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Why is obesity increasing and what can we do about it?
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August 5, 2012
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In some countries the average weight of people is increasing and their levels of health and fitness are decreasing. What do you think are the causes of those problems and what measures could be taken to solve them?

Obesity has been a great concern both in developed and developing countries. It leads to various medical conditions which increase the demand for public health services. In the US, a surprising number of bills are being debated to deal with these issues. This essay attempts to consider reasons for these challenges and some possible solutions to them.

It is undeniable that lifestyle and diet are two major causes of excessive weight problem among adults, adolescents and children. In modern society, people live a sedentary lifestyle, spending a large amount of time sitting in a vehicle, at their office desk or in front of TV at home. Little time is allocated to doing exercises. Teenagers tend to play more video games than outdoor activities such as football or basketball. Technology makes our life more comfortable but perhaps less healthy. A diet with high fat and calories, linked to soft drinks, fast food and modern processed food, is also to blame. Recent research shows that obese people do eat this unhealthy diet. It is reported that the New York government will introduce a regulation to ban the sale of very large sized sugary drinks. Similarly, in NSW, health experts are lobbying to prohibit fast food chains from operating within a certain distance of schools.

Due to growing concerns about a possible obesity epidemic, governments are determined to play a role in the battle to the problem. As can be seen from the previous discussion, government could bring in rules to regulate the food industry in a variety of ways, such as a compulsory nutrition disclosure for any processed food including fast food, prohibition of advertisements for fast food targeting children and a heavy levy on soft drink manufacturers. However, just as the old saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” illustrates, keeping fit and healthy is most likely decided by internal factors such as an individual’s attitude and willpower. Thus, overweight people should put effort on improving their lifestyles and consuming less fat. Parents should encourage and support their children to participate in more outdoor sports and discipline their activities on computers.

In conclusion, a combination of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle not only gives rise to being overweight, but to some other severer illnesses, for instance diabetes and heart disease. Governments could help in establishing a constructive environment, but it is more an individual’s responsibility to develop a healthy lifestyle.

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