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Dieting in America and Obesity - Essay Example

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One of the most important medical, psychological and social issues in America has been the risks of obesity and dieting, and it is essential to comprehend that dieting has an important influence in the genesis of obesity. Although statistics on obesity throughout the world can be frightening, the rate in the US is particularly alarming as two-thirds of adults in the nation are now overweight or obese…
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Dieting in America and Obesity
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Dieting in America vs Obesity One of the most important medical, psychological and social issues in America has been the risks of obesity and dieting, and it is essential to comprehend that dieting has an important influence in the genesis of obesity. Although statistics on obesity throughout the world can be frightening, the rate in the US is particularly alarming as two-thirds of adults in the nation are now overweight or obese. In a reflective analysis comparing the risks and benefits of obesity and the risks of dieting, it becomes lucid that both obesity and dieting produce medical, psychological and social risks, while there are some important benefits of obesity. Although there is great consensus about the risks to health as a result of being overweight or obese, it is not easy to determine whether weight loss produces benefits on mortality and on cardiovascular event rates. "The evidence from observational studies is conflicting: some studies have shown weight loss to be associated with increased mortality, but this could be because differentiation was not made between intentional and unintentional weight loss. Mechanistic hypotheses can be raised for both beneficial and harmful effects of weight loss." (Ryan) Therefore, the medical, psychological and social risks of obesity and dieting offer an important point of comparison between the two and there are various views on this question.
Analyzing the risks involved in obesity, it becomes lucid that there are numerous diseases and health risks caused by obesity which include hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancers, gall bladder disease, glucose intolerance, respiratory diseases, osteoarthritis etc. However, it is important realize these risks in the context of the social and psychological aspects, along with the medical aspects. "Despite the risks related to obesity, it is a mistake to exaggerate those risks. We need to recognize that special interest groups with strong lobbying power are involved - and a great deal of money. In the U.S. alone, $50 billion is spent annually on weight loss efforts. This drives much of what we read in the day's headlines. In addition, our culture has an undeniable bias against obesity. This also feeds into the exaggerations and misinformation that continually surge through the obesity field." (Obesity: Risks and benefits) Therefore, the risks involved in obesity should be realized in the general perspective of the other aspects such as psychological and social factors. It is also important to recognize that obesity also has several benefits along with the risks. Although the benefits do not outweigh the risks involved in obesity, the vital benefits of obesity cannot be ignored. "More than 2,000 people claim incapacity benefit because they are obese, according to government figures." (2,130 get benefits 'for obesity') Therefore, it is important to balance between the health benefits and the risks of obesity in order to make a complete judgment about the issue.
As an immediate measure to deal with obesity many people end up in dieting without proper analysis of the risks involved. "Among the risks of dieting are greater risk of heart failure and heart disease, said Atkins Other risks include gout, hair loss, greater risk of osteoporosis due to bone loss, and severe eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia." (McNulty) Therefore, a comparative analysis of the risks and benefits of obesity vs. the risks of dieting confirms that there are various medical, psychological and social factors to be considered in making a judgment on the issue.
Works Cited
McNulty, Jennifer. "Health risks of dieting will be discussed on October 22." University of California. Nov 18. 2009. .
"Obesity: Risks and benefits." Healthy Weight Network . Nov 18. 2009. .
Ryan, Donna. "Risks and benefits of weight loss: challenges to obesity research." European Society of Cardiology. 2009. Nov 18. 2009. .
"2,130 get benefits 'for obesity'." BBC News. 2009. Nov 18. 2009. . Read More
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