The Truth About Obesity in the World Today

CCHS NEWS | Obesity has become a major problem in the World today. Many misconceptions are wrapped around the concept of obesity but there are many factors such as genetics and available food options that lead to the disability.

CCHS NEWS | Obesity has become a major problem in the World today. Many misconceptions are wrapped around the concept of obesity but there are many factors such as genetics and available food options that lead to the disability.

Obesity has become one of the top reasons of death among the American population.

Many people believe that people with obesity are simply lazy people who have too big of an appetite.This is incorrect. There are many things that can lead to this disability.

One is simply genetics. So far, rare variants in at least nine genes have been implicated in single-gene (monogenic) obesity. One of the side effects of this gene is an extreme sensation of hunger. This sensation attaches itself to young children causing them to have a higher fat percentage that will follow them and continue to affect them and their physical abilities for the rest of their lives.

The percentage of adults along with young children diagnosed with severe obesity, has gone up to around 69%. America has one of the highest numbers of deaths due to obesity in the world.There are many factors that play into the development of obesity.

Research suggests that obese youths are stigmatized in society, and are more likely than average-weight youths to become the victims of bullying. Many young children that struggle with obesity find themselves feeling out of place or ridiculed by their peers. Multiple cases prove that children with diagnosed obesity who were bullied in their adolescence have higher rates of obesity than the “average-sized” person. A recent report claims that the obese population’s suicide attempt rate is 73 percent greater than the rest of the population. This is so painful to hear, knowing that we have people in our everyday community that may be getting bullied or feel defeated and depressed.

A body with obesity slowly becomes dysfunctional as fat begins to surround vital organs in the body such as the liver and heart. Fat begins to block airways that can cause one to have trouble breathing.The body begins to plump, limiting movement and action and causing a shut down if the body. Many diseases and fatal conditions result due to obesity. It can lead to high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, Coronary heart disease, Stroke, Gallbladder disease, and eventually, death.

The alcohol intake of youth and adults in America has contributed immensely to the obesity crisis. Around 14.5 million people had AUD, Alcohol Use Disorder, in 2020. The United States is in the top five countries of having the highest percentage of alcoholics in the world. Many children in the US start drinking young, causing them to develop disorders that will continue to follow and affect them for the rest of their lives. Around 623,000 people between the ages of 12 and 17 have alcohol use disorders.

Alcoholism contributes heavily to weight gain. Research suggests that severe drinkers have a 41% higher risk of transitioning from normal weight to overweight, and a 36% higher risk of transitioning from overweight to obese. Alcohol stops your body from burning fat, it’s high in calories, it can make you feel hungry, and leads to cravings for greasy and unhealthy foods. This often leads to binge eating after a heavy drinking episode in what is known as “hangover munchies.” Due to the alcohol problem in America, the obesity scandal has been increased severely.

Many people in America struggle to get healthy food options. Not everyone has healthy food available around the corner in their neighborhood. Neighborhoods without healthy options are known as food deserts. Stores such as Sprouts and Trader Joe’s, are replaced by cheaper grocery stores such as Food For Less and Dollar Tree. Gourmet restaurants are replaced by McDonalds, and Jack In The Box. The cause of this is that local government organizations do not have healthy food options available in less income neighborhoods. Due to this, families do not get the nutrition they need in order to stay healthy. They do not have organic options for everyday meals. Instead, families get what is readily available which is usually high fat foods with many added sugars and carbohydrates.

Luckily, there are things being done to help people with poor food options. In San Diego, many non profits work towards the better for our community. Organizations such as San Diego Food Bank, Feeding San Diego, Serra Mesa Food Pantry, Father Joe’s Villages, and the Soup Kitchen work towards giving people the option for healthier foods that have all the nutrients needed to be considered a complete meal. Food banks gather people from around the county to help prepare and distribute meals to lower income families or people in need.

Cathedral Catholic has been getting involved and has taken action. Recently in February, the Cathedral Community held a sophomore retreat. Throughout this retreat, students listened to a guest speaker, Annalise Snyder talk about her experience going to help people with no food options. Annalise described the importance of giving back to the community and helping others with poor food options. At the retreat, students worked with Outreach, a food bank program that gets youth involved in packaging and distributing food to people with food insecurities.

In an interview with PJ Jourdain, a sophomore student who attended the retreat, he stated how “I really liked making the oatmeal packages at the retreat. I think it’s just really important to help contribute to people who need help. I think we need to do more service in our community, like working with food banks, especially considering there are people that are less fortunate in the world.”

Mrs. Wells, the Dean of Mission and Ministry shares Cathedral’s plans to give back to those in need. “We are actually opening up a food bank here [at Cathedral] that will be owned by Cathedral but resourced by Catholic Charities.The food comes in from the government and Feeding San Diego and then it goes out to parishes who say they need help.”

Mrs. Wells describes her plan to get students more involved in the program, “We’re going to have a building on campus over by DeSales, in alumni park, and it will be a center for us to provide food for people who need it. Once a month we are going to Feeding San Diego from 3:30 to 5:30 and we do all kinds of sorting [food] and helping in any way possible that will benefit Catholic Charities.”

Along with the food bank, Cathedral is working towards a healthy community everyday in the foods we provide to our students everyday in the cafeteria. Coach Moose, one of Cathedrals football coaches and cafeteria managers shares his insight about nutrition and healthy food options in an interview.

“What we try to do here is give everyone the option to select whatever they want. We have different meals that we cook everyday in the house. Everything is freshly prepared in the kitchen.” He goes on, “ We are hesitant to bring in stuff until it’s really great. We just try to do our best.”

Coach explains his plans for the kitchen including more options of popular foods such as sushi and salads and curry bowls. He, along with the rest of the kitchen staff want to provide more options that contribute to a healthy meal. Overall, the kitchen wants to provide the best, high quality foods that add beneficial nutrients to our school meals.

It is crucial to stay informed about the fuel you are putting into your body everyday. You must balance fun foods with healthy meals that will get your body through the day. Learn more about your community and help others who are in need. Maybe go to a food bank one day with your friends or simply donate some snacks to your local food drive. Give others the chance to have healthy food options as well.