The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Is Obesity taking over america?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 342 times Debate No: 83556
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




35.7% of American adults are considered medically obese. How do we solve this? Take away the public's rights? Ban all highly unhealthy foods? Avoid exploitation? There must be a better solution. I think Americans are being over taken from this syndrome caused by excessive weight gain and poor eating habits. I think petitions or small debates wont help us, we NEED drastic action to remove such a powerful and stiff conflict. Do you think it wont hurt our society, or even have no hope of solving this problem? Please debate what you feel on the topic.


Obesity can be a problem. It is a problem. I will give you that! There's not a single doubt in my mind that being excessively fat or overweight is by any means healthy. Obesity should be addressed. We agree on that as well. We shouldn't take away peoples rights. We agree on that.

However, I will disagree with you on the notion that "Obesity is taking over American," while it maybe more common than ever before. Which can be correlated with change of lifestyle and easy accessibility to food our culture has been slapped in the face by, it is not to the extent the Center for Disease control says it is. (CDC)

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is the scale the CDC uses to determine whether one is obese.
"BMI is a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. BMI does not measure body fat directly,"

From the CDCs own mouth. Yes, there is a correlation between being fat and having a high BMI. However, this is not a correlation between having a high BMI and having high body fat.

Example: A body builder at 6'1 who weighs 225 pounds will not have the same BMI as an American Football linebacker at 6'1 who weights 225 pounds. Same height and weight measurements. What it does not account for is the body fat to muscle ratio, or the build of the frame of each athlete. Chances are the body builder will be 5-10% body fat, while the football player will be anywhere from 7-20% body fat.

One more example which might be redundant, but it serves a purpose: A 5'9 average American who weighs 205 pounds versus another average American who weighs 5'7 205 pounds. Surely the 5'7 American is obese or less healthy compared to the 5'9 American who weighs the same. However, we can't tell just from this information alone? We need age, frame build such as shoulder measurement, hips and waste measurement (structure wise), and muscle to fat ratio.
The detail we left out was that the 5'9 American is a full time truck driver with a family, while the 5'7 fella works freight from 4 AM to 2 PM full time. He properly lifts weights 2-4 days a week for 30 minutes with his friends throughout the week.
Now we must ask, at what point does being fat effect overall health?
Yes, BMI can be an effective tool, but not without the help of excess machines. While also taking into account the daily activity of every single person in the United States. A 5'8 Stocky/Chubby guy who works out 5 days a week, weighing in at 225 pounds will be healthier than a 5'8 skinny guy who weighs 170 who does not participate in any physical activity and eats a terrible non-natural diet.

Extra source/read:

Another quick point: Where did they come up with the 35% of American's are obese? Take into what I said into account, so let's say what I said only takes out 4% of that statistic. Meaning 4% of people are not actually obese. We're still left with the 31% of obese Americans. How many of the 318,900,000 Americans were surveyed or documented? How did they obtain these numbers? Did they survey, or did they take results from the average doctors appointment where they take your height and weight?
Say they surveyed: How many Americans did they Survey? 5? 100? 10,000? We know for a fact 318.9 Million American's weren't surveyed. I wasn't surveyed for this, no one I know was surveyed for this. So how can these numbers be representative of the population of the United States? A more appropriate way to use that statistic would be "Out of 100,000 American's surveyed, 35% are obese,". Another question, where were they surveyed? You'll find different Obese statistics, theoretically, when comparing Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles, California. They are two completely different cultures. Sure, both live a city life! However, when we think L.A. we think L.A. fitness and Hollywood!

Say it was from doctor office visits: How many Americans didn't attend a doctors office during the time these statistics were pulled? How many of these doctors actually measured each part of the persons frame and measure fat to muscle ratio? I didn't participate in this. That brings up the question, how many individual numbers did they pull?

Let's not forget, making averages doesn't always work. If we can remember in Elementary school while learning Range, Mean, Median, and Mode, outliers can skew data notably.

Now, I will conclude this argument with this closing statement. Obesity is on the rise. Our way of life promotes obesity. Obesity can be unhealthy! We should absolutely strive for more fit and health conscious mindsets. However, we shouldn't say that being fat makes you unhealthy, but that health conscious people are more likely to be lean. We should take statistics that try to summarize a population with a grain of salt as there are so many factors involved with how everyone's individual body is build. Especially with the current method of calculating BMI.
Debate Round No. 1


I see your point completely. 35% can't be completely obese in the way that was described, but it certainly affects people in some ways. Although it would be near impossible to measure this problems scale accurately due to this country being so large and diverse, and I will give you that. Health is also dependent on life style, but I would see the obesity as a sign of not only poor habits, but even exploitation of those habits on susceptible people. Many fast food/travel food companies can exploit people due to these habits, and find easy profits worldwide as well. Take for example, The MC Donald's corporation. They serve "high quality" food that is easy to obtain, cheap in price, and delicious. Although the food tastes good, most consumers don't realize how deteriorating it can be towards ones health if you continuously consume such products. When people are exploited like this, they usually don't even realize it is happening. The life style can be harmful, but it is the exploitation that must be solved in order to help prevent such a problem. I don't think it really depends on how many people are effected by this, but the severity of it. And remember, the problem could be worsening, as obesity rates have risen over the last century, due to technology, exploitation, and a change in culture.


I can't agree with you more on the fact that obesity is a problem by far. I will add, it irritates me when people claim the "U.S. is the fattest country in the world," like.... no. China has us beat on that. Yes, I also agree that we can't accurately measure how many people are obese in the U.S. We can just guess based on trends.

