In the new fast paced world of the 21 century where fast food has replaced Sunday dinner and reality TV had replaced reality, Americans are becoming dangerously overweight. Though media and advertisements portray the average person as skinny, the truth is Americans are more obese than ever. Since 1991 sixty percent more adults have become obese and Caucasian Americans are the worst with a seven percent increase out of that sixty. Not only is obesity effecting adults in America but the number of youth who are overweight or obese has almost doubled. At least one out of every five children in the United States are in the "danger zone" when it comes to weight. (http://www.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/mayo/10/05/obesity.america/).
Obesity occurs when, over time the energy intake exceeds the energy output. The person continues to gain weight and when their Body Mass Index or BMI exceeds thirty then they are considered to be obese (Cassell 155). Many people think obesity is caused by the person being lazy and not being able to control the food intake, this is not always the case however. Doctors have furnished five main theories on why people can't over come their need to eat. The theories include developmental and learning, social, psychological, physiological, and genetic. Developmental and learning suggest that as young children if a .
child is chubby it means the child is being well cared for by its mother. Amount of food provided becomes a symbol for amount of love. Food intake soon exceeds the amount of energy used but because food now symbolizes a mothers love the amount eaten by the individual is not reduced. The next theory, the social explanation comes from the fact that western cultures provide two main contrasting ideas about food. First of all, slim is considered to be most successful, attractive, healthy, happy and fit. This notion that thin wins makes women and men strive to have a perfect body.