ThePublic Perception of being Overweight and the Effects that it Causes
Onebecomes overweight after the body accumulates excess body fat, acondition that can result to obesity. The American Medicalassociation referred to obesity as being a disease because it hasmany negative health consequences on the individual. Obesity is amongthe top killer diseases that are preventable. There are many diseasesassociated linked with overweight, and thus it has become a publicconcern. Among the causes of one being overweight includes unhealthylifestyle and genetic make up of the individual. The weight problemis more pronounced among the African Americans than other groups inthe United States (Bailey, 2006). Among the diseases that one can isvulnerable to when the individual is overweight includes heartproblems, and depression among others. However, these diseasesattributed to weight problems can be controlled through a healthylifestyle. This research paper evaluates the public perception ofbeing overweight and its effects that it causes on individuals.Further, methods to control the weight problem are discussed.
ThePublic Perception of Being Overweight and the Effects that it Causes
Throughcivil education about the health problems when one accumulates excessbody fats, the public has become concerned about this healthproblem. Previously, people who were obese were considered normalalthough they could be mocked, be discriminated and hence have a lowself esteem. Among the African Americans, even presently, obesity isconsidered as a sign of wealth, a factor that makes them among thehighest victims of obesity. Obesity is caused by many other factors,besides the cultural background, others include social setting,psychological and behavior components. It is can also be hereditarythrough genes, while the behavior of an individual from childhood toadulthood is also factors that cause obesity withstanding the gender,race or economic background (Akabas, Lederman & Moore, 2012).
Takinginto consideration the genetic make, one may have ancestors who wereobese, as a result, through gene mutation and hereditary, one mayinnocently become obese. Most ancestors had no food security andwherever they found food, they had to eat excessively and store it inform of fat so that they could cushion them during the times ofhunger. Their lifestyle characterized of hunting and gathering,therefore they had to store enough fat because there was no foodguarantee (Power& Schulkin, 2009, pp.392).
Overweightcauses many health problems, Stanford Hospital & Clinics (2014)notes that the cost of treating obesity and overweight relatedproblems is approximately more than $150 billion annually. Among thediseases caused by being overweight and obese include high bloodpressure, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, jointproblems, eating disorders, respiratory problems, sleep apneametabolic syndrome, and psychosocial effects. Atherosclerosis is aheart disease with the major characteristic being hardening of thearteries. Obese women are vulnerable to uterus and breast cancer. InAmerica, beauty is evaluated in respect to the degree of thinness,thus being obese one suffers psychological effects and may bediscriminated because they are disapproved by the society.
Thepublic needs to be concerned about the health risks they are exposedto when one becomes overweight. Among them includes anxiety, eatingdisorders, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, and canceramong others. The fatal heart attacks can affect the overweightindividuals when the fat accumulates in the blood vessels hencemaking it complicated for heart to pump blood across the body. Thesehealth risks demand the public to remain concerned about their weightthrough observing a lifestyle that cannot make the susceptible to theoverweight adversities. The calories intake and level of physicalactivity should be balanced in order for one to remain healthy. Allmembers of the society need to be encouraged on how to maintain ahealthy lifestyle.
Obesityamong children is not an American problem, but a global problemhowever, it is more pronounced in the developing countries than inthe developed countries. The prevalence of obesity in the UnitedStates among children is that 11% of children are considered obese.In the developing countries, since 1971, there rate of childhoodobesity has been on the rise, more so, there are proportionately moregirls that are overweight than boys, particularly among adolescents”(Dehghan et al. p.3). Children who are obese are likely “to developnon-communicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseasesat a younger age” (World Health Organization, 2012). Although thesenews are alarming, it is worth noting that childhood obesity can beprevented and managed to enhance the child to live a normal live.
Asthe public gets concerned about the issue of overweight among thecitizens, they should consider the kind of foods they consume,especially with respect to junk food served in the fast foodrestaurants like McDonalds. The public needs to be aware that junkfood is among the main cause of one being overweight because theyconstitute of fats and are saturated with sugars that a key factorscausing weight problems. The fast food restaurants employ their hugeincome in advertising their products without informing the consumerabout the ingredients used to produce them as a result, they resultto causing health problems to the innocent public. The younggeneration is the highest victims of the fast food restaurantsbecause the junk food is considered sweet and cheap, however they endrisking their health unknowingly. The economic problems facing manyhouseholds also are attributed to the high prevalence of overweightproblem among the minority groups such as the African Americans. Thepoor find their hunger solution in the fast food restaurants becausethey can afford the cheap junk food without taking into considerationthe health risks they are prone to. In efforts to save a pennyresults to spending of thousands of dollars in the management ofoverweight related problems. Besides the medical costs, there arepsychological costs among the family members of the victim along withthe victim. In case the weight problem results to fatality, moreproblems emerge because a family could have lost a breadwinner or ayoung person who may be the only source of hope for the family.
