Sedentary Lifestyles Of The United States Essay

1047 Words Sep 11th, 2014 5 Pages
The number of obese people in the United States has been growing rapidly since the CDC began keeping track in the early 1980s. Back then, about 10% of Americans were obese. Today, that number has more than tripled to about 35.7% nationwide (“Adult Obesity Facts”). What caused this number to mushroom? Like any major societal change, there are multiple variables in the equation. The most obvious of which is the increasingly sedentary lifestyles of Americans. As the American economy evolved from manufacturing to service-based, the total amount of physical work done during the day has decreased. Time spent at home certainly isn’t helping the problem either, with television dominating the evenings for many Americans. Coupled with America’s love to drive everywhere and the refusal to walk unless it’s absolutely necessary, the foundations have been laid for simply not maintaining the caloric output of previous generations. Sedentary lifestyles make it difficult for humans to lose weight, but this doesn’t directly explain what causes the weight gain in the first place. In the United States, one of the most major contributors to weight gain is lack of sleep. On average, Americans today sleep about two hours less each night than they did in the 1960s ("Sleep Requirements in Children"). Less sleep results in the imbalance of two important hormones: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that causes hunger while leptin is the hormone that suppresses hunger. When…

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