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Obesity Awareness: Why So Many Americans Are Overweight

Armen Hareyan's picture
Overweight person

People are inherently lazy. This is a big problem, especially when it comes to obesity. People don’t know how and/or have the means to be healthy, lean and fit. Most people are unmotivated and seek out supplements and infomercial gadgets to achieve fast and easy weight loss or health results. Because of access to the Internet, publications and other media, people get information overload. They don’t know what to do with it all.

We need to create a Cultural Shift in order to have a tipping point of awareness of the severe dangers of obesity in America. It took 30 years for our society to realize the dangers of smoking to make the shift to banning smoking in public places and making the necessary changes to prevent the Tobacco Companies from poisoning us and profiting from it.

I have been leading the fight to cause a cultural shift in obesity awareness and is pushing for a change in American society. My research supports the idea that people are inherently lazy, which is a big problem. People don't know how and/or have the means to be healthy, lean and fit. Most people are unmotivated and seek out supplements and infomercial gadgets to achieve fast and easy results. Because of access to the Internet, publications and other media, people get information overload. They don't know what to do with it all. 

In the 17th and 18th century, obesity was a sign of affluence and success. Now a day, it is a sign of being poor and not having enough money to afford high quality foods. Everything in our lives is connected. It's not just about proper eating habits and exercising, because it doesn't do anyone much good, without having a healthy attitude, we eventually become stressed and lethargic. When all these elements in our lives are in proper proportion, it has the synergistic affect of making life even better. Most people today ignore their weight for as long as possible until their anxiety builds up. Then they take the steps to make a change, they go and buy new sneakers and workout clothes and join a gym. Immediately, their anxiety dissipates. Because just taking the steps in their mind creates a comfort zone. Eventually, the sneakers and the workout clothes go into the back of the closet and the gym membership expires until the anxiety builds up again. Then, the cycle begins again. They buy an infomercial exercise product; weight loss supplement at the nearby vitamin store and their anxiety goes down again. What they need to make is a shift in direction so they're not as anxious and so their bad habits will not take over again because they must fight that emotional factor. 

People don't realize the things they do, because they take irrational impulses and make them rational. That's just the way the mind works. We explain it to ourselves, we create excuses to fit our emotions, rethink how it was not as bad to take the sting out of it. So, we write stories in our head to interpret our actions. The mind changes things as it really happened like it really did. It is not a tape recorder; it reformats things to eliminate the bad and negative thoughts. The mind forms scar tissue and covers painful thoughts. A lot of people are self-medicated for many reasons, for whatever they are compensating for. 

We must give people positive structure and they must have psychological help. The human brain is so complex. It is a neurological organism with billions of brain cells. Humans went from sitting around in the stone age time with fires and hunting for their food with rocks and sticks to now flying to Mars and make highly technological advances. We have brilliant minds, but we also have serial killers. People are fat because they are in an artificial environment. They need to eat less food and get more exercise. Appetite is naturally regulated and being more active and eating real food instead of consuming junk is one of the steps we must take. People can train their body to burn more calories. If a person is put in the circumstances to consume fewer calories and burn more, they will lose weight.

Positive Balance of Calories = Fat

Negative Balance of Calories = Lean Body

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When people starve themselves they burn less calories, move slower, get depressed and the body goes into survival mode. The longer someone goes without eating food will create a greater percentage of fat storage. A calorie is a measure of heat. Energy is burnt in the form of oxidation. One must breathe hard when working out. When working out, the body will have the ability to utilize more calories and it creates the need for more nutrients.

When eating carbohydrates or fats the metabolism increases by 10%. When eating protein, the metabolism increases by 30%. A higher pace of cardio must be sustained in less time to burn more calories so the body can be more efficient at consuming oxygen. But people must also realize that too much cardio makes the whole body tired and can affect its ability to function efficiently the next day.

There must be specificity of training- meaning a program must be designed to suit the needs and physical capabilities of each person's body. People have to become more conscious of the following:

-Portion Control
-Better Variety of Foods

-Overall diet
-Activity Levels

-Structured Exercise Programs

The human body averages things out over a long period of time. Having a weekly food diary truly works. If people keep track of what they eat, they will succeed, but they must orient everything evenly in order to succeed. If they make a drastic change, it can set them up for failure. The previous modifications must be gradually implemented to one's lifestyle in order to achieve success. We must think of Obesity as a disease just like alcoholism and drug addiction. There is a need for intervention.

