How Obesity Affects our Body

Obesity is not just the weight on your body, but also the weight surrounding the heart. Obesity is a serious, chronic disease that can have negative effects on many systems in the body, such as, heart disease, CVD (Cardiovascular Disease), high blood pressure, increased risk for cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, Stroke, Infertility, Arthritis, breathing difficulties, sleep apnea, depression, etc. Obesity is generally caused by overeating and physical inactivity. If you consume high amounts of energy, particularly fat and sugars, but don’t burn off the energy through exercise and physical activity, the body will store surplus fat as energy. Excess amounts of sugars and salts cause water retention, which can quickly add on pounds.
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The energy value of food is measured in units called calories. The average physically active man needs about 2,500 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight, and the average physically active woman needs about 2,000 calories a day. This amount of calories may sound high, but it can be easy to reach if you eat certain types of food. For example, eating processed foods, such as, a large takeaway hamburger, fries and a milkshake can total 1,500 calories and that’s just one meal. Obesity doesn’t happen overnight. It develops gradually over time as a result of poor diets and lifestyle choices.
In the past 30 years, the U.S has seen a dramatic increase in obesity and the negative health consequences associated with obesity. All Americans are affected by this epidemic in one way or the other, ranging from kids, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled among adolescents. The percent of adolescents aged 12-19 who was obese increased from 5% in 1980 to nearly 21% in 2012. Overall, nearly one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Furthermore, an estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight. This problem needs to be addressed because whether we like it or not, obesity affects us all either directly or indirectly.
Overweight and obesity are known to increase blood pressure. High blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes. Excess weight also increases your chances of developing other problems linked to strokes, including high cholesterol (LDL), high blood sugar, and heart disease. The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines obesity as having a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 and above. The BMI, is a key index for measuring body weight to height, which is a peWagediseaserson’s weight in (kg) divided by their height in meters (m).
Obesity is costing the economy more than $70 billion annually both in direct healthcare cost and indirect costs, such as, lost productivity from illnesses, which negatively impacts the economy. Some of the main causes of obesity are sedentary lifestyles and physical inactivity, along with an imbalance of caloric intake and calories expended.
The objective of this proposal is to bring about social awareness and change to this epidemic that is causing significant health concerns and problems in our society. In addition, this proposal will utilize sport to encourage physical activity to implement a physically active lifestyle to help counter this epidemic. This is very important to me because according to current research, this will be the first generation that parents are expected to outlive their children. However, other risk factors may cause obesity that will not be covered within this proposal, such as, genetics, family lifestyles, medical problems, certain medications, social and economic issues, age, smoking, and sleep deprivation. Finally, obesity is a microcosm of society and the aim of this proposal is to use sports as a vehicle to educate the public on how physical activity is just as effective as exercise.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified physical inactivity as an independent risk factor for chronic disease development, and it is now the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. Heart disease is the leading cause of death not only in the U.S but also the world. Obesity is a major risk factor for developing CVD, which over time constricts the blood vessels which allows oxygen to be transported throughout the body which then can lead to heart failure. However, the good news is that it is completely preventable with a healthy diet and physical activity and/or exercise.
Physical activity and exercise can be used interchangeably but are totally different by definition. Physical activity is a movement that is carried out by the contraction of skeletal muscles that requires energy. In other words, any movement one can count as being physically active. Exercise, however, is planned, a structured, repetitive and intentional movement intended to improve or maintain physical fitness. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity. Research provides significant evidence that physical activity and exercise both have positive health benefits, such as, cardiorespiratory fitness, Muscular fitness, Muscular endurance, Flexibility and Body Composition. Furthermore, exercise and physical activity helps maintain or lose weight, combats health conditions and diseases, improve mood, boost energy, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol, prevent heart attacks, and help with efficient transport of blood to major vital organs.
The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommends a cardiovascular exercise program of a minimum of 3 days per week, 20-30min per session. Ideally 5 days per week, 30-minute sessions or 150 minutes of cumulative exercise per week along with a strength training program 2 days per week to help combat body fat (Adipose Tissue) and develop lean muscle. My slogan within this proposal is to move more and eat less, which will reduce the risk of developing chronic health disease.
My Proposed plan is to partner with the local YMCA of Greater Richmond and American Family Fitness Gym to sponsor a physical fitness outreach program that will educate others, specifically low-income inner-city Richmond residents on the importance of living a physically active lifestyle and healthy diets. Most Overweight and obese individuals are not overweight by choice. They may be unaware of how the choices they make about the foods they consume is causing significant damage to their health. There are over 40,000 different items sold inside of grocery stores and astonishingly over 70% of which not only contains sugar, but also contains added sugar.
