Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by sustained elevated blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin secretion action or both. Diabetes is a result of a rise in the prevalence of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. Diabetes can lead to severe complications if not well controlled. Diabetes affects 17 million people, 5.9 million who are undiagnosed. In the USA, approximately 800000 new cases of diabetes mellitus are diagnosed yearly (Dias, Kulkarni, et al., 2018). Among adults in the USA, diagnosed cases of diabetes increased to 49% from 1990 to 2000, and similar matters are expected to continue. Minority groups have a burden of diabetes compared to non-minority groups. African Americans and other racial and ethnic groups are more likely than Caucasians to develop diabetes and at a greater risk of more complications and higher death rates. Diabetes Mellitus is a threat to the economy if not well managed. People should practice healthy lifestyles to help curb the disease and narrow down the prevalence curve. Early diagnosis should be encouraged. The measures, when followed appropriately, will reduce mortality rates caused by Diabetes Mellitus. The disease reduces body immunity and should be managed at all costs to prevent the invasion of other conditions.
Obesity is a chronic disease that is as a result of carrying excess fats in a body. A high percent of school-aged children suffer from this disease. Obesity might lead to the development of heart problems, diabetes or other health issues during their early ages. Childhood obesity is rising in many parts of the world for instance in Brazil and the USA. This comes along with a heightened burden upon the health service providers. Therefore there will be an increase in health problems in the coming generations since this epidemic will be passed from childhood to adulthood. Children suffering from obesity are at a high risk of suffering from heart diseases that may affect them during the remaining time of their years.
However, we should all consider having control of obesity since it will affect t young children’s life and education. I chose obesity since I work in a department where we focus on nurturing the young generation in preparation for making better leaders of tomorrow. Any health issue that is affecting any child comes hand in hand with an increased rate in challenges when it comes to education (Braun, 2017). Parents should be educated on diets that should be friendly to their children since obesity in many cases is associated with excess intake of fats in the body. Children should have freedom and have the right to play. Such exercises help them in keeping their bodies healthy.
All the teachers involved in early childhood education should have a routine where they give advice to the young souls on the best diets, and giving them time to participate in playing games in school.it should be made compulsory that each child where normal or disabled should directly involve themselves in different activities in the school as a way of working on their health.
According to research conducted by Arumugam and other interested parties, a significant population knows that their health problems, which often lead to self-contempt, are as a result of over-reliance on junk foods. Information provided by the World Health Organization indicates that more sales in fast foods correlated to a proportional increase in body mass index. Unfortunately, most Americans are notorious for fast food consumption and make up for approximately 10% of the average American’s diet. Consequently, consumers cannot refrain from their daily portions of fatty and sugary foods by themselves and need some rehabilitation to reclaim their life.
Obesity not only increases the mortality rate but also increases once susceptibility to other diseases which deteriorate the quality of life for both adults and children. Food supply chains like McDonald’s and KFC have generated so much profit from their respective markets that they can weather any litigation or any endeavours to make them responsive to the epidemic they inflict on society. Such include obesity, cardiac problems, among others.
David observes that fast foods are the leading cause of the increase and growth of American Waistlines. Obesity cases have risen to epidemic proportions forcing most communities across the country to search for innovative ways to curb the problem. One method that David proposes in his research paper is the use of zoning to completely exclude fast-food restaurants as a matter of public safety and precaution. However, these measures face many challenges, such as high costs. It is estimated that the total health care costs required to treat obesity cases in the United States could rise by approximately $48 billion to $66 billion annually by 2030.
There is no refuting the fact that fats form an essential aspect of a balanced and healthy diet. However, fats contain a lot of calories meaning that eating a lot of fats can lead to weight gain, obesity, or even the heart disease. Most restaurants cut down on cost by overly using cooking oil, which in turn over-degrades such cooking oil. Food fried in such oil has a high cholesterol concentration and contains significant amounts of peroxide acids, which in the long run, leads to cancer. All the fatty elements within foods from over degraded oil infects white blood cells, thus weakening cells within vital organs.
