Alex Schafer Mrs.

Field LNG 406 21 March 2011 Health in America What exactly does it mean to be healthy? defines healthy as pertaining to good health, health being defined as the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor. I believe that people in America have changed their views of what defines health. When discussing th e average physical health of our nation people generally talk about the obesity rate. Does being physically fit simply mean that one is not obese? According t o a study by the CDC, less than ten percent of Americans were obese in 1985. Ov er the years obesity has been on the rise and as of 2009 the only state with an obesity rate below twenty percent was Colorado, with most states averaging above twenty-five percent. The medical definition of obese is being more than twenty percent above the ideal weight. What if someone is nineteen percent above thei r ideal weight? This means that they are not obese, but does simply not being o bese mean that someone is healthy? I believe that healthy is much more than simply not being obese. Someon e with a very high metabolism can be an average weight but be living a healthy l ifestyle. Less than twenty percent of Americans say that they exercise on a dai ly basis. This sedentary lifestyle can be very harmful to oneâ s health. While some one who lives a sedentary lifestyle may not be fat, the lack of exercise can con tribute to poor heart health. Furthermore, just because someone exercises on a regular basis they are not necessarily healthy. The typical diet of America is very poor. A study by Berkley showed that more than one third of the food eaten by Americans is now junk food. One may exercise regularly, but if they are eat ing nothing but junk food they are still wreaking havoc on their bodies. Another factor that is contributing to an unhealthy lifestyle is drug us e. Drug use is taking a huge toll on youth in America. Statistics from a 2003 study show that by 8th grade more than thirty percent of teens have used some dr ug illegally. By 10th grade forty-five percent have, and by 12th grade more tha n fifty percent. This increased drug use may be a very serious factor contribut ing to the poor average health in America today. Combined with the already poor physical health of Americans this has the potential to be deadly. I believe that America needs to revolutionize its definition of healthy. We have set the bar for what is considered to be healthy very low. I believe that this low standard on health is promoting both a sedentary lifestyle and a p oor diet. Furthermore, the alarmingly high amount of underage and illegal drug use is damaging the average health of Americans. With such low standards on hea lth our nation is simply setting itself up for an even further decline in the av erage health of its citizens.

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