Obesity in the United States is a major epidemic. Statistics show that more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. If that statistic isn’t scary enough, “Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese.” The good/ bad news is obesity is currently the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Bad news—it is the second leading cause of preventable death that may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death. Good news—obesity is PREVENTABLE!

There is no one cause of obesity nor is there one solution. Throughout my 8 week nutrition course we have discussed possible ways to prevent obesity. Most recently, we discussed the idea of the government placing a “fat tax” of foods considered unhealthy, particularly sugar-sweetened beverages. The class was nearly split 50/50 on the idea. Despite the position taken there were common themes among peoples arguments; the need for nutritional education and the need for self-responsibility. I along with my classmates believe nutritional education and self-responsibility are important pieces to the obesity puzzle.

For those of you who don’t know much about nutrition you should check out letsmove.gov. This website is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to fight childhood obesity. On this website you can find a plethora of tips to help your family live a healthier lifestyle. Remember, children are very impressionable so you need to teach them about healthy habits in an appropriate way. If we scare children into eating healthy or stress body image that could also have dire effects.

As for personal responsibility, if you are educated on nutrition and have healthy food available to you then you don’t have many good excuses left. A healthy lifestyle can be just as easy as an unhealthy lifestyle you just need to get into the right mindset. Once you reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle you won’t want to go back. Do it for yourself. Do it for your loved ones. Be an inspiration to others!