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Prevalence And Trends Of Adult Obesity In The US Add in library

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Morgan Spurlock spent a period of time consuming an irrational diet. During this time he only consumed food that was purchased at McDonalds.

For this task, you will need to produce a report that details the points below:

Spurlock was eating an irrational diet for experimental purposes.

Briefly give some other reasons that may cause people to consume an irrational diet and describe the possible consequences on the health of the individual.

Spurlock gained 24.5 pounds during the experiment. Although Spurlock lost this weight after the experiment, for some people obesity is a long term issue.

Discuss the long term effects of obesity on the human body.

During the experiment, Spurlock aimed to walk 5000 steps each day in line with the average American citizen.

Describe the general benefits of regular moderate exercise such as walking or swimming on the health of an individual.

Construct an exercise plan that Spurlock could have used following the experiment to help him loose the excess weight. You must choose a specific exercise such as weight training or jogging. Ensure that you explain the benefits and health hazards of this particular exercise.

When Spurlock was trying to lose the weight, he had to make healthy food choices. The advice about what is a healthy choice can change depending. One aspect of the diet that is often debated is the use of margarine as substitute to butter.

Evaluate the impact on health of butter and margarine by discussing the health benefits and hazards of them both. When researching your answer, you must ensure that you refer to each of the following:

a) An advert or packaging for both margarine and butter

b) A scientific study

c) A newspaper article

During the experiment Spurlocks cholesterol level increased to 230mg/DL. He could have decreased his cholesterol levels by taking statins.

Describe the possible benefits and health risks associated with both the short term and long term consumption of this drug.




The increasing health concern due to consumption of fast foods and processed foods is a major issue in USA in current times. This report intends to point out the various aspects of irrational diet focusing on individual health. Considering the case study of Morgan Spurlock feeding on foods from McDonalds for a period, this study highlights the impacts of irrational diets, weight loss programs and statin drug consumption.

Reasons for consumption of irrational diet and its consequences on individual health:

In the current world of constantly advancing technologies, fast pace lifestyles and inclination towards greater ease of life leads to the adoption of irrational diets. Dupuis et al. (2014) highlight the eminent factors as eating behavior of the dining companion, serving bowls, plates, packages and the pantries affecting the consuming pattern of the people. Studies also reveal that marketing efficiencies of the companies and their brand images play a major part in driving the consumers towards adopting irrational diets. Especially in US, the younger generation seems to face the maximum effects of irrational diet.

The irrational diet is seen to cause eating disorders in people. Grebel (2015) asserts that it puts physical and psychological effects on the individual’s health. The irrational diet consumption in Americans readily leads them vulnerable to tropical diseases by outraging their organs of digestion and elimination. The irrational diets as that of consuming only foods from McDonalds in case of Spurlock, results in overconsumption of calorie intake and loss of eating control resulting in obesity. It causes eating disorders as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, etc. Psychological effects as obsessive-compulsive behavior and increased level of anxiety are also evident as results of irrational diets.


Long term effects of obesity on human body:

Obesity is one of the most eminent results of irrational diet consumption. It is evident through the case study of Spurlock depicting a gain of 24.5 pounds during the experimental period. Going through the researches of Borrell and Samuel (2014), obesity emerge as one of the major health issue among Americans of all ages. Various diseases as diabetes mellitus type 2, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and osteoarthritis seem to associate with the long-term effects of obesity. Another vital effect of obesity is the reduction of life expectancy. Obesity is widely considered as one of the leading preventable causes of death across the world. Obesity causes 111,909 to 365,000 deaths per year in US. Around 65% of diabetic cases in men and 78% in women show underlying obesity (An, 2014).

Coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, abnormal fats, cancer, sleep apnea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS), gallstones and reproductive issues are the other major consequences of obesity in long duration (, 2015). The building of plaque in the coronary arteries due to increased cholesterol causing narrowing of the arteries results in the heightened risk of CHD, blood pressure and stroke. Increase in triglycerides and Low Density Lipid (LDL) cholesterol and low level of HDL cholesterol adds to the increasing risk of CHD and stroke due to obesity. Narrowing of the airway causing difficulty in breathing due to fat stored around the neck is an adverse effect of obesity. Mokhlesi (2014) identifies OHS as a serious concern for long-term obesity resulting in higher carbon-di-oxide levels and lower oxygen level in blood causing breathing problems for the individual. Long-term obesity also has psychological concerns as depression and seclusion from society.

