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Good Book Report Sample

How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World

In this book, Critser highlights the issues related to the issue of overweight of the American nation. The author acknowledges that Americans are the fattest people in the world. Critser, in his book, gives an extensive look at the history of obesity, and the way it relates to people's participation in exercising. This discussion presents a chapter by chapter summary of the book and an argument about the viability of the concepts that are discussed with respect to the main theme, obesity in America.

Summary

In chapter one, Crister talks about globalization as a contributing factor to obesity. The writer argues that globalization resulted into cheap and abundant food supply. For example, Crister mentions Malaysia and its contribution to obesity through the production of palm oil that is associated with the high fructose corn syrup. According to Critser, the chemical content of palm oil can be compared to that of tallow with its fat being more than that of porklard. Critser suggests that people did not bother about the chemical content of palm oil, but just liked it.

Chapter two makes reference to the time before the emergence of mega-huge movie popcorn. As at that time, people did not want to buy two popcorns, as it was a big shame to be seen having two popcorns. Crister mentions that the guilt of having two popcorns was like a check and balance that enabled people to control themselves. Sellers of popcorns made a trick by making huge popcorns to attract people. The chapter also talks about the emergence of a culture, where people decreased family dinner at the expense of constant snacking (Critser, 2003).

Chapter three is focused on kid's nutrition, as it talks about the fund cuts that lead to cheap food production. Crister says that the cuts in Los Angeles school district resulted into a change of diet to Pizza Hut for lunch. The writer suggests that Americans got about 18% of their calories away from home in 1977, and the amount went higher and higher with time. Based on the statistics given, the author observed that parents failed in guiding their children to develop good eating habits, and that public schools followed the suit.

Chapter four presents the actual failure in physical education. The writer talks about the time in history, when there were physical education requirements in California making PE to be valued in and outside school. At the time, people showed much more interest in participating in individual fitness activities. The end to physical activities is blamed on the baby boomers that were least interested in having their children participate in physical education. Instead, people decided to be involved in private fitness options that made fitness become expensive. The chapter also talks about the move by the organizations, such as Center for Disease Control, to lower exercise prescription standards. Such moves, according to the writer, lowered the essence of vigorous exercise.

Chapter five presents a discussion about the way teens are getting fatter. In the chapter, the writer talks about the relationship between race, poverty, and class, and the increase or decrease in the possibilities of obesity. Crister states that anorexia is a common complication among the wealthier white teens, as the black teens show no concern about their overweight. The author talks about a lapse among the insurance companies that settle anorexia prescriptions for adolescents, but fail to cover effective obesity medication for children (Critser, 2003). The final section of the chapter addresses the idea of diabetes in an ever expanding nation.

Moving on to chapter six, Crister looks at the Thrifty gene theory that talks of an isuliresistance gene that has the ability to protect people that are exposed to starvation. The gene stores energy in the muscle in a form of fat rather than glycogen. According to the writer, the Western society has food in abundance; thus, making the protective gene become deleterious. The implication of this situation is that people lack the metabolic ability to handle overheating. The chapter presents a lot of scientific interpretation of the increase in cases of obesity. For example, the chapter talks about enzymes, genes, and the process of metabolic breakdowns among other scientific process. At the end of the chapter, the author presents a situation, where most people are in a state of being obese, but not so obese. The writer also talks about the difficulties suffered by those that are obese in their everyday life.

Finally, Chapter seven is about Dr. Robert Trevino and San Antonio school district that used aggressive and unconventional tactics that ended up solving the problem of obesity in the society. The tactics that were used by the school helped in improving the situation for the kids that were suffering from obesity. A history is given about a PE teacher that helped people to undergo physical education in the West Middle School in Downey. The teacher conducted the education using of a video game health club that later gained popularity (Critser, 2003). Critser also criticizes soda pop companies arguing that they contribute millions of calories besides their contribution of millions of dollars. As a result, the consumption of pop among kids is high resulting into several cases of obesity (Klein, 2004).

The Viability of the Concepts

Facts that are presented by Critser about the historical concepts surrounding the increase in the cases of obesity in America are factual. Currently, obesity is one of the most dreadful epidemics that affect millions of people in the United States of America (Mokdad, Bowman, et al., 2001). It affects people of all ages. In fact, its effects have continued to increase in the society from time to time. As stated by Critser, the victims of obesity eat a lot and use poorly devised diets. The writer highlighted the causes of obesity and its historical evolution in the United States rightfully.

Obesity is associated with people's lifestyle. People in the United States adopted unhealthy behavior that increased their exposure to the disease. Changes in lifestyle can greatly help in reducing the rates of the health complication, as stated by Critser. It is vital for people to note that overweight is the cause of several other diseases that affect the human population. In the United States, the levels of obesity increased due to people's poor eating habits. This is the reason, as to why the United States still remains the most affected society with respect to the levels of obesity. Both children and adults in America are grossly overweight as a result of their failure to participate in exercise, a high level of calories consumption, and other genetics-related complications.

The causes of obesity vary from one person to another based on the differences in lifestyle. However, Critser is right to state that the most common cause of obesity is the consumption of more calories than the amount that the body requires. An obese suffers from the excessive fat cells under the skin. The deposition, as pointed out by Critser, results from the consumption of more food than the body can use for energy. Americans have also stopped taking part in exercise that helps to reduce the risks associated with the consumption of excessive calories. Based on the causes of obesity, exercise is encouraged as one of the effective ways to prevent obesity (Flegal, Carroll, et al., 2002). People should also reduce the amount of fatty foods they consume. To safeguard against obesity, parents and educational institutions should take an initiative in promoting healthy eating habits.

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