By Quincy Ikeachumba
obesity 1

What is Obesity?


        Obesity is an excess proportion of excess body fat (WebMD), which means that there is more body fat on average human being than usual. Another definition for obesity is a range of weight that is greater than what is originally considered healthy for a certain height for a human being (CDC).What is usually considered obese is if an average person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 30. For example, for a person with the height 5”9 weighs about 124 lbs. or less, their body mass index is 18.4 and they are considered underweight. If person ends up weighing around 125 lbs. to 168 lbs., their body mass index is 18.5 to 24.9 and this means they are at reasonably healthy weight. But, if the person who is 5”9 weighs 203 lbs. and over their body mass index will be 30 or higher, which is not good and they will be considered obese (CDC). Also there is another type of obesity, Morbid Obesity. This mean that one is 50% - 100% over his or her body weight and their body mass index is 40 and over (CDC) Morbid obesity is someone who is really overweight that their weight can have a fatal and severe interference with their health and normal function (CDC). Basically obesity is when a person takes up and consume more calories than they burn off, so instead of losing calories, they are gaining calories.

There are many different types of causes that lead to obesity. One cause to obesity is something no one can help or change; it is just a natural part of life which is age. The reason for this is because as you age your metabolism begins to slow down after a while, this means that you do not need as much calories as you needed before to keep and maintain weight (WebMD). This refers to why people say they eat the same and do the same activities they did when they younger, but when they get older they start to gain weight (WebMD). Another type of way that causes obesity is another thing that we as humans have no control over and that is gender. People tend to ask which gender is most likely to gain more weight. Most people think it would be males just for the fact that males just eat more meat and things that are mostly unhealthy, while females eat more things that would be more on the healthy side like vegetables and fruits, also known as salads. But the gender that tends to be more overweight is not males but females. The reason why females tend to be more overweight is because men have a higher metabolic resting rate; this means men burn a lot more energy at rest than women, so men need to eat more calories than women do to maintain the right body weight (WebMD). A type of way obesity is caused is through genetics. Genetics can play a big part of your health. Obesity and also being thin/ skinny is something that usually runs through families. Researchers found that the average participating adult weight is closer to their biological parent. There also about a 75% chance that you will be heavy if your biological mother was heavy as an adult. Same goes for if you are skinny/ thin, if your biological mother was thin as an adult, there is a 75% chance you will become thin as well (WebMD). Usually though some people do not get affected by these genetics at all. One of the main causes of obesity is the environmental factors, which is a person lives, their life style. The way you eat and the amount of exercise you get in a day. Some recommendations are that you should drink a good amount of fluids before, during, and after you exercise; also you should not eat for 2 hours after really intense exercise (NYTimes). If your life style is not healthy you will be most likely to be obese. But make sure you drink a good amount of water as well, because water is in my opinion one of the healthiest drinks/ liquids you can drink. Watch what you eat and make sure you get a decent amount of exercise every day; make exercise a daily part of our day. Usually a person should exercise on an average of 45 minutes, but most people do not have enough time to work out for that long so it is recommended that you split was 45 minutes into two 20 minute cardio work outs (Handler, Judd), this way you can spread out and divide each of your work outs and still save time and do other things you had on your schedule. Eating healthy is huge parts of preventing someone from becoming obese. Eating breakfast can also help people stay healthy and fit since breakfast is usually high in fiber like fruits (strawberries, grapes, apples, watermelons, oranges, and many more), oatmeal, and wholegrain cereals (Cocoa Puffs, Cheerios, Trix, basically all General Mills Cereals) which helps lower our cholesterol because they absorb the cholesterol (San Francisco Natural Medicine). Breakfast is really important since it gives us more energy, and if you have more energy you can work more efficiently as well as work out better (more energy). If we happen to skip breakfast, which most Americans do, our bodies tend to only run for 10 – 16 hours for that day with no outside source energy (San Francisco Natural Medicine). Some medication can also be a cause of excessive weight gain, like steroids (WebMD). One thing that can be huge cause for people being or becoming obese is psychological factors. Psychological factors can greatly effect eating habits which leads to obesity, what this means is most people respond to negative emotions by eating; for example, boredom, sadness, or anger. The people who have problems maintaining proper weight usually go through more harder and difficult emotional stages. Studies show that about 30% of people who look for help for serious weight problems have difficult issues with binge eating (WebMD). Binge eating is when people or a person eats large amounts of food while feeling like they cannot control how much they are eating (WebMD). Binge eating is a huge and common reason for people becoming obese. There are also some illnesses that can cause obesity as well. An illness that can cause obesity is hypothyroidism, which poorly acting thyroid slows metabolism, depression, and other rare diseases of the brain that can lead to overeating.

