Obesity And Its Increasing Prevalence Essay

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The topic of obesity and its increasing prevalence has captured much attention in the course of several decades. With over 36 percent of the American adult population considered obese between 2011-2014, speculations about its cause, contribution to chronic health conditions, and economic burdens have received considerable awareness (Ogden, Carroll, Fryar and Flegal, 2015). Commonly in research, obesity levels are measured through the Body Mass Index (BMI) scale. A BMI of 25-30 is considered overweight, and a BMI of greater than 30 is considered obese (Stommel and Schoenborn, 2009). The risk of death increases with higher BMI (due to obesity related comorbidities) accounting for nearly 300,000 deaths annually. These trends have been observed across all age groups, both genders, all educational levels, races, and smoking statuses (Aronne, 2001). While diet and energy intake have been on the forerunner when explaining weight gain, another recent trend which has been gaining notice is the shift towards a sedentary lifestyle among the US population (Blair & Brodney, 1999). In 2000, the CDC approximated that less than 30 percent of the American population gets the adequate amount of physical activity (Caballero, 2007). Physical inactivity was associated with 54% higher odds of obesity, while socioeconomic status and societal conditions further influenced its prevalence (Singh, Siahpush, Hiatt, and Timsina, 2011). As a result, in addition to weight-related diseases, obesity
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