What Are The Causes Of Obesity In America?

What Are The Causes Of Obesity In America?

Obesity is on the rise in America, and its effects can be damaging to physical and mental health. There are many contributing factors to the current state of obesity in America. This article will discuss some of the primary causes.

Unhealthy Food Choices

One of the primary contributors to rising obesity in America is unhealthy food choices. Fast food restaurants, processed packages foods and sugary beverages are incredibly convenient and often cheap – meaning they are accessible to people of all incomes. New trends in food, such as Smoothie Bowls and Mac and Cheese, are also making unhealthy options appear more appealing. People must become more aware of the snares of unhealthy food and work to make better food choices for their own health.

Lack of Exercise

Another cause of the burgeoning obesity crisis is lack of physical activity. Between television, video games and other screens, we often sit still for hours at a time. Even those who do exercise often are not doing enough to shed the extra calories from unhealthy food choices. Exercise can be as simple as brisk daily walks or as complex as weight lifting regimens. Simply moving our bodies for half an hour a day can help curb the rise in obesity.

Socio-Economic Factors

Another important factor in the obesity epidemic is socio-economic background. Those who are raised in poverty often lack access to the resources and knowledge to keep themselves fit and healthy. Education surrounding proper food choices and nutritional needs is often not available in lower socio-economic areas. Additionally, unhealthy options are often cheaper than healthy ones, making them more accessible to those facing financial hardships.

Genetics and Biology

Lastly, biology and genetics play a role in creating an atmosphere of obesity. Some people seem to be able to eat high caloric items without gaining weight, while others struggle to lose even a few pounds. Metabolisms, hormones and genes all play a role in weight regulation, so some individuals might face more difficulty in managing their weight than others.


The causes of obesity in America are multifaceted, but all can be addressed in a variety of ways. Eating healthier food, exercising more, gaining access to better resources, and understanding the impact of biology and genetics can all help to reduce the rates of obesity in America. By taking control of the issues discussed above, we can work towards maintaining better health and reducing the risks of obesity for everyone. Obesity is a growing health concern in America, and many factors contribute to this unhealthy reality. In the United States, almost 40 percent of adults are obese as of 2020, and similarly, nearly 18 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese. There is no single cause of obesity — rather, a variety of factors contribute to it, including food standards, the ease of fast-food accessibility, sedentary lifestyle and societal factors, to name a few.

Poor Diet Quality

The availability of unhealthy food, such as processed food and fast food, has dramatically grown in the past decades. These unhealthy dietary choices are often high in refined carbohydrates, added sugars and saturated fat, and low in minerals and vitamins. Combined with the fact that people often eat high amounts of unhealthy food, and this further increases the risk of obesity.

In addition, people today eat fewer fruits and vegetables, and more snacks, sweet treats and ready-made food. Refined carbohydrates such as cakes and cookies are very common in the modern American diet, and are linked to obesity. Furthermore, the marketing of fast food, the prevalence of unhealthy vending machine snacks, and the widespread availability of processed and sugary foods further contribute to the current food standards.

Lack of Physical Activity

In the United States, many people do not get enough regular physical activity, making them vulnerable to weight gain. Studies show that American adults spend more than half of their leisure time in sedentary activities, such as watching TV and sitting at computers. Many people today prioritize their work and family life over their physical health, engaging in few physical activities.

Besides, the increased availability of technology such as televisions, computers, smartphones and tablets had drastically decreased the time people spend playing outdoors. Furthermore, with the rise of the popularity of video games in recent years, people have even less incentives to do outdoor physical activities.

Societal Factors

Society also serves to influence obesity in the United States. Societal norms may lead individuals to make unhealthy food choices, for example, food is often used to celebrate or reward in the United States. People may be more likely to choose unhealthy desserts or snacks, than healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables. Similarly, eating at restaurants has become increasingly popular, with marketing that encourages super-sizing of meals.

In conclusion, obesity is a growing issue in America, and is largely driven by poor diet quality and lack of physical activity. Although these are important causes of obesity, societal factors such as unhealthy eating habits also contribute to this issue. To combat obesity, all of these causes must be addressed simultaneously, in order to create a healthier America.

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