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Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in North America

It is a proven fact that death risks rise with weight increase. A number of factors have been cited as the main causes of obesity and overweight conditions in most North Americans. Among these factors are chronic disorders like hyperlipidemia, hypertension, osteoarthritis and diabetes mellitus. In the United States, and to be specific North America, a high increase in the number of people with overweight and obesity conditions has been recorded. This number has gone up gradually over the years and this has been associated with changes in lifestyle, sex, race and age.

Obesity is an abnormal and high proportion of fat in the body whereas overweight is considered a condition that results from bone, muscle, fat or water. Being obese and overweight is a health risk. People who are obese or overweight are prone to suffer from heart related complications like strokes, diabetes, gall bladder disease and cancer. Some menstrual irregularities, pregnancy complications in women, psychological disorders like stress and depression and increased mortality have also been associated with obesity.

Many social and environmental effects have also contributed to the high number of people suffering obesity and being overweight. The increased availability of high fat food joints within North Americaís locality makes its residents susceptible to weight and obesity issues. There is also a great reduction in the level of physical activity at work and elsewhere, which has brought about an imbalance in the intake and use of calories.

A number of influences including behavioral, cultural, metabolic, social economic, environmental and genetic influences determine each individualís body weight. In North America, behavioral and environmental influences have been cited as the major causes of overweight and obese citizens. The requirements of federal physical activity clearly state that Americans should set aside at least thirty minutes for physical activity on most week days this provision has however been ignored.

Weight issues are raising alarm in North America. Studies have shown that increasing prevalence has had a drastic effect on the economy. Productivity of overweight and obese persons is minimal; this is caused mainly because of disability, sickness or simply fatigue. Overweight or obese workers tend to get many sick days off due to many weight-related illnesses or conditions. Many obese patients have lost their lives because of heart failure, which is characteristic of the disease. These setbacks have played part in bringing down the North American economy.

To curb obesity and overweight conditions in North America, a lot of attention has been directed to the sensitization of the population over the health hazards the two conditions impose. Schools are encouraged to introduce mandatory physical exercising of students and incorporating healthy foods in their diets. Healthcare systems within North America are channeling direct costs to cater for diagnosis and preventive measures against overweight conditions and treatment of obesity. In addition, the services of health experts, teachers and parents are coordinated to be able to address the need for a health conscious society as pertains to the eating habits and to encourage the need for constant exercises to the grass root levels in North America.