Obesity is rising at an alarming rate in the United States. According to information from the CDC website, “Over the past decade, obesity has become recognized as a national health threat and a major public health challenge. In 2007--2008, based on measured weights and heights, approximately 72.5 million adults in the United States were obese. Obese adults are at increased risk for many serious health conditions, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and premature death.” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2009) These numbers are simply alarming and when you think about it from a medical standpoint since this means that 33.8% of adults are obese in the United States, that’s one out of every three people. In my opinion the biggest contributor to obesity in the United States is processed foods. Processed foods are cheaper for companies to ...view middle of the document...
While this is true, there are many other ingredients in processed foods that are added for the sole purpose of saving their company money, regardless of its effect on nutritional value. I think that people need to be more aware of the things they are consuming every day and make an effort to sustain the food cycle instead of buying packaged items every day.
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was introduced in 1970 to the United States consumer. According to Rose (2011), “it was not until the 1970’s that we have seen an obesity epidemic in this country, which incidentally coincides with the introduction of HFCS into an astounding array of foodstuffs, from ketchup to jams to juices. Renaming and repackaging does not change that fact.” In my opinion this is no coincidence and the food industry had an idea this is what it would lead to. On the other hand there are people that will say the choice is up to the individual. While this is true to a certain extent, many people simply can’t afford the healthier whole foods or would rather not spend the money. The options are definitely limited to those on a limited budget. I think that overall the responsibility lies somewhere between the consumer and the supplier. As consumers we need to be more conscious of what we are eating, and let the companies that are providing us with food know what we want our food to be.
Since food is such a big part of our everyday life I think it’s time we start paying attention what is going into it. We need to analyze what’s important in our lives and for many people this means coming up with the proper balance between your budget and nutrition. I think it is also necessary for us to stop living such a sedentary lifestyle. Education is key in the prevention of obesity and we need to place more emphasis on health in the United States school system.
[Vital Signs: State-Specific Obesity Prevalence Among Adults --- United States, 2009] National Center for Health Statistics, Health Data Interactive, www.cdc.gov/nchs/hdi.htm. Accessed on [11/10/2011].
Rose, L. (2011). Our Modern Food Supply - Can You Trust It?. Tampa Bay Wellness, 26(8), 12-14.