Accordingto Bailey (2006), in efforts to manage the weight problem which thepublic perceives to be endangering the future of the Americansociety, a number of strategies need to be employed. To begin with,the government along with other lobby groups must control theadvertisement of the junk food through all media. This is throughensuring that the advertisement are genuine and inform the publicabout the ingredients of the foods they serve and the dangers ofexcess consumption of the foods. Through that, these firms willbecome responsible corporate entities that will be responsiblethrough production of healthy foods that will subsequently results toa healthier nation.
Anotherstrategy to manage the weight problem is through getting professionaladvice about the required calories intake per day per person. This isbecause many people are not aware about the calories in their foodsand result to eating excessively. The calories intake depends on manyfactors, and it is only nutritionists who have the competency toinform the public about there required intake. For those who areoverweight because of eating disorders, they can also get therequired professional and medical advice on what to consume inefforts to manage weight. Among the critical factors that thenutritionist will advice people is to control the amount of sugarsand fat in their foods.
Theeducation system has a principle role to educate the students aboutthe problem of being overweight and how to manage a healthylifestyle. The teachers need to be trained on how to educate thestudents about weight management and lead by example. Through the useof the education system, the childhood obesity will be controlledconsiderably, meaning that there shall be limited cases of obesity inthe future . Childhood obesity should be prevented and the “primaryprevention of overweight or obesity itself, secondary prevention oravoidance of weight gains following weight regains after weight loss”(Dehghan et al. p.6). For the obese children, they should beencouraged to make behavioral changes positively while protectingthem from being mocked by their peers.
Lifestylechanges are a key factor for controlling weight. The overweightindividual should be encouraged to take part in physical activitiesin order to burn the excess fat. Physical activities can includewalking up the stairs rather than taking lifts, they can also ridebicycles to the local groceries rather than driving, they can preferto engage in physical activities rather than watching movies duringtheir free time. There are numerous physical activities that one cantake to burn the excess fats and thereby have a healthy weight. People to be encouraged on cooking their food rather than consumingfood in the restaurants, this is because through that, they will beconscious of their nutritional intakes.
Thegovernment should provide the social amenities to the minority groupsin efforts to ensure that they are informed about the dangers ofbeing overweight. These social amenities include schools whether thestudents can get informed about weight problems. They should ensurethat there are food groceries and supermarkets within theirneighborhood where they can purchase fresh and healthy food products.Education among the public through mass media about the weightproblem can be enhance public awareness and thus make sure thatpeople have the chance decisions about their own lifestyle decisions(Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, 2007).
Overweightis a health problem that results to obesity. This has become a healthconcern because of the many health problems attributed to thedisease. Among the fatal diseases caused by the weight problemsinclude atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, joint problems, eatingdisorders and apnea among others. Taking into consideration thatobesity is considered as a disease and causes the highest number ofpreventable deaths, it is imperative for the public to developworking strategies to control the weight problem. The major causes ofweight problem are unhealthy lifestyle characterized by eatingunhealthy food that has high calories levels and lack of physicalactivities. Genetic make up of an individual can also cause obesity.The problem of obesity is more pronounced in some ethnic groups thanothers. It is therefore imperative for the health officials toaddress the disparities that make it to be prevalent among someminority members society. The best way to address the weight problemis through improving the lifestyle, through healthy feeding, engagingin physical activities, and seeking professional help on how tomanage the health problem. People who are obese should be supportedin managing their weight rather than being marginalized. Thegovernment should control the quality of food being served in fastfood joints because the junk food is a major cause of obesity. Publiceducation through schools and public media should be encouraged tocontrol this problem and guarantee a healthy nation.
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JohnsHopkins Center for a Livable Future, (2007).Perspectives on ChildhoodObesity Prevention: Recommendations from Public Health Research andPractice. Retrieved fromhttp://www.jhsph.edu/clf/_pdf/research/clf_reports/childhoodobesity.pdf
Power,M. L. & Schulkin J. (2009).The Evolution of Obesity.Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
StanfordHospital & Clinics (2014). Health Effects of Obesity. Retrievedfromhttp://stanfordhospital.org/clinicsmedServices/COE/surgicalServices/generalSurgery/bariatricsurgery/obesity/effects.html
WorldHealth Organization, (2012). Childhood overweight and obesity.Retrieved from http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/