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The plan

Introduction…………………………………………………………………..3

Chapter 1. Causes of obesity ………………………………………………..4

Chapter 2. Effects of obesity………………………………………………....8

Chapter 3. How to deal with obesity...............................................................11

Conclusion…………………………………………………………………...14

List of references…………………………………………………………….15

Introduction

Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing prevalence in adults and children, and authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century.

The foods we eat every day contribute to our well-being. Foods provide us with the nutrients we need for healthy bodies and the calories we need for energy. If we eat too much, however, the extra food turns to fat and is stored in our bodies. If we overeat regularly, we gain weight, and if we continue to gain weight, we may become obese.

Obesity means accumulation of excess fat on the body. Obesity is considered a chronic disease, like high blood pressure or diabetes. It has many serious long-term consequences for your health, and it is the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States (tobacco is the first).

Everybody knows that America has an obesity problem, but most Americans and other world do not realize how obesity influences economy of this country. Understanding the reasons why this has come about could prevent this becoming a worldwide trend.

Obesity is an epidemic in the United States and in other developed countries.

Obesity in the United States has been increasingly cited as a major health issue in recent decades. While many industrialized countries have experienced similar increases, obesity rates in the United States are among the highest in the world with as of 2007 74.1 % being overweight or obese. More than half of Americans are overweight-including at least 1 in 5 children. Nearly one third are obese. Obesity is on the rise in our society because food is abundant and physical activity is optional.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30. The BMI is a measure of your weight relative to your height.

American society has become 'obesogenic,' characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, nonhealthful foods, and physical inactivity.

Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, thick slices of pizza with extra cheese, chips, all washed down with a large Coke or some other sugary soft drink. Most Americans are now eating fast food and the portions are getting bigger and bigger. They also have less chance to burn up all those extra calories with exercise. Exercise is crucial. Surveys have shown that simply limiting TV time reduces weight.

Americans have re-defined the word food. In the Webster's dictionary food is any nourishing substance eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc. In American society food is that which is fatty, tasty, processed, refined and contains no nutrients; a substance detrimental to the body's functions, creating disease, and resulting in death. At no time in history have humans eaten such refined, processed and fatty food and at no time in history have humans had such an obesity epidemic.

Chapter 1. Causes of obesity.

Weight gain occurs when you eat more calories than your body uses up. If the food you eat provides more calories than your body needs, the excess is converted to fat. Initially, fat cells increase in size. When they can no longer expand, they increase in number. If you lose weight, the size of the fat cells decreases, but the number of cells does not.

A 2006 review identified ten other possible contributors to the recent increase of obesity: insufficient sleep, endocrine disruptors (environmental pollutants that interfere with lipid metabolism), decreased variability in ambient temperature, decreased rates of smoking, because smoking suppresses appetite, increased use of medications that can cause weight gain, pregnancy at a later age (which may cause susceptibility to obesity in children), epigenetic risk factors passed on generationally.

The reasons for the imbalance between calorie intake and consumption vary by individual. Your age, sex, and genes, psychological makeup, and environmental factors all may contribute1.

Genes: Obesity tends to run in families. This is caused both by genes and by shared diet and lifestyle habits. Having obese relatives does not guarantee that you will be obese.

Emotions: Some people overeat because of depression, hopelessness, anger, boredom, and many other reasons that have nothing to do with hunger. This doesn't mean that overweight and obese people have more emotional problems than other people. It just means that their feelings influence their eating habits, causing them to overeat. In some unusual cases, obesity may be used as a defense mechanism because of the perceived social pressures related to being more physically desirable, particularly in young girls. In these cases, as with the other emotional causes, psychological intervention may be helpful.

Environmental factors: The most important environmental factor is lifestyle. Your eating habits and activity level are partly learned from the people around you. Overeating and sedentary habits (inactivity) are the most important risk factors for obesity.

At an individual level, a combination of excessive caloric intake and a lack of physical activity is thought to explain most cases of obesity. A limited number of cases are due primarily to genetics, medical reasons, or psychiatric illness. In contrast, increasing rates of obesity at a societal level are felt to be due to an easily accessible and palatable diet, increased reliance on cars, and mechanized manufacturing.

