Number 1 Health Issue: Obesity

Ryon Hurley

I believe that obesity is America’s number 1 health issue because it is occurring more frequently and because that is all we hear in health classes today.  Obesity is defined as being over the considered healthy weight which is determined by the body mass index chart (BMI).  When you go to your regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment they will measure your height and weight and then chart it on your graph which has a trend line showing the average BMI a human should be and they compare you to it and determine whether you are overweight or not.  There are many reasons why a person would be considered or become overweight and it can either be from genetics, lifestyle choices, or limited choices.  Since obesity has been such a controversial topic the U.S. decided to consider obesity as a disease.  The U.S. did this in order to allow people with obesity to seek health coaching, diet plans, and medical help all through doctors appointments covered by insurance.  The world is becoming more obese and we are the only ones that can help.

The most common way to become obese is from eating habits and lifestyle choices.  The U.S. in particular is known for having fast food restaurants, fried food, and processed foods.  All of these types of food are harmful to or health and are  unhealthy especially when ingested everyday or in an irregular amount.  These types of foods should not be incorporated in your diet; instead you should find more natural products and items from the grocery store in order to make a healthier diet.  In the U.S. there are 7 states that have a 35 percent obesity rate for their population.  These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia and majority of them are located in the southern part of the east coast with a few being located in the northern section of the east coast (Henry, 2018).  Henry also mentions that in the year 2000 there was no state that had an obesity percentage higher than 20, but just 20 years later 7 states now have 35 percent or higher (Henry, 2018).  Graphs showing the obesity rate, diabetes rate, and physical inactivity among adults and different ranges of children can be found here:  The graphs are updated a few years ahead of Henry’s article and now shows that 9 states are above 35 percent of obese citizens.  People find it difficult to resist fast food restaurants due to how cheap and fast they are but also because they taste good due to the extra chemicals and sugars added to them.  When you incorporate fast food or processed foods into your diet and then on top of that aren’t exercising than you are on the fast track to becoming obese.  The history of obesity and why fast food and processed foods are bad can be found here:  Fast food and processed food are seen as a huge success but have ultimately brought harm to the diet of the world and has caused bad habits and overeating.  

The other side of obesity comes from genetics and limited resources and these two are the main reasons as to why obesity is considered a disease.  Different genetic reasons for obesity include monogenetic obesity and different mutations in the genome that inhibit weight loss or slow down metabolism.  Other forms of onsight obesity is type 2 diabetes and heart disease which comes from being overweight and is mostly seen in older generations.  With obesity being a disease physicians can now prescribe obesity pills, provide coaching, diets, and surgeries which will also be covered by insurance (Pollack, 2013).  Lifestyle choices and limited resources are key roles in the beggining steps of becoming obese and if these can be tackled early then it will be even easier to avoid obesity.  Exercise and healthy food are key to a healthy lifestyle and are relatively easy to incorporate in your lifestyle if you want it.  Along with this there does come problems with money and environment.  The places you live and the amount of money you have play a huge role in your lifestyle and determine how safe it is to be outside and what food you can buy.  Throughout my sophomore inquiry class on healthy people healthy places I learned that the current system for providing money and food stamps isn’t enough to provide a healthy lifestyle and that where you live can impact the quality of the food and safety of people.  

We once lived in a time where food didn’t come by easy and laziness wasn’t how people acted, but now food is not all natural and comes in an abundance which leads to over eating and laziness.  In order to fix this problem we need to encourage people to seek help from professionals and the government needs to regulate the amount of unhealthy food and also help these people benefit from food stamps by providing enough food for healthy options.  Obesity can only be decreased by you and if you find it in yourself the drive to lose weight or be healthy than we can all lower the percent of obesity and live a healthier lifestyle.  Do you want to live longer?  Then eat healthy, exercise, and seek help.


Henry, T. A. (2018, November 26). Adult obesity rates rise in 6 states, exceed 35% in 7. Retrieved from

Pollack, A. (2013, June 18). A.M.A. Recognizes Obesity as a Disease. Retrieved from

Obesity Rates & Trend Data. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Adam, Maya. (2016, January 15). Retrieved from