Alter-Ego’s Essay

Health is one of the most important aspects of a society, yet it is often something that is taken for granted. Often times citizens do not take their individual health serious enough, and do not take the time to plan out how to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Having a healthy diet and lifestyle is essential to being a productive and active member of a society. Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to much death related diseases.

Obesity is concern that our society needs to take care of because it is related to many health related diseases such as type two diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and mental health conditions, yet is entirely preventable if citizens take the time to better our health. According to various sources the United States is considered to be the “fattest” country in the world. Such a statistic is hard to believe. As citizens of the United States, we pride ourselves on living in the greatest country in the world. Ironically it is also the unhealthiest.

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Surely that statistic alone should be an eye-opener to citizens to take their health more serious. Jamie Oliver is an example of a citizen who is determined to make a difference in the world. Jamie is a British chef who is on a mission to start a food revolution across the world. He is striving to improve unhealthy diets and poor cooking habits in the United Kingdom and United States. Yet, regardless of the efforts that Jamie puts in, he will be largely unsuccessful if the people within a society don’t take time out of our lives to focus on making lifestyle changes and consistently sticking by them.

Jamie goes so far as to claim that “every son or daughter of our parents this generation is going to live ten years shorter than their parents. ” The thought of children passing away before parents is disturbing, and alerts us that an urgent change must be made. Diabetes is a growing disease in the United States. It is a disease that personally affects me, as my father was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011. There are two different types of diabetes, type one and type two. Out of the total population of people with diabetes, ninety to ninety-five percent of people have type two diabetes.

Type two diabetes is a condition that is characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body’s inability to use insulin efficiently. This disease develops most often in middle-aged and older adults, but can appear in younger people as well. Personally, I know that the poor diet and lifestyle choices my father constantly made on an everyday basis contributed to him developing diabetes. He would often eat a lot of chocolates, pizza, and food’s that consumed high amount of sugar.

Although my father does was not diagnosed with type two diabetes, his condition may worsen and become type two if he continues to eat poorly. Although there is no cure for type two diabetes, it is a disease that can be kept in check, and there are steps one can take to ensure that the disease does not become worse. Furthermore, if one is proactive and responsible about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the side-effects of diabetes may largely disappear. Steps that can be taken to manage one’s condition include exercising about three to four times a week, eating at home rather than eating out, and make sure to maintain a healthy weight.

According to an article based on a survey taken in 2012, around 25. 8 million children and adults which is 8. 5 percent of the population of America are diagnosed with the disease. This statistic doesn’t even count the people who might have the disease yet have not been diagnosed. Some people can be living with a life threatening disease, yet are unaware of the symptoms because they are uneducated, or aware that there is a possibility that something is wrong, yet are too lazy or unconcerned to visit a doctor. As we can see this disease is a serious matter and is an issue our society needs to take care of before it gets out of hand.

Moreover, high blood pressure and heart disease are other obese related diseases that are largely preventable. In a article written by Jeffery Kluger entitled “How America’s Children Packed On the Pounds” he states that “obese boys and girls are already starting to develop the illnesses of excess associated with people in their forty’s and beyond: heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, gallstones, and many more” (Kluger, 227). According to health statistics high blood pressure is the number one cause of death among adults over the age of twenty-five.

In the United States alone there are about 75 million people who suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension. Continuing, Kluger again states that “in 1991, only fourty-two percent of high school students participated in daily physical education- an already troublingly low figure. Today that number is 25 percent or less” (Kluger, 227). It is still unknown why obesity is a major cause of high blood pressure but high blood pressure and hypertension increases as weight increases according to research. Once again I can relate to this personally because my mother suffers from high blood pressure.

Although my mother maintains a healthy diet, only eating organic food, she still developed this disease. This indicates that high blood pressure, and hypertension can be cause by other factors such as stress. Thus it is important to not only maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly, but also a healthy lifestyle. Stress is unavoidable in life. Yet people must find healthy ways of coping with stress in order to battle the development of serious life threatening diseases. Although people are aware of the many disease and consequences of obesity, not enough attention and effort is put in to avoid such things.

Another very vital factor at battling such diseases is maintaining good mental health. Often times people who are obese or overweight also struggle with maintaining good mental health. Obese people may easily become depressed with their situation, which could lead to a lack of confidence, self-esteem, and would only worsen their eating habits. Furthermore, being overweight could affect people’s social life, as they find themselves unable to do the activities they wish to do, and thus separate and isolate themselves from people. Psychological disorders correlated with obesity include depression eating disorders, and low self-esteem.

Self- esteem and confidence are important factors that contribute to the way a person feels about themselves. If a person feels good about themselves they are generally going to be happy. Contrarily if a person is unhappy with their situation, and feel like there is no way out of that situation, they are more likely to commit suicide. Thus depression and essentially suicide are life threatening situations that are highly correlated with obesity. It is up to the individual to battle these factors through maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

It is up to us as citizens of the United States to make an individual dedication to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and being mentally healthy are all factors that contribute to a healthy life. By living a healthy life we increase our chances of avoiding getting diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and mental health issues. It is our duty as responsible citizens and human beings to take all the measures we can to ensure our good health and long lives.