Benefits of regular moderate exercise on individual health:

Studies reveals that moderate exercise for 30 minutes each day as walking at a pace of 30 minutes or more improves an individual’s health significantly. Not only physical but it also affects the psychological or mental health of an individual positively. Liu and Chen (2011) highlights the major benefits of performing moderate exercises as low blood pressure, weight management, energy and stamina increase, cholesterol improvement, osteoporosis prevention, type 2 diabetes management, cancer prevention and mental well-being maintenance.

It is evident from researches that exercise reduces risk of major illness as diabetes, cancer and heart disease by 50 % thereby minimizing the risk of early death by 30%. Exercise reduces risk of colon cancer by 50%, breast cancer by 20% and hip fracture by 70% and depression by 30% and dementia 30% (, 2015). The slow initiation of physical activity through moderate exercise regimens seems efficient in driving the adults towards adoption of regular exercises for improving a chronic health condition. Not only do the regular exercises improve physical status of the body but it also enables the better working of the brain improving the problem solving efficiency and generating a feeling of accomplishments in the end. Kalicinski and Lobinger (2013) pinpointed its benefits in older adults in improving mobility and cognitive function, and reduction of risk towards Alzheimer’s disease. It also acts as a wonderful and highly effective stress reliever along with positive effects on depression and anxiety, which is a very frequent issue in almost individuals of all ages in America.


Weight loss plan with benefits and hazards of exercise:

The weight loss plan for Spurlock needs to employ the strategy where he needs to curb the calorie intake without being hungry and killing his appetite. Three-step plan for him can involve eliminating sugars and starches from his diet, balancing his protein, vegetables and fat intake and most importantly to perform exercise 3-4 times a week.

In the 1st step Spurlock need to cut intake of those foods which increases insulin production and eat insulin lowering foods. It will drive him to eat fewer calories automatically without feeling hungry (Bliddal et al. 2014). In the 2nd step, balanced diet comprising a protein source, a fat source and a low-carbohydrate vegetables ensuring the normal 20-50 grams carbohydrate intake each day is necessary. Protein boosts metabolism by 80-100 calories/day, lessens obsessive food thoughts by 60% and drives a person to eat 442 calories less each day (Vettor et al. 2013). Consuming coconut oil fat can prove fulfilling and boost metabolism slightly as well. The 3rd step is significant where Spurlock can opt for a gym session 3-4 times a week for a warm-up, weight lifts and stretch. As per convenience, he can opt for swimming, walking or jogging also. It will ensure effective and fast weight loss.

Impact of consuming butter or margarine on health:

Margarine is sufficiently good for the heart as it lack cholesterol and made from vegetable oils. There is also a higher amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in margarine, which are good for the heart. They are efficient in reducing LDL cholesterol in human body Milà i Canals (2012). Contradictorily, butter is produced from animal fat containing high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol. However, there is some margarine in market, which possesses Trans-fat. Higher level of trans fats in the stick margarines increases the risk of heart diseases by reducing the HDL cholesterol in body. Therefore, it is more recommendable to use the tub margarines with lower level of trans fat or lacking trans fat at all (, 2015).

However, studies reveal that using 1-2 tablespoons of butter in cooking is not so harmful for health. Although US still faces a severe debate on use of butter or margarine due to the fact that margarine possess a high amount of trans-fat due to the hydrogenation process, yet in Australia the hydrogenation processes is banned from margarine preparation technique thus lowering the amount of trans fat in the margarine (GórnaÅ› and Siger, 2015). Replacing hydrogenation with esterification makes it a healthier option to consume. Consumption of the canola-based margarine is a highly recommendable option.

