Significant Changes Needed to Combat Obesity Epidemic
As of now, one-third of all adult Americans are obese and another third are overweight. The numbers are so high that it's now a pressing public health issue that has reached classification as an epidemic. Many obese people aren't even aware of their condition. Experts, however, are aware of the financial burden that obese people place on our healthcare system.
In order to halt the increase in obesity, experts are warning that prompt and significant changes in lifestyles are needed. Making physical activity a part of an everyday schedule is recommended to maintain a healthy weight.
Obesity can also be fought off at work and at school. Most workplaces and many schools still offer vending machines stocked with sugary drinks and fatty foods. Studies show that supplying people with healthier food choices in place of unhealthy ones can also steer people towards making better choices. Providing incentive programs for children and workers can also entice people to make better food choices.
Making healthy foods more available to consumers in a variety of settings can help relieve the temptation to indulge as well. Convenience stores, arenas, vending machines, and restaurants can all help out by offering foods that provide better nutrition and lower calories. Many of these businesses don't even attempt to offer healthy foods to customers.
Marketing coming from the food and beverage industry isn't encouraging for those looking to lose weight either. Advertisements for candy, sodas, and fast food run rampant across billboards, television, and the Internet. Product placement in stores, such as near checkout stands, also make these items unavoidable. Fast food locations with drive-thru windows make the convenience and instant gratification hard to resist as well.
Experts warn that obesity is an epidemic that will affect everyone in one way or another if it isn't stopped or slowed, but it's necessary for people, schools, companies, and communities to become better aware and more willing to get together and fight for the cause.
(Photo Credit: NatalieMaynor)