PHL 458 - Current Societal Problem

Essay by nangocoUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2008

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Obesity is a growing concern among researchers and doctors, as it is working its way toward the top of the list of leading cancer causers (Schmid, 2008). Obesity, not to be confused with overweight, occurs when a person is well beyond what is considered a normal weight. The National Institute of Health considers a person obese if their body mass index is above 30. Body mass index (BMI) is "the standard measurement of choice for many health professionals" and is based on a weight-to-height ratio (, 2008). For adults, a BMI of 25 or greater is considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. The mathematical equation for the body mass index is a person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by the person's height in meters (m) squared (, 2008). The chart below shows the breakdown for weight range and BMI levels for an adult who stands five feet, nine inches tall.

HeightWeight RangeBMIConsidered5' 9"124 lbs or lessBelow 18.5Underweight125 lbs to 168 lbs18.5 to 24.9Healthy weight169 lbs to 202 lbs25.0 to 29.9Overweight203 lbs or more30 or higherObese(Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008)Obesity is a fast growing epidemic in America, one that is creeping up in numbers to give tobacco a run for its money as the leading cause of preventable deaths.

Statistics show that 400,000 American adults will die from obesity related issues and that obesity in children has doubled since the 1980s (, 2008). Obesity has proven itself as deadly a disease as any. Obesity related health issues can include the following: back problems, cancer, type 2 diabetes, fatigue, gallstones, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, insomnia, kidney disease, liver disease, osteoarthritis, pregnancy complications, restricted mobility, sleep apnea, strokes, surgical complications and urinary stress incontinence (, 2008).

As of 2007, statistics...