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Increasingly, more and more people are dying each year from obesity related illnesses than from cigarette smoking. While tobacco still causes more avoidable deaths each year, the obesity statistics have been rising to a disturbing level. Officials claim that sedentary lifestyles combined with poor eating habits have been the cause of the nationwide obesity epidemic.

In response to this alarming problem, federal officials have taken steps in recent years to combat obesity through such projects as advertising campaigns, research in to the causes of obesity, and public education. The Food and Drug Administration has also become involved in combating Americans’ battle with obesity and overweight.

Others argue that what is really needed to be done is to encourage kids to eat better, healthier food. Some even feel that the food industry should cease advertising junk food to children. Then again, lobbyists for the food industry continue to bitterly oppose steps towards ceasing advertising sweets and soft drinks to the youth market. This is why the focus has been more on increasing physical activity in recent years than in changing our dietary patterns.

It was in the year 1990 that a landmark paper was published diagnosing America’s preventable causes of death. That paper concluded that cigarette smoking was the most dangerous activity that kills so many each year. But thanks to anti smoking campaigns throughout the nation, fewer and fewer people smoke each year. This has resulted in a lessening of smoking related death statistics.

Ten years later, a similar study was conducted. While cigarette smoking remained at the top of the list in the 2000 study, deaths related to physical inactivity and bad eating habits followed close behind. This marked a fourteen percent increase since the year 1990. While smoking and alcohol related deaths continue to decrease in the United States, obesity related deaths are on the rise.

While fat in American diets has decreased in recent years owing to the public’s response to this nationwide epidemic, obesity is still a growing concern. While removing fat from their diets, people will often increase their intake of sugar, high density carbohydrates, and starches. Low protein and fat meals often leave people feeling hungry, leading them to fill their stomachs as soon as possible.

In fact, more and more Americans are diagnosed as overweight or obese each year. It is predicted that, if the trend continues, by the year 2020 nearly one fifth of all money spent on health care in America will go towards obesity related treatment.

Obesity generally starts in childhood and continues in to adulthood. While medical conditions and hormone imbalances are often blamed as causes for obesity, the fact remains that these conditions account for less than one percent of all childhood obesity cases. Nor can the problem be blamed completely on genetics, because oftentimes the problem has more to do with the family’s behavior when it comes to eating habits and exercise. Since obesity tends to be a disease that effects all members of the family – not just the child – the parents’ lifestyle must change also in order to instill healthy patterns in the child. A positive attitude towards overcoming obesity can lead to success.

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Source by Dr. Mark Clayson

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