Extremely fat, grossly overweight, that’s the dictionary’s definition of obese. But bodyweight is not the only factor. Overweight and obese individuals usually suffer from one or more of the following: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, hypertension, depression., and joint pain. These days too many Americans are obese or overweight, about 65 percent of adults this year and still rising. It has become an epidemic. Even the children are beginning to fatten up. It’s not a coincidence. Theses days kids and adults are spending more time in front of the computer or T.V., too much time wasted that could be used to go for a walk, jump on the trampoline, or build a tree house. Anything besides sitting is good for you.

Now you may be wondering; are you part of that 65 percent of Americans that are overweight? You can tell by calculating your BMI, or body mass index. Take your weight divided by height (in inches squared) and multiply that by 704.5. If your BMI is 18.5 or lower you are underweight. Sixteen point six to 24.9 is considered a normal weight. Twenty five to 29-9 suggests that you are overweight, but it does not account for muscle mass. A muscular person may fall into the overweight category when they actually are healthy and fit. A 30 or higher suggests obesity and 50 or higher is considered “super obese”. Only 1 in 400 is super obese,

If Americans continue to gain weight there’s a myriad of problems that the overweight people will face, like depression and poor hygiene. Depression in children is often linked with obesity. Some say this is a case of the chicken and the egg, because the two conditions usually occur together. A child may be overweight and become depressed, because of the way they are treated when overweight. A person may also become depressed and because of inactivity, gain a lot of weight.

Overweight people are also reported to have problems with personal care and hygiene, Bacteria and dirt can fester in creases and places that an overweight person may have trouble reaching. You can see how this can lead to infections and illness. This can cause a person to miss school or work. A study shows that obese children missed four days of school a month, when average weight kids missed a day or less.

Overweight and obese adolescents are more likely to have physical problems but don’t seem to be worse off mentally, according to national study findings. This doesn’t mean that being fat is good. While obesity didn’t appear to influence children’s emotional health, the researchers noted that it did have a “deterious effect” on depression. These children’s self esteem, school, and social functioning also “deteriorated” over time.

I believe Americans need to stop this prefer it gets worse. We could educate more parents about nutrition and exercise relationships. If more adults were conscious of what and how much they are feeding their kids as well as how much exercise they get, they would more likely to raise healthy kids. Also doctors could do much more to promote a healthy lifestyle for kids and adults. A doctor keeps a chart and a record of your weight and height from the time you are born. A doctor could calculate a child’s BMI and put it on that chart as well. It could help the doctor predict if the child is at risk for obesity and can take action to prevent it. A doctor can “prescribe” certain types of exercise that would be best and most effective for the patient and also can help the patient choose a healthy diet. If more Americans were aware, and genuinely cared what they were doing to their bodies, we could slowly fix this huge problem. America could be fit and healthy once again.

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