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Obesity - A growing epidemic

             Obesity in the American society is on the rise. With this rise, naturally the health of the American people is at stake. The risk of developing diseases increases when a person becomes obese. Obesity can be overcome, but only if the person possesses the will to change their lifestyle. Sadly, many people do not change, and according to Liane Summerfield, the author of Nutrition, Exercise, and Behavior, about "300,000 people die every year from causes linked to obesity"(2).
             When dealing with obesity, the term Body Mass Index (BMI) is common. The BMI is simply a way to tell if a person is overweight or obese. The steps are fairly simple and can be done quickly. Simply take ones weight and divide in into their height in meters squared. After the number is found, look onto a chart that includes height, body weight, and BMI numbers, or look at the chart provided. On the chart find the correct weight, and then the BMI number. This will help find the weight that is healthy for ones body.
             Being obese, as stated in Mayo Clinic on Healthy Weight, "is being seriously overweight because of excess body fat"(15). Many Americans, 55% according to Koplan and Dietz, found in Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, are now overweight (440). However, being obese is having more body fat than those who are overweight. When a woman is more than 7% of what is normal for body fat she is considered obese. Males are considered obese when they are 5% or more over the average body fat percentage. Females are allowed more body fat than males because of the fat needed for childbirth. Men do not need this extra fat because they do not physically go through childbirth. The fat that obesity is linked with hits a person in four main areas; the upper body, the viscera, the subcutaneous, and the lower body. Fat can first go to the Viscera, which is the inner part of the body. This is normally where the thorax, abdomen, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and intestines are located.

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