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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Letter to the Editor: The obesity problem in the United States

Obesity and severe obesity prevalence among adults ages 20 and over: United States, 1999–2000 through 2017–2018. Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Dear Editors,

My name is Kimberly Stickevers, and I am a 19 year-old college student living in San Ramon, California. Recently, I have gotten more into my health and working out so that I can better take care of my body. I regularly deal with a lot of stomach problems that I believe correlate with the food I eat – so I decided to take a closer look as to what foods I should be consuming. Since I have done so, I’ve started to notice how most of our food in the United States is processed and filled with a lot of chemicals that are harmful to our bodies. While researching, I’ve discovered that the obesity problem in the U.S. is worse than I thought. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “from 1999-2000 through 2017-March 2020, obesity prevalence in the U.S. increased from 30.5% to 41.9%. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%.” This 11.4% increase of general obesity is significant, particularly because it occurred very suddenly relative to America’s previous obesity trends. The United States needs to make a change. 

Although everyone is responsible for their own diet and what they eat, there’s no denying that the foods we eat are filled with unnecessary and harmful ingredients. According to Environmental Health News, “preservatives, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers, and antioxidants can also contain obesity-inducing chemicals.” It was also found that “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not testing food, additives, or packaging for chemicals that cause obesity or disrupt our metabolism.”

Editors, I urge you to stay informed and inform others about this big problem because obesity in the U.S. can open the door to so many other health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, strokes, and can even lead to premature death.


Kimberly Stickevers

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Comments (1)

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    Marnix A. van AmmersFeb 29, 2024 at 10:22 am

    It’s just so much easier to buy packaged food and most if not all packaged food will contain some preservatives or additives. Best is to try and eat as much fresh food as possible. Not easy to do with many of our hectic lifestyles. Consider buying lots of fresh vegetables and carrying them with you so you can eat from them throughout the day. Yes, some will get spoiled and you will have to be thrown away. Don’t consume any sugary drinks. All that said, I’m still not sure if it’s processed foods that are the most to blame for the obesity epidemic. We should all do more walking. Take some time out of your daily schedule to walk for an hour or two.