Georgetown Scientific Research Journal GSR Journal
Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Research Articles

Vol. 2 No. 2 (2022): Georgetown Scientific Research Journal: Spring 2022 Issue

Addressing American Obesity: A policy proposal

February 25, 2022


Obesity is defined by the CDC as a BMI over 30, which is a weight that is higher than what is considered healthy, meaning excess fat that is causing or increasing the risk of health issues. In 2017, 42% of adults were considered clinically obese, putting them at significantly higher risk for numerous conditions including osteoarthritis, breathing problems, mental illness, body pain, and difficulty with physical function.1,2 In the last century, life expectancy has steadily increased in the United States, but rising obesity rates may cause this metric to fall.3 Obesity is caused by environmental and behavioral factors, namely an individual’s dietary choices and physical inactivity. The burden of disease, though, is unequally borne by society. Socioeconomic status plays a large role in an individual’s susceptibility to obesity as the poor face higher rates of disease.4 This literature sets forth a policy proposal to combat obesity in the United States that focuses on imposing taxes on unhealthy foods and making healthy food more accessible.