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For the past three decades, obesity has been cited as a growing epidemic in the United States, according to the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Obesity is a major contributing problem to a number of medical conditions. Studies in the NEJM have “correlated obesity with myriad cancers, coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and stroke,” and other health-related problems (Fumento). Healthcare experts, doctors, and practitioners estimate it will cost billions of dollars a year to bring this problem under control and it is a major contributing factor in the rising cost of healthcare (Oliver 1). Luppold, Violette, and other practitioners argue that “Rising health care costs affects the economic vitality . . . from government, business, and non-profit agencies to families and individuals” (1). If a child is overweight by the age of six, the likelihood of that child becoming obese in adulthood rises to 50 percent, according to Dietz (411S) and will struggle with obesity over a lifespan (Karp 1). Obesity is a “disorder of energy imbalance; that is, more energy is consumed” (Luppold and Violette 1). One of the major groups afflicted by this epidemic is a college student and this problem usually starts in the home. Most college students are obese and super-sized fast food deals are fattening for the consumers. The purpose of this project is to discuss the theoretical implications of obesity: defining it, its causes and cures, and to create a nutrition guide to help college students maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Many people would argue that obesity is a choice because over-eating or eating the wrong foods is a choice. There are others who would argue that people become slaves to food and that the choice of controlling one’s over-eating habits is diminished. What exactly is obesity and how is it determined? Obesity is determined when an individual’s body weight is compared to his or her height, which is called the Body Mass Index, better known as BMI. When the weight is approximately 20 percent higher than the ideal weight, given the persons’ height, then that person is considered obese. If college is an option for an individual who is raised in an unhealthy eating environment it can be a catalyst for changing bad eating habits to help prevent and cure many problems that lead to bad health. Genetic, psychological, cultural, social, and economic factors are contributing to factors to obesity but bad eating habits are a major factor. For this reason, I provide a general overview of obesity and some health-related problems associated with it such as obesity and Diabetes (Type I & Type II Diabetes); obesity, hypertension, and coronary heart disease; obesity and cholesterol, and some tips for changes in controlling obesity.