Obesity: Addressing the Causes and Health Costs Associated with Rising Rates of Disease Associated with Our Diet


The United States population is currently facing the worst health crisis that it has ever seen. The obesity epidemic now directly affects at least one-third of our population, with the average American now carrying roughly twenty-three extra pounds of weight (Fulkerson, 2011). Yet, the discomfort suffered by carrying around these extra pounds is not the only negative side effect associated with this drastic increase in weight gain. Exponential increases in a variety of chronic, life threatening disease have also occurred in the past twenty years, with the most alarming statistics being seen in our children. Children as young as the age of four are now being classified as obese and diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension, diseases that traditionally have only ever affected aging adults. These facts clearly prove that something drastic needs to be done to save our citizens (Moss, 2).

The main causes of obesity can be directly tied to the food that we eat. Since the 1950s, food corporations have greatly increased the amount of refined and highly processed foods used in their products. These ingredients, while being highly toxic for your health, masks themselves by being highly enjoyable to one’s sense of taste, as well as tricking our brain into thinking that we need to eat more of them in order to become satisfied. However, it is not only our reliance on these highly processed foods that is causing our health problems. An increased consumption of animal based products can also be linked to this rise in disease. Overall, it cannot be denied that it is our diet that is the primary culprit behind our failing health.

The only way to fix this problem is by educating our population. Many individuals have no idea that the ingredients in their favorite foods are actually toxic to them. There also needs to be an increase in physician nutrition education, as most physicians today receive barely any nutritional training in medical school, a key tool that could be used in the prevention of disease. While it would be beneficial if such ingredients were banned from the food market all together, realistically this is unlikely to occur. Therefore, it is crucial that we focus on the low cost alternative of educating our population in order to solve this epidemic.

Curbing Sports Agent Misconduct in an Evolving Industry


In this industry, everyone is a sleazeball and a loyal friend –it just depends who you’re talking to.  Drew Rosenhaus, one of the most well-known sports agents of all-time, currently represents over 170 clients but claims to have personal relationships with each one.  While I find this hard to believe, I would not question anything Rosehaus does or says that seems out of the ordinary.  Following the 2011 NFL Lockout, Rosesnhaus needed only 30 days to ink 90 deals totaling $600 million and earn an anticipated income of $18 million.  However, it is not all fame and fortune for sports agents.

 

The explosion in professional sports contracts equates to a similar rise in sports agent earnings, which are a percentage of a player’s total salary.  Therefore, the seemingly-lucrative sports agent industry has become filled with all different kinds of people and all sorts of problems.  Some agents are attorneys, while others could be high school dropouts.  Either way, they are both fighting for the elite group of talent that comes out of the college and enters the pros.  The NCAA, though, has not made things easy for sports agents or its student-athletes.  Current Bylaws and legislation surrounding sports agents are weak, rarely enforced, and in need of serious change to reflect the changing industry of professional sports.

Decriminalizing Addiction


The War on Drugs has been raging on since the 1970s when President Nixon declared drugs as America’s Public Enemy Number One. Since then Reagan increased the efforts against with a popular “tough on crime attitude” in which drug users, addicts, and traffickers alike were all treated as serious criminals. America now incarcerates more of its population per capita than any other sovereign nation in history. America’s jailing of its people has gotten to a point where the private prison industry is a lucrative and ever-expanding market; but if so many of our “criminals” are in correctional facilities, then why then does the United States of America still have the biggest drug use problem in the world?

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Using tools such as empirical data, academic journals, economic ideologies, and utilitarian philosophy it is easy to see that the current “tough on crime” system the United States uses to combat drug use is plain not working. Mass incarcerations have led to fraudulent, corrupt, unethical and amoral private prison corporations and the suppression of America’s weakest peoples. Meanwhile, across the pond, countries like Portugal are experiencing great success with the decriminalization of drugs. The United States Government needs to acknowledge the flaws of its current system and acknowledge the potential of decriminalization.

