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Obesity health issue in the United States

Obesity health issue in the United States



Now in the current society, the Obesity is the major problem, in that U.S stands as a major one among that.

Obesity can be defined as the condition in which one carries more body weight than recommended or expected. Obesity can be attained in a person at different ages, especially early on in life.  This can be affected by different genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors. Childhood obesity, unfortunately, is a serious current health epidemic with terrible consequences for this nation’s health, especially its children (Cunningham, Kramer, & Narayan, 2014).).  Numerous causes are contributing to this epidemic including nutrition, sedentary lifestyles, and significant changes in the way children now eat. The amount of food Americans consume, the frequency and the types of foods themselves are among these changes in eating habits.

The purpose of the paper is to help in decreasing the predominance of childhood obesity, especially the school-aged ones. However, this will be done for different purposes that will be focused towards meeting the main objective. The paper will investigate the level of obesity in the children in elementary schools. School environment can play a significant role in creating safer and supportive environments with practices and policies that promote healthy habits. Also, schools can help by providing opportunities for students in learning and practicing physical activity behaviors and healthy eating.

Health Issues that ensure creation of the Need to improve public Health Outcomes


According to numerous researchers, American people are the fattest on the entire word. Unfortunately, there is no slowing down anytime soon. A survey by The Journal of the American Medical Association of adult women and men here in the USA between 1999 and 2000, found that about 30.5% of Americans are struggling with obesity.  This is up from 23% ten years earlier, and nearly two-thirds (64%) are overweight.

Obesity has been experienced mostly by older people for decades, but research has found that it can be experienced at any age as well. Children are victims of this major issue that keeps getting worse and worse. Some argue that parents can be seen as one the main causes of this phenomenon as well as the saviors in fixing this problem for their children. Here is no definitive answer tough as genetics is found to play a significant role in childhood obesity (Deckelbaum, & Williams, 2001).  This was evidenced when the research was conducted for the comparison between levels of obesity amongst children coming from wealthy background versus those coming from poor families. This topic definitively deserves everyone’s attention as obesity amongst children has both immediate and long-term effects on youth’ health and well-being.

Examination of the Current Legal Framework:   

Revised PICOT:

`In children struggling with obesity (P) how do their overall school nutrition and physical activity (I) compared to their parent's involvement at home (C) affect their overall health (Obesity) (O) throughout their preadolescence years (T).

Childhood obesity is a serious health problem facing our future generations. It is rising at an extreme rate one could almost call it an epidemic. Childhood obesity increases have a profound effect on the incidences of mortality later in life (Bombak, 2014). It can also cause asthma and type II diabetes, which at one time could only found in adults. With these facts, childhood obesity is not an issue that should not be taken lightly. The obesity rate has significantly increased amongst children over the years. The harsh reality is that childhood obesity will lead to even more health problems as one enters adulthood.

Application of the Current Legal Framework on the Health Problems 

A new policy can be suggested regarding the growing problem of childhood obesity in the nation. It can be started locally; one main problem that is contributing to childhood obesity is the consumption of unhealthy carbohydrate filled drinks in schools. Sugary drinks are a crucial problem related to obesity and other co-morbidities. Primary and secondary schools allowing sugary drinks as a choice of drink for lunches and in vending machines throughout the schools are encouraging poor nutrition options and aiding in obesity. Although Texas is one of the states that have started the tax on sugary drinks, it is necessary to increase the tax on the sugary beverages. There are exemptions to this law such as five child nutrition formulas, natural fruits and vegetables, and milk products (Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Product Distribution Tax, 2015). .Studies have proven that an increase in the tax on these products will result in less consumption of the products(Freedman,2007) It is understood that consumption of sugar and obesity go hand in hand. Increase in taxes will have people reluctant to buy these products, and it will indeed help the cause.

Identification of the Institutional Framework and Legal strategies        

The three legs of lobbying are as follows professional, grassroots and money. Professional lobbying is asking for help from established and well-known organizations to support your cause like the Obesity Action Coalition. This method is powerful because reputable organizations have resources that can provide results. The issue of obesity in the United States has been getting a considerable amount of attention among the public health officials and the lawmakers in the country. There have been multiple recommendations that have been made to the government from the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI), a non-profit organization that is based on the laws of public health in this nation. Some of the proposed recommendations include mandating a federal tax to the purchase of unhealthy foods and beverages, providing better access to and promotion of new federal policies to encourage healthier foods in the federal and local retail stores and markets (Kraak., Liverman, & Kaplan, 2005).  Increase of support to the farms across the nation to help the process of local and home grown food distribution Another recommendation was to increase federal funding towards nutrition research to find a better way to change the culture of the current state of the nation Although there is a struggle in profess for the promotion of healthier food supply for Americans, it is hard for researchers to blame the food industry for providing the public with unhealthy food choices because the industry has lowered the prices and is providing safer foods to the public more than ever before.

potentialareas of Shortcoming and their Mitigation





Genetic factors

In several studies, it has been observed that less than 10% of children of thin parents are obese, about 50% of children with an obese parent are obese, and more than 80% of children whose parents are obese are obese. Thus, the existence of a significant correlation between the weight of parents and natural children has been demonstrated, while this correlation is lower or does not exist when comparing adoptive parents with adopted children.

