Obesity Among American Youth

Date:  2021-03-01 06:31:24
7 pages  (1957 words)
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Over the years, obesity has managed to grow and become one of the major causes of death in both developed and developing countries. The situation is worse among the developed nation, and this is largely attributed to the population embracing risky lifestyles that fail to promote healthy living. Obesity is predominantly a situation where ones weight exceeds what is expected, or considered to be healthy. The body mass index (BMI), which compares height and the average weight fail to match.

Today obesity is growing to be a global problem, and more than 300 million people can be said to be affected by the epidemic. The situation has been seen to take a turn for the worse being that the number of people being considered to be obese is on an increase, and it has hit an all-time high of 180%. This includes children, youths, young adults, adults and finally the elderly. Initially, the adults and the elderly were the most affected, but today, more youth and children seem to be weighing more than they ought to be weighing. In the American context, involvement in lifestyles that promote obesity would include lack of exercise, smoking, and increased consumption of foods with high calories.

Obesity has been linked to numerous health complications, including diverse forms of cancer. Postmenopausal breast cancer is among the top rated complications, followed by endometrial cancer, which affects an array of people. The notion of being overweight affects the heart and increases the chances of worsening already existing heart conditions. In the long run, obesity has been linked to contributing towards the reduction of life expectancy. The reason of concern is the fact that more children and youth are also being affected.

Obesity is a multifactorial phenomenon, and it cuts through age, marital status and even gender. It has also been linked to genetic elements and hence seen as partly inherited. In the recent years, the research done on obesity has shown an increasing trend where more youth are being obese. The numbers are also staggering among the American youth.

Need for study

Obesity has gained grounds to be the main course of health complications, and the situation is getting worse among the youth in America. It has also been found that more youths are getting obese, faster than ever before. Today, the number of youths that suffer from complications, including high blood pressure, is on the rise. Such complications were at some point predominantly affected only the adults and the elderly, but today, even the youth are affected. Type 2 diabetes is also among some of the diseases that youths today have to face. Some of the reasons for concern include the fact that more overweight and obese children are likely to develop low self-esteem. These are among both physical and psychological factors that drive the campaign against obesity in the youth population.

This study is geared towards having a deeper understanding of the situation at hand. The study will look at different elements of obesity and hence the problem overweight will be addressed.

Significance of study

In the light of increased cases of obesity among the youth, this study will be geared towards find more information regarding its prevalence among the youth, as well as the key contributing factors linked to obesity among the youth. The study will be used as a key source of information and hence utilized by all affected group in the community towards winning the war against obesity. It will be used as a way of encouraging the youth to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

This research will be utilized at the state level in a bid to reduce the already accelerated chances of youth being obese. The efforts of improving lifestyle can be exploited to improve further the population's overall well-being, and in the long run, the rate of reduced mortality and incidences of chronic illnesses will be reduced.

The efforts put in place will complement programs already put in place by non-governmental organizations. Healthcare based nongovernmental play a big role in promoting health among the youth and are well equipped with initiatives that can be adopted towards living in a healthy way.

Objectives

To assess the prevalence of obesity among the youth

To pinpoint the contributing elements of obesity among the youth

To identify the link between the selected contributing factors and obesity among the youth

Research questions

What is the prevalence of obesity any the youth?

What elements contribute obesity among the youth?

What is the link between the selected variables and obesity?

Literature review

According to Atkinson (1993), there are many elements that can be studied and used as indicators of obesity. To a larger extent, the idea of using body weight independently cannot be relied on as an appropriate measure for defining obesity. To have a clear view of the situation at hand, factors including age, sex and height deserve to be put under consideration. In an attempt to better the understanding of the situation, elements including lean muscle mass and body fat percentage can be accessed, complementing the results with the actual weight of the individual. In the same line, taking into account the considerations listed above, we cannot rely on weight scales to determine obesity. Standardization of weight as a measure for the risk of overweight ought to be supported by rigorous tests, and this can be based on the fact that weight alone is unscientific in nature. Weight measures can only be used as an appropriate tool for approximation, rather than it being the only scale.