Check out this website to learn more and be sure to read my white paper!

http://www.thehouseilivein.org/

https://sites.google.com/a/bucknell.edu/biz-gov-soc/research-for-white-papers/white-paper-archives-or-sources/DecrimAddiction.Berman.docx

The (Low)lights of Los Angeles


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Have you ever been to Los Angeles? No, I’m not talking about Hollywood, the Staples Center, or Universal Studios. I’m talking about Downtown LA. As someone who grew up in New York City and still frequents there often, I was astounded by the stark differences between the two cities when I took a family trip to LA last summer. Continue reading

The Source of Childhood Obesity


Childhood obesity is a dangerous, ever-growing epidemic, which spans all categories of ethnicity, race, and family income.  Obesity rates have tripled in the past 30 years, which means that if this trend continues American children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents.  The health consequences of this disease are numerous and alarming; heart disease, type II diabetes, several types of cancer, and are common consequences.  Prevention measures include educating children on the dangers of obesity, encouraging regular physical activity, teaching how to eat in moderation, and providing healthy food options in the child’s home.  Not surprisingly, eating habits as young children often escalate with age, and therefore most children who are obese have a seventy percent chance of becoming overweight as an adult.  For this reason, drastic measures need to be taken in order to prevent bad habits and overeating in children so as to prevent repercussions later on.

While there are many causes for obesity in children, the most pressing and direct reasons for childhood overweight in America is due to the unhealthy methods the food manufactures inflict on the diets of children.  Companies are so profit driven that they are misleading consumers, falsely advertising, and adding unhealthy preservatives to all food groups.  Most of the food corporations make the majority of their profit by marketing to children, who are not developed enough to make informed decisions about what foods they should be consuming.  Furthermore, food companies are adding inordinate amounts of sugar, salt, and fat to everyday products such as milk, cereal, and sauce, so even the healthy products are considered dangerous.

Watch this great video about the sugar, salt, and fat that food companies add to children’s foods.

Parents are no longer confidant that they are providing the necessary nutrients children need in their food.  In order to address the issue head on, the federal government needs to pass more legislation to regulate advertisements on television, levy federal and state excise taxes on sugared beverages and processed foods, and communicate more effectively with the public as to what they are consuming.

Many attempts have been made in the past to address this issue from different angles.  Organizations and lobbyists have tried to pass legislation to regulate big companies in the food industry, but many corrupt businesses continue pay legislators for their support.  Furthermore, The Obamas health initiative, many obesity action coalitions, and other national movements have tried to raise awareness of the disease and encourage Americans to create healthier environments for their families.  However, these organizations can only do so much when the food and beverage industry has created such a powerful influence over the government.  Although these methods are a good start, strict government action is needed in order to end the disease once and for all.  For this white paper, I am addressing the federal and state legislators, and explaining the causes and solutions that they should take to regulate the food and beverage industry and prevent childhood obesity once and for all.

Calculate your BMI here!

 

Designing for the Future


Design is considered the process for which intelligent thoughts provide the form and function of a product as specified by client objectives and falls within constraints. The design process is most important part of the production cycle of a good or service. It is where most of the investment within a product is spent. Within the automobile industry the design process is key to the creation of a quality vehicle. The design process is similar to the general design process with some specifics.

Design management is the role of management to create synergy between departments to enhance this design process. It allows for concurrent engineering which decreases time-to-production and therefore cuts costs. Along with management’s role in creating effective design, designers must follow the standards and regulations put forth by such organizations as the NHTSA or the ASME. These guidelines include many different regulations which are either lawfully enforced in the case of the NHTSA, or encouraged in the case of the ASME.

Four cases are discussed to show the difference between good design and bad design and the consequences that follow. The Ford Pinto and Yugo GV are two cases which exemplify bad or poor design, while the Volkswagen Bug/Beetle and IDEO are the two cases associated with good design techniques.

From the consequences affecting the product, company, and financials of the company, some conclusions are drawn. First quality design should be sought by all even at the possible expense of low cost. Within the design process, rapid prototyping and frequent testing should be two tenants considered paramount.

By following these recommendations, the automotive industry will better fulfill their customers’ needs and thus create more profit and flourish.