Nonetheless, the thing is, I don't and will not blame McDonalds for making people fat. Blaming them is like blaming Smith & Wesson for gun deaths around the world. McDonalds doesn't exploit, they provide what consumers want. People don't go to McDonalds to eat healthy and get a McCarrot or a McLettuce, people go to McDonalds to get a McDouble or a Big Mac.
If it wasn't McDonalds it would be Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, or some other chain. However, it appears to be that McDonalds is the company that makes the most money so lawyers suit up in arms and sue McDonalds. "People can't control their weight! It's McDonalds fault," Sure, McDonalds food can be addicting, but most high carb and high fat foods will generally cause a dopamine rush to the brain making you go back for more.

We can't blame companies for people making poor decisions. McDonalds provides calorie counts for every single item they have on the menu. They have it on the packaging, they have it on the order menus, they have it posted online. If you don't have access to the internet, go to the local library checkout a book that lists all the calories for popular restaurants or use their internet. Or even ask the McDonalds worker. A McDouble is about 390 calories according to McDonalds, when I eat their I usually track it as 450 calories just for safe measure. Heck, if McDonalds wasn't here people would make their own cheeseburgers!
A 90% lean beef patty equals about 190 calories + buns which equal 160 + cheese equals 40-110 + Ketchup equals 15-30 + May 15-50 = 540 calories at the most for a complete burger or 420 calories for the minimum amount of condiments.
Which is comparable to the 390 calorie McDouble.
Say you make the Big Mac Meal 6$, and a McVeggie meal 1$, people are still going to pay 6$ to get that burger, fries, and coke. What's McDonalds doing? Providing for the consumer.
We live in a day and age where people like to blame corporations or other people for their problems. Losing weight is as simple as Calories out vs Calories in.

Sources of people losing weight on junk food:

All McDonalds is doing is responding to the demands of the customers. McDonalds does not force anyone to eat their food. No one drags you inside and forces you to ear their food.
Guy: Hey! If I don't order fries you don't try to make me eat it do ya?
McDonalds Employee: I'm sorry?
Guy: If I don't order fries you don't try to make me eat do ya?
McDonalds Employee: No?
Guy: Okay just comfirming.

However, should we act? Of course! But we shouldn't punish McDonalds for giving consumers what consumers want or take rights away from individual people. People are fat because fat people make bad decisions.
(It's Not Genes: People Are Fat Because They Eat Too Much)
(It's not McDonald's making us fat)

We hear on TV over and over again how eating fast food or high calorie meals can cause weight gain. So why are we blaming restaurants when people choose to go eat them? If McDonalds didn't provide burgers someone else would or people would cook it themselves. We're wired to tell the difference between low calorie and high calorie foods.
Sure it's sad to see people go, it's sad to see people get fat. However, it's ridiculous to blame McDonalds or fast food restaurants for doing their job.

What we need is better education. My health class and P.E. class were absolutely terrible in explaining weight loss. They said "Just eat these foods and exercise for 60 minutes a day!" Meanwhile at 14 years old I was 30 pounds overweight. Little did they know I was playing outside for well over 60 minutes a day and ate all of the foods they said I should eat. The thing is, I ate ALL OF THE FOOD. If I had known at 5'6.5 inches as a 14 year old and 200 pounds that I would burn 1,893 calories daily without exercise. I was eating well over 1,800 calories, I'll tell you that much.
We need to give out proper information, revamp education, and teach people that blaming companies for them being fat is ridiculous and ineffective.
McDonalds does not exploit, they provide based on consumer demand.
Strippers don't exploit single men, guns don't exploit gun victims, porn doesn't exploit 12 year olds with no jobs.
These companies provide a product that people buy and enjoy.
We can't force ANYONE to do something. We can educated, that's about it. If we ban McDonalds or force McDonalds to change for whatever godforsaken reason, we teach people that they are not in control of their own bodies. We're taking away business rights just because people can't make proper choices.

Yes, being obese can be a problem. Obesity is on the rise to an extent. McDonalds is not causing it. They're just selling food. People making bad choices are causing it. It's not right to take one persons rights away because other people abuse theirs. It's called freedom, people will eat whatever they want to eat. In my town it's cheaper to get a salad from our grocery store delis that have less calories than our fast food restaurants. And FAR less time consuming. Education is the only way, not narrowing rights.
I end it there.
Debate Round No. 2


Oh boy.... I see now. Well I have several debates going on, and this one isn't my main focus, and I congratulate you for your debating skills! I started this site only recently, and I will admit I got ahead of myself in blaming MC Donald's. I hate people capitalizing on Others, and I didn't think twice that your rebuttal would nail me in the face, but I will have to forefeight. This topic was a little bit to much for me to chew, and my research was inadequate. I learned a valuable lesson on how to keep the levels of emotion/opinion balanced with facts and tactics in a debate.

Have a good one


CrypticMediaDebate forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Themeaman909 10 months ago
I am to busy with other debates, and this one was the least important one to me. Also, I was to tired to think of a counter argument, and I had several other debates to do, so that is my say for forfeiting. My argument was failing anyways.
Posted by Sdio 10 months ago
That's actually not true. European countries aren't that far behind our official "statistics"
Posted by Themeaman909 10 months ago
Thanks for your support! Please vote if you can.
Posted by raskuseal 10 months ago
I agree withThemeaman909 on this topic. I also believe that obesity is taking over America. if you look anywhere else in the world, you will see that Americans are, by far, the fattiest of the bunch. We simply don't get enough exercise and eat right because of excessive opulence.
Posted by Themeaman909 10 months ago
I will soon be posting a debate on technological over dependency, so look out for it if your interested!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sdio 10 months ago
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm in great shape and lifts weights. According to BMI, I am "overweight" despite the fact that I am extremely lean, with a six-pack, and can run a mile in under 6 minutes. It is an inaccurate indicator of obesity.