Nutritional factors

The supercharging can take place at any time of life, but their influence is greater if started at an early age. The nutrition during childhood has acquired great importance in recent years, demonstrated that a significant percentage of obese children evolve obese adolescents and obese adults. Diets high in fat and carbohydrates can promote obesity.

Genes influence the predisposition to obesity when they are related to specific food forms and the availability of nutrients. For example, famine prevents obesity, even in people who are more prone to it. Also important are the cultural factors related to the composition of the diet and the degree of physical activity. In industrialized societies, obesity is more frequent in poor women, while in underdeveloped countries it is in richer women. In children, there is a certain degree of relationship between overweight and the time they spend watching television.

Neural factors

The basic mechanisms that regulate the ingestion of food (appetite/satiety) are located in the central nervous system. Several authors have shown that there is a relationship between alterations in the metabolism of serotonin and dietary intake. In the regulation of food intake several molecules intervene, some unknown; but perhaps the most important is leptin. This hormone is secreted by adipocytes, and its level of production is an index of adipose energy deposits. When their levels are high, food intake decreases, and energy expenditure increases.

Mitigation steps to overcome obesity: 

To address the problem of childhood obesity, the overall goal of this action plan will be to get parents on board with new healthier lifestyles and choices and realize their children take after their parent's eating habits and will adapt accordingly. Involving the whole family in adopting a healthy practice will improve the chances of it being a continual effect that the child may one day pass on the new lifestyle and eating habits to their children.

·         The first recommendation is to establish healthier eating habits with the parents. With the parents making the changes the child will be likely to pick up the new eating habits as children’s diets are affected by the types of food eaten by their parents.

·         Stay active: The most common way to prevent obesity is to live an active lifestyle. Simple activities such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to the store can help us enormously. Many people enjoy going to the gym too, although it is not essential either. There are many ways to exercise: you can go for a walk, run, ride a bike, swim, do some exercises at home such as yoga, etc.

·         Eat healthily: The FDA recommends that the average person consume 2,000 calories per day spread over foods such as dairy, meats, cereals, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. You can adapt your diet to meet these FDA standards, one of the most effective ways to prevent obesity.

·         Drink enough water: Many times people often confuse dehydration with signs of hunger in the body. The FDA recommends drinking eight or 10 glasses of water a day. The water cleanses and detoxifies all the impurities in the system. Remember that it is important that it be natural water, without flavors or any juices or sugar.

·         Keep the4 junk food out of the home: The attractiveness of junk food can sometimes be too hard to bear, and we can succumb to temptation. However, be smart and do not buy any junk food.

·         Eat alone at the time of hungry: Studies have shown that people who are naturally thin are because they only eat when they are hungry. Only eating when our body tells us to do so is a good way to prevent obesity.

The most efficient way to have an impact on the crisis is to include our health care providers, social services, educators and our government. If we as a society and community do not acknowledge the crisis, our children will be at risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and early mortality. Our kids will be the first generation to live shorter life expectancy than their parents.


In conclusion, the increase in obesity among American Children and young adults has been proven to have a lifelong and negative impact. If we do not educate our children and their families, the consequences will affect the future of the children. We must work together to educate, provide resources and create prevention programs with proven track records of success (Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal2014).  The government should collaborate and work together to bring awareness, prevention programs and monitoring measures to ensure the programs working. To ensure success, we must also focus on the low income and minorities who have limited access and resources available to them. Our children are the future of tomorrow, they must be taught the importance of a healthy, active childhood and they will thrive and reach their potential and become the adult they were meant to be.


Bombak, A. (2014). Obesity, health at every size, and public health policy. American journal of public health, 104(2), e60-e67.

Cunningham, S. A., Kramer, M. R., & Narayan, K. V. (2014). The incidence of Childhood Obesity in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(5), 403-411. doi:10.1056

Deckelbaum, R. J., & Williams, C. L. (2001). Childhood obesity: the health issue. Obesity, 9(S11).

Flegal, K. M., Kruszon-Moran, D., Carroll, M. D., Fryar, C. D., & Ogden, C. L. (2016). Trends in obesity among adults in the United States, 2005 to 2014. Jama, 315(21), 2284-2291.

Kraak, V. A., Liverman, C. T., & Koplan, J. P. (Eds.). (2005). Preventing childhood obesity: health in the balance. National Academies Press.

Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B. K., & Flegal, K. M. (2014). Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Jama, 311(8), 806-814.

1] Cunningham, S. A., Kramer, M. R., & Narayan, K. V. (2014). Incidence of Childhood Obesity in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(5), 403-411. doi:10.1056

[2] Deckelbaum, R. J., & Williams, C. L. (2001). Childhood obesity: the health issue. Obesity, 9(S11).

[3] Bombak, A. (2014). Obesity, health at every size, and public health policy. American journal of public health, 104(2), e60-e67.

 4] Kraak, V. A., Liverman, C. T., & Koplan, J. P. (Eds.). (2005). Preventing childhood obesity: health in the balance. National Academies Press




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