Obesity refers to having too much fat in the body. The body mass index (BMI) is the standard measure of weight. For a normal healthy person the BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. The overweight BMI ranges from 25.0 and 29.9; and for obese, it is a BMI of above 30 . The measure differs in adolescents and children due to differences in the growth rate in children as influenced by gender and age.
The impact of obesity in the USA falls in several categories from social, health to economic effects. Those severely obese are subject to ridicule, forced to listen to advice from close relatives, friends and at times strangers. The cause of such treatment arises from the common assumption that the overweight do not have discipline and have some moral weakness. These attitudes may result in promotion denial or career growth setback for an obese individual simply because of their weight. The overall effect is isolation. Consequently, majority of obese persons favor indoor activities since they experience self-conscious and they cannot enjoy ordinary outdoor activities. In addition, public seats are too narrow small for them and most of the time uncomfortable. Such experiences recur from day to day and year to year hence leading obese people to be melancholic, have low self-worth, nervous in extreme cases it causes mental illness.
Most obese persons have at one time attempted to shed weight, with very little success or failure in most instances. These failures result in dissuasion, disappointment, dejection, and helplessness about any weight loss in future. The situation is aggravated by the fact that, for many obese individuals binge eating is used as a mechanism to cope with sadness and loneliness. Obesity also affects the educational advancement in both quantity and quality, which poses a probable economic impact; this becomes ever more considerable as rates of obesity increases in children and adolescents. Research shows that there is a relationship between intelligence of a student and their self-esteem . The above illustrations indicate several psychological consequences of obesity to the US.
Obesity worsens several health conditions. A good example is diabetes type 2. Diabetes type 2 is the condition for the most part influenced by the weight of a person. The fat cells particularly around the waist produce hormones that trigger inflammation in the body. Even though inflammation is a necessary module for the body immune system and an important component of body healing procedure, out of place inflammation results in diverse medical problems. This inflammation causes the body response to insulin to decrease and drastically alters the metabolism of sugary food. Ultimately, the high sugar in the blood results to the diabetes condition and its numerous problems. Therefore, effect of obesity is increased diabetes in the States and the associated economic costs to the economy.
Additionally obesity results in several health problems. The net effect is reduction of the mortality rate in the nation and consequently reducing the productivity of citizens of the USA. The health conditions that are associated with obesity include high blood pressure and prominent blood pressure can lead to heart disease development, kidney disease, and stroke. Obesity leads to high levels of cholesterol in the blood consequently high blood pressure. The other health conditions are infertility, skin infections, certain types of cancer, ulcers, degenerative Arthritis, urinary stress incontinence mainly in obese women, gastro esophageal reflux problems, and respiratory problems.
Excess weight is harmful to the health of the citizens of the USA. The major problem with that is the cost in treating and managing the obesity-related health conditions each year. As with any disease, there is the risk of death or a reduced productive life. There are also indirect costs associated with obesity conditions. For instance, obese employees may miss days from duty to seek treatment .Another cost come from higher premiums by the insurance companies especially for life insurance. In addition to its effect on health expenses and productivity, excess weight may influence transportation costs. Enlarged body weight denotes that larger vehicles and possibly increased fuel needed to transport Americans each day.
The private sector in the United States has been adversely affected by obesity and its related conditions. The private sector industries in particular those that deal in processed foods and drinks have been forced to respond to the obesity problem. These industry players contribute in shaping the food environment that the United States consumes through media campaigns, which alter people’s perceptions. Some of the visible steps include removing certain harmful fats from the products they sell. This has been after pressure from the civil society groups and the United States government through the various regulating agencies.
The United States federal government in response to the obesity epidemic and has moved to enact polices that reduces the effects of obesity and its related causes. The government passed a legislation that contains several measures to reduce the growing rates of obesity in the United States. In general, the impact of obesity in the US appears to be significant
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Grossman, Michael and H. Naci Mocan. Economic aspects of obesity. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011.
Meltzer, David and Zhuo Chen. The impact of minimum wage rates on body weight in the United States. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2009.