There can be many different types of effects that obesity can have on people. One of the effects obesity can have is health issues. Statistics show that obesity causes about over 300,000 premature deaths in the United States. Some health issues that can be caused by obesity is backaches and life threatening conditions like, cancer, diabetes, heart attack, Atherosclerosis (means hardening of the arteries), and many more(WebMD). Obesity can also have mental effects on people like low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. For example, people usually shun people who are overweight. What I mean by this is if an obese person was to approach a very pretty, nice, toned and fit girl to try and get the girl’s number, she would probably have denied him simply for the fact that he is obese. This would like I said lead to low self-esteem and the obese person would go to binge eating stage to heal his or her pain. This is also involved with having obesity side effects and social stigma (WebMD); these apply to the obese person trying to talk to the girl, but also with cultures. In some cultures and religions, being obese is a bad thing; it is like showing a sign greed. Most people view obese people as lazy and being overweight, this is also like stereotyping.  Obesity can also negatively affect careers. In some careers you need to be fit like being a firefighter. Firefighters need to be in some type of shape to carry all the equipment they hold and wear and also need some type of athleticism.

Luckily for us there are ways to prevent people from becoming obese. One way to prevent yourself and others from becoming obese is eating breakfast. Breakfast is very huge and important, people usually think they cut their calories by not eating and skipping breakfast but they are completely wrong, it is actually the opposite; eating breakfast does help you cut your calories. There are studies that shows that when you eat breakfast, it helps you take up/ eat a less total of calories for the day. People who eat cereal for breakfast tend to have a lower body mass index against other who chooses to skip their breakfast meals. There was a survey in the national U.S. health and nutrition found that men who do eat breakfast weigh about 2.7 kilograms, which is 6 pound less than men who do skip breakfast, as for women who eat breakfast they weigh about 4 kilograms, which is about 9 pounds less than women who skip breakfast (Johnson, Pamela). Eating high fibers, like brown rice with chickpeas and sautéed vegetables for lunch, is also a good way to keep yourself healthy and not becoming or from being obese. The reason for this is because high fibers keep you full and also because they take longer to be digested. That means your blood sugar stays at an even keel instead of your blood sugars rapidly dropping and falling. People should also drink water, just because some people can mix up being dehydrated with them being hungry. The FDA (The Food and Drug Administration) also recommends that people should drink at least 10 cups of water a day because it cleanses and gets rid of all the toxics and everything in your body that is not good for you (eHow). Makes sure you get plenty of calcium as well. Calcium plays a big part in how our body breaks down fats and stores fats. The more calcium in a fat cell, the more fat it burns (Johnson, Pamela). Also you should only eat when you are hungry, this kind of falls under the social discrimination because in some religions, like Christianity, you only eat when you are hungry, it is a sin when you eat just because you want to eat or you just feel like eating. This action comes off as greediness; it is like they are eating just because they wanted the last piece of chicken not because he or she was hungry. Studies have shown that those who are naturally thin or skinny, as most call it, only eat when they are hungry. People should only eat when their body signals them to eat, this is a better and more efficient way of staying healthy and stay away from becoming obese. These are many good and brilliant ways of preventing and staying away from obesity. Live a healthier life and change yours and others unhealthy life styles.

