Obesity was first recognized as a medical disorder in Ancient Greek. This medical condition is very severe, characterized by excess body fat that accumulated to so high extent that it may have adverse effect on health and generally leads to reduced life expectancy and increased health problems. People are considered obese when their body mass index is greater than 30 kg/m2. To make it more clear: body mass index is defined as the individual's body weight divided by the square of his or her height. Obesity is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide. In most cases it results from combination of excessive food intake and lack of physical activity. The new suspect in the case of obesity, and reasons for Americans becoming a nation of obese, is technology.
Obesity due to technology
According to the recent research, about 60% of all extra weight is caused by lack of physical activity. Modern society and whole western world are marked with a severe decline in the physical demands of work. Most of the individuals in developed world spend most of their day in front of the computer or sitting in their comfortable offices. Strenuous jobs now merely belong to past times and most of the jobs are sedentary. This lack of physical activity directly leads to the increase in calories and weight gain.
After the work, most of the people spend their time sitting in front of the television, enjoying internet social networks or instant messaging, or playing video games. These sedentary activities became the new way to relax and spend time with others.
Moreover, technological innovation in agriculture has driven down the food cost and today people usually eat heavily processed, calorie-rich foods. From 1971 to 2000, obesity rates in the United States increased from 14.5% to 30.9%. At the same time, the average amount of calories consumed also increased. The source of increase was extra carbohydrates that came from sweetened drinks. Today, these beverages account for about 25% of daily food energy in young population of America.
Effects on health
Obesity has severe effects on health. It contributes to cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and certain types of cancer, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis. It contributes to 64% of cases of diabetes in males and 77% of cases in females. On average, obesity lessens life expectancy by six to seven years. Severely obese people, whose body mass index is higher than 40, will probably lose at least 10 years of life.