Fast food is an easy and affordable means of achieving the number of calories required for proper health. At an average price of $2 or less, an ordinary household member can access food, meaning they no longer have to deal with hunger issues. Additionally, since fast foods increase your taste, they make the experience more exciting and enjoyable.
Weight and the type of diet are essential components related to the health status of an individual. For a child to grow and develop in a healthy state, it is paramount for parents to ensure a healthy diet that curtails weight gain and obesity. Modern lives are very demanding, and people often have no time for self-care practices nor the time to regulate the quality of their eating habits. Fast food restaurants have capitalized on this opportunity providing convenience in accessing food on demand. Foods offered by such restaurants lack sustainability to good health and ultimately lead to health complications. Their convenient accessibility and addictive menus have generated a poor nutrition culture in modern lifestyles.
Knowledge of nutritional habits will most definitely promote healthy weight loss. However, affordability is a factor that plays a critical role in determining a variety of necessary provisions like food. The idea that junk foods are inexpensive and wholesome meals are expensive emanates from the fact that the fast-food industry receives subsidies from the governments. In response to this finding, researchers, scientists, and policymakers argue that an increase in taxes for obesity-promoting edibles alongside subsidies for healthier foods is a valid route towards curbing the obesity epidemic.
Today, nearly 35% of the American population has obesity. The problem is no longer a “girth control” predicament with scientists and researchers associating the condition with chronic diseases. Since the 1970s, Mellor asserts that the prevalence of obese cases have doubled among children aged 6 to 11 years and is three times more in American adolescents. According to the research, over 15% of children living in the United States are obese, thus necessitating active research on health habits to treat the issue.
According to a study by Richardson, although there were many suggestions that fast food restaurant availability contributed to the increased number in obesity cases, there were insufficient claims to prove the claims. Among young adults, the complicated relationship between fast food and dietary behaviors requires extensive research as it is affected by factors such as lifestyles, setting, contextual influences on nutritional choices, and how these factors differ across sociodemographic and urban environments.
Another study demonstrates the full effect of additives and preservatives, which are contained in fast foods. According to the author, most American consumers ignore identifying the types of ingredients contained in fast foods. As a result, they end up consuming foods that cause havoc to the American waistlines. Although nutritionists and health experts can be able to navigate through fast food menus and label them as “healthy” food outlets, there are many reasons why Stender believes that fast food consumption leads to obesity, weight gain, kidney, and coronary artery diseases. In his opinion, it is not so much about how much we eat. Instead, it is a question of what we eat.
Obesity in the African American Community
Over the years, obesity in the United States has been a rising epidemic, mostly among people of color. According to the World Health Organization, obesity is the abnormal accumulation of fat that predisposes one to chronic health illnesses (World Health Organization, 2020). According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity cases in the USA have increased over the years. Statistics show that obesity cases increased from 30.5% to 42.4% from 2000-2018, and instances of severe obesity increased from 4.7 percent to 9.2 percent. Statistics also showed that obesity cases were higher among African American women compared with other races. They also state that obesity has been the leading cause of premature deaths because of the paramount cases of obesity-related diseases like heart failure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The following research paper will discuss why obesity is an issue for African Americans.
Causes of Obesity
The common causes of obesity include: consuming poor diets, which are high in fat and carbohydrates (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). It leads to such individuals accumulating fat due to poor nutrition. Also, living an inactive lifestyle where one rarely engages in physical activities can lead to excess weight. Hormonal changes that can be caused by lack of enough sleep can lead to an individual feeling hungrier and a high preference for fast foods, which have high calories leading to excess weight and accumulation of body fat. Also, obesity is associated with genetics. Some individuals have inactive digestion genes that affect the digestion of food and fat storage in the body, which leads to such individuals having complications with excess fat.
Further noted, growing old is another cause of obesity. When an individual becomes old, they hardly engage in physical activities, and their metabolic rate is slower. It leads to the accumulation of fat and excess weight gain.
Effects of Obesity
According to the World Health Organization, Obesity can cause cardiovascular diseases such as heart diseases and stroke, which can cause lead to death (World Health Organization,2020). It also causes diabetes and muscle and joint diseases because of excess weight. Obesity causes some cancers such as gallbladder, kidney, colon, or endometrial cancer. One can measure if they are obese or not through the collection of one’s Body Mass Index, which is a correlation of height and weight of an individual when one gets a BMI of thirty-one or more one is obese. The other is measuring the waist against the hip ration and waist measurements.
