Obesity progression in America has been on the rise since the 1900s, with 13% of the American population overweight in 1962 to more than double the rate of 31% in 2000, with 63% of adult Americans with Body Mass Indexes that are considered to be overweight.
Obesity is also responsible for over 300,000 deaths in America per year, almost reaching the rate of an epidemic, calling out for immediate attention and solutions. Obesity and over-eating occurs in America for many reasons, and the consequences are often unpleasant. Though many scientists researched and reasoned that obesity is genetic based, the theory has not been proved true entirely. Environmental pressures and self perception, psychologically, may also be the reason of overeating and overweight problems. Even though no definite solutions have been found for the increasing epidemic, dieting and exercise have been proven effective to treat and reduce the rate of obesity in America.
America is a country of immigrants, and the early colonial lifestyles may have caused certain behaviors to be adapted and coded into genes, and the genes have been passed on from generation to generation. Early colonial life included periods of time of no food or scarce food supplies due to a drought or a harvest gone badly, colonists often ate to gain weight during plentiful times to endure the lean times, the habit of overeating and gaining weight developed into the theory of a “Thrifty Gene” often analyzed by researchers, the genes may have started with American Indians, African Americans, and Germans. Fast forwarding back to modern times, the habit/gene still exists, but the scarcity of food rarely exists in the US. , with the wide variety and availability of fatty foods, meals are easier and faster to obtain. Fast food stores such as McDonalds, microwave and frozen foods are also widely available and ready in seconds. Modern food is also chemically engineered with a high fat content to produce delicious tastes, but often, the food doesn’t fill up stomachs and people thrive for more delicious tasting meals, thus gaining weight at an incredibly fast rate over the years. Compared to colonial times with simple meals, our society produces obesity.
Many Americans often become addicted to a certain chemically engineered, high fat content foods; researchers have indicated that certain foods produce endorphins, a natural pain killer. Chocolate is one of the above examples. The American life and attitude also contribute to the obese epidemic, since certain values and principles are adapted by childhood. Americans often think avoid physical activities such as walking, running, and biking is the best thing in the world. Automobiles have been the way of transportation for many years, and almost every American family owns a car, transformational movement has been a minimal.