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Abstract
Research conducted through perspectives of local, statewide, nationwide, and
international measures were utilized to report the current issue of steady climbing
obesity rate in the U.S. The research conducted through various online articles,
journals, and a personal interview with the local Student Health and Counseling
(SHAC) at the University of New Mexico are synthesized to create a complete report
on main causes of obesity including poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle, and how we can
solve the problem. This report is looking at treatment and measures in New Mexico
and seeing whether or not they are aligning with the best practice of nationally or
internationally. And whether or not they are aligned with best practices the research
said we should be doing. This report is addressing the general public, in order to
advance public awareness on the topic.

Obesity Problems in the U.S. (Final paper)


Background
Americans have been warned about obesity and its health risks since before
our generation was born and yet obesity rates are consistently climbing. People are
scared of becoming obese because obesity may lead to many problems including:
cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, osteoarthritis, and
certain types of cancer (endometrial, breast and colon). Bad diets and poor exercise
habits have been blamed for this epidemic. However, there are many more factors
at play in this troublesome issue.
Many people believe that obesity is strictly defined by a BMI greater than
or equal to 30. However, by measuring the percentage of body fat, it gives a much

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more accurate and precise measurement. The standard for obesity as defined by
body fat percentage is greater than 25% body fat for men and greater than 35% for
females; this is the World Health Organization's (WHO) reference standard made
in 1995. The numbers are different because Women generally have a higher
percentage of body fat than men. Obesity is not just a problem the Americans have,
but also obesity has more than doubled since 1980 worldwide. 39% of adults aged
18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese worldwide
according to the World Health Organization's (WHO). With such stunning
statistics, there must be something done about the obesity problem.

Questions

Does genes play major role in increasing obesity rate?

What can we do to improve health and reduce obesity rate?

What has been done regarding the problem?

What is obesity rate look like in New Mexico?

How to prevent obesity?

Why is Colorado the least obese state?

How can New Mexico decrease its populations obesity rate?

Methods

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Research was done from various credible websites including CDC, WHO,
academic journals, relevant expert opinion and etc. to compare statistics and draw
conclusions based on the information given about obesity.

Result
Though the whole world is suffering from the obesity problem as general, the
U.S. is told to be the fattest country in the world according to a new study released
by the Global Burden of Disease published in Lancet. Take Japan for example, it only
has a 3.5% obesity rate which is very miniscule. Compared to other countries,
America suffers greatly from the increasingly climbing obesity rates. People think it
might be the different genes that cause a great difference in Asian and American sizes.
However, there is no doubt that our genetics have not changed since the 1950s, but
our waistlines have. Therefore, the environment we are raised in is the main factor of
weight gain. Everyones behavior is different around the world. In Asian countries
such as Japan and Taiwan, they eat a main dietary of rice and other seafood and the
amount of food is small if compared to the USA. For example, Taiwans Large
McDonalds Combo meal, is only a medium size in the USA.
The main reason that caused such difference is, as Americans, our diet
contains too much fat, sugar and sodium. According to a local nutritionist at the UNM
Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) facility, anything over 8 teaspoons per day is
considered a high amount of sugar intake for normal patients and anything over 2
teaspoons per day for patients with high risk of cardiovascular disease or high blood
pressure. The nutritionist further states that the average American consumes more
than 20 teaspoons per day. The number looks stunting, but it is true. For example, a

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can of soda has 9 teaspoons of sugar in it! Just by drinking a can of soda it will make
over consume sugar for the day. High sugar and high-calorie diets tends to lead to
obesity and diabetes. According to the Harvard School of Public Health. Junk food is
high in these fats and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other healthy
micronutrients.
Some of the C.E.O.s in America's biggest food companies came together for a
meeting to address the problem of emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it.
The C.E.O.s came up with many meaningful questions and ideas including: the
industry should use the expertise of scientists its own and others to gain a
deeper understanding of what was driving Americans to overeat. Some politician
already started doing things to help people from eating too much junk food.
Obviously the campaign didnt work out.
The obesity problem in the U.S. was so severe so a movie was made to raise
awareness about the health and diet problems that were present in the USA. The
movie is called Super-Size Me directed by Morgan Spurlock in the year of
2004(IMDb). In the movie Morgan personally eat only McDonalds food for one
month and from the movie we can see just how bad it is to eat junk food.
Just like the rest of the world, New Mexico is facing the obesity problem as a
state as well. New Mexico has adult obesity rate of 28.4%, and it is at the 32nd place
among the states. With all the research we can see how severe the obesity problem is
becoming. Therefore, we need to keep our community informed. As a proactive
community we could help to increase lifespan and reduce obesity. According to The
State of Obesity website, Colorado is the state with the lowest obesity rate. Why is
Colorado the least obese state? According to Juliet Lapidos, a staff editor at the New
York Times. It could be their outdoor culture. A mountainous and temperate state,

