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Kraus 1 Garrett Kraus Mr. Meyer Personal Writing/4th Block 6 November 2013 Americas Biggest Problem Obesity.

Its literally a huge problem in America. More than one in three American adults suffer from it. Obesity is defined as having your BMI greater than 30. Over the past decade, obesity in American adults has been increasing at a dramatic rate. At this time, there is no state with fewer than 20% of its population being obese. This is a serious problem that costs millions of dollars in healthcare, and thousands of lives. Obesity is not just a cosmetic issue. Having a BMI greater than 30 puts one at an increased risk for a myriad of maladies. These include coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, abnormal blood fats, metabolic syndrome, cancer, osteoarthritis, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, reproductive problems, gallstones, and more. The list goes on and on. If we dont take steps to stop this epidemic, then this terrifying trend is destined to continue. I connect to this problem, as I have always been interested in human health, and particularly the health of the nation. I want others to be able to experience the joy of being healthy; it deeply troubles me to see others content with actions that put themselves at serious risk of death, particularly when these actions can be remedied. I realize the power we have to change our lives, and I want to help others realize that as well. I have many different solutions for this epidemic. They are related to diet, perception, and physical activity. As for the diet, I simply suggest that we follow the

Kraus 2 words of Michael Pollan: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. By food, he means dont eat anything that your great grandmother wouldnt recognize; essentially, we the people are encouraged to eat as simply as possible, sticking to real food, minimally processed. Pollan suggests a complete fleeing from the nutritionism of our generation. In his words, you dont need to fathom a carrots complexity to reap its benefits. His suggestion is a shift in the American perception of food. We need to view it more holistically, as an experience, rather than a collection of nutrients. Not too much means eating to the point of satiety, and no farther. Mostly plants means that we strive for a plant rich diet, with a high nutrient-to-calorie ratio. This, Pollan argues, is the way to health and happiness. David Freedman counters Pollans arguments, saying that so called Pollanites dont recognize that fresh produce is not readily available for those who are generally afflicted with obesity: the lowest of the socioeconomic strata. Even if it were readily available, he argues, it wouldnt be a viable option for many: healthy food really just isnt that appealing to many. He suggests pushing the fast food industry to create products that promote health. This, he argues, is the best way to help those who actually need help managing their diet. They dont have to do it alone. There are many ways to increase physical activity, such as walking more throughout the day. I believe the most effective way to increase physical activity are grassroots movements, such as Bostons November Project. Three times a week, members of the Boston community meet and perform workouts using the city and surrounding areas. Everyone is welcome, and people simply build on whatever level they have. This movement has led to many more tribes being developed around the nation, with excellent results. Community actions such as this allow the obese to make friends with similar goals, who can help them as they reach

Kraus 3 theirs. Small changes to diet and physical will, over time, change lives and help those with obesity change their stars, becoming happier, healthier, and more productive.

Kraus 4 Works Cited Freedman, David H. "How Junk Food Can End Obesity." Atlantic Monthly. Jul/Aug 2013: 68+. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 08 Nov 2013. Pollan, Michael. "Unhappy Meals." New York Times 28 Jan 2007, n. pag. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.<http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/magazine/28nutritionism.t.html?page wanted=all&_r=0>. "What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity?." National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. US Department of Health and Human Services. Web. 19 Nov 2013. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/risks.html>.