Why Have Americans Become More Obese?


The United States of America is one of the developed nations in the world. The government and other non-governmental bodies have worked together in order to fight some of the common diseases that are impediment to the development of this country. The research done by Cutler, Glaeser and Shapiro (2003) demonstrates that Americans are becoming more obese despite the fight that the government has put up to fight it. These scholars were interested in finding out why obesity is increasingly becoming a common problem among many of the American families in the current society. Their research was meant to find the main reason why this population was experiencing an increased body mass despite the warnings that health experts have given concerning the dangers of obesity. The government of America has had a number of visions, all geared towards ensuring that this society is freed from some of the currently deadly diseases. However, obesity is standing in the way of winning this battle. Obesity is source of various other diseases, such as the deadly heart diseases.

In their research, they were intending to come up with a concrete answer as to the main cause of obesity in order to solve the problem by eliminating the cause. In their research, their intent has been very clear. The researchers‘main intention was to have an American society that is free from obesity. In their research, they have stated that the first step in fighting all other diseases is to eliminate obesity. Their sentiments have been echoed by various other researchers and medics who have stated that obesity hinders successful fight against some of the common diseases.

The Research Question

The researchers were very specific with their research question. In fact they used the research question as the title for their paper. The following is the research question used in this research.

Why have Americans become more obese?

The researchers proposed this question as the lead question in this research. There are a number of issues that are addressed in this research as attributing to obesity among Americans. However, the main issue that was confirmed to be the leading cause of obesity was advancement in technology. This was the basis under which the researchers developed the hypothesis in this research. The hypothesis which was used is as stated below.

H1a. Advancement in technology is the main reason for increasing rate of obesity in the United States

In order to support this hypothesis, these researchers reviewed a number of literatures relevant in this field. They wanted to determine the thought of other scholars regarding the effect of technology on obesity among the Americans. It was apparent from these literatures, that technology has played a big role in encouraging obesity across genders and ages in this society. The United States is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. With this advanced technology, the physical activities that were previously done by people are currently assigned to machines. Children no longer engage in outdoor games as was before (Ingram, 2006). This is because of the computer enabled games. They prefer playing right inside the house with their computers and other related electronics. When they are bored of the games, they would then watch movies on television sets. This means that they do not have time to engage in physical games like athletics or football games. This has contributed to a situation where these children increase in body weight because of lack of physical exercise. This type of lifestyle is worsened by the junk food that these children eat, making it difficult to fight obesity. These children may become obese at very early years of their development.

For the adults, the roles played by various people in the society have changed. Most of the physical tasks at the workplaces have been assigned to the machines. Majority of the Americans are currently working in places that do not demand that they use a lot of energy. These researchers also confirmed from the literature they reviewed that the role of women in this society has changed a great deal. Women are currently working in the corporate world just as their male counterparts. As a way of looking for success in the corporate world, both male and female Americans spend a lot of time in their offices trying to ensure that they get promotion (Campos, 2004). The competition is the corporate world is so stiff that these workers do not find tome to engage in physical exercise. This is worsened by the emergence of the e-marketplace. With this development, most families can easily make their purchases online right in their offices or at home. They do not need to travel to the market to make purchase of these products. As a result of this, the literatures confirm that most of the Americans do not get time to exercise. They travel from their houses to their offices using cars, and this means that there is no one point where they are engaging in physical activities. This makes obesity an unavoidable occurrence.

In this research, the three researchers used experimental methods. The researchers used a sample population to help in the collection of the primary research. The researchers were very keen when selecting the research sample. They used stratified sampling method when sampling the population. This method was appropriate in collecting data that is not biased. The researchers identified different strata that were considered as unique given their demographic characteristics. The researchers then used simple random sampling when selecting the sample in each stratum. This ensured that the sample composition included respondents from different demographics, and that each demographic group was assigned appropriate weight. This was in line with the purpose of the study because it reduced the possibility of bias to a greater degree.

This study conducted by these researchers is very practical. It is a common knowledge that obesity can lead to various health complications to an individual. It is also factual that lack of proper exercise and eating of junk food would lead to obesity. Their findings confirm the fact that although the government of the United States has been keen on improving health of its citizens, technology has had both positive and negative contribution to the fight against obesity. The results given in this research gives ways that can practically be used to fight obesity (Segrave, 2008). The researchers propose that although technology is very relevant in today’s social environment, it is important to ensure that physical exercise is given its right place in the society. There is need to ensure that people engage in physical exercise to help fight obesity.

It is true that these researchers did a wonderful job in analyzing the possible causes of obesity in this country. However, this research could have been improved if the researcher increased the number of literatures used in the research. Health issues are sensitive, and therefore, it is important to incorporate as many views as possible, and then find a common ground by conducting the primary research. The writing is however, very clear and straightforward. It is important to appreciate that there is still room to conduct further research in this field based on the findings of the researchers.

In conclusion, it is important to appreciate the contribution of these scholars in this field. These researchers have helped in shedding more light on the causes and effects of obesity in the society. According to their findings, it is clear that the Americans have to change their lifestyle in order to lead a life that is free from obesity. Although these scholars used a limited number of articles in their literature review, it is important to appreciate the fact they did a detailed analysis of the few articles. This article is very clear in identifying these common causes of obesity and how it can be countered. The language used by the researchers in this article makes it easy even for individuals without medical background to understand and apply the suggestions of the report. The sampling method used in the research also indicates that the researchers made a concerted effort to come up with a report that is free from any form of bias. This report can therefore be considered to be meeting the basic standards of a medical report.


Campos, P. (2004). The obesity myth: Why America’s obsession with weight is hazardous to your health. New York: Gotham Books.

Cutler, D., Glaeser, E. & Shapiro, J. (2003). Why Have Americans Become More Obese? Journal of Economic Perspectives. 17(3), 93–118.

Ingram, S. (2006). Want fries with that?: Obesity and the supersizing of America. New York: Franklin Watts.

Segrave, K. (2008). Obesity in America, 1850-1939: A history of social attitudes and treatment. Jefferson: McFarland & Co.

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1. NursingBird. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?" January 3, 2023. https://nursingbird.com/why-have-americans-become-more-obese/.


NursingBird. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?" January 3, 2023. https://nursingbird.com/why-have-americans-become-more-obese/.