Why is obesity singularly linked with the US?

Source 1: The first thing I looked at was the Hunger Obesity Global Food Policy on C-Span. The first thing that was said to set the tone of the conference was that one of the main speakers believed that we could feed the whole world. She wanted to make this point very clear and went into a statement saying, "There still is hunger. But if we come from the perspective we can feed the world, we have more hope in solving some of the biggest problems. Assuming we have a solution is a better way to go about trying to find the solution is a better way to go about trying to find the solution." She paused and gave the audience a question. She asked if we could feed the world well. In a world where fast food chains are considered apart of the food pyramid, when talking about feeding the world, it's important to take into consideration what exactly we're feeding it. A problem that Americans are faced with (as well as other countries) is that there's an abundance of food chains that compensate for a healthy meal because the chains' prices are lower. It's easier to feed America when things are priced cheaper. Something that was pointed out in this source was that food is apart of everyone's daily life, and it's something that is dealt with at least three times a day and during family celebrations along with social events. Another thing that the source pointed out was that food is not the problem here. The problem is that we need to create a system that can create a way to enjoy food while eating healthier and within the right portion sizes. It's also about getting the right nutrients. She talked about how a great way to start with the issue of hunger was through the education system. Any schools (high schools, elementary schools and colleges) could be benefited by serving healthy meals that would also give kids who may not have a great source of food at home to go about a day living a healthy lifestyle. The talk was interesting because the speaker and those within the room talked about how obesity isn't something they want but because of the social situation they're in they're forced into it. Cheaper foods are less healthy and the healthier foods are more expensive. People are struggling with their own weight because we all struggle because of the food system right now. Availability of sugar, fat, and salt are everywhere. Chain restaurants generally have thousands of calories in each plate. Obesity is an interesting thing to look at because it's not always someone's fault. It's because of their social ranking, their location and what's available to them on a daily basis. http://www.c-span.org/video/?317595-1/hunger-obesi...

Source 2: The second source I looked at was an article on Business Insider called, "Mexico Is Now A Fatter Country Than America." The United Nations came out with a report claiming that Mexico is in fact a fatter country than America is. This report showed statistics saying that as of 2008, by one percent, Mexican adults were more obese than American adults. The journalist on this specific piece, Dina Spector, said that this new statistic wasn't a surprise because Mexicans "move into wealthier, urban areas, meaning more fast food choices and less time spent exercising." The interesting thing about this article is that, yes, it says that America is not the fattest country anymore, but the reason why Mexico is more fat now is because the "American-sized" portions are taking over what used to be traditional Mexican foods. During my time researching on various sites, something that was constantly coming up was that the poor are at a great risk of becoming obese than the wealthy. This article was no different. The reasoning behind this was because those who are becoming malnourished are the same as those becoming obese. According to the GlobalPost, in the poor classes they're seeing obese parents and malnourished children. Another interesting statistic is that 10 million Mexicans (1/6 of the adult population) has diabetes due to this serious problem. Little exercise and over eating has become a trend in Mexico, whereas in America becoming fit and "clean eating" is currently trending. http://www.businessinsider.com/mexicans-are-now-fa...

Source 3: After finding out that Mexico was fatter than America, I checked the World Fact Book on the CIA's website. Everything I found was done in 2008, so at this point Mexico hadn't surpassed the United States. According to their statistics, the United States is the 18th most fat country (no longer number one). The countries that are ahead of the US (in this exact order): American Samoa, Nauru, Cook Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Samoa, Palau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Kuwait, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Micronesia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Qatar, Egypt and finally the United States. Since I hadn't heard of many of the countries listed towards the top, I looked up where they were to find out what region they were in. I found that they were all in the Pacific Island nations. I then looked up when Mexico became fatter than America. This was only two years ago that that happened. I found it really interesting that in the Pacific Islands that they were having an obesity problem. My fourth source addresses this problem. However, before I found the fourth source, I looked up what the popular foods were in the Pacific Islands because I wanted to understand how they could be in the top five places of fattest countries. It was confusing because for the most part their diet was made up of bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, yams, and breadfruit. Along with that they eat a lot of fish. It wasn't anything greasy or anything with artificial dyes or ingredients. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world...

Source 4: I found another article on Business Insider called, "This Is Why Pacific Islanders Are the Fattest People In The World." Which was good for me because after becoming stumped on how these countries could be the fattest, this gave some explanation. Apparently, the reasoning for this is that these countries are experiencing rapid urbanization. What used to be rural agricultural areas, are now large cities. This meaning that the traditional foods are being traded for larger food companies. When I read this, I started to see a trend. This is exactly what had happened with Mexico. Traditional foods were being replaced by consumer products because of urbanization. What I had found out before, about fish and the unique vegetables and fruits are being reduced in healthy value because they're starting to be imported with foods with less of a nutritional vale like rice, flour, sugar and canned meats. These are things they never used to have. This article says that the World Health Organization had recently said that the Pacific population's calorie intake increases but the nutrition has decreased. This is because the food in the Pacific has turned into low-quality food. This all leads to obesity, diabetes, and micronutrient deficiencies. The urban population of the Pacific islanders are supposed to grow between 2.5 million to 5 million by 2035 meaning that the obesity rate will most likely go up. Since the Pacific has storms which cause the sea-level to rise, and ocean acidification, this will evidently result in crops, fish and water resources which will completely wipe-out what's left of the traditional foods of the Pacific islanders. http://www.businessinsider.com/quality-of-life-is-...

Source 5: The last thing I tried to do was figure out how recently I could find an article on America and the concept of it being linked to obesity. The most popular article I found was one from 2004. In 2004, 2/3 of adult Americans were obese. The idea in 2004 was that even though there's opportunity for a healthy lifestyle, portion sizes keep getting larger. Someone could work out as much as they want to, but then could eat an ridiculous amount of food in one seating. Even in 2004 they discussed how the poor is effected in the worst way because grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods are poorly stocked. The article said, "People from all economic backgrounds often eat for social, cultural and emotional reasons-not just for hunger." Which this article believes contributed to obesity in the United States. Eating isn't just to fill the void when you're hungry, but it's also used as a source of comfort or socialization. At the time, ADA and NAASO (American Diabetes Association and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity), were trying to educate America about how eating unhealthy portions and how it could cause diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The idea that was diets, portion control, calorie-counting, self-monitoring and increase in activity would help bring America away from being the fattest country. Doctors were told to tell their patients to get away from unhealthy diets and strange exercise routines and to tell them to make better food choices and increase their physical activity. Reading this article it was interesting to see how Americans perceived Americans. Now, it's very different. Americans don't view each other as the obese country. There's a new theme of staying fit and becoming healthy. http://clinical.diabetesjournals.org/content/22/1/1.full

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