by Esther Animalu, contributing reporter
Disgusting, gigantic, dangerous, life changing, foul, frightening, regretful. These are a few words that describe a horrendous epidemic in America that is not decreasing, but escalating rapidly.
The crisis is best known as obesity. Overweight and obesity both label ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. Discussing one’s size might appear as a predicament that the person must solve themselves; however, we are all in the same boat. Obesity, is affecting us all.
Obesity is a dilemma because, the United States is clearly the fattest nation in the world. According to world obesity statistics, 30.6 percent of Americans are obese. Obesity is far more serious than simply being a few pounds overweight. It is a corruptive condition which places severe stress on one’s body and can often become the root of the problem to an individual’s demise.
“It’s definitely a national crisis because of the cost of how cheap the fast foods are that result in becoming obese. It’s a personal problem because it can impact the way people live. Also it’s difficult to lose that heavy mass of excessive weight,” Dr. Baribault said.
Furthermore, obesity can lead to such things as high blood pressure and diabetes Type 2. High blood pressure weakens the heart, and may cause heart attacks and strokes. It strains your muscles, joints, and lungs. At its worst, obesity can morph into diabetes Type 2, which can lead to amputation, blindness, heart attacks and death. Because there are various people worldwide who are obese, it is completely urgent to tackle down possible factors which may contribute to obesity around the globe.
“I currently have Type 1 diabetes, it’s a pancreas disease. Diabetes has affected me because everyday before lunch I have to visit the nurse. I’m not different from others and when people treat me different it bothers me. I’ve had diabetes for seven years. Its kind of difficult to be diabetic. You have to take insulin every day. Opposed to Type 2 diabetes where you are diagnosed for being obese, you can get rid of Type 2 diabetes by losing weight. However, I’m stuck with diabetes for my whole life, its difficult. I take about six insulin syringes a day. It’s hard to deal with sometimes…” 7th grader Sara Schiffman said.
Some may crave it, despise it, or are simply suitable towards it. A common factor of obesity: fast food. While it is certainly not the only cause [in relation with other factors], fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, KFC, Wendy’s etc. are a bulk of the obesity issue. In fact, how frequently individuals visit fast food restaurants is directly correlated with their weight.
“My dad and I try incredibly hard to avoid fast food restaurants. There’s a lot of unhealthy food there, most of the time when you’re done eating the junk food, you’re still hungry. However, if you eat a more healthier meal, you’re more full and energized,” 6th grader Brielle Donnelly said.
“I’ve stopped eating at fast food restaurants. After I found that McDonalds’ meat is made out of [the same chemicals included in] yoga mats, I stopped eating fast food altogether. When I see obese people it bothers me, I think it’s their fault that they’re obese because they control what they put in their bodies,” 6th grader Michael Fourniotis said.
“I certainly don’t eat fast foods, I only eat select things off the menu. I haven’t eaten at McDonalds in 50 years. I’m aware of the health risks that can come in turn; extremely high fat and salt that can translate into cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Baribault said.
According to a 15-year study of 3,000 adults, people who visited fast food restaurants more than twice per week gained roughly nine to eleven pounds more than people who visited them less than once per week. Researches state that fast food causes obesity for four reasons; ingredients, portion sizes, low cost, and its convenience. Keep in mind, consuming more calories (from food) than the body can burn is what causes weight gain. Fast foods are a slice of the conflict, but not the whole.
Moreover, it is hard to completely stop obesity because, it has a whole new set of complex obstacles. One can’t just stop eating. Obesity is a result of more than just bad eating habits, it is also a result of inactivity. Thus, this can all be dependent on social status, financial burdens, etc. We are also at the mercy of what restaurants are serving, what grocery stores are selling and how much cash companies are making off the vile junk they sell to the consumers.
“I think it’s more so our society, we’re kinda taught to eat the foods that taste delicious. The companies who are selling the food are to blame; however, we have the decision to decide whether or not to buy their products. The consumers and the companies share a large portion of the blame,” freshman Celeste Trevellini said.
“Sometimes I think it’s the consumers fault because our families are somewhat the ones who expose us to junk food. Generally, if the food tastes good, we’ll like it. However, we’re blinded by how terrible the nutrition facts are,” freshman Brendon Muniz said.
Due to the excessive fat that one is carrying, losing it all would be a miracle. Some may also find themselves using the expressing “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” In contrast, an obese person dropping all their weight in a day is dismal, at best.
Dropping pounds would be beneficial for one’s body because in return, one is able to do simple tasks on their own, one’s joints and muscles won’t be worn out and stiff. Also, the person would not only be healthier physically but mentally as well. As long as one has the proper knowledge about how to eat right and staying active, obesity can be completely preventable.
“Your body is very much a chemical factory, you have to take in the proper portion size for your body. Nutrition is very crucial for your body. Obesity did affect me, I struggled with losing weight. I would gain weight very easily and I took steps to get back in shape,” Dr. Baribault said.
Needless to say, obesity is a unbearable trend that is increasing very promptly. A change needs to be established, if obesity started with one person, then slowly progressed to many. Preventing and stopping obesity can start with one, then slowly building up with others. A change has to be made- by guiding the way to a healthier lifestyle.