Although many individuals are uncertain about the increasing statistics associated with obesity, more than seventy percent of men and virtually sixty-two percent of women within the United States adult population are overweight or obese (Wilmore, Costill, & Kenney). Obesity refers to the condition of having an excessive amount of body fat. If an individual’s amount of body fat becomes too excessive, he/she is at a much greater risk of developing life-altering diseases such as heart failure, hypertension, type II diabetes, cancer, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, etc. (Wilmore, et al., 2008).
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes too weak to ...view middle of the document...
Obesity refers to just excessive body fat whereas overweight refers to excessive body weight including water, bone, fat, and muscle. A certain amount of fat is needed to store energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions, but when men reach more than twenty-five percent body fat, and women reach more than thirty percent they are considered obese. A person’s body mass index (BMI) is measured by dividing body weight in kilograms by the square of body height in meters (Wilmore, et al., 2008).
Individuals who suffer from obesity often experience various symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, sleep apnea, shortness of breath, gallstones, depression, and skin problems. Sleep apnea happens when an individual experiences irregular breathing patterns or even loss of breath during sleep. Gallstones are hard, pebble-like deposits that form inside the gallbladder. They appear in many different sizes and shapes. Some gallstones may be the size of a sand crystal whereas others may be the size of a golf ball. Depression simply refers to a feeling of overwhelming sadness and a sense of hopelessness.
In addition to obesity leading to other health problems, obesity stems from numerous causes such as genetic, environmental, and sociological factors. Other causes that are associated with adult obesity include but are not limited to hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and depression (Newman, 2009). Hyperthyroidism refers to a condition in which the thyroid gland becomes overactive, and therefore produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormones resulting in excessive weight gain (Surks, 2002). Cushing’s syndrome refers to an extremely rare form of hormonal disorder in which an excessive amount of cortisol is released (Carson-Dewitt, 2002). Polycystic ovary syndrome is an imbalance of women’s hormones, which can lead to infertility and problematic periods (Chen, 2008).
Review of Literature
Environmental and sociological factors contribute to many individuals significant difficulties with obesity. The lifestyle choices of Americans have changed tremendously due to numerous economic changes, therefore increasing the prevalence of obesity. According to Chou, Grossman, and Saffer, an important economic change is the increase in the value of time, particularly of women, which is reflected by the growth in their labor force participation rates and in their hours of work. In recent years, women have gained more power and freedom resulting in an increase in the amount of time spent at the workplace. Because of this, there are far less opportunities for the mother or the woman of the house to prepare meals that contain nutritional value for her family. Due to the lack of time in most individual’s daily lives, they tend to resort to convenience food with minimal preparation time. Sometimes many individuals are too busy to even prepare a meal when they arrive home from a hard day of work, so they rely on fast-food...