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Influences Of Physical And Food Environments On Obesity In Florida

1346 words - 6 pages

According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) Florida is the 12th least obese state in the country. Despite this positive news, Florida’s obesity rate, as a level of prevalence of obesity within the adult population, remains high. The prevalence of obesity in Florida has gone up dramatically in recent decades, moving from 14.4 percentage in 1990 to 25.2 percentage in 2012 (CDC). This increasable rate of the obesity is not an exclusive phenomenon of Florida, but rather a national public health problem. In mostly all of the states the obesity levels have risen steadily since the 1980s in which no state has an adult obesity rate above the 15 percentage. By 2010, the obesity ...view middle of the document...

Conversely, not all researchers agree with this approach, defining obesity as a problem, some obesity experts have disagreed, rather they believed that recent claims of obesity as an epidemic or as a serious public health problem have become a tactic to dilute the real social and economic implication of obesity (Campos, Saguy, Ernsberger, Oliver, and Gaesser 2006; Crossley). As Crossley ( ) stated fat is a sociological issue and obesity is a social fact, thus claims of making it a public health concern are ignoring the relationship between the biological and social processes. As a matter of fact, the fluctuation of body weight is a function of biological mechanism which operates at the individual level, particularly, the relation between the caloric energy intake and expenditure. According to Crossley () the cause of the fluctuation of the body weight is also social. Firstly, obesity rate is determined within a given societal population that varies within and across societies, and secondly, obesity transcendent the individual level thus both individual and social level variables explain changes in obesity rate. As a matter of fact, Crossley ( ) expresses that the only approach that properly explains the obesity rate trends since the 1980s until the present days is by considering it social. Therefore, institutional attempt to represent obesity as a public health problem are nothing else than a strategy of obesity panic (Campos, Saguy, Ernsberger, Oliver, and Gaesser 2006), which mislead the problem from a sociological problem to political or health concern (Crossley ).
Relatively little is known about the causes of population trends in body weight. They are likely to have complex roots (Bellisari 2008; Zafon and Simó 2011). However, to reiterate the point above, weight gain operates through the biological mechanism of energy intake. To explain the increase in the rate studies should seek out social changes that affect the energy intake and energy expenditure (Crossley ). In fact, research suggests that there has been both an increase in energy intake and a decrease in energy expenditure (Zafon and Simó 2011, Bellisori 2008). On the expenditure factors that affect weight gain the picture is clear. Due to the advance in technology, people tend to do less exercise, becoming less active, work in more sedentary professions. In other words, the pattern of the late modern society has modified people lifestyle (Bellisori 2008). Many factors fit into the pattern: technologies, such as the car and the improvement of food technology that make fast food tastier and cheaper; and economic changes such as the decline of manual labor and the suddenly growth of fast food industries (Zafon and Simó 2011, Bellisori 2008). Glass, Rasmussen, and Schwartz (2006) and Bellisori (2008) believe that society has evolve modifying people lifestyle, from hunter-gatherers to a drive-through society, affecting similarly the body weight. The authors believe that society has...

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