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Obesity - Essay Example

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Obesity Obesity is a physical condition but a number of sociological and psychological shades are associated with this health condition. To cite two simple an obvious examples, an individual might have become obese through years of depressive mood that prompts him/her to over eat; then, there could be another individual who lives in a society where fat-inducing packed food form a major part of the daily menu and thus gradually puts on weight…
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Download file to see previous pages But the problem with this definition is that “there is not a quantitative definition of normal body fat” (James and Linton, 2008, p.94). The definition given by World Health Organisation website at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/ is similar to the one given by NHS and says that a person can be considered obese when his/her BMI is more than or equal to 30. Hence a BMI equaling or greater than 30 can be considered as the yardstick against which a person can be stated as obese. In the context of the increasing prevalence of obesity all over the world,- majority of persons in Western Europe and the United States having a BMI above 30- there is a significant need to understand this health phenomenon from a physiological and sociological angle (Barnett, Barnett and Kumar, 2009, p.3). Anderson and Taylor (2006) have pointed to the difference between physiological and sociological points of view regarding obesity (p.547). Causes It is primarily with respect to the causes of obesity that these areas have different approaches (Anderson and Taylor, 2006, p.547). While the physiological point of view bases its definition and analysis of obesity in physiological causes and treats this health condition as a medical problem, the sociological approach “look to cultural factors as a source of obesity” (Anderson and Taylor, 2006, p.547). The physiological perspective on obesity has been helpful in identifying many factors that cause obesity. For example, one finding has been that “variety influences animals to eat even if they are not hungry” and this tendency can lead to obesity (Sizer, Piche’ and Whitney, 2011, p.346). Also from the side of physiological perspective, many metabolic theories are offered to explain obesity (Sizer, Piche’ and Whitney, 2011, p.344). One theory has been that some people become obese when they over eat and some people do not become obese so easily even if they over eat, a phenomenon caused by the physiological features realized by the genetic makeup of different individuals (Sizer, Piche’ and Whitney, 2011, p.344-5). Another cause of obesity, from the physiological point of view is the consumption of “fast food”, “which is high in fat and calories.” (Anderson and Taylor, 2006, p.547). From the physiological perspective, some other reasons of obesity could be “physical inactivity”, and inadequate consumption of proteins (Sizer, Piche’ and Whitney, 2011, p.344). But when one further traces the causes of increased consumption of fast food to life style changes by which “people are worried, overworked, and seldom take the time to prepare meals with fresh ingredients”, the sociological point of view comes in (Anderson and Taylor, 2006, p.547). The promotional work undertaken by packaged food industry to pursue their business goals and also the increasing “affluence” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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