Obesity in the US is a national public health problem linked to several chronic diseases, and has led to harmful and costly economic consequences in the nation. Yet obesity is a complex health issue as it cannot be associated or attributed to a single behavior or factor. Several reasons such as poor eating habits, unhealthy lifestyle, environment, genes and medical conditions increase a person’s likelihood of becoming obese, especially during childhood.
America’s Obesity Problem is a Consequence of Childhood Obesity
As it is, fewer American parents have time to plan and prepare healthy meals and activities for their children. As a consequence, American children are provided with processed fast foods, instead of healthy home-cooked meals. They are constantly surrounded and exposed to food commercials that entice eating up to their heart’s content by opting for large-sized portions.
The pandemic and the extreme health crisis that trasnpired during the past two years, only aggravated the situation. Most children stayed indoors most of the time instead of getting some form of exercise in school. Screen time extended from online classes to watching television, video gaming, smartphone texting and interacting in social media sites, are activities that the youths emjoy most because they require very little effort and use of energy.
American adults can easily find high calorie quick eats and snacks in office buildings and convenience stores via vending machines that seldom offer healthy foods. When a parent is obese because of poor eating habits and do not engage in exercise or any form of rigorous physical activity, his or her offsprings have increased chances of becoming overweight or obese when they grow up as adults.
Obesity Rate in Florida
The obesity problem in Florida has been addressed with relative success as the obesity rate among Floridians has dropped to 36%. Currently, ranked number 42 out of all 50 states, 34% of Floridians are of healthy weight, while approximately 36% are overweight and 28% are obese.
The Department of Health in Florida has made it a priority to address obesity as a public health threat. The Healthiest Weight Florida initiative, which was launched in early 2013, brought together all state agencies, business and civic oganizations including nonprofit entities to help Florida’s communities maintain healthy eating habits and active lifestyles. The State of Florida aims to further bring the obesity rate down to 30% by the year 2030.
Primary Factors Causing Childhood Obesity in the US
In five states ranked as having the highest childhood obesity rates, the main factor causing the increase in number of obese children is poverty. The five states are (1) Mississippi 39.7%, (2) West Virginia 39.1%, (3) Alabama 39.0%, (4) Louisiana 38.1% and (5) Indiana 36.8%.
According to health experts, a household’s financial incapability prevents families from accessing healthy food, and to engage in sports and other recreational physical activities. Instead of making healthy food choices, others adopt bad habits, including smoking weed. Apparently, weed causes users to lose weight fast despite being an appetite stimulant.
Lack of resources in making informed decisions is another factor that can increase obesity. Not a few think that simply taking diet pills can counter the effects of overeating. Razalean, a weight loss supplement that became popular because it offers refunds to customers who make claims that the product does not work, does as promised. However, users of weight loss supplements should have awareness that supplements are not silver bullets that can produce the desired effects without changing one’s eating habits and unhealthy lifestyle.