In a study conducted by Stanford University researchers, it found that if the 47 million food stamp recipients in America could not buy sugary drinks like soda, 422 thousand people would not become obese.
Obesity’s most prevalent causes are poor nutrition, inactive lifestyle, environment, genes, health conditions, medicines and emotional factors. The problem isn't that sugary drinks are available to buy but rather the fact that the people choose to buy and drink them.
Just because something is available to purchase does not mean that people have to buy it. People make their own choices and those choices will have some kind of effect on their lives. Therefore, the best method for preventing obesity is educating people about how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Poor nutrition is one of the most common causes of obesity. With fast food restaurants on every corner of every street, stores full of processed sugary foods and the fact that people are always in a rush to eat something so they can be on their way, it is no wonder obesity is on the rise.
Fast foods and processed foods are low in nutrition and high in calories. Eating these foods does nothing for your body but produce fat. Since those foods lack nutrition, you will become hungry again soon after eating because your body is still starving for nutrients. When you eat foods full of nutrients, you will remain fuller for longer and your energy level will remain more constant throughout the day.
In addition to eating foods lacking nutrition, many people live an inactive lifestyle. Many jobs in this age are in technology so people will sit all day long at a desk working. After work, many are stuck commuting in traffic and by the time they get home are too burnt out to exercise. People have to find time to exercise, even if it is just a brisk walk in the evening around the block or during their breaks at work.
Environment plays a role in obesity because of a number of reasons. As mentioned before, long hours at work leave little to no time to exercise. Large portions of food consumed during meals are commonplace in America. Many people eat enough food to feed two people and this could be due to eating non-nutritious food. Also, healthy foods are not sold in some stores. Not everyone has transportation to get to a store that sells healthy foods. Furthermore, healthy foods are much more expensive than unhealthy foods yet the more nutrition you get the less you become hungry and the less you eat the less you will spend on food.
Genes, health conditions and medicines can cause obesity. Your chances of being overweight are greater if one or both of your parents are overweight and if you grow up learning unhealthy eating habits, you are more likely to adopt those habits. Some health conditions related to hormones can cause weight gain like hypothyroidism. Medicines like antidepressants and seizure medicines are also a cause of weight gain.
Boredom, anger, depression and stress are some emotional factors that cause overeating and lead to weight gain.
Therefore, will banning the use of food stamps for sugary drinks really reduce obesity? Or, is educating the public on living a healthy lifestyle, maybe having a garden on every corner of every street instead of a fast food restaurant and selling more nutritious food for an affordable price the answer? In the end, people will make their own choices and will have to live with the consequences of their decisions good or bad.