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The Cases of Obesity and Overweight in the US

1

TheCases of Obesity and Overweight in the US

Affiliation:

1.Introduction

Malnutritioncomes in different forms. It can be in the form of undernutrition,wherein the people do not get the right amount and kind of nutrients,this includes micronutrient deficiency. According to the World HealthOrganization, undernutrition is the underlying cause of child deathsassociated with diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and measles.

Onthe other hand, overnutrition is in which the concerned populationgets too much nutrients that they need, this also includes toxicityof certain vitamins. This means that malnutrition is not just amatter of being undernourished. Being too nourished is also a form ofmalnutrition.

Overnutrition comes in the form of overweight and obesity. And this isone of the America’s biggest challenges in health. Overweightspecifically speaking is the fifth in the ten most serious factorthat affect the mortality of the developed countries (Chopra,Galbraith, and Darnton-Hill3, 2002). Obesity is an epidemic in US. The term epidemic is used when a condition is continually happeningand is very extensive (Liverman &amp Kraak, 2005) and for the caseof obesity in the country, it has been existing for decades and isgetting worse. And this is the scenario in the different age groupsof Americans. As said by the National Conference of StateLegislatures(2014), all the states of the United States of Americahas a prevalence of Overweight and Obesity from 20.5% to 34.7% last2012 and a prevalence from 20.7% to 34.9% last 2013.

Weightalone does not distinguish the mass of the fat from the lean mass.But obesity is certainly excess body fat regardless of the weight ofthe person (Murphy, 2011). In getting the prevalence of overweightand obesity, the NationalCenter for Health Statistics (NCHS), a branch of the U.S. PublicHealth Service in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Servicesconducts the NationalHealth and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Ingetting the prevalence rate, they use the BMI as the basis of themeasurement. According to the World Health Organization, a personwith a BMI of 18.5-24.9 is classified as normal. From 25.0-29.9 isalready overweight and beyond 30 is considered obese(Caulfield et al, 2004).

Obesitycan be affected by a lot of factors such as family income, ethnicityand sex (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). All thesecan contribute to the obesity of a person . A high prevalence ofobesity is related to the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in thecountry.

2.Methodology

Inorder to trace the trend of the obesity of adults, at least 20 yearsold, in the country for the past decade, available health surveysuntil 2013 will be gathered and interpreted. Information was alsosummarized and interpreted. Other researches regarding the obesity ofthe concerned group were also cited. All information was narrated andrecommendations were also given.

3.Results

Last2003-2004 survey, a total of 60% of adults were either overweight orobese. Then on the following survey on 2005-2006, using the BMI asthe basis of the survey, the results showed a prevalence ofoverweight in adults by 32.7 percent, 34.3 percent of obesity and 5.9percent of extremely obesity (National Conference of StateLegislatures, 2014).

Duringthe early 2000, the country’s goal for 2010 was to decrease theobesity rate of the country down to 15%. But the results of the2007-2008 survey on adults showed arateof 34.2% overweight, 33.8% obese and 5.7% extremely obese.

Basedon the results from the 2009–2010 National Health and NutritionExamination Survey (NHANES), still using the BMI as its indicator, itwas estimated that 33.0% of U.S. adults aged 20 and over areoverweight, 35.7% are obese, and 6.3% are extremely obese (Ogden,2010). This means that the 2010 goal for health of the country was not met.It was actually quadrupled. During these times, 78 million Americanadults were either obese or overweight and majority of it (more than50 million) were non-Hispanic white.

Last2011-2012, it was found out that 34.9% of adults were obese with themajority (39.5%) coming from the middle-aged adults followed by theolder ones (35.4%), then by the younger adults (30.0%) (Ogden et al,2012). Between the non-Hispanics men and women, there was no relevantdifference that was observed (see Figure 1). Figure1: Number of obese adults in the United States (2011-2012) who are atleast 20, by race and Hispanic origin. (Fryar, Ogden and Carroll,2012)

Asseen in Figure 2, during 2009-2012, there was no significant changein obesity prevalence among either men or women. The prevalence ofobesity among men in 2011–2012, only moved to 33.5% from the 35.5%in 2009. Among women, obesity prevalence was 36.1% in 2011–2012 and35.8% in 2009–2010.

Figure2: Age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, by sex, among adults aged 20and over: United States, 2009–2010 and 2011–2012 (Fryar, Ogdenand Carroll, 2012)

Goingback to 1988 up to 2010, it can be seen in Table 1 that the number ofoverweight increased from 33.1 % in 1988 to 35.1 % in 2002 thengradually decreases until it reached 33.0% in 2010. But a differentstory happens to the prevalence of obesity in the country, from 22.9%in 1988 to 35.7% in 2010. Same thing with the rate of extreme obesityhappened when from 2.8% it almost tripled and became 6.3 after.