Our children today are also greatly affected by obesity. Now a day’s more and more children each and every day are becoming more lazy and eating more and being less active over the course of years that have passed by. One of the reasons for this is due to the fact of the car (Childhood Obesity Statistics). Due to the car children are not walking as much and depend on the car for their transformational uses. This is basically influencing children to become lazier and be less active. By children not walking more this means they are getting less exercises for their feet muscles, the stops/ slows down the heart and blood circulation. Another way our children are becoming less active and being obese is technology (Childhood Obesity Statistics); specifically computers and video game systems like the Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo, these things replaced almost everything you would expect a kid to normally do which be going outside, run around, hang with their friends outside to actually communicate face to face, person to person. Now children think their “interacting” with their friends by texting each other through their cellphones and playing online video games (For example, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, NBA 2K12, or Madden 12, and more), talking to each other though their microphone headsets is “interacting”. With our children becoming or being obese there are also some serious effects that come with obesity, some effects are as the same as adults. Children can suffer from health issues like heart disease, blood pressure issues, high cholesterol, pulmonary problems, asthma, or even type II diabetes, which is a more serious type of diabetes (Childhood Obesity Statistics). Statistics show that more than 70% of obese children are at higher risk of heart disease, type II diabetes has reached to the levels of 8-9 %; a two-fold increase from the early 1980s, and the hospital costs for children in the 1980s used to about 35 million, but now today hospital costs for children have risen to about 125 million today (Buzzle). The obese children get more tired than usual than their peers, which makes it harder for to participate in any types of extracurricular activities. Children who are obese have a hard to communicating with others, a low self-esteem, and developing other psychological problems like anxiety and depression. For example, most kids who are fit and more in shape or at least look in shape would interact with other who is in the same category. Like sports, most kids would not choose the big obese kid who looks overweight, because usually or the stereotypical view of our society today is the big fat kid slows down others, and the team that has the big fat kid is going to be the losing team. Children who are obese also suffer from social discrimination, usually kids in a certain age group only hang out with their kind that are more slim down and in shape, this usually happens in middle school. But this can effect an obese because of them being discriminated for the way of how big they are. This can also involve all types of bullying, like cyber bullying and in school bullying and even harassment. Obese children go through a lot and endure a lot of pain for the way the look, but there are ways to prevent child obesity and one of the main ways is through parents. Parents should try to make sure their children get as much exercise as possible. They should also make sure their children eat right and healthy, which means they should try and replace unhealthy junk foods (chips, soda, candy, and etc.) with healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. This way the child will be more fit and in shape and will not have to endure the pain and suffering of being obese.

Obesity greatly effects people’s lives and has a huge impact on our society today. It is a problem that needs to stop. Obesity is not a good thing period.  


  • Health Issues (Heart Attack, Diabetes, Stroke, Cancer, High Blood Pressure, Joint Pain, Osteoarthritis, Chest Pain, Atherosclerosis(hardening of the arteries)
  • Mental Issues (Low Self-Esteem, Depression, and Anxiety)
  • Social  Side Effects (Careers, Realtionships, and Education)


                                                      Then                                                                                  Now


As you can see in the two graphs above the U.S. has increased in the amount of people who are obese drastically.

Impact on Children


  • Social Dicrimination (this can cause children who are obese to stay away from excersing so they won't be made fun of or participating in other social activites)
  • Hospital costs increased (in the 1980s child hospital costs 35 million, today child hosptial cost has increased to 127 million)
  • More the 70% of the obese youth are at higher risks of heart diseases
  • Lesser concentration levels (can effect their education)
  • Getting tired easily (causing obese children to stay away from extracurricular activities, Ex. Basketball, Soccer, Tennis)

Ways to Prevent Obesity

  • Exercise
Work out daily to try and burn calories (Sports, Working Out, Ect.).

  • Eat healthy
obesity9  Eating healthy is a huge way of preventing obesity. Watch what you eat to maintain a good healthy diet (Fruits, Vegetables, Water).

Sources/ Bibliography

"Obesity Facts, Causes, Emotional Aspects and When to Seek Help." 
WebMD - Better information. Better health.. Version 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.

"Childhood Obesity Statistics and Facts | Statistics of Childhood Obesity.
Childhood Obesity Statistics and Facts | Statistics of Childhood Obesity. Version 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2011.

 Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Defining | DNPAO | CDC.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Version 2. N.p., 21 June 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.


Pandita, Rahul. "Child Obesity Statistics in America 2011."
Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Version 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/child-obesity-statistics-in-america2011.html>.

Johnson, Pamela. "6 Ways to Prevent Obesity | Reader's Digest."
Reader's Digest Magazine Canada Online. Version 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <http://www.readersdigest.ca/food/diet-nutrition/6-ways-prevent-obesity>.


"How to Prevent Obesity | eHow.com." eHow |
How to Videos, Articles & More - Discover the expert in you. | eHow.com. Version 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <http://www.ehow.com/how_2048302_prevent-obesity.html>.


"Physical Activity Recommended Exercise Methods - Physical Activity Health Information - NY Times Health." Health News - The New York Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/specialtopic/physical-activity/recommended-exercise-methods.html>.

Handler, Judd. "How much cardio should I do? | MNN - Mother Nature Network."
Environmental News and Information | MNN - Mother Nature Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/how-much-cardio-should-i-do>.

 "10 Things You Can Do to Get Healthy."
San Francisco Natural Medicine - naturopathic medicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2011

"The Effects of Obesity - Health & Wellness - Tree.com." 
Tree. Version 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2011.

 Shah, Anup. "Obesity — Global Issues." 
Global Issues : social, political, economic and environmental issues that affect us all — Global Issues. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <http://www.globalissues.org/article/558/obesity>.

 "Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Defining | DNPAO | CDC." 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Version 2. N.p., 21 June 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.