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Obesity: A Growing Problem

Autor:   •  September 16, 2017  •  Research Paper  •  1,210 Words (5 Pages)  •  402 Views

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Obesity: A Growing Problem

Did you know that in the United States Territory, nearly 38 percent of adults are obese and nearly 8 percent are extremely obese? Many people living in this twenty-first century modern world suffer from obesity without even realizing it, or are not completely convinced of suffering this medical condition that based by its diffusion and extension can be considered as epidemic. Although many people believe obesity is the result of eating too much, it should be considered a disease as it can cause severe health complications and lower quality of life.

As mentioned, a disease is considered any medical condition or illness in a person that keeps their bodies to function as they should. Obesity clearly impairs the body’s functionality. B. Conway and A. Rene point out, “[obesity] meets the medical definition of disease in that it is a physiological dysfunction of the human organism with environmental, genetic and endocrinological aetiologies” (145). Both authors emphasize obesity meets all the requirements to be named as a disease since it keeps the body from functioning properly due to several causes.

As stated before, obesity can have many causes such as thyroid malfunction, genetic problems, and the most common, overeating and lack of physical activity. Suzanne M Wright and Louis J. Aronne state, “Although obesity is most commonly caused by excess energy consumption (dietary intake) .... the etiology of obesity is highly complex and includes genetic, physiologic, environmental, psychological, social, economic, and even political factors that interact in varying degrees to promote the development of obesity” (730). According to Wright and Aronne, we should avoid relating obesity with overeating; there are many reasons of why people are obese nowadays from genetic issues all the way to economic and environmental factors. In certain cases, the genetic composition of a person makes them more likely to suffer from obesity as is the case of Prader-Willi syndrome. According to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association, “Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is the most common known genetic cause of life-threatening obesity in children. Although the cause is complex, it results from an abnormality on the 15th chromosome. It occurs in males and females equally and in all races.” This means that any person is vulnerable to suffer this genetic condition that as mentioned does not discriminate sex or race.

Obesity also has psychological and social repercussions, people can become more susceptible, introverted, they are more likely to develop feelings of inferiority related to their physical aspect and other negative feelings because of the way society reacts towards them. This whole situation it is due to the constant media boom promoting thin bodies as a unique ideal to reach that has made the current civilization feel more rejection towards obesity.

Nowadays, childhood in obesity in America is a growing disease that has affected millions of children and even caused death. This major health issue is growing in our population due to the advertisement of fast food, lack of physical activity and parental control in many teenagers. Environmental factors also have a considerable impact on obesity developments. Obesity has gone from being a health problem, seen from the clinical prism of traditional diseases, to become a disease caused, among other things, socioeconomic and cultural. That is why its solution should not be dehumanized, nor should it be based solely on technical and scientific criteria; but that science and scientists must overcome the simple approach of problems based on their cognitive contributions, also providing ideological, moral and political criteria associated with its solution.

Subsequently, obesity can have a great impact on life expectancy and cause additional health conditions like diabetes, health problems and high blood pressure among others. Hellmich writes, “Obesity could shorten the average lifespan of an entire generation — today's children — by two to five years, according to a controversial


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