A sedentary lifestyle plays a significant role in obesity. Worldwide there has been a large shift towards less physically demanding work and currently at least 60% of the world's population gets insufficient exercise. In children, there appear to be declines in levels of physical activity due to less walking and physical education

In both children and adults, there is an association between television viewing time and the risk of obesity. A 2008 meta-analysis found 63 of 73 studies (86%) showed an increased rate of childhood obesity with increased media exposure, with rates increasing proportionally to time spent watching television.

Sex: Men have more muscle than women, on average. Because muscle burns more calories than other types of tissue, men use more calories than women, even at rest. Thus, women are more likely than men to gain weight with the same calorie intake.

Age: People tend to lose muscle and gain fat as they age. Their metabolism also slows somewhat. Both of these lower their calorie requirements.

Pregnancy: Women tend to weigh an average of 4-6 pounds more after a pregnancy than they did before the pregnancy. This can compound with each pregnancy. This weight gain may contribute to obesity in women.

Like many other medical conditions, obesity is the result of an interplay between genetic and environmental factors.

Certain physical and mental illnesses and the pharmaceutical substances used to treat them can increase risk of obesity.

Certain medications may cause weight gain or changes in body composition.

Certain medications may cause weight gain or changes in body composition.

Environment: Our environment doesn't support healthy lifestyle habits; in fact, it encourages obesity. Some reasons include:

  • Lack of neighborhood sidewalks and safe places for recreation. Not having area parks, trails, sidewalks, and affordable gyms makes it hard for people to be physically active.

  • Work schedules. People often say that they don't have time to be physically active because of long work hours and time spent commuting.

  • Oversized food portions. Americans are surrounded by huge food portions in restaurants, fast food places, gas stations, movie theaters, supermarkets, and even home. Some of these meals and snacks can feed two or more people. Eating large portions means too much energy IN. Over time, this will cause weight gain if it isn't balanced with physical activity.

  • Lack of access to healthy foods. Some people don't live in neighborhoods that have supermarkets that sell healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Or, for some people, these healthy foods are too costly.

  • Food advertising. Americans are surrounded by ads from food companies. Often children are the targets of advertising for high-calorie, high-fat snacks and sugary drinks. The goal of these ads is to sway people to buy these high-calorie foods, and often they do.

Lack of Sleep2: Studies find that the less people sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese. People who report sleeping 5 hours a night, for example, are much more likely to become obese compared with people who sleep 7–8 hours a night.

People who sleep fewer hours also seem to prefer eating foods that are higher in calories and carbohydrates, which can lead to overeating, weight gain, and obesity over time.

Hormones that are released during sleep control appetite and the body's use of energy. For example, insulin controls the rise and fall of blood sugar levels during sleep. People who don't get enough sleep have insulin and blood sugar levels that are similar to those in people who are likely to have diabetes.

Also, people who don't get enough sleep regularly seem to have high levels of a hormone called ghrelin (which causes hunger) and low levels of a hormone called leptin (which normally helps curb hunger).

Family Influence: Parental behavioral patterns concerning shopping, cooking, eating and exercise, have an important influence on a child's energy balance and ultimately their weight. Thus family diet and lifestyle are important contributory causes to modern child obesity, especially at a time of rising affluence3. Children adopt the habits of their parents. A child who has overweight parents who eat high-calorie foods and are inactive will likely become overweight too. However, if the family adopts healthy food and physical activity habits, the child's chance of being overweight or obese is reduced.

Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, thick slices of pizza with extra cheese, chips, all washed down with a large Coke or some other sugary soft drink. Most Americans are now eating fast food and the portions are getting bigger and bigger.

No significant differences were seen among men of different social classes. In the developing world, women, men, and children from high social classes had greater rates of obesity. The decrease in strength of correlation was felt to be due to the effects of globalization. Among developed countries, levels of adult obesity, and percentage of teenage children who are overweight, are correlated with income inequality. A similar relationship is seen between US states: more adults, even in higher social classes, are obese in more unequal states.

Chapter 2. Effects of obesity.

Obesity is considered a chronic disease, like high blood pressure or diabetes. It has many serious long-term consequences for your health, and it is the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.

Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, diabetes, breathing difficulties during sleep, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

If your body mass index (BMI) indicates that you are overweight or obese, you may be at risk for many of obesity's health effects. These include: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), certain cancers, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease and gallstones, fatty liver disease (also called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gout, psychological and emotional effects.

One of the major health effects of obesity is the development of type 2 diabetes. The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. This was formerly known as adult-onset diabetes. About 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 24. Diabetes is a serious disease, because there are numerous complications associated with it that increase a person's chances for premature death. More than 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. It is not known exactly why people who are overweight are more likely to suffer from this disease. It may be that being overweight causes cells to change, making them less effective at using sugar from the blood.