On the other hand, there are several studies coming to the forefront striking the benefits of butter as well. The high levels of omega-6 fatty acids in margarine draw severe criticism against its use. Studies present the link between the increasing rates of heart disease, diabetes, depression and other such health issues with increase in omega-6 fatty acid consumption (Patterson et al. 2012). However, using the newer versions of tub or liquid margarines is beneficial as these are trans-fat free, cholesterol free and plant sterol enriched. The sterols assist in blocking the cholesterol absorption that lowers the LDL cholesterol (Dyall, 2011).


Benefits and health risks of short term and long term statin consumption:

Statin medicine is useful in lowering the blood cholesterol levels by blocking the activity of the cholesterol-producing chemical in liver (Norata and Catapano, 2014). Satins thus benefit the individual consuming this drug by lowering the risk of chest pain, stroke and heart attack. Of the different kinds of statins existing in market, the fluvastatin is the least potent and the atorvastatin and rosuvastatin are the most potent. It is recently revealed through researches that the statins are efficient in reducing the risk of esophageal cancer in people Dimmitt et al. (2015). Mostly people consuming statins face minor or no side effects but certain issues as abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, boating, rash and sickness are evident in some people. Very rarely a severe form of muscle inflammation is encountered in patients taking statins. Another concern associated with statins includes the raising of the risk of cataract. Rare side effects of statin comprise of liver failure and skeletal muscle damage.

Teixeira (2010) highlight the increased liver enzyme concentration, muscle problems, neuropathy, hepatic dysfunction, cognitive loss, sexual dysfunction and pancreatic dysfunction as the eminent adverse effects apparent in patients consuming statin for long duration of time. Statin inhibits the liver enzyme HMG Co-A reductase. It reduces the ability of the liver to make cholesterol. Along with minimizing the level of LDL cholesterol significantly, statin also reduces the triglyceride levels moderately and the HDL cholesterol in small amount as well. However, there are debates regarding the view that adverse effects of statin are evident more frequently in clinical practice compared to randomized clinical trials. On the other hand, Taylor et al. (2013) asserted the beneficial effects of statin consumption in preventing atherosclerosis through exhibition of lipid-lowering activity. The cardiovascular disease prevention is another potential benefit of statin which takes place through 4 mechanisms as improvement of endothelial function, modulation of inflammatory responses, maintenance of plaque stability and prevention of thrombus formation.

Although the benefits of statin consumption are high, yet the physicians generally prefer lifestyle modifications as maintaining a low-cholesterol diet and physical exercise. Failure of the diet and lifestyle changes drives the recommendation for using medications as statin (Goldstein and Mascitelli, 2013). As per the recommendation of NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) adults with 10 years risk of cardiovascular disease development (greater than 10%) and those with LDL lesser than 190 mg/dL are the ones who benefits from statin consumption. Through various studies, it is evident that statin reduces the risk of stroke by 17% on long-term consumption. Statin decreases the number of cardiac events as sudden cardiac death and heart attack by 60% through lowering the LDL cholesterol by 1.8 mmol/l or 70 mg/dl (Lu et al. 2011). The combination of statin with regular and relevant exercise regime seems more efficient and beneficial on health of human.

Apart from these statin also possess other beneficial effects that adds to its potentiality. These beneficial properties include anti-clotting effect, reduction of dangerous cardiac arrhythmias, anti-inflammatory effect, vascular function improvement, direct plaque-stabilizing effect and reduction of the C-reactive protein levels (CRP). It clinically assists statin in its positive potentiality for acute coronary syndrome (Toth, 2010). However, the muscle issues evident in around 10%-15% of the patients consuming statin draws criticism. Critics identify the rare reactions as myostitis or rhabdomyolysis resulting in life threatening kidney injury. The reduction of the enzyme coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinone due to statin consumption is another concerning side effect of statin use.



This study represents the vital aspects of irrational diets, its causes, effects and relevant solutions. It presents a relevant weight loss plan for the individual in experiment. It also highlight the impacts of statin use and butter and margarine use thus reflecting the effects of obesity on human body and efficiency of the relevant drugs and regular exercises.



An, R. (2014). Prevalence and Trends of Adult Obesity in the US, 1999–2012. ISRN Obesity, 2014, pp.1-6.

Bliddal, H., Leeds, A. and Christensen, R. (2014). Osteoarthritis, obesity and weight loss: evidence, hypotheses and horizons - a scoping review. Obes Rev, 15(7), pp.578-586.

