Obesity is a rising threat to our nations overall health. It can be very costly to society because it increases the risk of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and selected cancers, just to name a few. Nearly 130 million Americans live with at least one chronic disease, that’s 45% of the population, and its estimated that by 2025 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a chronic disease. This has lead to an increase in demand for health care. Obesity alone is said to cost U.S. companies 13 billion dollars annually to cover insurance.(1) Obesity rates are more common in low income neighborhoods. The availability of high energy food that contains fat and sugar is more common than whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Not to mention the cost of these high energy quickly prepped (if any) meals are cheaper than other healthier alternatives.
One of the best ways to tackle the issue of obesity its through the school systems. Students are much easier to help with issues like this because they are grouped together on a daily basis. Teaching health and nutrition education at a young age can prevent obesity, and help guide students toward healthy eating and living habits. Schools should not cut physical education out of their curriculum. Instead physical activity should be availably to students daily. Healthier varieties of food should be available during school breakfast and lunch. As students become older, cooking classes should be available to teach of the importance of a balanced meal, and dietary intake. Monitoring programs could take place, in which data would be collected on nutritional intake, daily physical activity, and nutritional knowledge. This type of monitoring system in schools could drastically reduce the rate of obesity. Not to mention create jobs. If actions do not take place soon to stop the rise of obesity, future generations will become more dependent on health care, and possibly lower the life expectancy of the average American citizen.