The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Obesity remains a huge issue

With Americans leading hectic,
fast-paced lifestyles with little downtime,
we often turn to fast food. This
lack of time and of attention to nutrition
has led to an obesity epidemic in
the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, there has been
a large increase in obesity in the United
States in the past 20 years. Various
states have obese percentages ranging
from 18 to around a staggering 32 percent
of their populations. Obesity alone
is sometimes the main factor of Type 2
Diabetes, different types of cancer and
cardiovascular disease.

Unfortunately, obesity oftentimes
starts during childhood. First Lady Michelle
Obama took time to address this
issue when she spoke before the U.S.
Conference of Mayors last week, stating
that “nearly one third of children in
America are overweight or obese…”

This is due in part to the reliance
that many children have on modern
technology. Kids are reported as spending
upwards of six hours a day in front
of televisions and computer screens.

And living in a household where
both parents work long hours makes it a
much easier option to order take-out or
eat junk food on a regular basis.

With obesity rates increasing at an
alarming rate, measures need to be taken
in order to prevent this disease.

First, education about nutrition
needs to start at an early age. It is important for parents to take the time out
to help their children develop healthy
eating habits, as well as take the time
to teach their children about the importance
of exercise and physical activity.

Any type of physical activity,
whether it’s a walk in the park or a bicycle
ride, should become an integral
part of a young person’s life. Exercise
also helps release endorphins-a
chemical that makes people happy-
therefore physical activity will produce
more enjoyment than just sitting in
front of a television screen.

If the issue of obesity is not taken
care of and controlled, the percentage
of the population suffering from
it will continue to increase tremendously.

This increase in obesity will
create tougher times for the country
because of the increase of health complications based on the health risks
obesity produces. Economically, having
to care for so many individuals
suffering from obesity can take a large
toll on the country. Obesity is unlike
the other diseases that strike many
Americans; it is one that can be prevented,
taken care of and reduced with
the proper care and attention.

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