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Statistics on Food Disorders in the US and Puerto Rico

Weight-related problems have become acute in the modern world; due to a variety of reasons, a large number of people are suffering from bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders. As for obesity and extra weight, the major reason for it is the energy imbalance by which the calorie intake exceeds the needs of the body. Today, many US people have a sedentary lifestyle and lack physical exercise. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the statistics on food disorders in the United States, compare it with the situation in Puerto Rico, and suggest measures to tackle the problem.

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Eating disorders pose a serious threat to the population of the United States and Puerto Rico. It is estimated that in the US, over 30 million people have had an eating disorder in a particular period of their life (Caceres, 2020). Weight-related problems are thought to develop mainly in women but the fact that 10 million men in the United States struggle with eating disorders proves the opposite (Caceres, 2020). As for Puerto Rico, over 11 million of the inhabitants of the island have food-related ailments (Caceres, 2020). Hence, it might be stated that the nutritional health of many people in the USA and Puerto Rico needs to be improved.

There are several eating disorders that harm public health with anorexia nervosa being one of them. The prevalence of anorexia is partly due to thinness becoming a beauty standard and the promotion of images of skinny models by media. However, 50-80 percent of anorexia risk is genetic (Caceres, 2020). According to the National Eating Disorders Association reports, in the United States, 0.9 percent of men and 0.3 percent of women develop anorexia in their lifetime (“Adult Obesity Facts,” 2020). The statistics are the same for Puerto Rico (“Adult Obesity Facts,” 2020). The indicators are low but the complicating factor is that 50 percent of anorexia patients have mental problems and mood disorders like depression (Caceres, 2020). Therefore, measures should be taken to decrease the number of people suffering from the disease described.

Another dangerous eating disorder is bulimia nervosa which is characterized by a person’s eating large amounts of food and then vomiting. The statistics for the USA show that 0.5 percent of men and 1.5 percent of women develop bulimia (Galvin, 2020). In the majority of cases, the risk for having bulimia is defined by genes just like the chances for developing anorexia (Caceres, 2020). Speaking about Puerto Rico, the numbers of people suffering from bulimia are also low and do not exceed 2 percent for both men and women (“Adult Obesity Facts,” 2020).

As for obesity and overweight, they are the most prevalent eating disorders both in the United States and in Puerto Rico. Around 40 percent of Americans aged 20 or older have a body mass index of 30 or higher (“Adult Obesity Facts,” 2020). In Puerto Rico, the percentage makes 30.7 and thus, is significantly lower than in the United States (“Adult Obesity Facts,” 2020). However, the indicators for both the island and the states arouse concerns.

The measures that I can take as a healthcare professional include giving lectures on healthy eating, obesity, anorexia, and bulimia, organizing weighing days, and instructing people on how important nutritional health is. Cooperating with a gym to create weight-loss programs and attracting participants might also contribute to solving the problem. In my opinion, particular attention should be paid to the instruction of children because not all families eat healthily.

In conclusion, it is significant to press the point that eating disorders are a great threat to public health. In fact, anorexia and bulimia are often accompanied by mood disorders and mental problems. Hence, although the numbers of people suffering from these diseases are low for both Puerto Rico and the US, the problem should be eliminated. As for obesity, in the United States, the number of overweight and obese people is significantly higher than in Puerto Rico; nevertheless, appropriate measures should be taken both on the island and in the states.

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  1. Adult obesity facts. (2020) Web.
  2. Caceres, V. (2020). Eating disorder statistics. Web.
  3. Galvin, G. (2020). The U.S. obesity rate tops 40%. Web.

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