Obesity has established itself as one of the fastest growing diseases in the nation and continues to make a substantial impact on the general population today. The sheer number of individuals who can be classified as obese in the U.S. has made obesity synonymous with the identity of an American. Dietitians and Psychologists have argued over the various causes as to why the number of Obesity is rising so much in American people. However undeniably, the fast food industry and its alluring advertisements is a major cause of Obesity in America.
Obesity is a condition in which the body accumulates an abnormally large amount of adipose tissue, or fat (DeAngelo et al.). The concept of what qualifies an individual to be obese has been skewed by the media. Shows, such as My 600-lb Life and The Biggest Loser, portray individuals who are exceptionally obese as a standard example of an obese individual. Obesity is identified using the Body Mass Index (BMI), the measurement of a person using weight in relation to height. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to be considered obese an individual must have a BMI of 30 or over.
That means that an individual with a height of 5’9 and weight of 203 lbs. or more is considered obese. Thus, proving that obesity is much more feasible for individuals in America than one many think. About 38 percent of American adults were obese in 2013 and 2014, up from 35 percent in 2011 and 2012 (Tavernise).
Food has always been a key signifier of what a culture may value. The preparation, ingredients, and customs that revolve around food are all fundamental in the examination of any group of people. As a result, what people choose to eat can reveal where their priorities lie and what sort of lifestyle they have. Quintessential examples of fast food, such as hamburgers, hotdogs, french-fries, and friend chicken, have become associated as standard American foods.
The fast food industry’s popularity continues to grow and plays a pivotal role in the development of American identity.
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