Obesity: Epidemic or Excuse? essays
Obesity: Epidemic or Excuse?
Dr. Meir Stampfer, of the Harvard School of Public Health, once said "It's a bitter truth to
swallow: About every fourth person on Earth is too fat. Obesity is fast becoming one of the
world's leading reasons why people die."Most people would agree with this statement.Today,
almost everybody needs a reason for why they are sick or have a medical problem.So, the
easiest thing to blame it on is a physical attribute that people have deemed unhealthy.In our
society, excess weight often takes the fall for problems that it may not be responsible for.
Jeffrey P. Koplan and William H. Dietz, the authors of "Caloric Imbalance and Public
Health Policy," are two advocates of the story that obesity is an epidemic that leads to disease
and death.In their article, they point out several statistics that state that society is getting fatter
and that overweight people are more prone to certain ailments.Koplan and Dietz then use these
statistics to push their campaign for a national comprehensive obesity prevention program that
incorporates educational, behavioral, and environmental components.
In Koplan and Dietz's article, they state that more than 50% of US adults are now
overweight, based on a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m? or more.A BMI of 30 or more
makes you “obese”; at 5-foot-7 and 201 pounds, Tom Cruise’s magic number is 31.The love-
handle police, Koplan and Dietz, insist on this ridiculous BMI standard.
According to Koplan and Dietz, approximately 60% of overweight 5- to 10-year-old
children already has one associated biochemical or a clinical cardiovascular risk factor.And it
gets worse as you age; Almost 80% of obese adults have diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels,
high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, gallbladder disease, or osteoarthritis and almost
40% have two or more of these ailments. …