Another serious health effect of obesity is heart disease. Heart disease refers to diseases that only occur in the heart and the blood vessel system within the heart. The most common type of heart disease is coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as coronary artery disease and ischemic heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States and in most Westernized countries. People with heart disease are also at increased risk for angina, congestive heart failure, or an abnormal heart rhythm.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. More than 700,000 strokes occur each year in the United States, which makes stroke the third leading cause of death in the country and the number one cause for serious disability. About 65 million American adults -- nearly 1 in 3 -- have high blood pressure, making it the most common cardiovascular disease.

Cholesterol is a type of fat that is made in your body. Cholesterol is also in some foods that you eat. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. However, if too much cholesterol gets into your blood, it can cause problems. This is known as high cholesterol. Over time, high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis.

The effects of obesity on your health also include an increased risk for developing cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by interruptions of a person's breathing while he or she is asleep. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly and experience daytime sleepiness.

Extra weight may place extra pressure on joints and cartilage, causing them to wear away. In addition, people with more body fat may have higher blood levels of substances that cause inflammation. Inflammation at the joints may raise the risk for osteoarthritis.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is another of the health effects of obesity.

Obese people might suffer from a lot from social insecurities and emotional suffering.

Physical appearance is very important to people and hence obese persons might become the butt of jokes5.

Emotional suffering may be one of the most painful parts of obesity. American society emphasizes physical appearance and often equates attractiveness with slimness, especially for women. Such messages make overweight people feel unattractive.

Many people think that individuals with obesity are gluttonous, lazy, or both. This is not true. As a result, people who are obese often face prejudice or discrimination in the job market, at school, and in social situations. Feelings of rejection, shame, or depression may occur.

Today, more than 65 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. Even more concerning is the increasing occurrence of childhood obesity. Obesity among children is not just a physical problem. Overweight children also suffer emotionally. They are teased and bullied at school and suffer from low self-esteem. This can lead to depression, anxiety and eating disorders. In many cases children start overeating because they are lonely (lash-key-kids: If they are lonely so food is their friend. They come home to an empty house, food keeps them company), unhappy or emotionally stressed. Unhappy people are desperate for a quick fix to make them less miserable.

These are just a few of the social effects of obesity. There might be many more social and psychological effects of obesity.

Economic consequences of obesity are also needed to be observed. For one reason, obesity destroys health of nation. Moreover it has bad influence on economy, society and other spheres. Overweight and obesity and their associated health problems have substantial economic consequences for the US health care system. That is reflected in the mentioned below figures. Currently, in the United States, health care for overweight and obese individuals costs in average 37% more than health care for people of normal weight. Medical costs for overweight and obesity are over $117 Billion per year, which account for about 9% of all health expenditures.

Chapter 3. How to deal with obesity?

What to do now? How to solve this problem? But they do need to completely change their lifestyle and eating habits.

Dealing with obesity is not as easy as counting one to three. A lot of factors such as ethnicity, genetics, lifestyle, and personal habits should be considered in the management of obesity. Obesity, if not properly managed, can lead to a lot of health problems that may later evolve into life threatening diseases.

So the question is, why the American people? What do we do that is so different than the rest of the world? There is no mystery behind this epidemic- we simply need to examine the American diet and lifestyle. Living a life on the go, eating fast-food and microwave dinners, the health of the American people has been sacrificed. Instead of eating a diet of pure, wholesome foods coming directly from the land, Americans eat a diet of packaged, processed, and refined foods.

Through technological advancement we have found ways to produce food in mass quantities, make it last longer and taste better. Unfortunately, during this processing somewhere along the line, we seemed to have lost the food. The highly processed and refined products that pack our supermarket shelves are loaded with sugar, hydrogenated oils, and plenty more ingredients that we can't even pronounce.

Fast-food restaurants have become main stream in the past 30 years and practically all of America takes advantage of the cheap prices, quick service and tasty meals. Convenient as they may be, these meals contain practically no nutrients. They are comprised mostly of saturated fats and highly refined carbohydrates and are loaded with sodium and sugar.

