The Weight of Our Actions


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In recent years, the topic of obesity has become a significant issue in public policy campaigns.  Obesity currently results in an estimated 400,000 deaths a year in the United States and costs the national economy nearly $122.9 billion annually (The Endocrine Society). During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese (CDC). In 2004, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked obesity as the number one health risk facing America. The numbers above indicate a serious epidemic in the United States that needs a solution. The solution, in all multiple ways, is action – we need to take action in governmental policies, public school education, and physical action in the homes of America’s obese. To solve this prevalent issue, the government should start with the education of America’s youth as well as their caregivers.

Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. If this issue continues in America, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma (Barnes). The government needs to install and implement new reforms in order for the topic of obesity to never be dealt with again. The private sector and government policy must come together and help combat childhood obesity.

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