The trend of increasing obesity throughout the world has caused great concern. However, the increase in obesity within the United States has caused a larger concern as the number only continues to increase as opposed to decreasing similar to the rest of the world’s obesity trends. In order to tackle this detrimental trend within the United States, several studies have tried to identify the main causes to the increase in obesity. The several studies have found the following factors as causes to obesity: unhealthy eating habits, stress, and eating disorders.
First, unhealthy eating habits have been found to contribute to obesity. The varying unhealthy eating habits have been defined as consuming junk food, eating when bored, and financial reasons. The consumption of junk food within school systems has largely contributed to obesity within adolescents. In fact, “a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion of schools with junk food is correlated with about a 1 percent higher BMI for the average student” . The risk that junk food holds regarding unhealthy weight gain worsens when it comes to eating caused by boredom. According to Psychology Today, eating when bored is a result of “…boredom [triggering] behaviors for which there is a strong immediate biological basis for pleasure” (2012). By consuming junk food, the body does not maintain a certain level of homeostasis.
Without maintaining a certain level of homeostasis, the body does not function properly. Sometimes a person’s ability to eat properly is effected by their ability to actually afford the correct foods to eat. Furthermore, studies have proven that people with adequate funding, or income, have better access to nutrition information and tend to be more literate towards nutritional information. According to the Food and Research Action Center, “…body mass index (or BMI, an indicator of excess body fat) was higher every year between 1986 and 2002 among adults in the lowest income group and the lowest education group than among those in the highest income and education groups…” (2010).
- Center, Food Research Action. Relationship Between Poverty and Overweight or Obesity . 2005.
- Pagoto, Sherry. I Am Bored, Therefore I Eat. 2012.
- Research, The National Bureau of Economic. “Junk Food Availability in School Raises Obesity.” 2015. The National Bureau of Economic Research.