In America, there is a growing epidemic of obesity. In the United Sates, there is also an alarming increase of diabetes. These concerns are asking people the questions, “how healthy are Americans?” and “Is there anything we could do to help raise healthiness?” My understanding is that health is a lifestyle that is based on choices that one makes. From the food one eats to going for a walk or jog, everyone has a choice to make.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, those national and state policies on health are falling short of their goals. Nearly 119 million Americans, 65% of the population, are overweight or obese. The direct and indirect costs of this obesity problem are over 119 billion dollars a year. These stats help prove that we as a nation need to help each other and correct this epidemic. Some of the things that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is trying to do are to bring more attention to school food and physical activity programs. There are more issues than just obesity that affect the population of the United States.
Diabetes in America is another concern that is rising rapidly. Diabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production and insulin action or both. According to Center of Disease Control, diabetes in youth under twenty years of age has recorded 176,500 cases which is roughly 1 out of every 400-600 kids. For adults between the ages of 20 and 60, there are 20.6 million cases of diabetes or 9.6% of all people in that age group. While in 2005, 1.5 million new cases of diabetes being diagnosed in the United States were older than 20 years. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States; it kills around 224,092 Americans each year. There are numerous complications that diabetes can contribute to.
Diabetes in the United States needs to look at carefully. With it affecting so many Americans, it is shocking that there is not much awareness about diabetes. Everyone in the U.S. knows someone who has touched diabetes or who is currently getting treated for this disease. While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is trying to spread this message, there are other actions being taken as well.
The President of the United States, with the help of the Department of Health and Human Services, is now launching a campaign called “Small Steps.” This program’s goal is to help Americans by making 3 small choices about their health to get big results, instead of making a drastic lifestyle change. The choices start with helping them eat better, by using portions and moderations with healthy fruits and vegetables. The program focuses on getting physically active for five times a week for at least thirty minutes; examples are jogging, walking or going to the gym. The last step is learning more, since information is easily accessible these days changes are always being made to improve health.
In the military, the concerns of health are always being talked about from briefings to barracks life. Once you leave that military community the issue of health seems not to come up as much as it should. The most common phase you hear people ask is “How are you doing?”, but you never hear a truthful answer. Most of the time people just say what they think the other person wants to hear.
“The groundwork of all happiness is health” by Leigh Hunt
In short, people underestimate their health and become shocked when something happens to them. Then they try blaming the physician rather than looking at their own health style. Health is a choice, the choices one chooses to make about their health, will determine a healthy lifestyle.