About obesity Essay

Obesity: Consumption of fast food, Sedentary Life, Stress, and Inadequate Sleep

Obesity is a protracted disease when fat atypically and disproportionally accumulates in the whole body, where body mass index is usually 30% and more. The most important factors in developing of obesity include the following: heredity, overeating, stress, low physical activity, the age of the patient, when metabolic processes are slow down due aging, and demographic factors such as race, nationality, and gender. Also, Cushing’s disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, insulin resistance disease, and taking of certain medication such as steroids and antidepressants lead to the development of obesity. In comparative to people with normal or healthy weight, people with obesity have greater chances to develop coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, mental problem, gallbladder disease, hyperlipidemia, depression, anxiety, and some types of cancer. The chances to get health problems, which were mentioned before, are increasing with increasing body mass index.

Statistic Data on obesity

Obesity is spreading globally. In a report made by World Health Organization (WHO), it was stated that since 1975 amount of people with obesity were increased almost in three times all over the world and in 2016, more than 1.9 billion people older than 18 years were overweight, over 650 million adults were obese, and 41 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese (www.who.int) As stated in a data taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), in America more than one in three adults has obesity and about one in thirteen adults are found extreme obese, that consists 39.8% of the adult population in America . (www.niddk.nih.gov). Obesity became typical for developed countries such as America, the United Kingdom, Canada, etc. and for countries that are developing such as Brazil, Mexico and others. Spreading obesity all over the world gave a right to WHO to call obesity a global epidemic. As stated by the World Federation of Anti-Obesity (WOF), by 2025, the number of adults suffering from overweight will reach 2.7 billion worldwide. Unless emergency measures are taken, the countries of the world will have to spend up to $1.2 trillion annually on the treatment of diseases caused by excessive weight. (https://foodtank.com/news/2017)

The main reason for obesity in America

The problem of obesity worries the developed world, especially the United States. What are the main reasons why American people are becoming obese? Many theories of obesity have been looked from the different point of views during research studies. Some researchers indicated an economic reason that fatty foods were cheaper than others. In research, made by University in Washington, stated that “diet containing 2000 calories of fast food costs much less than a diet with 2000 calories of healthy food. This makes it more affordable than going for healthy food and is a leading cause of obesity in lower-income classes.” (Darcey, M. (2018, September 10) Others research results blamed the producers who modified their products in such a way that consumers turned into food addiction, eating more sweetness and high-calorie food such as soft drinks and fast food. Experts say that manufacturers develop food and beverages that affect the taste receptor in the brain and deceive it. (Lee, A., & Owyang, C. (2017) The brain does not feel fullness as it should be and as a result, the person continues to eat. If this trend in production of addictive food will continue, by 2030 about half of Americans will be obese. (Staff, L. S. (2011) The most advertising on our media are targeting American children attracting them to eat more fast food, to consume too much sweetness and drink a lot of beverage. Consumers attract American children by packing their products in bright-colored packages with famous cartoon heroes which are recognized by children and offering toys with any meal purchased for children. Definitely, children eat that food to get the toy. But the problem is not in getting a toy for eaten food, the problem is that fast food contains a high amount of fat, carbohydrates, and salt. The problem is this food is low in nutrients, minerals, and nutrition which are necessary for developing organisms. For the last decades, increasing consumption of fast food, sugary beverages, and snack foods such as chips lead to extreme caloric intake and obesity among children and adult population in America. “The percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. Data from 2015-2016 shows that nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States has obesity.” Childhood Obesity Facts from The Center for Disease Control (CDC). (2014, July 20)

Sedentary life, Stress, and Poor Sleep

Another reason for obesity among Americans is a sedentary lifestyle. People spend more time working on the computer, playing computer games, watching TV, and driving cars. They lack physical activity. As stated in one research study, now it is only 20 % of the job are required moderate physical activities in comparison to 1960. (www.publichealth.org) Also, we are leaving in a world of economic instability. Stress among American people is very high. People are losing their job and houses. As a result, chronic stress increases production of cortisol which increases appetite, decreases the production of thyroid hormones, decrease muscle tissue, suppresses the immune system, leads to insulin resistance, and increases abdominal fat. “Studies have also shown that people who secrete higher levels of cortisol in response to stress also tend to eat more food and food that is higher in carbohydrates.” (www.verywellmind.com) As a result, they gain weight. Another reason why Americans are gaining weight is inadequate hours to sleep. As stated in a statistic, 18% of adult Americans have less than six hours to sleep. (Lack of sleep can make you fat. (2012, May 25). Consequently, deprivation of normal hours to sleep (8-9 hours a day), increases the chance to be overweight and get obesity because of the short time of slipping effects secretion of hormones ghrelin and leptin, which are regulating of appetite and fullness. Increasing production of hormone, ghrelin, because of a reduction of hours to sleep, leads to the consumption of more food. Reduction of hours to sleep for children during their childhood will be reflected in their future. As stated in research made by Shakira Suglia, an assistant professor at Columbia University, New York, “Lack of sleep in your teenage years can stack the deck against you for obesity later in life and once you're an obese adult, it is much harder to lose weight and keep it off.” (Mail, F. S. (2014, Aug 22).


Although in research it was blamed on economic reason, food addiction, sedentary lifestyle, or stress, inadequate hours to sleep, anyway the weight gain and weight loss depend on total calories that were consumed and total calories were spent. To prevent obesity among children and adult Americans, nurses have to educate people regarding healthy lifestyle (physical activity at least 30 minutes a day), focusing them on choosing food from five groups of food such as fruits (10 %) , vegetables (40%), protein food (20%), grains (30%), and dairy (such as a glass of reduced-fat milk or cup of yogurt), and reducing fat consumption. (www.choosemyplate.gov) American Government provides the website “Choose my Plate” for the education of people regarding healthy diet providing guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 to keep our nation healthy. Each nurse should be familiar with these resources and educate their patients to prevent obesity and related diseases with obesity in the future.


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“Choose MyPlate.” Choose MyPlate. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ (March 21, 2019).

Darcey, M. (2018, September 10). Fast Food and Obesity – The Cause and Effect Relationship. Retrieved from https://www.pathway.com/blog/fast-food-and-obesity-the-cause-and- effect-relationship/ (needs citation)

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Lack of sleep can make you fat. (2012, May 25). Kashmir Monitor Retrieved from https://search- proquest-com.ezproxy.collegeofthedesert.edu/docview/1015621650?accountid=42321

Lee, A., & Owyang, C. (2017). Sugars, Sweet Taste Receptors, and Brain Responses. Nutrients, 9(7), 653. doi:10.3390/nu9070653

(Mail, F. S. (2014, Aug 22). Sleep link to teen obesity scot region]. Daily Mail Retrieved from https://search-proquest- com.ezproxy.collegeofthedesert.edu/docview/1555228375?accountid=42321

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