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paper that discusses sustaining healthy habits in north carolina

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paper that discusses sustaining healthy habits in north carolina. What is causing this increase? Perhaps it is the fact that public perception about obesity has not changed over the years. Statistics on obesity. In the past 20 years, obesity in the U.S. has ballooned and national estimates show that about 33.8% American adults are obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Meanwhile, about 17% or 12.5 million children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese. 2010 estimates show that no state had prevalence below 20%, and North Carolina had 27.8% which is one of the highest in the country. If trends will continue, half of the U.S. population (both adults and children) will be obese by 2030. Daily Mail reports: “Obesity is fast replacing tobacco as the single most important preventable cause of chronic non-communicable diseases, and will add an extra 7.8 million cases of diabetes, 6.8million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 539,000 cases of cancer in the U.S. within the next two decades” (The Daily Mail). If the issue is not addressed, U.S. budget for health will be affected, as the government will need to allot additional 2.6% on its overall healthcare bill to support citizens suffering from obesity-related diseases. Risk and contributing factors. Researches show that the consumption of “cheap, tasty, energy-dense food” as well as the distribution and marketing of unhealthy food and drinks have contributed to what experts now call as the “obesity epidemic”. Lack of physical activity during childhood is also cited as contributing factor. Meanwhile, in a 2009 study about obesity in the U.S.-Mexico Border it was mentioned that obesity is related to low socioeconomic status (poverty and low educational levels), and increased sedentary lifestyle (United States - Mexico Border Health Commission 1). While Americans have heard the warnings and threats of obesity, many choose to treat the issue with equanimity, ignoring the messages and disregarding public affairs entirely. For some, obesity has become a salient issue but the information they receive has become diluted as the media, and now the internet, provides various solutions. Many households fail to make sense of the problem, especially when suggested solutions seem to create greater burden for their families. Many people wish to lose weight simply to avoid the stigma of being overweight, but the health and psychoemotional benefits of maintaining appropriate weight are mostly ignored. Those who wish to provide healthier alternatives for their children’s nutrition rely on the government to provide meal assistance. Obesity as a social problem that requires a multifaceted approach. Yet, obesity is not just a problem of the government, it is in fact, a social problem. The government has already instituted policies to that promote healthy eating and physical activity in school, but it is still the parents’ responsibility to ensure that new habits picked up from school is encouraged at home. Without parent assistance in obesity control and prevention, government efforts are temporary, if not fruitless. It is this author’s contention that parent involvement in obesity control and prevention should be encouraged through seminars and workshops. Moreover, the government policy must include provisions for stakeholders to design programs dealing with obesity. Parents, teachers and perhaps the children themselves, must be given government support in their effort to reconstruct obesity programs.

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