Obesity in America Essay

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Obesity in America
Introduction
The Dynamics of Obesity Once the issue of malnutrition plagued many countries around the world, today obesity has become the new epidemic. The word epidemic traditionally “refers to an acute outbreak of disease caused by a specific microorganism that spreads through a sizable portion of a population and requires serious responses such as quarantines, travel restrictions, and medical treatment” (Bellisari, 2013, p. 4). Dealing with an epidemic often brings social disruption. When you look at how many millions of people are affected by obesity and its related health concerns, the use of the word epidemic seems very appropriate. When discussing the dynamics of obesity you must consider the rising number of
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Causes of Obesity Experts have found that there are three contributing factors when studying the causes of obesity: biological factors, decreases in physical activity, and poverty. At its most basic the cause of obesity is the taking in more calories, or energy, than one uses. As people have strived to reach the American Dream – a life of abundance and ease – the biology of the body did not change. This makes it difficult for people to remain slim and healthy. The body is programed according to imprinting it receives while a fetus. One example of this fetal metabolic imprinting comes from the Netherlands.
The entire population of the Netherlands suffered severe food restriction while under Nazi occupation during the “Dutch Hunger Winter” in 1944-45. Many women who were pregnant during this time of nutritional stress gave birth to low-birth-weight infants who, surprisingly, had a greater tendency than their siblings to become obese in adulthood. Maternal malnutrition had influenced their fetal metabolism to become extremely efficient and well adapted for a lifetime of nutritional stress. But postwar food abundance promoted rapid growth and weight gain after birth and the development of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease later in adulthood. Their siblings, who were born before or after the famine, were not affected in the same way (Bellisari, 2013, p. 38).
Here we can see how biology can play an

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