As Becky waits for the bus on a chilly Thursday night she paces back and forth in anticipation. Stressing over why the bus is taking so long, she feels a pang of hunger in her stomach and realizing that she hasn't got anything at home to eat, she decides to quickly run across the street and grab a meal at the local McDonalds. "Would you like to super size that?" asks that girl at the register as Becky places her order. "Sure!" she exclaims enthusiastically, feeling content about how much more she is able to get for just 39 cents. Hurrying out the door she sees her bus pulling away from the bus stop. "Damn!" she says to herself as she walks back to the stop. Sitting down wearily on the bench she considers her options. She could walk home; after all it is only a ten minute walk, eight if she walks quickly. Then again, what if another bus is not far behind? Recalling one time when she had decided to walk and saw a bus fly right by her, she decides against walking home and resolves to stay put. Two minutes pass, then eight, then twelve. Finally, seeing a bus in the distance, Becky picks up her bag of food and rises from the bench, feeling glad that she had decided to wait for the bus after all and not realizing that she had just wasted over twenty minutes waiting for the bus when she could have been home a long time ago if she had simply decided to walk.
[...] But what has happened to the good old fashioned system of losing weight? The new dieting method that has become extremely popular in the United States is the low carbohydrate diet. It basically involves a minimal intake of carbohydrates and a greater intake of foods that are high in protein and other nutrients. The results are supposed to be very successful and there have been a great many people that have benefited from it and lost a substantial amount of weight. [...]
[...] The absence of this much needed exercise plays a major role in the increased rate of obesity in the United States (Hill). The advance of machines has limited the amount of human activity in the workplace as well as in the home. To give a common domestic example of such a situation, in the past, clothing had to be scrubbed by hand on a scrub board and then hung on a line to dry. This was a very tedious task and took a lot of energy to do. [...]
[...] What factors make obesity so much more of a problem in the United States than in other countries? What needs to be done in order to resolve the problem of obesity in the United States? Obesity is a complex, multi-factorial chronic disease involving environmental (social and cultural), genetic, physiologic, metabolic, behavioral and psychological components. Approximately 127 million adults in the United States are overweight million are obese, and 9 million are severely obese (American Obesity Association). However, as large as these numbers may be, the rate of obesity in the United States is still rising. [...]
[...] The final factor that Hazan mentions which proves different in the Italian and American cultures is one which I have already discussed, the fact that Italians tend to lead less sedentary lives than Americans do. In Italy, most people live in walk up buildings and elevators are only found in high- rises, making it necessary for them to walk up and down the stairs every day. In addition, Hazan claims that “Walking is a necessity not just in cities but also in smaller towns where cars are usually banned from the center of town”. [...]
[...] Though in 2004 we are likely to be able to identify that the problem with this action of hers is that she is chose McDonalds as her dinner, an unhealthy and rather detrimental choice, we are not always able to spot the other factor that makes her trip to McDonalds a poor choice that will affect her chances of becoming obese: the factor. Before trying to analyze what it is that is so bad about Becky's food choice, let's first consider something. [...]
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