Is Obesity a Heredity Problem?

Obesity is a major problem in the USA and trends suggest that this is not going away. Numerous studies were done and multiple programs to tackle obesity were undertaken by federal, state and city governments. However, most of them seem to be futile. As more and more people are aware of this problem, many seem to suggest that this could be a heredity problem. Or is it?

According to Wikipedia, Obesity is defined as a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that it may have a negative effect on health.  People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight by the square of the person’s height. And according to CDC guideline, anyone who is 30% and above are considered obese.

Obesity carries a tremendous cost and risk. Not only the cost of healthcare to treat obesity has skyrocketed, it also creates cost when one could not work because of obesity. Obesity is linked to over 60 chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The Covid-19 also impacts people with underlying conditions more severe than healthy individuals.

According to one of the publication that states that as of July 2020, one-third of Americans are obese. And one in six of children are obese. And according to CDC, obesity rate for adults is on the rise. One of the most interesting fact of obesity, it appears to be more prevalent in the mid and Southern states where greasy and sweet food seems to be common diet.

One of the common arguments, particularly point out that obesity is mostly heredity. I’ve never been obese so I can’t say that is it true. However, I believe it is a problem of being responsible for oneself instead of blaming on heredity.

You are What You Eat

Food is the major contributor to the obesity crisis. The abundance of fast food, convenient food and processed food help create the the 30% plus obese Americans. If you go back to the 1970s obesity was not in the vocabulary. However, with renewed interest in the food and explosion of food industry there were more unhealthy and processed foods created. Nowadays you see fast food restaurant almost at every street corners of American cities. If you have the opportunity to travel to Asian countries you will notice that majority of the population are not overweight. However, current trends suggest that obesity is on the rise as more and more Asian countries begin to adopt American lifestyle.

One of the most interesting fact of the map that CDC put together clearly shows that states that have higher rate of obesity tend to concentrate on the Southern and Mid states where greasy food, such as “fried chicken” and BBQ, are normal diet. Another common diet is the amount of sweet desserts after meal.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

Smartphones, social network and media streaming have been a blessing and a curse. They provide us all types of entertainment and we feel content by just sitting on the sofa all day. Many would rather going through each post on Facebook or every videos that YouTube. On the flip side we are becoming less active. Getting the required exercise is no longer on the to-do list. To be able to successfully lose weight we need to exercise often and be consistent. Laziness is not a heredity trait.

I agree that losing weight takes a lot of effort and it is not easy. Blaming it on heredity is just and easy way out to avoid responsibility. It takes less than 5 minutes to eat a burger but takes 2 hours to burn off the calorie. If you have been following Rebel Wilson, you would know that nothing is impossible. Changing of diet and lifestyle is the only way to achieve your ideal body weight. And it has nothing to do with heredity.

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