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Obesity – What is Going On Here???

The best lecture on Obesity I have seen!

This week, we make the transition from adolescence into adulthood.  As adults we are responsible for our own decisions.  We choose many behaviors that either enhance or harm our health.  This week the focus for our discussion will be on obesity – a problem that is plaguing our nation’s children, adolescents and adults.  Before participating in the discussion read the following current article about obesity in the US.

The World Is Fat


Until 1980, fewer than one in 10 people in industrialized countries like the United States were obese.

Today, these rates have doubled or tripled. In almost half of developed countries, one out of every two people is overweight or obese. These populations are expected to get even heavier in the near future, and in some countries two out of three people are projected to be obese within 10 years.

Those are some of the disturbing statistics from a new report released today by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a research and membership organization that focuses on the world’s richest nations.

As you can see, in rates of overweight and obese residents, the United States is second to only one industrialized country: Mexico. In America, 28 percent of the adult population is obese and 68 percent is overweight; in Mexico, the respective rates are 30 percent and 70 percent.

The United States does, however, hold the dubious honor of fattest population of children, tied with Scotland. (Note that the rates for children are not exactly comparable, though, as different countries report obesity and overweight rates for different age ranges of children).

If you would like to read more you can check out the full report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development at,3746,en_2649_33929_45999775_1_1_1_1,00.html

(Retrieved November 5, 2011 from

When talking about obesity many will say that obesity is primarily genetic and the majority of those who obese cannot help it.  However others argue that if the high levels of obesity were primarily caused by genetics then this should be a problem that has always existed.  Yet as stated in the above article just 30 years ago there was a much smaller percentage of people who were obese.

Discussion Question: 

·What is your perspective on the cause of obesity for the large majority of those who are facing this problem?
·Whether you believe that the primary cause of obesity is genetics or lifestyle what has happened in our society since 1980 that has resulted in 
 doubled or tripled rates of obesity in adults and children?
·What can be done in your own community to turn the obesity trend around?  What kind of program might you create in this effort to bring health back 
  to our society? ·What advice would you give to a friend coping with a weight issue to help them bring about long term change?