Causes of Obesity in African Americans
Health Statistics show that 60 percent of most males among African Americans are overweight, and most females in the Black American community are the leading population in obesity (African American Wellness Project,2018). There have been many reasons associated with the high cases of being overweight among the Black American community. One is the African American diet, which was contributed by the slave era. The Wellness article state that most of their food gets constituted of high calories and excess fat. The article from the wellness project associates the history of Black Americans with the high cases of obesity among them because of their choice of diet. They state that most of their diets got adopted from the slave era, where most slave owners ate food with excessive fat and calories, which are the leading cause of obesity.
Another cause for obesity among Black Americans is the low socio-economic status (Trust for America’s Health,2019) Most individuals in the Black community have low income, which leads to a lack of healthy lifestyles. Statistics from the CDC show that there is an economic disparity between the white and black races due to the different levels of education, which affects their income. The low income makes them lack choose healthy diets and lifestyles. Healthier foods are associated with more money, which is a challenge for them. Also, the lack of knowledge about proper nutrition habits has led to most people in this community unhealthy inexpensive food, which are mostly high in calories and fats, which is the leading cause of obesity and being overweight. They also have a sedentary lifestyle where they hardly engage in physical activities. It leads to the accumulation of weight because of the lack of exercise.
According to the article, Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, it states that the reason why most Black American females have the highest rate in obesity is because of their environment, which causes elevated stress levels (Gwenetta,2019). Nutritionists have associated stress with unhealthy eating habits. The study shows that most of these women are economically disadvantaged due to their race and low education levels, which has led to most of them facing challenges in acquiring jobs with high income. It also states that there is a correlation between the biological response of Black women to stress and obesity rate. The research showed that most of the black women aged faster than white women due to high-stress levels which are associated with the discrimination they get in society due to their race. It has led to most Black women using unhealthy fast foods as one of their coping mechanisms, which has led to high obesity levels.
Moreover, their environment is a limiting factor for access to healthy foods (African American Wellness Project,2018). Most of their settings have fast-food restaurants, beverage stores, and they lack large scale food stores that they can access healthy and fresh farm food products. The lack of enough income limits them to travel to long distances to access these stores. It has led to most people adopting unhealthy eating habits and poor diets, which is a predisposing factor to excessive weight and obesity among the African American community. Further noted, their culture is another contributing factor, among the African Americans, they associate excessive weight with being healthy and wealthy. It has led to most people being comfortable with their higher Body Mass Index and some eating unhealthy foods to fit in the normalized idea of associating excessive body weight with health and wealth. Also, most African Americans are associated with high levels of poverty, which is related to poor diets. They also have fewer food choices, which leads to most of them having unhealthy eating habits because they are cheap and readily accessible. Most of them depend on food stamps where they tend to choose soul foods, which consist of high fat and calories, which lead to fat build-up due to lack of exercise.
One of the recommendations made by the World Health Organization to reduce obesity and being overweight is individuals observing better eating habits (World Health Organization,2020). Where they consume proper diets that have fewer fats, sugars, and calories, they should also increase the consumption of fruits and legumes to improve the digestion. Also, the African American community should change their cultural habits and be open-minded about healthier eating habits. The government can also ensure that these neighborhoods have access to healthy food products, which will enhance healthy eating habits. They should also embrace a more active lifestyle where they engage in physical activity each day. The federal government should enforce laws that limit the entry of unhealthy food products in the market.
In conclusion, healthy eating habits is one’s responsibility. With the increased high mortality rates of diet-related diseases, we should all observe healthy eating habits. Also, the government should help ensure that there is equality between the white and African American communities. It will enable them to have better-living styles, which will also reduce the high levels of obesity. They should empower them to have access to better food stores and nutritional information, which will change their food preference. However, most researchers lack to take into consideration the differences in social and economic status between the two races, which makes some recommendations hard to implement in these neighborhoods due to their state.