The average child sees more than 10,000 food ads on TV each year, most for high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sugar meals. Not only does the fast food industry spend billions per year on marketing, but they have also infiltrated our schools, signing contracts with them. Many schools not only have soda and snack machines but also outlets for fast food chains on the school grounds. Research has shown that kids can be encouraged to eat better. In one experiment it was found that more children will choose to buy healthy snacks, such as carrot sticks and fresh fruit, if they are offered.

People must know that cutting out meat products, processed foods, fast-foods, high sugar and high sodium foods, while incorporating whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes into the diet is the only way to return back to health. It is not easy to go against the strong current of an unhealthy society but it is a necessity.

For most people who are overweight or obese, the safest and most effective way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. If you eat less and exercise more, you will lose weight. It is as simple as that. There are no magic pills. Diets that sound too good to be true are just that.

Exercise has a lot of benefits. It burns those extra calories and prevents different health problems from occurring. Thus, exercise is vital if you wish to lose weight. People are often too lazy to engage in exercise. However, there are numerous alternatives to the usual exercise routine. These include kickboxing, belly dancing, taebo, and many more. If you want things to be plain, walking or biking is a good exercise6.

Sedentary lifestyle contributes to weight gain. Perhaps adding physical activity to your schedule would help in weight management. Physical activity could be as simple as dancing around the house or just plain strolling along the mall.

Of special interest to women who have gained weight after having a baby is the fact that breastfeeding helps you shed some extra pounds. It is good for your baby, too.

Reversing obesity and its health risks requires changing the habits of a lifetime. Eating less over the long term means learning to think about eating habits and patterns.

What makes you over eat? Coffee break at work? Going out with friends? Watching TV? Late afternoon energy lag? Late night sweet tooth? Are you the one who finishes the last serving of dinner just so there won't be any leftovers? Do you eat high-calorie fast foods or snacks because you don't have time or energy to cook? Having some insight into your overeating habits helps you to avoid your problem situations and reach your weight goal.

At a minimum, however, pediatricians need to proactively discuss and promote healthy eating behaviors for children at an early age and empower parents to promote children’s ability to self-regulate energy intake while providing appropriate structure and boundaries around eating.

Additional support for the importance of decreasing television viewing comes from controlled investigations that demonstrated that obese children who were reinforced for decreasing sedentary activity had significantly greater weight loss than those who were reinforced for increasing physical activity. These findings have important implications for anticipatory guidance and provide additional support for recommendations to limit television exposure for young children.

Conclusion

Fast-food restaurants have become mainstream in the past 30 years and practically all of America takes advantage of the cheap prices, quick service and tasty meals. Convenient as they may be, these meals contain practically no nutrients. They are comprised mostly of saturated fats and highly refined carbohydrates and are loaded with sodium and sugar.

In American society food is that which is fatty, tasty, processed, refined and contains no nutrients; a substance detrimental to the body's functions, creating disease, and resulting in death. At no time in history have humans eaten such refined, processed and fatty food and at no time in history have humans had such an obesity epidemic.

Since before anyone can remember, our ancestors, and our ancestors' ancestors ate a diet coming directly from the land. In those days obesity wasn't even a word. With modern technology, much has been gained, but some things have been lost. What was instinct for our ancestors must be taught to children. Today, backwards as we may be in regards to our health, there is always hope.

For most people who are overweight or obese, the safest and most effective way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more.

Help parents, teachers, coaches, and others who influence youth to discuss health habits, not body habits, as part of their efforts to control overweight and obesity.

Enlist policy makers from local, state, and national organizations and schools to support a healthful lifestyle for all children, including proper diet and adequate opportunity for regular physical activity.

List of references

  1. http://www.weight.com/causes.asp

  2. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/obe/obe_causes.

  1. http://www.annecollins.com/obesity/causes-of-obesity.htm

  1. http://weight-loss.emedtv.com/obesity/health-effects-of-obesity-p2.html

  1. http://hubpages.com/hub/Social-Effects-of-Obesity---What-are-the-Social-Effects-of-Obesity

  1. http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/12302/lose_weight/deal_with_obesity___be_obese_no_more.html

1 http://www.weight.com/causes.asp

2 http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/obe/obe_causes.html

3 http://www.annecollins.com/obesity/causes-of-obesity.htm

4 http://weight-loss.emedtv.com/obesity/health-effects-of-obesity-p2.html

5 http://hubpages.com/hub/Social-Effects-of-Obesity---What-are-the-Social-Effects-of-Obesity

6http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/12302/lose_weight/deal_with_obesity___be_obese_no_more.html

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