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Obesity Epidemic

Every year, the number of obese Americans is increasing dramatically, and it’s spreading all over the nation like an epidemic. But this is old news – this issue has been talked about decades ago, as it spread rapidly across all the states during the 1990s. Despite all the efforts by the government to solve this epidemic, people continue to grow fatter and fatter. What could be the key to solving this problem? Lately, the issue has been given special attention by the media. They’re not only calling for individual initiative to solve obesity, but also for changes in the physical education programs of our country in order to cope with this matter.

But can media attention really affect change on this one? Annual national reports on obesity showed that instead of decreasing, adult obesity rates in the country rose in 31 states as of last year. Obesity policies are really failing in the United States right now, despite all the efforts by the government to stop the problem (Gutin, Riggs, Ferguson, & Owens, 1999). According to the reports, there has been a major breakthrough in terms of drawing the attention of the people to the obesity epidemic. All eyes and ears were on the issue, yet the mouths continued to feed. What the country need is a breakthrough in terms of policies and results, as the poor nutrition practices and physical inactivity of most Americans are making the case much worse, affecting the people’s health and productivity (Labbe & Welsh, 1993).

Because of this, the approach shifts from the individual American, towards various groups and institutions like families, communities, schools, employers, food and drinks companies, health professionals, and government at local and national levels.

There were some recommendations given in order to solve the problem of Obesity. One is the involvement of the federal government, by developing and implementing a national strategy that would clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the state and of the localities in dealing with these concerns (Hart, 2005). Another is the promotion of a healthy lifestyle by giving Americans the necessary tools for them to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity, like in schools and offices. Additional researches on how to promote these healthy choices are also being encouraged. There are various strategies that could encourage people to make healthier decisions, but more research is needed for it to be effectively promoted (Crawford, 2005).

In the heat of the obesity epidemic issue, Physical Education programs is one of the ways that authorities see as a means to solve the problem. The current Physical Education programs in various institutions may be assumed ineffective in curbing the obesity problem. It is expected that these programs would be changed in such a way that it could deal with the problem of obesity. It will be intensified to accommodate the need of the Americans to shed off fats. With a lifestyle such as ours, it is impossible not to grow fat, so the best way to counter this is enough amount physical activities. This is hard to impose on every individual, that’s why the government should effectively plan on how to get every American moving.

With the media’s attention focused on the obesity epidemic, we are able to see the real situation that we have in hand. The media served as a mirror to reflect our fat, bulging bodies, and hopefully, it would make us realize that we have to act quickly, or else. The success of any government effort to curb obesity doesn’t lie much on the policy or the policy makers, instead, it is up to the people to decide whether it’s effective or not.

References

Crawford, S. A. (2005). Has the decline of intramural sports contributed to the youth obesity epidemic? The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Vol. 76(Issue 1), 3p.

Gutin, B., Riggs, S., Ferguson, M., & Owens, S. (1999). Description and process evaluation of a physical training program for obese children. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 5p.

Hart, M. A. (2005). Influence of a physical education methods course on elementary education majors’ knowledge of fundamental movement skills. Physical Educator, 7p.

Labbe, A. E., & Welsh, C. (1993). Children and running: changes in physical fitness, self-efficacy, and health locus of control. Journal of Sport Behavior, Vol. 16(Issue 2), 13p.