Betweenthe men and women samples, it can be observed that the rate ofoverweight men was fluctuating it goes up then down then up and downagain. While for women, there was no significant difference that wasobserved though time. But the rate of the obese and extremely obesemales and females were almost the same.

Table1: Age-adjusted prevalence of overweight, obesity, and extremeobesity among U.S. adults aged 20 and over

Sample size andweight status

NHANES III1988-1994

NHANES1999-2000

NHANES2001-2002

NHANES2003-2004

NHANES2005-2006

NHANES2007-2008

NHANES2009-2010

Sample (n)

16,235

4,117

4,413

4,431

4,356

5,550

5,926

Total

Overweight

33.1

34.0

35.1

34.1

32.6

34.3

33.0

Obese

22.9

30.5

30.5

32.2

34.3

33.7

35.7

Extremely obese

2.8

4.7

5.1

4.8

5.9

5.7

6.3

Men

Overweight

40.7

39.7

42.2

39.7

39.9

40.1

38.4

Obese

20.2

27.5

27.7

31.1

33.3

32.2

35.5

Extremely obese

1.7

3.1

3.6

2.8

4.2

4.2

4.4

Women

Overweight

25.9

28.6

28.2

28.6

25.5

28.6

27.9

Obese

25.4

33.4

33.2

33.2

35.3

35.4

35.8

Extremely obese

3.9

6.2

6.5

6.9

7.4

7.3

8.1

4.Recommendations

Itwas said in previous studies that people who belong to the low incomefamilies are the one who are obese or overweight. It was also beenfound that it contributes to developing diabetes Type 2. With this,it is advised that the government should start developing projectsthat are school based. It can be observed that the prevalence ofobesity among adults for the past decade has been increasing. It canbe concluded that the ones who were part of it before are likely tobe still part of the count, and it is possible that it increasesbecause of the overweight children that eventually become adult, thusadding to the population of obesity.

Soif there will be programs that will start in the school, likeintensive and compulsory Physical Education, the students will beforced to be involved in physical activities. It will also be good ifthe food in the cafeteria will be monitored. As it is known that foodis a big part of one’s health status, and having poor food choicescan cause poor nutritional status as well.

Anotherconsideration for the adults is the mandatory gym or physicalactivities of the employees who are obese or overweight. Monitoringthe weight of the employees, like in some agencies in differentcountries, even just annually can help in conducting studies andsurveys of the country about health status. And if the employees willbe required to maintain their weight or reach their target weight, itwill improve the health of its employees. It may not be the best andit could have not been initiated by the people involved but it canpush them to exercise and eventually form a habit. As a result, itcan lower the prevalence of obesity and help in improving thecitizen’s over-all health.

5.References

Caulfield,L. E., et al. (2004). Undernutritionas an underlying cause of child deaths associated with diarrhea,pneumonia, malaria, and measles. Retrievedfrom&nbsphttp://www.who.int/nutgrowthdb/publications/risk/en/

Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). National Health andNutrition Examination Survey.Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/NCHS/NHANES.htm.

Chopra,M., Galbraith, S., &ampDarnton-Hill I. (2002). A global response toa global problem: the epidemic of overnutrition. Retrieved fromhttp://www.who.int/bulletin/archives/80(12)952.pdf.

Fryar,C.D., Ogden,C. L., Carroll. M.D. (2012). NationalHealth and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010 and2011–2012)Prevalenceof Overweight, Obesity, and Extreme Obesity Among Adults: UnitedStates, Trends 1960–1962 Through 2009–2010.Retrieved fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_adult_09_10/obesity_adult_09_10.htm.

Liverman,C. T., &amp Kraak V. I. (2005). PreventingChildhood Obesity: Health in the Balance.Washington: NationalAcademies Press.Retrieved fromhttp://books.google.com.ph/books/about/Preventing_Childhood_Obesity.html?id=2SUDUbGquk4C&ampredir_esc=y

Murphy,Wendy (2011). ObesityUSATODAY Health Reports: Diseases and DisordersUSAtoday health reports.Twenty-FirstCentury Books.Retrieved fromhttp://books.google.com.ph/books?id=yf1LUeiGMw0C&ampprintsec=frontcover&amphl=fil&ampsource=gbs_ge_summary_r&ampcad=0#v=onepage&ampq&ampf=false

NationalConference of State Legislatures. (2014). Obesity Statistics in theUnited States. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ncsl.org/research/health/obesity-statistics-in-the-united-states.aspx

Ogden,C. L., Carroll. M.D., Kit, B.K., Flegal, K.M. (2011-2012). Prevalenceof Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2011-2012. NCHS Data Brief No. 131. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db131.pdf

Ogden,C. L., Carroll. M.D., Kit, B.K., Flegal, K.M. (2009-2010). Prevalenceof Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2011-2012. NCHS Data Brief No. 082. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db82.pdf