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Introduction: The Obesity Epidemic

Obesity is a major problem in the United States, which is one of the main reasons that the diet industry is a multi-billion dollar per year empire. A study conducted recently known as the Bogalusa Heart Study found that obesity in children is growing in rapid rates.

Ø Compared with 1973 to 1974, the proportion of children 5 to 17 years of age who were obese was 5 times higher in 2008 and 2009. 
Ø 23.9 million children ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese.
Ø 33.0% of boys and 30.4% of girls are overweight or obese.

The picture is not much better for adults with 54.7 million adults over the age of 20 being obese, specifically, 79.9 million men and 74.8 million women.
Introduction: The Obesity Epidemic

Why Are So Many Overweight?

As you can see obesity in America is a major problem. For many weight management is a life long struggle. Those who are overweight know this all too well.

There is a fundamental difference in those that can maintain a healthy weight throughout their lives and those who are overweight for most of their lives, and it is often associated with genetic factors in how the body handles food, issues with metabolism, relationship with food and general eating habits, for many learned early on in childhood.

The Psychological Aspect

There is a very significant psychological aspect that has a great impact on obesity rates. People's relationship with food is an essential aspect that will determine how and what they eat, and consequently their weight.

Many times people find comfort and emotional well-being in food, and unfortunately, usually the comfort stems from unhealthy foods, like sweets and fast food, instead of the more healthy choices like lean proteins, fruits and vegetables.

Food addiction is very real because there is instant gratification and pleasure that is registered in the brain when people eat delicious food.

Bad Habits and Lack of Knowledge

Another big reason for the weight problem in this country is just a simple case of bad habits and lack of knowledge of proper nutrition. This has become an issue lately in the public school system lunch programs, where in several states, officials have received complaints about what is being served to kids and so many school districts are now revamping their menus.

Super Size Country

Another big reason that obesity rates are high and climbing is that we live in a super size country. Super size greasy fries, super size soda that now comes in a 32 oz. bucket. Big double burgers and more unhealthy food is commonplace at fast food restaurants.

Also, fitness is not a normal part of the average adults' or child’s' life. A recent study found that kids who should be getting at least 1 hour of physical activity per day get none, and so obesity rates in children are climbing at rapid rates.

Too much food, not enough movement and people's dysfunctional relationship with food are some of the core causes for the obesity epidemic.

We are a society of excess, lack of exercise, fatty foods, super-sized fries and cream filled donuts. 
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