by Julia Ward
The United States is filled with endless opportunities and choices. But with these numerous choices come consequences. Today in our country we are experiencing a significant problem with the growing obesity rate due to the limitless food selection. One would think with all of the food options available that people would attempt to choose the healthy alternative in all cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be considered obese, an adult must have a Body-Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. BMI is correlates with the amount of body fat a person has, which takes both height and weight into account.
Many food products on the market today contain high-fructose corn syrup which is one of the leading causes of obesity. This is because our bodies metabolize high-fructose corn syrup differently than regular sugar. This ingredient can be found in various foods, from something as simple as bread to the sugary substance called soda. The reason this syrup is used so frequently is because it is a cheap alternative to conventional sugar. Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup is related to increased levels of LDL cholesterol and may also increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. A product containing high-fructose corn syrup can be easily disguised because it is still considered “natural”.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that about one third or 33 percent of US adults today are obese and 17 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 19 fit the obesity standard. These numbers are scary and disheartening. This high rate of obesity is partly due to the type of food that people consume on daily basis. Fast food restaurants continue to be on the rise because of the quick options and cheap meals. Since fast food restaurants are readily available all over the country, many families and individuals turn to this source for every meal. These establishments are taking some heat for the poor quality of the food and are continuing to make changes that make the meal options more healthy. But, because the “unhealthy” alternatives are still available, many people resort back to what they enjoy eating.
Childhood obesity is on the rise throughout the country partly due to the meals they eat at school. The school cafeterias serve processed food loaded with pesticides and sugar. These ingredients are not helping our kids grow but only inhibiting it. A well-known British chef by the name of Jamie Oliver is attempting to start a food revolution in the United States due to the absurdly high rate of childhood obesity. Oliver had his own television show where he attempted to revamp school lunch programs and how Americans ate in a city in the United States. But Oliver is continuing with his campaign even though the show has gone off air. For more information about Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution visit his website.
Check out the Focus On page regarding childhood obesity for more information.