Obesity problem in US is overtaking tobacco – cigarette smoking in the top list of preventable deaths. In 1990 a study disclosed that the deaths caused by tobacco were 400,000 and 300,000 due to poor diet and physical inactivity.
Tobacco was the top reason before 10 years but now obesity and poor diet is overtaking it. Tobacco is going down now in US but at a very slow rate. The head of CDC’s behavioral research branch Ali H. Mokdad, has said
“There’s been a big narrowing of the gap”
It is very significant because the toll of other leading preventable death causes are decreasing in the same period.
It was really shocking and alarming when U.S. government’s study on obesity was published. It stated that Americans are eating themselves to death – soon poor diet and physical inactivity may overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death. Obesity leads to poor health, diabetes and more vulnerable to cardiac disease.
These are few of the major problems caused by obesity, but it will be accompanied by many other physical and mental problems. The life style adopted by Americans is the major cause for this obesity problem. Poor diet, fast foods, increase in spending time on computers, video games, TV, and decrease in physical activities are the reason for growing obesity in US.
There are many awareness programs conducted by the US government to control the rising obesity within the country. In spite of public awareness the figures were continuing to rise constantly. In 1990 about 60 percent of the adults in US were either obese or overweight, in that 20 percent of them were obese. In 2000 the figures have raised to 64 percent, who were either obese or overweight and 30 percent of them were obese.
Even though there are awareness programs to highlight the ill effects of obesity, the problem demands still more strong action from government to make people understand and act for the problem. Just asking people to eat good diet and do physical activities is not impacting the US people to change their life style to fight obesity.
Instead the government should reduce the cost of healthy food items such as fruits, vegetables and low calories foods so that people can afford them easily to eat. Also the government should take serious action against unhealthy food items, junk food, soft drink and snacks.
Finally the government can only educate the people but it’s the duty of each person to take care of their health. Unless a good diet and adequate physical activity is practiced it is difficult to overcome the problem of obesity. Schools should educate children about the harms of obesity, and the need for balanced diet and physical activity.