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Battling Obesity - Essay Example

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People’s lifestyles have a great effect on their health. Nowadays, life is made more convenient by technology and the accessibility of basic needs. For example, instead of walking to the store to buy things, one can just call for delivery. …
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Battling Obesity
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Download file to see previous pages Instead of cooking food from scratch, one can just buy “fast food” or heat up instant meals in the microwave oven. These lifestyle habits are likely to cause weight gain in people especially if they do not engage in physical activities. If not controlled, it can even lead to obesity. This essay will discuss Obesity as a growing health problem in the UK and worldwide. Obesity is defined as an excess of body fat and is measured by an estimate of the body mass index (BMI). A BMI over 25 kg/m2 is classified as overweight while a BMI ? 30 kg/m2 is classified as obesity with a strong correlation between greater BMI and mortality (Wadden et al 2002). Obesity is a major public health problem contributing to increased morbidity and mortality, with a significant increase in mortality from cardiovascular disease (Poston & Foreyt, 2000). Comorbidities associated with obesity include hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes (Donnelly et al 2000). The comorbidities associated with obesity contribute to increased health care utilization, increased health care expenditures, and lost productivity (Fontaine & Bartlett, 2000). Hence, obesity becomes a concern of government since it poses as an additional burden. Obesity has been linked to multiple health problems resulting in increased human suffering and health care costs (Abalkhail, 2002). According to statistics, being overweight and obesity itself, ranks as the fifth major cause of deaths globally leading to more than 2.8 million deaths annually amongst adults (WHO, 2011). Moreover, obesity is responsible for more than 23% of the ischaemic heart disease burden, 44% of the diabetes burden and amidst 7% to 41% of certain cancer burdens (WHO, 2011). There is a significant increase in mortality related to cardiovascular disease among obese persons (Poston & Foreyt, 2000). The lack of awareness amongst those who are just a little overweight leads to a consistent increase in obesity amongst them causing them to gain weight excessively overtime thus leading towards prolonged suffering for themselves as well as their families (WHO, 2006). Further to this is the fact that the overall costs for health care systems has risen alarmingly high causing even more strain for governments to meet these needs (WHO, 2006). Obesity has been identified as one of the most frustrating and difficult diseases to treat (Barlow & Dietz, 1998). Overweight individuals are prone to become obese if intervention strategies are not initiated and followed. Further, Holmes (1998) noted that “a strong argument can be made that many obese individuals are simply victims of their genetic and environmental settings” (p. 1). While environmental factors do influence obesity in the area of lifestyle and physical activity measures, there are also psychological issues. Some eat to cope with stressful situations. Some eat to re-experience positive emotions felt in remembered happy memories. Some use food to fill out feelings of emptiness in their lives. There is a need for health promotion efforts to help people modify lifestyle behaviors that contribute to obesity. Motivating people to modify lifestyle behaviors that contribute to morbidity and mortality is a key focus of health promotion (Glenz et al 1997). Health promotion emphasizes improving health as well as enabling people to increase control over their health (Glenz et al 1997). The expectation is that by giving people information about healthy behaviors they will make changes in behavior based on this information. Providing certain learning experiences is expected to facilitate "voluntary adaptations of behavior conducive to health" (Glenz et al. 1997, p. 7). Although instructional strategies to inform people of health risk behaviors and advice to change behaviors do work in some ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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