Borrell, L. and Samuel, L. (2014). Body Mass Index Categories and Mortality Risk in US Adults: The Effect of Overweight and Obesity on Advancing Death. Am J Public Health, 104(3), pp.512-519.

Cole, E., Rothblum, E. and Thone, R. (2014). Fat¿A Fate Worse Than Death?. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Dimmitt, S., Stampfer, H. and Warren, J. (2015). Common statin side effects explain poor compliance. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, p.n/a-n/a.

Dixon, A. and Clerisme-Beaty, E. (2013). Obesity and lung disease. New York: Humana Press.

Dupuis, E., Burns, M. and Lane, C. (2014). Factors Influencing Eating Behaviors of College Students: Dining Out vs Eating at Home. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 46(4), p.S165.

Dyall, S. (2011). Methodological issues and inconsistencies in the field of omega-3 fatty acids research. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA), 85(5), pp.281-285.

Górnaś, P. and Siger, A. (2015). Simplified sample preparation and rapid detection by RP-HPLC/FLD of tocopherols and tocotrienols in margarines: Preliminary screening of plant fats-potential quality markers. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol., p.n/a-n/a.

Goldstein, M. and Mascitelli, L. (2013). Long-Term Statin Use and Risk of Breast Cancer--Letter. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 22(10), pp.1923-1923.

Grebel, M. (2015). Reality Check. Minneapolis: Mill City Press.

Kalicinski, M. and Lobinger, B. (2013). Benefits of Motor and Exercise Imagery for Older Adults. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, 8(1).

Liu, L. and Chen, G. (2011). Exercise Intensity, Perception of Benefits, and Preferences on Taichi and Chigong Exercises of American College Students. Sport Science Review, XX(3-4).

Lu, Z., Bozin, M., Zhang, Y., Best, J., O’Neal, D., Jenkins, A. and Wilson, A. (2011). High Long Term Success Rates for Statin Rechallenge in Patients Referred for Statin Intolerance. Heart, Lung and Circulation, 20, p.S53.

Mayer, B., Muris, P., Meesters, C. and Zimmermann-van Beuningen, R. (2009). Brief report: Direct and indirect relations of risk factors with eating behavior problems in late adolescent females. Journal of Adolescence, 32(3), pp.741-745., (2015). Butter vs. margarine: Which is better for my heart? - Mayo Clinic. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Apr. 2015].

Milà i Canals, L., Rigarlsford, G. and Sim, S. (2012). Land use impact assessment of margarine. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 18(6), pp.1265-1277.

Mokhlesi, B. (2014). Sleep Hypoventilation. London: Elsevier Health Sciences., (2015). What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity? - NHLBI, NIH. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Apr. 2015].

Norata, G. and Catapano, A. (2014). Statins and periodontal inflammation: A pleiotropic effect of statins or a pleiotropic effect of LDL-cholesterol lowering?. Atherosclerosis, 234(2), pp.381-382.

Patterson, E., Wall, R., Fitzgerald, G., Ross, R. and Stanton, C. (2012). Health Implications of High Dietary Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2012, pp.1-16.

Taylor F, Huffman MD, Macedo AF, Moore TH, Burke M, Davey Smith G, Ward K, and Ebrahim S (2013). "Statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease". Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 1(1), pp. 124-132

Teixeira, M. (2010). Statins withdrawal, vascular complications, rebound effect and similitude. Homeopathy, 99(4), pp.255-262.

Toth, P. (2010). Acute Effects of Statin Therapy on Coronary Atherosclerosis Following an Acute Coronary Syndrome. Yearbook of Endocrinology, 2010, pp.43-47.

Vettor, R., Valerio, A., Ragni, M., Trevellin, E., Granzotto, M., Olivieri, M., Tedesco, L., Ruocco, C., Fossati, A., Fabris, R., Serra, R., Carruba, M. and Nisoli, E. (2013). Exercise training boosts eNOS-dependent mitochondrial biogenesis in mouse heart: role in adaptation of glucose metabolism. AJP: Endocrinology and Metabolism, 306(5), pp.E519-E528.


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