Obesity

Introduction

Obesity is a medical state where there is excess proportion of total body fat, which therefore leads to serious health consequences.  In 1985, obesity was officially designated a disease by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its prevalence has spared no age or gender as it continues to rise in America despite the steps being taken towards understanding, treatment and containing this epidemic (Gumbiner, 2001).  Associations and companies have come out strongly to fight obesity with Grocery Manufactures Association (GMA) taking a lead role.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the environment in America promotes excessive food intake with most of them being unhealthy with low physical activity. GMA has recognized the trends in obesity for both adults and children and have particularly taken its focus on children as childhood obesity is fast becoming a major public health issue as it has doubled among U.S children aged between 2 to 5, while nearly tripling in those aged over 6 over the past 30 year, according to NIH. GMA has set up the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation with the help of other groups and manufactures for both adults and children as a campaign for energy balance through public awareness while giving parents and children the option of nutritious products that will enhance physical activity.

Through educational programs such as the Healthy Schools Partnership, GMA has also managed to teach kids how to balance calorie consumption and using various advertising mediums to promote good eating habits. Moreover, through different forums GMA has led the fight against chronic diseases while also joining hands with other companies worldwide for a global fight against poor health by promoting balanced diets and healthy living. I think GMA has done a good effort in trying to manage if not to eradicate obesity, as these steps will prove worthwhile as a foundation step.  However, what GMA should do is to massively mobilize communities and the from the grass root level to allow more participation into their programs while also coming up with new research mechanisms that will take  advantage of the natural spontaneous experiments, a view also supported by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

As the food and beverage industry is doing much to fight obesity by even going as far as categorizing their variety of products for a wiser nutritional choice, the fight against obesity lies on the consumer who is making the food choices at the end of the day. The consumer has the power to determine what food of a certain nutritional value s/he should consume for his health purposes, as the manufactures of these foodstuffs do not have health records of each and every consumer, and the best they can do is to categorize and label their products according to nutritional value for them to be on the shelves. Consumers may have a specific nutritional value which they lack in their system may it be from fats, proteins to even carbohydrates and the manufactures have done no crime in giving the consumer a variety of foodstuffs that will do just that. The consumer should therefore control what is to be consumed and not go against the health experts’ wish.

The best strategy that I would take to combat obesity is through physical workout. It costs nothing but the determination and zeal within a person. It is not very much on list of many because it takes too much time to see results, but i would also argue that obesity is not an overnight occurrence but a gradual one, so, it is definitely a worthwhile activity to work out and have the inner fulfillment of fighting this fatal disease.

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