The Importance Of Obesity

1576 Words 6 Pages
Nationally, there has been a great deal of media attention given to fast foods, exercise, and associated risks in regard to the high rates of obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that a healthy body mass index (BMI) rests within the normal parameter of 18.5 to 24.9. When a person’s BMI increases to 25 they are then considered overweight, and when the BMI exceeds 30, they are considered obese. The World Health Organization has labeled obesity a global epidemic, emphasizing that obesity is not simply a national issue. In the United States, over one third, or 39.4%, of U.S. adults are classified as obese (Ogden, Carroll, Flegal, 2014). This population of 78.6 million, obese Americans are at an increased risk for stroke, heart disease, and cancer. Other than the goal of healthier living, a decrease in obesity would dramatically reduce healthcare costs related directly to obesity, as well as to obesity-related health problems. …show more content…
In the city of Philadelphia, the prevalence of obesity is particularly high, with 67.8% of adults living with obesity. In particular areas, such as North Philadelphia, this percentage increases to almost 70% (2014). This statistic is frightening, considering that this percentage is nearly double the national average. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is particularly challenging for Philadelphia residents, with only 25% of youth eating a single serving of fruits and vegetables, and less than 25% of youth participating in sustained physical activity even once a week (CDC). In areas like North Philadelphia, many residents are unable to afford high healthcare costs. Additionally, many times, this low-income population cannot afford the expensive healthy diet options, if they are even available for purchase at local businesses. These factors contribute to the high obesity rates in Philadelphia when compared to national

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