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Trentan Pecorelli

English 1010
Research Essay
7th Period

Obesity: A life style choice or a diseae?

When I was younger I had a best friend named Timothy Sonnefeld. We spent so
much time together many people said we were inseparable. I called him Little
Timmy although Little Timmy wasnt so little. He suffered form being overweight,
which caused many health related issues. These issues included osteoarthritis, high
blood pressure, diabetes, and gout. This made his life difficult and hard to live with.
It was painful to see my best friend in the world suffer from pain every day and not
being able to help him.
When we were younger we were extremely active. We would go outside and play
soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and tennis. We would also be on many of the
same recreation teams though the county as well. This is actually how we met. At
one of our soccer games Little Timmy broke his leg. The doctor said it was a really
bad break and they had to put Little Timmys leg in is a cast. Little Timmy became
depressed when he realized he couldnt be as physically active as he used to be.
This is when he started eating everything in sight and stared gaining weight like
crazy. Before I knew it he was well overweight and started having many of the
health problems that he later died from. Near the end of his life I could see the
person I once knew in his eyes, but just by looking at him you wouldnt even
recognize him from his earlier self.
After all this weight gain, his parents decided to take him to the doctor because they
knew this wasnt healthy. Once Little Timmys parents had rushed him to the
doctors office, and the doctor saw Little Timmy he gave us a look and we knew it

Trentan Pecorelli
English 1010
Research Essay
7th Period
wasnt a good sign. The doctor said Timothy was very obese and had to go on a
very special diet. The diet did not make Little Timmy very happy because food is
where he had found comfort when things werent going well. Shortly after he was
supposed to start the diet, Little Timmy began showing a lot of the signs and
symptoms that many older obese people exhibit right before passing away. Little
Timmys parents suspected they wouldnt have much time with him after that, but
held out hope like most parents thinking a miracle may be just around the corner.
Not many doctors visits later Little Timmy passed away. Little Timmys parents had
a very hard time coping with their loss.
After the funeral was over it had taken Little Timmys patents a while to cope with
his passing. Little Timmys passing made his parents wonder whether or not obesity
was a disease, or possible it was just a lifestyle choice he intended to pursue. Like
Little Timmys parents I was confused. One thought that ran through my head was
that neither of Little Timmys parents was were overweight, and they both were
physically active. They would often come outside and play with Little Timmy and me
in the backyard and join in whatever activity we were doing at the time. SO it left
Little Timmys parents and I with many unanswered questions,. Mmaking us feel
uneasy wondering if we did everything we could to help Little Timmy. We decided to
try and help prevent other parents and friends form going through the loss of
someone like Little Timmy to obesity.
The percentage of society considered obese has become a common increasing
trend of modern society. As Americans our average body mass indexes (BMI) have
steadily increased at an unhealthy rate towards obesity over the last several

Trentan Pecorelli
English 1010
Research Essay
7th Period
decades. Some may argue that obesity is a disease, but others my say that it is
purely a life style choice. My view pointsperspectives on obesity are mixed. I
support obesity being a lifestyle choice, but I find the research on genes linking to
obesity equally persuasive. I will show how obesity is linked to genetic code, testing
for genetic codesof for obesity, behaviors of eating effect on obesity, the effect of
infectious agents on obesity, a busy life styles on obesity, and how obesity has
become a pandemic.
In the socity we live in oObesity isnt just aeffecting the older generations any more.
Many children are obese. Frankie Philips Phillips, Frankie believes that Child obesity
is a serious problem linking to our genetic code (1). Obesity isnt something
children just face in adolescence. Most of the children who are now obese will still
be obese into their adult life. What we teach our kids now will have an effect on
them now and in their future. As parents we choose what our kids put into their
bodies whether or not it is healthy or high -calorie, sugar -loaded junk food. Many of
our life styles incorporate sugary junk foods. If we dont choose healthy foods for
ourselves how can we expect our kids that cooking a healthy meal is a better choice
than fast food. Are we teaching our kids that fast food is okay at any time you are
felling too tired to cook a healthy meal? Or that saves a few dollars to go buy fast
food? It doesnt matter while turning a blind eye to the consequences of a lifestyle
of eating unhealthy. We need to pick out healthy foods and be active so we can live
a non-obese life style.
In todays society there are many tests that can be done to find out if your genes
are coded for obesity. We have vastly improved our understanding of genetics and

Trentan Pecorelli
English 1010
Research Essay
7th Period
genetic code testing. According to J. Collins it is possible to undergo predictive
genetic testing for obesity (2). Children take after their parents in their genetic
codes and their physical appearance as well. Wouldnt it make sense if the
childrens parents have a heavier build that their children will have a heavier build
as well? In other words, Collins believes that children get a certain genetic code
from parents that leada parent that leads to obesity. A trend has been shown in
studies that obese parents have a higher risk of having obese children. Collins says
he wants to indicate that the public [should be] aware and responsive to the
concept of genetic testing to predict risk (6) of obesity. Wouldnt you want to know
if your kid was at risk of being obese? Genetics are things we cant control. and they
Genetics controls so many aspects of our lives who would dare say obesity isnt of
those aspects?
While genetics is one thing we cant control, what about behavor? Behavioral
tendencies are something we all have. Some of us might suffer from stress eating.
In todays world we have higher cortisol levels form stress, and more stress means
more eating. Lucky for us we can modify those behaviors. Janke, E. AmyAmy E.
Janke found out that many behavioral treatments have demonstrated efficacy (3)
in combating obesity. Janke is saying that by modifying our behavior we can change
our life style. So by changing how someone will behave to normal stimuli you could
modify their eating patterns. There are many stress eaters that could change their
eating habits if they could reduce the stress levels in their life and in turn would
have a healthier weight. These modifications are not major modifications either they
modifications; they are slight. It could be as simple as saying no to a cookie after

