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Std edition Obesity

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License: Public Domain

Published Time: 2019-11-06 13:25:56
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Over the past two decades, there are numerous social challenges that have been increasingly affecting people in the society. One of such challenges is obesity. Obesity can be defined as having excess body fat. Obesity refers to a condition in which an individual is overweight or weighs more than he/she should for a normally healthy person. A detailed definition of obesity is given by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity and it describes it as a medical condition in which excess fat in the body accumulates to the extent at which it may cause negative effects on health of an individual. In the United States of America, obesity has been increasingly cited as a major social and health issue over the past decades. Barbour also affirms that increase in obesity in the United States is highly alarming, because it is the highest in the world. As of December 2008, approximately 34% of adults and 17% of children in the United States were obese while in the year 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 36% of adults and 17% of children in the United States were obese. According to the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, the rate of obesity in the US was estimated to be 26% in 2012, and it rose to 27% in 2013. The North American Association for the Study of Obesity further asserts that the percentage of normal weight adults fell to 35% in 2013 from 36% in 2012. Today, approximately nine million American children are considered obese. Although, the rate of obesity has also been increasing across almost all demographic groups in the US, African Americans and Hispanic Americans are more likely to be obese than white Americans. Obesity is also higher among adults aged between 45 and 64 years who earn between $50,000 and $75,000 annually than adults in the same age group who earn less than $50,000. The groups of Americans who are likely to be less obese are youths and young adults aged between 18 and 29 years. In relation to gender, approximately 36 million American women and 30 million American men are obese. This implies that obesity is more prevalent among women than men. Obesity has been associated with reduced life expectancy and increased health problems. In addition to having adverse effects on the health of an individual such as increasing the likelihood of diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, osteoarthritis, anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea and Type II diabetes, obesity also has social and economic effects among individuals. For instance, obese people usually suffer from social stigmatization and disadvantages in employment. People who are overweight or obese are often discriminated. However, discrimination of obese has received great criticism and opposition. A number of organizations such as the United States National Association to Advanced Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) and the International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA) have been pushing for social acceptance of obesity. Many obese people also have higher rates of absenteeism and take disability leaves more frequently. This leads to increased costs for employers and reduced productivity at workplaces. More special costs are also incurred by specific industries such as airlines, healthcare and food industries. For example, due to rising rates of obesity, airline companies are faced with higher fuel costs, because of extra weights and increased pressures to adjust widths of seats in planes. In 2000, extra weight of obese passengers cost airline companies $275 million. The healthcare industry also has to invest in special facilities for handling patients suffering from obesity. This involves acquisition of special lifting equipment and bariatric ambulances. Moreover, increase in obesity among children also led to modification of children’s safety seats in cars, in 2006, in order to accommodate more than 200,000 obese children in America aged six years and below. According to the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, obese people also suffer from psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. They are usually worried about their physique or body appearance. They are also worried that people will make fun of them, hence leading to increased stress, depression and anxiety. Barbour also affirms that in addition to its health impacts, obesity leads to many problems including disadvantages in employment and increased business costs. For instance, the increase in costs associated with the provision of medical services in the United States has been attributed to obesity and was estimated to be $190 billion in the year 2005. This was equivalent to a 20% increases on total medical expenditures. Obese people also incur extra costs such as buying two plane tickets when flying. In addition, obesity has been causing annual deaths ranging between 100,000 and 400,000 in the U.S. Obesity has also been linked with increased complications during pregnancies and childbirth among American women. Moreover, babies born to obese women are three times likely to die within one month of birth and almost two times likely to be born still (stillbirth) than babies born to women of normal weight. Obesity has also been linked with increased morbidity in car accidents, hence causing more deaths. In the education sector, obesity has been linked with poor academic performance among children. Obese adults also faced prejudice and discrimination at the workplace. According to Borton and Teach, obese children aged between seven and fifteen years are likely to suffer socially and emotionally than their normal-weight peers since they easily get teased and socially ostracized or excluded. Obesity is usually associated with unhealthy lifestyles such as excessive intake of fatty foods and lack of physical exercise. Social researchers have also associated high risks of obesity with the upper social class. Social researchers believe that rich and wealthy people with high income have a higher risk of contracting obesity as compared to poor people with low income. About the author: Jessica Sanders is a bachelor in English philology and sociology at California University. Jessica is currently working as one of the best writers at the https://essayswriters.com/ She also studies feminine psychology.

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