Obesity is a serious health issue that America is facing. About 69% of adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese[NIDJ. Many factors contribute to obesity including diet, exercise, and health factors. Studies show that obesity is directly affected by race, gender, and socioeconomic factors (Broady & Meeks, 2015). Obesity does not affect everyone the same. Obesity is an important issue because it is life threatening. Based on readings, research, and experience this paper will roadmap how my mind works with obesity as my subject.
Roadmap to my Thinking
Critical thinking requires using various tools to be fair-minded. Through clarity, logic, justifiability, profundity, reasonableness and consistency critical thinking can be practiced. Using these tools, I will discuss the rise of obesity in America.
To apply obesity to clarity, defining what obesity is will give a better understanding of the subject. Obesity for adults 20 and over is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more[NID]. In short, obesity is extra body fat. Obese is different than being overweight because overweight includes excess weight from bones, fat, water and muscles[NID]. Obesity is a growing issue in the United States and there is no single cause for it. Many health risks are related to obesity including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and even certain cancers. To elaborate many health risks that can come from obesity can lead to death. Approximately 300,000 deaths in the US are due to obesity. It has been argued that obesity is the second preventable cause of death behind smoking (Flegal, Williamson, Pamuk, & Rosenberg, 2004). The issue is many Americans do not realize the severity of obesity. Studies show that most Americans are not concerned with Obesity because they associate obesity with individual failure (Oliver & Lee, 2005).
To apply obesity to logic, I have ensured that my claims are supported by hard evidence. Including statistics is an important way to support my claims. For example, making a claim that obesity effects everyone the same would be illogic. However, making a claim that obesity affects some social groups more than others with supported statistics would be logical. For example, according to the CDC (2016), “Obesity is higher among middle aged adults 40-59 years (40.2%) and older adults age 60 and over (37.0%) than among young adults age 20-39 (32.9%)” (para. 2). Applying logic to obesity, it is safe to say that obesity effects Americans differently depending on his or her age.
To apply justifiability into obesity I have to take into account concepts learned in class. For example, instead of just analyzing obesity I am applying critical thinking tools to support my claims. In order to be a fair-minded thinker, I have to remove emotions from my thought process[Pau12]. In regards to obesity, I have to remove my own personal opinion and focus on the facts. Using research, statistics, and data I can ensure I am being a fair-minded thinker.
I have proven depth knowledge about obesity by providing facts and evidence about the topic. For example, earlier I included facts from several sources including the CDC, NIDDK, and American Journal Of Public Health. In order to have depth of knowledge in a topic, I need to use multiple sources to ensure my claims are well supported.
In order to achieve fair-minded thinking, I have to be a reasonable thinker. Removing my own beliefs about obesity, enables me to be more reasonable. Paul and Elder (2012) argue, “Because our beliefs seem reasonable to us, we believe them with confidence.” (pg. 29). Acknowledging my own beliefs on obesity, allow me to remove them from the thinking process. Since we naturally think our beliefs seem reasonable, it is difficult to remove them. However, through research, data, and practice I have analyzed obesity with reason.
In order to think critically, I have to be consistent. According to Paul and Elder (2012), ” All reasoning contains interferences or interpretations by which we draw conclusions and give meaning to data” (pg. 113). In order to think consistently, I have to check interferences. For example, checking for generalizations and fallacies will enable me to think critically.
Overall, examining obesity enables me to think critically. Through clarity, logic, justifiability, profundity, reasonableness and consistency critical thinking can be practiced. Based on my findings, obesity is a major issue America is facing and many Americans are not concerned about the rise of obesity.
- Broady, K., & Meeks, A. (2015). Obesity and Social Inequality in America. Review Of Black Political Economy, 42(3), 201-209. doi: 10.1007/12114-014-9202-1 CDC. (2016). Adult Obesity Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
- Flegal, K. M., Williamson, D. F., Pamuk, E. R., & Rosenberg, H. M. (2004). Estimating Deaths Attributable to Obesity in the United States. American Journal Of Public Health, 94(9), 1486-1489.
- NIDDK. (2016). Overweight and Obesity. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health- statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.asp
- Oliver, J. E., & Lee, T. (2005). Public opinion and the politics of obesity in america. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 30(5), 923-954. Retrieved from https://csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.csuglobal.idm.oclc.or g/docview/232581675?accountid=38569
- Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2012). Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life. Pearson.