Obesity in the US


Obesity is a prevalent issue around the world, especially in the US, which holds the title for the most obese country. In an article by Cheryl Ritenbaugh, she shares some of her insight on obesity and how it has become such a problem today. Ritenbaugh starts by examining how the definition of health has changed over the years. In the past, it was considered attractive to be a heavier weight and have a bigger build because it symbolized that they were well fed and wealthy. However, today quite the opposite is true. In today’s culture it is considered attractive to be thin and slender and often times many people excessively diet and exercise to meet this appearance. But that’s not everyone. Many other Americans struggle with obesity, and it is easy to see why when we look at our diet. America is filled with a wide variety of fast food joints that offer cheap and quick food. Though this food is far from healthy, it’s far less expensive than healthy fruits and vegetables and is convenient to grab on the go.


The fast food nature of Americans isn’t the only factor that contributes to obesity. Ritenbaugh also explains that obesity can be related to biological issues as well. Some individuals have a slower metabolism and aren’t able to metabolize food as quickly, which leads to obesity. In addition, many people struggle with obesity on an individual level. It’s easy to turn to food when under stress and many people over eat to cope with feelings.


Though obesity is a very prevalent issue, there are many treatments and options available. The market offers numerous diet pills and supplements, work out equipment and videos, diet plans and support groups, etc. Billions of dollars are put into weight loss treatment a year and companies are coming up with more and more bizarre methods to lose weight. However, the healthiest and probably most cost effective method would be to eat healthy and exercise. Lifestyle changes go a long way and are proven to be the most long lasting, which is why more people should strive to lose weight the natural and most healthy way.


Ritenbaugh, Cheryl. “Obesity as a Culture Bound Syndrome.” http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/780/art%253A10.1007%252FBF00118882.pdf?auth66=1405715918_340fa96d580ab3ef8336c8b0bd538f02&ext=.pdf (accessed July 18, 2014).


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