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Obesity: A Growing Problem

Lifestyle & Opinion

By Kayden Johansson

How many fast-food restaurants are there in America?

There are approximately 160,000 fast-food restaurants in America right now.

These restaurants are serving more than 50 million Americans every day and bring in about $65 billion a year.

As Americans, we are always on the move, hardly ever having time to make dinner. The next best thing? Going to a restaurant that will prepare your food in lightning fast speed for the most bang for your buck? Wrong. Obesity rates are soaring in the U.S. “At least one quarter of American adults eat fast food every day,” says Eric Schlosser with CBS news. With that being said, it is no wonder that around 300,000 people die each year from being obese and/or overweight.

If you think eating unhealthy is only effecting adults, you are sadly mistaken my friend. Obesity is already having a huge impact on young people. This is because of the marketing strategies fast-food companies’ use, such as targeting their commercials towards kids because we form our eating habits as children. Therefore they make their kid choices look healthier and more appealing by adding toys or certain awards for buying their fast-food meals. Fast-food companies spend large amounts of money of marketing and advertising to get the attention of children.

Most Americans still do not practice healthy behaviors that can stop obesity in its tracks. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) shared some insight on the primary behaviors causing the obesity epidemic. “Some are well known and preventable: physical inactivity and unhealthy diet.”

Despite this knowledge:

• Only about 25% of U.S. adults eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

• Less than 25% of adolescents eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

• More than 50% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity to provide health benefits.

• More than a third of young people in grades 9–12 do not regularly engage in vigorous physical activity.

If Americans would put down a cheeseburger every now and then and would pick up a weight, then we would start to see a decrease on obesity in adults and children. Working out not only helps us to look good but helps us feel better mentally.

The rate that Americans are at right now, obesity will keep winning and the rates will continue to rise. Or we can decide to workout, eat right, and overall feel better.

What statistic will you be?

Header photo by ebruli (flickr creative commons license).

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