maximize their profit. Which, gave me more knowledge on why fast food is unhealthy.

Harvard T.H. Chan. Staying Active. (2015, January 29). Retrieved February 06, 2018. from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/staying-active

The main point of the article was how beneficial staying active can be. Staying active with a balanced diet can lower the risk of many diseases(type 2 diabetes). I enjoyed how the article explained how exercise does not have to be intense to be beneficial. Just by starting small can make a huge difference. This helped me brainstorm ideas for all types of people to enjoy staying active. From recreational sports to just simple walks.