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Colorado is well-known for hiking, skiing, and the like. In 2009, 82.3 percent of
Coloradans said they'd been physically active within the last month, according to a
survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another reason why
Colorado is the least obese state is that poverty and obesity are strongly correlated,
and that people with more education are less likely to be obese. In 2008, 13.2 percent
of Americans were living below the poverty line. In Colorado, that number was 11.4
percent, or 18th-best in the nation. According to the Lumina Foundation for
Education, in that same year 37.9 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 64
held a college degree or higher, but in Colorado that number was 45.3 percent. (Only
Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshireall of which are thinner than
averagerank higher in college degrees.)
One thing New Mexico is doing well is while the other states are cutting their
PE programs, New Mexico is one of the only five states that require physical
education every year from kindergarten through 12th grade.
According to Jody Peach (a nutritionist), an ideal diet consists of utilizing all
the food groups. Consisting of low sugar, sodium, and fat levels. Saturated fats are
good at moderation and are necessary even. High protein and low carb are also
expected as to ensure that you are getting your necessary intake of nutrients. Also the
amount of food consumed in one sitting is very important seeing that the proportions
are much larger in American compared to other countries. In order to efficiently stop
obesity, a person also must exercise at least 30 minutes 5 days a week or 150 minutes/
week in order to be healthy according to the ACSM (American College of Sports
Medicine) guidelines. This is a very good way to ensure you have a healthy
musculoskeletal system and have sufficient exercise to prevent obesity. There are
many different ways to prevent obesity.

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According to a physical therapist major senior, there are many exercises that
people can do without special equipment and its available anywhere anytime so
anyone can do it. Some basic exercises are walking slowly, stepping up on stairs,
balance on one feet, and many others.

Discussion
It seems like we are doing a pretty good job on keeping our kids healthy by
require PE classes every year from kindergarten to high school but the obesity rate of
the state is still high. I wasnt able to find many policies regarding obesity for New
Mexico, so there must be so much more to done about the issue. When we are
comparing New Mexico with Colorado which has the lowest obesity rate, Colorado
has a much higher percentage of people with higher education. Therefore, we can tell
that education matters a lot when it comes to obesity problem. Also, since poverty is
strongly correlated with obesity, and New Mexico is a poor state compare to the other
states in the nation, it must be something done with the poverty here.

Recommendation
We can solve the problem using four Es.
Education: Teach young kids about obesity and how to prevent it and eliminate the
problem from young people. Educate parents when they are planning for having a
child. Tell them what to do, so they can create a good environment for kids to grow in
to prevent obesity.

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Environment: Parents and teachers should lead and encourage kids to do more
exercise. Parents should try to cook more at home and support their kids with healthy
foods.
Enforcement: I had my high school education in New Mexico and the lunch is mostly
burgers and fries, which is really unhealthy. Make school cafeterias cook more
healthy food.
Engineer: Cooks should try to make delicious food with less sodium, sugar, or fat.
Invent new healthy and delicious food.

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Work Cited
"Adult Obesity Facts." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, 21 Sept. 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.
<http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html>.
"America Is the Fattest Country in the World." Truth Revolt. N.p., 26 Dec. 2014. Web.
10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/america-fattest-countryworld>.
Baum, Charles L. "The Effects of Race, Ethnicity, and Age on Obesity." Springer
Link. Journal of Population Economics, July 2007, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp
687-705. 23 Sept. 2006. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.
CDC. "Overweight and Obesity." (n.d.): 1-4. Sept. 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.
<http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/stateprograms/fundedstates/pdf/new-mexicostate-profile.pdf>.
"How Can Overweight and Obesity Be Prevented?" - NHLBI, NIH. N.p., 13 July
2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/healthtopics/topics/obe/prevention>.
Lapidos, Juliet. "Why Are Obesity Rates so Low in Colorado?" Slate. N.p., 23 Sept.
2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2015.
<http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2010/09/rocky_
mountain_thigh.html>.
Liou, Tony. Personal Interview. 30 October 2015.
"New Mexico." State Obesity Data, Rates and Trends: The State of Obesity. N.p., n.d.
Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://stateofobesity.org/states/nm/>.

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"Overweight and Obesity Statistics." Overweight and Obesity Statistics. N.p., Oct.
2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.niddk.nih.gov/healthinformation/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx>.
Peach, Jody. Personal Interview. 26 October 2015.
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Smith, Noah. "Big Government, Small Bellies: What Japan Can Teach Us About
Fighting Fat." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 06 Sept. 2012. Web.
10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/09/biggovernment-small-bellies-what-japan-can-teach-us-about-fightingfat/261940/>.
Super Size Me. Dir. Morgan Spurlock. Perf. Morgan Spurlock. IMDb. IMDb.com, 11
June 2004. Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390521/>.
"Who Is at Risk for Overweight and Obesity?" - NHLBI, NIH. N.p., 13 July 2012.
Web. 10 Nov. 2015. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/healthtopics/topics/obe/atrisk>.