The rates of obesity, both in children and adults have hit double figures since the 1970’s. Though there might have been some plateauing or decline of the same, obesity still remains a national epidemic and is widespread and has had persistently problems to the United States as a whole. Practically, statistics have it that cases of severe obesity among children, teenagers, and even in young adults are increasing with the much of these population brackets embracing fast food dietary with approximately forty percent of adults and twenty percent of teenagers and children suffering from obesity. There are substantial obesity disparities on basis of demographics, geographic region, and socioeconomic status. Obesity in the United States is very common a serious epidemic and very costly to manage with obesity affiliated condition including diabetes, hypertension, cancer and stroke which are leading cause of preventable high mortalities. In the United States, estimates of obesity management costs are in excess 150 billion dollars. This research sought to ascertain the cases of obesity in California State (Fender, 2008).
In California State, the cases of obesity are increasing every dawn. This is attributed to the current changes in living style which have consequently changed the food patterns and environments making non nutritious “junk”foods and drinks more embraced, more available, embraced, appealing and used as scapegoats for people to avoid their kitchen duties. Also social and environmental changes have marginally reduced physical exercises and activities for children. For instance children are now busy with the television and PS2 games in home computers with even schools having less provision for physical education. The neighborhoods that children are being raised in lack the spaces to accommodate walking, bicycle riding and offer no security for children to play in owing to over population and congestion for settlement (Finkelstein & Zuckerman, 2010).
Currently, California State has the forty sixth highest rate of obesity in the United States of America. In overall statistics, the rates of obesity in California State have comparatively hit 38 percent, closely relating to the national rates of the epidemic in the United States. The demographic rates for adults with obesity show that 57.4 percent of white adults in California suffer obesity comparing with 63.2 percent of the national percentage of whites with obesity. The black population has a whopping 69.7 percentage of the population affected by obesity comparing the 72.7 percent of national black population suffering obesity in the United States. Hispanics have 72.1 percent of adults suffering obesity in California as compared to 70 percent of the national Hispanic population that suffer obesity (Fender, 2008). Asian/Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander recorded 33.3 percent of the adults suffering obesity comparing to 37.7 percent of the national percentage of that population. The American Indian/Alaska Native population in California records 64.1 percent comparing the national percentage of 68.6. The other populations together recorded a 54.5 percent of obesity in the State as compared to the national percentage of 61.5. In overall, approximately 60 percent of the adults in California suffer obesity as compared to the national 64 percent (Finkelstein & Zuckerman, 2010).
The Body Mass Index, BMI, includes the measure of body fat in relation to height and weight that applies to individuals. It is calculated by dividing the weight of a person in kilograms by their height in square meters. Normal weight, overweight, and obesity situations are now determined using the BMI. Obesity primarily refers to that health situation whereby the body fats are in excess. The national BMI fact file indicates that: More than two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese, more than one in every three adults are considered to be obese, more than one in every twenty adults are considered to have extreme obesity, About one-third of children and adolescents ages six to nineteen are considered to be overweight or obese, with more than one in every six children and teenagers aged six to nineteen considered to be obese. For adults (individuals above the age of 20 years), one is classified as having normal weight at BMI ranges of 18.5 to 24.9, overweight at BMI ranges of 25 to 29.9, obese at 30 and above, and extremely obese for BMI values above 40. Obesity affects our health greatly. The people who are obese are at a higher risk of suffering fatal diseases and health conditions like hypertension, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, osteoarthritis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among other conditions (Finkelstein & Zuckerman, 2010).
In a nutshell, adults, adolescents and children from families up the socioeconomic strata are facing the highest risks of suffering obesity. If we are to see lesser case of the epidemic, it is time America as a whole adopted physical exercises and avoided kitchen laziness which has made families embrace fast foods and “junk” foods hence energy imbalance with the body taking in more calories than it can burn hence the energy balance tipping towards excessive weight gain, overweight and obesity (Fender, 2008).
Finkelstein, E. & Zuckerman, L. (2010). The Fattening of America: How The Economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What To Do About It. New York: Wiley.
Fender, S. (2008). 50 Facts That Should Change the USA. Red Wheel Weiser.