This program will teach how to make healthier choices with their food consumption even with limited amounts of money. There is a stigma that eating healthy costs to much money, which is a valid statement. However, I’m a firm believer that you will pay now or pay later. Meaning if you always looking to go the cheaper unhealthier route, then you will ultimately pay in the long run with your health. There are plenty of resources that help choose healthier options of foods even with a limited amount of funds.
This project will focus on teaching healthy eating habits and how processed foods are causing more damage than good. Some people make bad choices about their diet because they are of lower socioeconomic status and don’t have money to buy healthier foods or simply they are unaware or uneducated about healthy eating habits. This project will offer free health screenings and physical examinations to local communities in the greater Richmond area. Also, will offer educational classes teaching healthier eating habits and how to read food labels. In addition, this program will focus on finding fun activities that utilize teamwork to become physically active. Studies suggest that exercising with friends or groups can help motivate individuals to push themselves harder, for the fear of letting their peers down.
This will be a 3month educational project that starts with educating the public on how processed foods is one of the main culprits to this epidemic. What is processed food? Processed food can be defined in different ways, in general, the term “processed food” means food that has been altered from its natural state. The term “processed food” stands for all foods that have undergone industrial processing to create the packaged products we see in the supermarket. Foods that have been changed significantly from their natural state with the use of modern technology and chemicals to create a convenient ready-to-eat product that can endure the supermarket shelf life. Processed food is full of empty calories that provide you with no real nutrition. What you eat determines how you look and how you feel!
Sugar has the biggest role in this cycle. Sugar is in everything, not just in sweet products. Food producers have secretly been adding it to all sorts of products and they keep increasing it because it causes the strongest addiction and this addiction will be for life. The other problem is that sugar exists in so many different forms on the ingredients list, it’s hidden behind ingredients like corn syrup, glucose, dextrose, and so on. Our body converts a lot of the food we consume in sugar, the refined starch that we find in foods like bread or pizza is converted to sugar in our system. The liver into fatty acid fats converts the excess sugar in our body, and this fat is stored in our “favorite” areas like the hips, butt, and stomach. Food labels are very misleading and deceitful. For instance, a product will say “Fat-Free” which we believe to be healthy, however, it has less fat but double the amount of sugar. This proposal and program will teach how to read food labels so you will not be tricked into the scandals by food manufactures.
Next, I would implement various sports leagues to engage the public in a fun and exciting atmosphere. For instance, I would start a kickball league, dodge ball, handball, cycling, swimming, basketball, soccer, jump rope etc. The plan is to find fun and engaging activities that everyone can participate in, not just young healthy physically fit athletes. However, this proposal will only be effective under proper funding that will bring about social awareness to the problem.
This will be a 3-step process, such as, planning, implementation, and evaluation. (Planning) Obtaining possible sponsors to fund the project and to help educate others on the importance of physical activity. (Implementation) Conduct community outreach programs that will bring social awareness to the issue. Offer cheap inexpensive health classes, and intramural recreational sports to help increase physical activity and counter the obesity epidemic. (Evaluation) Measure the effectiveness of teamwork to help people live a physically active lifestyle. Do group exercises and activities make people more motivated and likely to participate? The project will cost about $40,000 to execute effectively. The money would be used to purchase and distribute flyers throughout local communities to bring awareness. Also, to pay off health instructors, league officials, uniforms, (Rented Equipment), facility space, resistance training equipment, various sports balls, Fields, basketball goals, transportation (rented buses) etc.
The location will be Patrick Henry YMCA 217 Ashcake Road, Ashland Virginia, 23005. I will Rent out the YMCA Facility and outdoor equipment for a specified amount of time (3 Months). Personnel will include volunteers and part-time employees to help out with officiating, registration, coaches, instructors, health physicians, nutritionists, and dieticians. In my opinion, the project is practical and realistic because if implemented correctly can be beneficial for the sponsors (YMCA), American Family Fitness, and the general public. The YMCA is already known to serve the communities in which their mission statement is “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. The benefits of the program will be to help lose or maintain weight, reduce risk of CVD, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Cancers, Slow down aging, improve immune system, strengthen bones, increase energy levels, increase self-esteem, reduce BMI, and obesity rates. Overall the program is designed to teach under-privileged inner city residents to live a life of optimal health and wellness.
In conclusion, the implementation of this project will help combat the rates of obesity. Furthermore, help to bring about social awareness to the obesity epidemic and educate others on the benefits of physical activity, and the severe consequences of physical inactivity. Also, how sports can be utilized to promote living a physically active lifestyle. Lastly, recognition is increasing that overweight and obesity are not only problems of individuals, but also society. Acting on this recognition will require multifaceted, population-based changes in the socio-environmental variables that influence energy intake and expenditure. There exist both a pressing need to act on the problem of obesity and a large gap between the type and amount of evidence needed to act and the type and amount of evidence available to meet that need.

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