Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



As one of the leading preventable medical conditions in the world, obesity persists to exist within the global population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is defined as excessive fat accumulation. A more quantitative definition is Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a ratio of height and mass of an individual. Key benchmark levels, BMI > 25 defining overweight and BMI > 30 defining obese, have been implemented for decades in understanding and defining the population at risk. Figure 1 demonstrates the percentages of each national population's obesity occurrences. Alarmingly increasing rates of obesity within the adult as well as juvenile population warrants concern and necessitates further research of the contributing factors. As a brief overview of the pandemic at hand, access to fast food, urbanization, high dietary salt, fat and simple sugars levels, genetic contribution as well as a decrease in physical activity has fostered a sedentary life and bad eating habits within the American population. To be overweight or obese can seriously harm an individual's health. Commonly known consequences of such a lifestyle include heart disease, the primary cause of death in the United States, diabetes and asthma amongst other conditions



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