Free wellness clinics need to be set up throughout the entire country. People will be able to go there, knowing that they can't control their eating. At the clinics, people can develop support systems that can help them change their entire life. The Wellness Centers can give people a vision of what they can be, if they take the proper steps. This will include exercise, diet and lifestyle changes. People must learn how to workout, eat right and avoid/eliminate bad habits such as drinking and smoking, etc. Most diet centers fail because they do not provide all the elements. They provide counselors to give people meal plans, prepared foods, some guidance and occasionally such companies as Weight Watchers will create a support system, but they do not include one of the most crucial elements which is proper exercise implementation into their lives.

The morbidly obese need to be in a hospital. They will require psychological evaluation and a structured and monitored program which will include motivational training, nutritional meal planning and exercise programs. Americans today must make a deliberate decision to achieve a healthier lifestyle in order for the shift to occur. For further information visit www.operationfitness.com

Michael Torchia
Health and Wellness Expert
[email protected]



Obesity has been defined as when excess body fat accumulates in one to where their physical overgrowth makes the person unhealthy to varying degrees. Obesity is different than being overweight, as others determine obesity to be of a more serious concern. While obesity is not a disease, it is a serious health risk for one who has this risk. As measured by one’s body mass index (BMI), one’s BMI of 25 to 30 kg/m is considered overweight. If their BMI is 30 to 35 kg/m, they are class I obese, 35 to 40 BMI would be class II obese, and any BMI above 40 is class III obesity. Presently, with obesity affecting children progressively more, the issue of obesity has become a serious public health concern. In the United States, greater than one third of all citizens are obese, and this number continues to progress. Approximately half of all children under the age of 12 are either obese are overweight. About twenty percent of children ages 2 to 5 years old are either obese are overweight. The consequences of these stats on our children are very concerning, considering the health issues they may or likely experience as they get older. Worldwide, nearly one and a half billion people are either obese or overweight. In the United States, about one third of adults are either obese or overweight. Women of low socioeconomic status are likely to be twice as obese compared with those who are not at this status. It is now predicted that, for the first time in about 150 years, our life expectancy is suppose to decline because primarily of this obesity problem. Morbid obesity is defined as one who has a body mass index of 30 kg/m or greater, and this surgery, along with the three other types of surgery for morbid obesity, should be considered a last resort after all other methods to reduce the patient’s weight have chronically failed. Morbid obesity greatly affects the health of the patient in a very negative way. It has about 10 co-morbidities that can develop if the situation is not corrected. Some if not most of these co-morbidities are life-threatening. One solution beneficial in many cases of morbid obesity if one’s obesity is not eventually controlled or corrected is what is known as gastric bypass surgery. This is a type of bariatric surgery that essentially reduces the volume of the human stomach in order to correct and treat morbid obesity by surgical re-construction of the stomach and small intestine. Patients for such surgeries are those with a BMI of greater than 40, or a BMI greater than 35 if the patient has co-morbidities aside from obesity. This surgery should be considered for the severely obese when other treatment options have failed. The standard of care illustrating as to whether this surgery is reasonable and necessary should be clarified. There are three surgical variations of gastric bypass surgery, and one is chosen by the surgeon based on their experience and success from the variation they will utilize. Generally, these surgeries are procedures related to gastric restrictive operations or mal-absorptive operations. Over 200,000 gastric bypass surgeries are performed each year, and this surgery being performed continues to progress as a suitable option for the morbidly obese. There is evidence that this surgery is particularly beneficial for those obese patients that have non-insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus as well. It is believed that the results of this surgery to correct morbid obesity greatly limits or prevents such co-morbidities associated with those who are obese. Yet about two percent of those who undergo this surgery die as a result from about a half a dozen complications that could occur. However, the surgery reduces the overall mortality of the patient by 40 percent or so, yet this percentage is debatable due to conflicting clinical studies at times. Age of the patient should be taken into consideration, as to whether or not the risks of this surgery outweigh any potential benefits for the patient who may have existing co-morbidities that have already caused physiological damage to the patient. Also what should be determined by the surgeon is the amount of safety, effectiveness, and rationale for a particular patient regarding those patients who are elderly, for example. Many feel bariatric surgery such as this should be considered as a last resort when exercise and diet have failed for a great length of time. If a person or a doctor is considering this type of surgery, there is a website dedicated to bariatric surgery, which is: www.asmbs.org, Dan Abshear