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Nowadays the problem of nutrition reached the status of an epidemic because of the consequences it brings to the American lifestyle in particular. Its prevalence has increased dramatically and become a substantial health problem among children and adults. To be more explicit, nowadays obesity is considered to be the most pressing issue towards those who have obvious problems with food consumption. Many causes of it are the result of multiple changes in the U.S. society that have affected various aspects of contemporary life, including physical activities and food consumption patterns. There is something to be done to overcome obesity crisis as it has placed a crushing burden on the entire American nation.

The first thing I consider to be essential in dealing with obesity plague is to admit the problem self-consciously. As a matter of fact, one-third of people misidentify themselves as overweight, underweight or normal people and actually 28 percent of them judge their weight to be “just about norm”. Obviously, while there is a matter of misidentification among obese individuals, we have an additional problem on psychological level, which is to be solved as soon as possible.

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Probably, it is not a secret that obesity contributes to decreased health status, and it is known to be the second leading cause of preventable death after smoking. Among significant health problems researchers distinguish high blood pressure, early on-set heart problems, diabetes, stroke and premature death. Apparently, everyone should try to maintain ideal body weight, doing regular exercises, as it is a possible way to reduce the risk, concerning health decline. Admittedly, there is another problem to face. Schools in the United States are doubling up on Math and Sciences and cutting down on exercising. Although their main task is to teach children basic skills related to their health, even school lunches are not based on nutritional well-being of children. That is why we have quite a lower educational attainment and the generation of America becomes the heaviest in the world, called fast food nation, respectively.

As long as obesity is a complex problem which encompasses all spheres of life, we need a multiphased approach that goes beyond just following a diet or eating less. In order to create such an approach, I would like to determine some crucial factors involved in the matter, and undoubtedly, give the right definition to the word “obesity” itself.

To start with, according to recent findings made by AHRQ- Supported Research, obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI, weight in kg/height in m2) of 30 or more. There is another term I would like to present, and that is morbid obesity, defined as having a BMI of 40 or more (35 to 40 with medical problems related to obesity).

According to up-to-date researches, obesity is rooted in the way modern society operates. There are a lot of striking factors, which reflect the fact that American nation is under threat. Thus, the question is as follows: what is generally admitted to cause this chain of problems? Undoubtedly, everyone is facing the transformational force of globalization which means that our environmental conditions are quite different nowadays. As globalization is considered to be a two-edged sword, it has positive and negative effects. I am mostly interested in the negative ones because they are closely connected to obesity in particular. Eventually, the main factors causing an excess of body fat are connected with sedentary lifestyle, “toxic environment” and the lack of healthy food. These are distinguishable features of globalization.

Generally, the way we use our energy is very important and has a great influence on our body. Modern conveniences, the products of urbanization, such as elevators, cars, and televisions are harmful to some extent in a way that they make us become couch potatoes. Unfortunately, sedentary lifestyles lead us to the incidence of depression so that a reaction to stress appears to be the most common threat to our bodies. Thus, it is quite important to avoid situations that make us desperate.

The concept of “toxic environment” means that nowadays the environment does not support healthy lifestyle habits, as everything is available in large portions, everybody is under threat of food advertising (sugary drinks, high-fat snacks in particular), and we have ready access to abundant food.

In brief, people have to deal with three broad global forces: economic growth, free trade and urbanization. Presumably, due to such circumstances, “globesity epidemic” is spreading all over the world.

Looking round for ideas, I cast upon a film Killer at Large by Steven Greenstreet that is definitely worth watching as it embraces a huge problem of American life. It is actually a spine-tingling documentary that shows how people’s lives are influenced by an epidemic of obesity, a terror from within. Admittedly, the main problem that crosses the outline of the film is connected with our health. Shorter life expectancy is to be observed in a few decades due to the increase of the cases of heart diseases and deaths, diabetes and the risk of cancer mortality.

Furthermore, the film clearly traces the influence of marketing and food industry on children obesity. These silly advertisements make us consume more than we should, and they do not encourage us to live healthy life, while the government is trying to stimulate self-motivation using some creative and interesting ideas. Unfortunately, traditional governmental policies cannot reach the speed of changes needed to solve the problem.

I would also like to emphasize the children obesity, because the creation of an approach that is based on its prevention would minimize the growth of the problem itself. It is always possible to become a new healthy generation, which means that parents should take a proper care of their children..I have also cast upon an old Chinese proverb, where it goes like: One generation plants the trees and another gets the shade. It is important to understand that the shade should cover the proper waistlines. The first thing that parents should do is to teach their children to eat healthy food and understand the benefits of it. Promoting such an idea can ensure healthy food habits for many next generations. These habits would result in enhanced concentration, strength, energy, endurance, mental alertness, improved mental function and school performance. Moreover, eating healthy food gives us a sense of achievement, it reduces guilt and anxiety, improves relationship with parents. Primarily, it creates a strong immune system, enhances sleep, satiety, and relaxation. What concerns future impact, it prevents atherosclerosis, reduces future diseases and makes us live longer.

Additionally, healthy food habits should be promoted in a positive way, because unfortunately, teachers and other health educators often focus on telling students what not to eat rather than encouraging them to enjoy healthy options. Teachers actually need to approach the topic of nutrition education using the ‘balance, variety, and moderation’ massages in a consistent manner, they should present a sensible role model without criticizing and blaming. Admittedly, it is not an individual problem, it is a population problem and should be tackled as such.

Obesity is also becoming a world crisis at an alarming rate in both developed and developing countries. According to Health Statistics, Mexico (24.2%), United Kingdom (23%), Slovakia (22.4%), Greece (21.9%), Australia (21.7%) are also affected. Therefore, different strategies should be developed applicable to all the regions in the world in order to cope with this disturbing picture, which is really a terror from within. Dr. Barry M. Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he directs UNC-CH's Interdisciplinary Center for Obesity, remarks that the dilemma of obesity is quite a bewildering matter, as it is also compared to famine. Although famine remains a significant problem in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, even desperately poor countries such as Nigeria and Uganda are wrestling with such a dilemma. What constantly makes us so obsessed with food?

To sum up, every step regarding healthy lifestyle is taken into consideration. Sometimes, obesity is a complex and incompletely understood disease, but its development is not inevitable, it is largely preventable through lifestyle changes. Effective management of obesity actually requires an integrated approach, involving actions in all sectors of society. Particularly this approach should include positive thinking, otherwise the result will be very poor. People themselves should be aware of the existing problem, and be more realistic in order to avoid misidentification in such cases. Once Cyril Connolly wrote, “Imprisoned in every fat man, a thin one is wildly signaling to be let out”. So we should not let our souls be imprisoned in a mass of calories. There is something to be done until it is not too late.

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