“Should the U.S. government take measures to fight obesity?”

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Obesity and diet go hand-in-hand. Obesity, or rather overweight, is an individual health condition characterized by weight that is heavier than the average weight that is balanced by height. Statistics show that roughly one of every thirteen adults has severe obesity (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 1). In the United States of America, more than 1/3 or 36.5 percent of adults have obesity (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 1). This epidemic translates into an estimated annual cost of $147 billion medical costs of obesity in the U.S; a figure considered higher than the medical cost of those of normal weight projected at $1429 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 1). More so, Obesity attracts the development of other conditions such as certain types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes which are top causes of preventable death (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 1). In this regard, the U.S government should initiate strategies to counter obesity.

Obesity has developed into a full-blown public-health crisis and therefore warrants the federal government to play an active role in combating it. Recent researches indicate that obesity epidemic is getting out of hand. As of the year 2017, it is said that 1 in every three adults is considered to be overweight while about 2 in every three adults is either obese or overweight (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 1). Furthermore, in every 13 adults, one is said to have extreme obesity whereas one in every six children is considered to be in the same category (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 1). It is also projected that more than a third of the U.S adult population have obesity and the cost incurred by the federal government in treating this ailment surpasses that expedited in offering medical services to those of normal weight (Chan, Ruth, and Jean 770). These statics highlights the gravity of the issue at hand, and it makes it clear that the United States government has no option other than to initiate measures to contain obesity.

Secondly, childhood obesity is rising at an alarming rate which offshoots the National health efforts hence the need for government action. Obesity prevalence amongst the youngsters has almost tripled ever since the year 1980 (Diet and Obesity 6). Implications of such high rates of childhood obesity invite serious health consequences both long and short-term. At such a tender age, children suffering from obesity are exposed to higher chances of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure putting them at increased risk of cardiovascular complications. This extends to higher risks of breathing problems such as asthma and sleep apnea as well as type II diabetes in addition to musculoskeletal problems especially the joints. It is paramount for the government to curb such extreme childhood obesity for the reasons that obese children are highly susceptible to become obese adults transferring similar potential health risks at such high rates.

Thirdly, the U.S government has more disposable options and capability to tackle obesity hence it should. Whereas the society has a role to play, the government stands a better chance as it has the necessary tools to fight this epidemic. For instance, through laws and policies, the government can overcome irresponsible food marketing which has had a powerful effect on the eating habits of children and therefore the root-cause of childhood obesity. More so federal programs can be initiated to sensitize the public about the effects of obesity and the importance of proper diets. Another strategy that can be employed is the introduction of government-imposed calorie posting requires which will sensitize the customers on nutritional values of foodstuff (Diet and Obesity 9). Imposing heavy taxation on fast foods that contribute largely to obesity is also another strategy that can be exploited by the government. In this regard, the government has the capability to do away with the obesity epidemic, and therefore it should do so for the benefit of a healthy population.

Nonetheless, critiques argue that obesity is a personal responsibility rather than a government policy. It is on this argument that they dismiss policy proposals terming them as unnecessary and intuitive. They consider federal efforts to regulate restaurants selling fast foods as invasion and overreach of the right to privacy. However, critiques fail to understand that the drastic upsurge in the cases of obesity together with the adverse health consequences that come along amounts to a national epidemic and not simply a personal issue. What’s more, obesity has become a costly problem forcing the government to spend huge sums of money on treatment. Therefore, their arguments do not hold water.

To sum up, the United States government ought to take measures to curb obesity. The main reason for this stance is that obesity has developed into a full-blown public-health crisis. Furthermore, the rate at which childhood obesity is advancing spurs the National health efforts and therefore needs to be encountered before it gets out of hand. More so, the U.S government is capable and has the necessary tools to contain this epidemic.

Works Cited

"Diet and Obesity: Should the U.S. government take measures to fight obesity?" Issues & Controversies, Infobase Learning, 11 Feb. 2013, http://icof.infobaselearning.com/recordurl.aspx?ID=6327. Accessed 30 Sept. 2017

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "Adult Obesity Facts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., 29 Aug. 2017. Web. 1 Oct. 2017.

Chan, Ruth S., and Jean Woo. "Prevention of Overweight and Obesity: How Effective is the Current Public Health Approach." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 7.3 (2016): 765-783. Print.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Overweight & Obesity Statistics | NIDDK." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. N.p., 25 July 2017. Web. 1 Oct. 2017.

July 24, 2021
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