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Obesity - Essay Example

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Obesity is defined as a condition whereby excess body fat has accumulated to the level it may influence an individual’s health negatively causing a reduced life expectancy and elevated health issues (Friedman 632). In the U.S and the U.K, individuals are regarded to be obese…
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Obesity
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Obesity Obesity is defined as a condition whereby excess body fat has accumulated to the level it may influence an individual’s health negatively causing a reduced life expectancy and elevated health issues (Friedman 632). In the U.S and the U.K, individuals are regarded to be obese if their body mass index (BMI), which is a measurement acquired through the division of the weight of an individual by the square of the individual’s weight, exceeds 30kg per meter squared, with the range 25-30kg per meter squared regarded as overweight (Friedman 633). Psychological and social economic aspects have been termed as contributing factors to obesity in adults, more so in developed countries such as the U.S and the U.K (Friedman 633).
Several psychological factors lead to obesity. Among the factors, include the increased food variety. According to research carried out by the American Psychological Association (APA), when individuals get more assortment in their food selections, they have a tendency to eat more (Wyatt et al. 168). One probable reason could be that the first few food bites tend to be the sweetest, but as one get used to the taste, less pleasure is gotten out of it (Wyatt et al. 168). This prompts the individual to move to the next food choice. The other psychological aspect causing obesity is the increased marketing approaches from Big Food. Similar to the strategies utilized in advertising tobacco, food industries have become well versed in psychological research regarding how to influence the choice of individuals. Further, one’s attitude towards managing his own emotions is another aspect that has led to the increase in obesity among adults (Wyatt et al. 171). For instance, when individuals feel a sense of stigmatization due to their weight, they are inclined to get involved in more unhealthy habits of eating. Additionally, food addiction is also a major psychological aspect causing obesity. It is possible for an individual to become addicted to food, as people get addicted to alcohol and drugs. While this remains controversial, more evidence in emerging to support it.
Similar to the psychological impacts causing obesity, there are also numerous socioeconomic aspects, which have led to a drastic increment of obesity, in both the U.S and the U.K. Firstly, the socioeconomic status (SES) of an individual impact his or her eating habits (Ogden 11). On that note, people with a high socioeconomic status are less likely to be obese since tend to practice healthy eating, as well as regular exercise. However, those with low SES tend to eat food with plenty of calories and perfume less exercise (Ogden 11). Secondly, technology is changing at a tremendous rate, as people are trying to make life easier. However, advancement in technology has led to a fast production of fast foods, which is cheaper. The Cheap fast food is an advantage to people with low SES since they can afford it. Fast foods contain many calories that lead to obesity (Ogden 12).
Conclusively, obesity has become so prevalent in the U.K and the U.S. most evidently, psychological and socioeconomic status are among the key causes of obesity in the developed nations. Some of the psychological aspects as mentioned in the context above include: more food assortments in food options, increased marketing approaches from Big Food, attitude towards managing his own emotions and food addiction. Further, some of the socioeconomic aspects include the socioeconomic status and advancement in technology.
Works cited
Friedman, Jeffrey M. "Obesity in the new millennium." Nature 404.6778 (2000): 632-634.
Ogden, Jane. Health Psychology: A Textbook: A textbook. McGraw-Hill International, 2012.
Wyatt, Sharon B., Karen P. Winters, and Patricia M. Dubbert. "Overweight and obesity: prevalence, consequences, and causes of a growing public health problem." The American journal of the medical sciences 331.4 (2006): 166-174. Read More
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