According to Ripe (2014), the American youth is in a bad position under the fact that they are exposed to an environment that promotes weight gain, resulting from a change in lifestyle. In the literature, the author supports the notion that the American youth will have a shorter lifespan in comparison to their parents. This is based on the idea that in comparison to the past decades, youths today tend to make unhealthy lifestyle choices and hence obesity. Redline (2014) notes that obesity among the youth starts at a much earlier age, in comparison to the past. He also believes that such elements are among those that threaten the health of the youth in America. In his analysis, he states that slightly more than twenty-one percent of children under the age of five are already obese. This number has been said to have grown so drastically in comparison to the last decade that saw the number less than ten percent. It is shocking to try and imagine what statistics we will have in the next few years. Further research on the subject of obesity and the younger generation reveal that more than thirty-one percent of children below the ages of nine are already overweight. The situation at hand seems to be getting out of control, especially being that these numbers can be interpreted, and they represent twelve million overweight children and youth.

The budget for treating obesity- related conditions is already on the rise (Squire, 2015). Statistics on obesity have come to show a situation where the number of obesity cases doubles with every decade. Children are now among the people who have now compelled the government to set aside a budget of $150 billion in order to handle any cases of obesity-related conditions. Child healthcare is also seen to be more expensive with the rise in the number of children who develop complications. Some of these predicaments in children are the same as what an obese adult would face. With the current trend, the government is still expected to raise its budget regarding obesity.

Income has been noted to have a direct link to how individuals will deal with obesity (Lavie, 2015). Research states that the youth from the minority groups in America is the worst affected, in comparison to their peers, the Caucasians. Youths from the black, Latino and American Indians are always the most affected. These are the same groups that have been noted to be more likely to live unhealthy lives. Lifestyles considered to be unhealthy include ignoring the importance of exercising, eating foods that are high in calories and even consuming alcoholic beverages. In the less affluent areas of the society, especially the south of America, the populations are seen to be exposed to a large number of supermarkets. Geffen (2015) states that people living in the low-income areas are more likely to be surrounded by supermarkets and fast food store, doubling the probability while in an affluent neighborhood.

Geffen (2015) talks about the reality in the poor neighborhood as a factor that contributes towards increased incidences of obese youth. He states that these are areas where they lack facilities that can be instrumental in the fight against obesity. One of the key factors that can be used to fight the disease is exercise. The reality on the ground is that most of the poor neighborhoods do not have these facilities where both children and t=youth can increase their activity levels. Most people in the poor neighborhoods are driven to purchase products based on price, rather than quality. In this case, these people are more likely to purchase cheaper inorganic foods, which have lower health value, rather than buying organic products. In most cases, it can be a matter of survival that exposes the youth to unhealthy eating habits and in the long run, become obese.

Lavie92015) defines being overweight as a having more weight in relation to a particular height. This can be as a result of muscle, bone, water or even all these elements put together. Obesity, on the other hand, can be defined as possessing more fat in the body, exceeding what is considered to be healthy. Obesity puts more risk on our health status, in comparison to simply being overweight. To a larger extent, both obesity and overweight come as a result of an imbalance caused by a number of calories we pose in our bodies. The situation can be as a result of numerous elements including genetic factors (squire, 2015). It is common for youths to adopt more big bodies in the case that their parents are naturally big. The same can be said about the opposite where some people are slender as a result of genetic factors.

Behavioral factors also contribute towards obesity. Some of these behaviors include drinking, smoking, avoiding exercises and even consuming large amounts of calories. It is common for some youths to prefer to stay indoors, drink fizzy beverages, play video games, order pizza, rather than go to the part and even jog. The environment that we live in also contributes immensely towards our overall health and ability to fight obesity (Rippe, 2014).

Obesity has been rated as the number one concern for parents in America. The reality is that the probability of a child being overweight today is much more in comparison to the past. The situation is bad to the extent that parents are more concerned about obesity, more than vices like smoking and drug abuse. We have come to a point whereby food and lifestyle are becoming a bigger threat in comparison to the typical vices that we know.

Methodology

Some of the variables that will be analyzed during the study include both dependent and independent variables. In line with this research, the body mass index will be used in a continuous platform. Some of the independent variables that are relevant for the study include age. This can be completed in years. The number of siblings will be counted from one or can be analyzed discretely. The interval at which they engage in exercises will be analyzed and will vary from daily, twice a day, weekly or it can be discrete. The availability of housework assistance will be put into consideration. Other factors including rest, educational level, dietary patterns, as well as the use of contraceptives will be considered.

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