The Growing Problem of Obesity in America

Table of Content

According to, obesity is a significant problem affecting both adults and children in the United States. The World Health Organization considers it a global epidemic and public health issue, particularly due to the influence of Westernization. Studies have indicated that around 55% of American adults are overweight or obese, emphasizing the necessity for clinical research to understand the causes and symptoms related to this condition.

Obesity is the result of consuming more calories than one burns, leading to the accumulation of excess calories as fat cells. The size of these cells can change depending on how much stored energy is used. Imbalance between diet and physical activity can cause significant weight gain and overweight status. In a clinical setting, diagnosing obesity involves evaluating different factors:

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  1. BMI- Body Mass Index, or BMI, is the best method of determining a persons body fat. By calculations involving a persons height and weight, the BMI is determined. A BMI of 30 or above is defined by federal guidelines to be obesity.
  2. Waist Circumference- The most unhealthy form of fat is fat that is deposited in the abdominal region. Obesity can be implied is a person has a high wasit measurement in proportion to the rest of their body.
  3. Anthropometry-Anthropometry is the measurement of skin fold thickness in various regions of the body. This technique is useful in determining if weight is the product of muscle mass or of fat mass.(

Obesity can occur in people who consume too much fat and/or calories, have a sedentary lifestyle, and experience other issues like binge-eating, depression, or physical conditions that limit their ability to exercise. However, social and cultural factors are the main contributors to obesity in the United States.

The increase in the consumption of fast food and decrease in homemade meals have resulted in a growing acceptance of an accelerated eating routine. Numerous people now prefer high-fat foods that lack essential substances required for fat metabolism, thus posing significant risks when compared to consuming fats appropriately within a healthy daily diet. states that many people commonly adopt a sedentary lifestyle due to consuming high-fat foods and not participating in physical activity. Additionally, the prevalence of devices like televisions and video games exacerbates this inactive lifestyle. This trend towards Westernization is evident in the significant increase in obesity rates among second and third-generation immigrants who adopt American dietary habits and way of life.

Obesity may also result from genetic predisposition as some scientists believe that a family’s health history can increase the risk of obesity. There is evidence indicating that in individuals who are significantly overweight, the “satiation signal” in the brain may not function properly ( This means that when a person eats, they may not feel full and ultimately overeat, potentially leading to obesity. Another hypothesis proposes that type II diabetes and the commonly associated obesity are influenced by genetic mechanisms that were once essential for survival.

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The Growing Problem of Obesity in America. (2022, Dec 22). Retrieved from

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