Trentan Pecorelli
English 1010
Research Essay
7th Period
lunch or maybe instead of your after work doughnut you could have an apple
instead. Just these simple little changes can make a would of difference throughout
your life Many of our behaviors are choices we make based on past experiences.
Many times we can find an outlet for these behaviors with the same result with
healthier choice.
Some of the behavor tendencies we have make us choose unhealthy food choices.
With all the unhealthy food choices we have at our disposal we may be making
ourselves more susceptible to infectious agents that we ingest that could also be
increasing our body weight. Some research has now found these infectious agents
are leading to and increase in a persons BMI. as A.K Mitra Mitra, A.K believes that
infectious agents identified to cause enlarged fat cells and increased body weight.
(5) Infectious diseases interfere with our hormones so they cannot function properly.
We have nine essential hormones all secreted by our pituitary gland. So when you
eat something that interferes with your hormones youre going to have a hard time
getting your hormones rebalanced. For example, you are bored and you think youre
hungry so you go to pick out a snack even though you just ate. Your hormones
arent in balance with one another, causing you to binge eating. We cant escape
many of the infections because they are in the air, but you can go to the store and
pick out non-modified foods from your local market.
Unhealthy food options are everywhere we go,;we pass many food options in the
car while we are driving around from one activity to another. Our lives today
involve lots of car travel between various activities. Megan Purcell believes that for
many North American children, dinner is served forma bag, while rushing between

Trentan Pecorelli
English 1010
Research Essay
7th Period
organized activities or sitting in front of a television. (1). Megan is saying that our
life style is leading us to be overweight. We often overbook ourselves so we dont
have time to stay at home and cook a nice heaty meal for our families. Instead,
while were on our way form one activity to another it is easy to stop at a fast food
place with a meal accompanied by a toy that will soon be forgotten. We should
choose our daily schedule so we can go home and cook a nice healthy meal for our
families? . If you all just stop over- booking ourselves we can cook healthier meals
for our family and not have to deal with all the excess fat that comes with a diet
based on so many fast foods menu items.
All of the unhealthy food options we see driving around town has led to a pandemic.
There are many pandemics that have and are happening today. One pandemic that
is going around that we are all aware about of is Ebola. Ebola has affected
thousands of people, but obesity is a disease that has affected more people than
Ebola. Unlike Ebola, obesity can be treated. Fisher-Hoch believes that obesity and
diabetes are prominent in the pandemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
currently exploding globally (1). In making this comment, Fisher argues that
obesity is a disease. Like many diseases obesity lowers your immune system so you
cant fight off simple infections like the common cold. When your body doesnt fight
off the common cold it leads to other more serious health problems such as
pneumonia. According to Fisher obesity leads to dysfunction of a whole range of
immune responses in the face of infection. (6). This is what ultimately kills you in
the end. Obesity has become a pandemic that we must take notice of and seriously

Trentan Pecorelli
English 1010
Research Essay
7th Period
In discussions of obesity many controversial issues have been brought up. Whether
or not it is a disease or a lifestyle choice is on such example. On one hand, we
choose what we take into our bodies and what we eat. On the other hand, many
scientists are linking genetic codes to obese kids from their parents. My own view is
that obesity is one hundred percent curable weather or not it is a disease or lifestyle
choices. Little Timmy made the choices of what he wanted to eat. He was one a
very active kid who used to play a lot of sports and became obese. He made a
serious of choice that lead down a path which many of us wouldnt want to go down,
but how many of us have already been blindly headed in the same direction for a
long time. Your choices today will not affect you but people around you like your
friends, parents, and spouses.

Collins, J., L. Ryan, and H. Truby. "A Systematic Review Of The Factors Associated
With Interest In Predictive Genetic Testing For Obesity, Type II Diabetes And

Trentan Pecorelli
English 1010
Research Essay
7th Period
Heart Disease." Journal Of Human Nutrition & Dietetics 27.5 (2014): 479-488.
Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.
Fisher-Hoch, Susan P., Christine E. Mathews, and Joseph B. McCormick. "Obesity,
Diabetes And Pneumonia: The Menacing Interface Of Non-Communicable And
Infectious Diseases." Tropical Medicine & International Health 18.12 (2013):
1510-1519. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.
Janke, E. Amy, Allison Collins, and Andrea T. Kozak. "Overview Of The Relationship
Between Pain And Obesity: What Do We Know? Where Do We Go Next?."
Journal Of Rehabilitation Research & Development 44.2 (2007): 245-261.
Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.
Mitra, A. K., and K. Clarke. "Viral Obesity: Fact Or Fiction?." Obesity Reviews 11.4
(2010): 289-296. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Nov.
Phillips, Frankie. "Facing Up To Childhood Obesity." Practice Nurse 42.11 (2012): 1417. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Nov.
Purcell, Megan. "Raising Healthy Children: Moral And Political Responsibility For
Childhood Obesity." Journal Of Public Health Policy 31.4 (2010): 433-446.
Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.