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Obesity: An American Epidemic

Health is a major concern to all living humans. It can seem unimportant until the very moment when it fails and then it becomes the single point of focus until the problem can be remedied. There are illnesses that are genetic, others that are brought on by specific lifestyle choices and can thus be though of as preventable. Chief among these is obesity.

Currently the rate of obesity is almost as high in developed countries as the rate of starvation in poorer countries. This is because of the relative cheapness of high calorie foods that makes it easier for a poor person in a wealthy country to eat badly and grow fat than eat well and stay healthy. This combines badly with the lack of spare time or even education about healthy food choices.

Obesity can become debilitating on its own. Some individuals have gotten large enough to make leaving their own homes impossible without assistance from the fire service or other authorities. In addition to this, being very large creates a barrier between the person and the rest of the world based on judgment of physical appearance which can add to psychological strain in the form of depression.

The extra weight a person holds is more than a burden, it creates a higher chance of developing other illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer and many more. This can lead to a lower life expectancy and less enjoyment of the years that you do manage to live.

With all of these problems it can be easy to see how obesity hurts people who have become obese but these problems easily find ways to affect the rest of society. People who pay taxes may find that some of their income goes toward the care of people who are more likely to be hospitalized due to their eating habits. These people need help and should receive it but an even more practical approach would be for their communities to actively engage them in activities that promote weight loss and the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle.

While the obesity epidemic is still currently a concern for developed countries, other nations are beginning to face this problem in their own ways. As countries become wealthier and more accustomed to a Western diet they lose their natural cultural preference for healthy foods. When this happens, obesity rates creep up and the problems that go along with that.

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