Obesity in American Schools
Obesity in American Schools
Human nutrition is one of the most important factors that influence everybody’s health. Nutrition is essential for the normal development of children, as it promotes disease prevention and life prolongation, and creates conditions for adequate human adaptation to the environment. Therefore, the issue of healthy eating is one of the most important in implementation of the social policy.
Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder in the developed countries. It can be defined as a sickly condition, when there is an excess of fat in the human body. Accumulation of fat excess is caused by the imbalance between energy consumption and its costs. Middle-aged people are the most prone to obesity; however, it can occur at any age. In most cases, the diagnosis is obvious from the appearance of the patient, but the degree of obesity can be set, when determining the weight and height.
In many countries, the problem of obesity is getting worse among adults and children. America is not only the richest country in the world, but also one of the most progressive; however, as everyone can notice, this country is not the healthiest one. More than 300.000 people die each year from the diseases caused by obesity, which is a little smaller than the statistics of deaths from the diseases related to smoking tobacco. In the past 30 years, obesity has doubled among American pupils. Nearly 20 percent of pupils from 6 to 11 suffer from obesity. The same goes to the pupils, who are 12 to 19 years old. Thus, nearly third part of American pupils is overweight.
People, who are obese, often suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels in the blood, and heart diseases.
The situation with childhood obesity is not taken under control and is getting worse and worse, so this issue requires urgent measures to prevent it.
In order to solve this problem, the main reasons have to be determined. Talking about the main reasons for this issue, poor nutrition is one of them. The major part of American pupils has lunch or dinner at fast food restaurants. Their food menu is not balanced; therefore, they put at risk their health, because instead of cooking normal food, Americans buy in supermarkets manufactured, processed, packaged, and refined foods. Due to the technological advances, people have come to the mass production of food that can be kept longer and tastes better. However, such food contains too much sugar, refined oil, and a great number of ingredients, whose names people cannot even pronounce. As a result, the diet is lacking substances that accelerate fat burning.
An interesting experiment was carried out in the film Super Size Me. It is a documentary film about a man, who was eating at the fast food restaurants three times a day every day. He has to eat every meal from McDonald’s menu at least once. Within 30 days, the main character Morgan does not go in for sport. Medical examination is carried out regularly in order to determine what impact has such “diet” on the body. As a result, Morgan gained 11.1 kg; thus, increasing his body weight by 13%. He experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and liver damage. It took him 14 months to lose extra weight, which was gained within 30 days.
This film is a bright example of obesity that was gained thanks to the poor nutrition. There is a profound explanation of the motives behind Americans eating unhealthy food. On the one hand, part of the population is just accustomed to such food. On the other hand, the rest of the population eats fast food, because it is quite cheap. Healthy food, such as fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and dairy are more expensive than dinner at McDonald’s.
Another relevant reason is television. It is known that teenagers spend quarter of their life watching television: children starting from the age of 5 lose approximately 7 hours a day sitting in front of TV. While watching it, they do not pay attention on how much they eat; even those, who go on a diet, always fail to follow it, while watching TV.
There are some solutions that currently or potentially exist to combat and to reduce the risk of this problem. If a person wants to reduce excess weight with the help of radical diets, he or she simply awakens the appetite. As a result, it will lead to increased eating. In 90-95% of those, who tried to treat obesity, the initial body weight restored after six months. As a matter of fact, obesity requires the correction of nutrition. Such products as sugar, jam, candies, and pastry should be excluded from the daily ratio. It is also necessary to reduce the consumption of carbohydrates, which are transformed into fat, especially those of animal origin that are contained in meat and dairy foods.
For those people, who are prone to overweight, it is contraindicated to eat margarine, fatty and processed cheese, mayonnaise, hot dogs, sandwiches (combining fats with carbohydrates), especially those, which are served in McDonald’s restaurants. It is better to eat vegetables and fruits (preferably unsweetened), ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, horseradish (if there are no problems with the pancreas), and fish. Among beverages, the best are natural juices without additives of sugar. Boiled and baked potatoes stimulate lipolysis, while fried potatoes contribute to weight gain.
Smells of vanilla, lemon, and orange are very useful, because they reduce appetite and food neurosis (due to these measures, staff confectioners usually not only love sweets, but eat little, because of poor appetite). Most valuable food in the susceptibility to obesity is sauerkraut (this product has anthelmintic action), seaweed, and cranberries. Onions and garlic are fat burners as well. The intensity of metabolism in cells and fat burning rate increase an hour after eating onions and garlic. For better weight loss, it is advisable to drink 30 minutes before meals or half an hour afterwards.
It is better eating 5-6 times a day with small portions, avoiding filling the stomach, when there is no feeling of hunger, and eating slowly without hurrying. Drinking a great amount of water will promote people’s organism to detoxify all toxins. Doctors counsel the patients to drink 2-2,5 liters of water a day. A great majority of doctors recommend “making friends with scales”. This issue is primarily psychological and purely individual.
Obesity is a growing global issue. Being obese promotes to a great number of health problems that have an effect on the people’s life. This nutritional disorder contributes to other problems, such as heart diseases, gallbladder diseases, respiratory problems, depression, some cancers, etc. Thus, this issue is of a great importance and is in need of being immediately solved. The very essay describes the main measures that students have to take, so that they can live a healthier and longer life.
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