Obesity Isn 't Just A Financial Issue Essay

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According to the National Institute of Health, 34.9% or 78.6 million of adults and 17%, or 12.7 million of children between the ages of 2-19 are obese (CDC, 2015). The added healthcare costs for obesity total $147 billion, or 21% of total US healthcare costs. If this trend continues, these costs could grow by more than $66 billion dollars by 2030 (NIH, 2013). Obesity isn’t just a financial issue but a health one as well. According to the National Institute of Health, being obese puts individuals at a risk for many of the leading causes of death including stroke, certain types of cancer, diabetes, respiratory ailments, and kidney and heart diseases. It also contributes to poorer mental health outcomes and a reduced quality of life.
Obesity is a complex health issue and results from a combination of factors including individual behaviors - quality of diet and amount of physical activity. Genetics and medical conditions also play a role in one’s propensity for obesity. Health enhancing behaviors such as eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity help to stabilize weight as well as being important for long-term health benefits and the prevention of chronic diseases. Genes play a role in the development of obesity by giving the body instructions on how to respond to changes in the environment with studies having identified specific gene variants that contribute to obesity by increasing hunger, thus making the individual increase his or her food…

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