Obesity and starvation in the United States

Shealyn Paulis, Co-Editor in Chief

In 2017, 14,788 people died from obesity and 4,983 people died of starvation. This happened because of social and economic status, diet and exercise, and what has become the “norm” of physical appearance in our country.

Hunger in America is an important and prominent problem in which one in six people face. Poverty and food insecurity are directly connected, and with 19% of Americans under the national poverty line, most struggle with knowing whether there will be food at their next meal, according to feedingamerica.org.

In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather poverty. Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America. 41 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including 13 million children.

While this is true, obesity kills more people annually than hunger. Over half of Americans in 2017 were either overweight or obese. This makes those with a healthy weight the minority.

A contributing factor to overeating issues in America are food prices. Healthy and organic foods cost an extra $547.50 yearly, $1.50 a day, than a person buying and consuming food from and a damaging diet of processed and sugary foods. Unhealthy food is easier to access and less costly, therefore more people are eating that rather than beneficial foods.

Licensed doctor Denise Provencher says she sees a lot of these issues today and there any many ways to combat them.

“Unhealthy foods are a lot easier to buy and produce, so they are very desirable in middle and lower class families. They are filling and easy to fine, so there is nothing holding people back from getting them.” said Provencher, “Getting healthy foods can be just as easy, but you have to be determined and committed to making healthy food choices and exercise choices in order to maintain the ideal lifestyle and health.”

Provencher suggest seeing a dietitian and nutrition specialist to battle weight issues and disorders.

“Despite how difficult it may seem at that time,” said Provencher,” seeing a specialist will lead you to into the best possible life you can live.”

While eating and acquiring unhealthy foods may be easy, it can kill you in the long run. Make healthy food and activity choices daily, and seek help if you or your family is food insecure in order to receive aid and get the food you need to keep well and maintain a healthy life.