Obesity, the buildup of excessive body fat; it is measured and defined in terms of body mass index (BMI). Body mass index is the mathematical way of deciding the proper weight range for an individual based on their height. The World Health Organization and United States National Institutes of Health define overweight as a body mass index of greater than or equal to 25 kg/m^2 and obesity as a body mass index more than 30 kg/m^2 (Hu 2008:16).
Table 1. The chart used to calculate body mass index. “Truestar Health, n.d.”
Obesity is a lifestyle disease that is spreading worldwide. This disease affects individuals of all age, gender and ethnicity. During the past twenty years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated, “more than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) and approximately 12.5 million of children and adolescents (17%) aged two to nineteen years are obese (Obesity and Overweight, n.d.).” What is the cause of the increase in obesity? The answer.... consumerism.
Webster’s Dictionary defines consumerism as the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically beneficial (Consumerism, n.d.). Phil Rutledge, sociology professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, defines consumerism as the consumption of any goods or services that causes gratification or numbs stress (2012). Television, movies, videogames, social networks, drugs, alcohol, sex, and food are all goods and services that are consumed daily. It is our opinion that television, movies, videogames and social networking have lead to the overall increase in obesity because of the lack of physical activity and the sedentary behavior developed by a person.
Opportunities for sedentary behaviors are abundant with as much consumerism that there is today, and they are likely to increase with more innovations in technology.
Sitting is the most common sedentary behavior; people can...