Sarah C. (15 years old) used the following manuscript to deliver her first Rhetoric 1 speech for the Master’s Christian Academy. Her delivery was excellent and met the 6-8 minute timeframe. The class has met weekly on Tuesday mornings from 10:30-12:30 during the 2014-15 academic year. For this speech Sarah composed nearly a dozen annotated bibliographies on books, magazine and news articles, and websites, some of which are cited.
“I’m sure everyone remembers the Ebola outbreak this past year. I know I do-I was convinced I was somehow going to contract it, and I know for certain I wasn’t the only person with this fear. No, many people were afraid, and rightly so, as the Ebola virus is extremely deadly. The Ebola outbreak of 2014 is responsible for at least 8,235 deaths in West Africa, but what if I were to say Ebola isn’t the greatest health threat in today’s day and age? Well, as it turns out, Ebola isn’t the biggest health crisis in the world right now-it is our own lifestyles. It is heart disease and strokes and heart attacks caused by our own choices and lifestyles. Americans are consuming massive amounts of processed foods, leading to numerous health problems and deaths. People have no self-control and are literally eating themselves to death because of weight issues that lead to health issues. The subject of health has always interested me, and as our country seems to be in a pattern of bad health I decided to write about it. People need to know what is happening in our nation so we can be better equipped to stop the weight problems before they worsen.
Obesity is one of those subjects that does not get much attention. It can be an uncomfortable subject to talk about, but it is a problem, and problems need solutions. The Center For Disease Control reports that in the United States more than one-third of adults are considered obese (http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/facts.html). People are not taking care of themselves like they should, and the problem is not getting any better with time.
There may be several factors to blame for the increased numbers-in Michael Moss’ Salt, Sugar, Fat he says that processed food companies are to blame, with companies offering foods and drinks for every part of the day (Moss, xv). While there are various reasons that come into play in the epidemic, it boils down to people not taking care of themselves. One simple solution to this problem is that overweight people should adapt healthier lifestyles.
There are several reasons overweight Americans should adapt healthier lifestyles. First, it would cost the country less money. Second, it would lead to better eating habits. Third, better lifestyles do not jeopardize a person’s health like that of a person with poor eating habits.
All the reason Americans should have better eating habits and healthier lifestyles would be beneficial for the country as a whole, as well as individuals. The first problem with obesity has to do with money. If better habits and a better lifestyle were developed, the problem of money would not be as substantial as it is right now. According to the CDC, $147 billion was the medical cost of obesity in 2008. That averages out to $1,429 more each year spent on every obese person (http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html). Think about this. Americans are not taking care of themselves and as a result, the country is spending an incredible amount of money on helping those who can’t seem to help themselves. If Americans were to implement better habits then the issue of money may not be as great as it is today.
And second, a big part of adapting a healthier lifestyle has to do, not surprisingly, with what people eat. When lifestyles are changed to consist of better diets, bad eating habits are done away with. One of the major reasons a person is obese is because of overeating. From a young age, it is understood that plates must be cleared, and parents force children to eat past the point of being full. Dina Rose, author of “It’s Not About the Broccoli” (Rose, 47), writes that when these habits are formed early in a child’s life, they continue on through adulthood and can very quickly lead to overeating. Parents should teach their children from a young age to learn when they are full, and develop good eating habits. When better eating habits and good diets, involving lean meat, fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, are introduced from a young age they continue on through life and bad eating habits are avoided. Healthy lifestyles should be put in place no matter how old someone is, with healthy diets and exercise.
The third major problem that could be avoided if overweight people adapted healthier lifestyles is major health problems due to poor lifestyle. Each year that goes by means more people will die due to health problems stemming from bad habits and choices in life. Dr. Shanthi Mendis, of the World Health Organization in Geneva, reports that millions of people are dying every year just because of poor health choices. Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, are the top killer. If diets were changed to healthier foods and good exercise habits formed, than people would not be at risk like they are today. Of all the deaths worldwide in 2012, two-thirds of them were because of heart disease, diabetes, and other related conditions (http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/01/19/377760851/whats-most-likely-to-kill-you-hint-probably-not-an-epidemic). Lifestyle really does matter, and many people who died in their 40’s and 50’s because of unhealthy choices in life could be alive today if better lifestyle choices are made.
Obese Christians today also need to step up and start taking better care of themselves. Christians can be very quick to point fingers at others for various sins, while not examining themselves first. In the Bible we are told that our bodies are a temple to the Lord and we need to be good stewards of them. Being overweight is certainly not stewarding our bodies, and it is something Christians should think about. A Fox news opinion piece reports the findings of a Purdue study, the results showing that Christians are the heaviest religious group, led by Baptists at a 30% obesity rate. Other statistics show similar signs that it’s time for churches to stand up to obesity. The Pawtucket Heart Health Program’s research shows that church attendees have a higher risk of being 20% overweight and having other health problems than those who do not attend church (cThese statistics show that obesity is no longer something to just shrug off or not speak about. It’s time for overweight church members to start taking care of themselves and put healthier patterns of life in place. How can Christians help others and be a witness of Christ while they themselves can’t fulfill the commands in the Bible of stewarding our bodies? Obese Christians should begin implementing healthy lifestyles and thus be a more effective witness of Christ.
While obese people adapting better lifestyles and making better choices in life may not instantly help, it’s better than letting the problem continue. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine put out a study stating that by the year 2030 close to one half of the American population will likely be considered obese (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/06/03/obesity-epidemic-in-america-churches/).This is why overweight people should adapt healthier lifestyles. Lifestyles changes won’t completely fix the problem, but they can help. If nothing is done at all, the problem will worsen and the epidemic will continue to spread. It’s time for Americans to step up and take action against obesity, and treat it like a real problem. If this were to happen, America would save money every year, Americans would not have to deal with bad eating habits as much, and people could even live longer and avoid significant health problems in life. If Americans could learn to enjoy and consume fruits and vegetables like they enjoy processed foods than the problem would not be as substantial. Next time people start freaking out about Ebola or other diseases, they should also think about the biggest health crisis spreading today-our own lifestyles. Lifestyle changes could go far in helping a person enjoy life better, longer.”
Moss, Michael. Salt Sugar Fat. Random House, Inc. 2013
Rose, Dina. It’s Not About the Broccoli. Penguin Group, 2014.