Obesity As A Social And Medical Problem

1258 words - 5 pages

Obesity has become an epidemic in our over indulgent North American society. In addition to body image issues, obesity causes significant health issues. Society often views obesity to be a disease when it is actually a sign of a disorder, genetic or environmental. The percentage of our population that is growing overweight is increasing every year, and can become a very serious issue if it is not dealt with urgently. Problems relating to self-confidence, self-consciousness, and isolation can occur as a result.

An enduring problem in today’s society, especially with children, has to deal with sociality. Public appearance is very important to us and when we don’t look good, or have a low self-esteem, it can lead to further issues, possibly fatal. Those with the “obese” label have to deal with social problems every single day. The fact they don’t look “normal” causes them to not fit in with the “regular crowd” and can lead to isolation issues. Being isolated from the majority of the population can lead to problems such as depression and later on, suicide. Another big influence on social problems relating to obesity is the media. Every day at some time, somewhere, we are watching TV, reading the newspaper, or searching the web. The media tends to give labels and meaning to words in which we get influenced on. The view that the media portrays to us is that if you are a certain weight, you are obese, and vice-versa. Another problem with the media is the amount of time our society spends on it. Time consumed on useless media takes away from time spent doing productive activities such as exercising. However, the corruption in social patterns relating to obesity isn’t the only problem. Another big factor stands on the medical side.

Obesity is a risk in a number of prolonged diseases. Maintaining a healthy weight is critical in order to reduce the risk of those diseases and additionally, improve your overall health. Many children and youth have fewer opportunities to be physically active at school as physical education classes and time spent being physically active at school have been reduced. Being overweight or obese has many risks involved. Serious conditions such as a stroke, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes, can occur as a result, just to name a few.

Linked with health problems is a poor diet. Variations in our food environment have made it challenging to maintain a healthy weight. Society tends to want to eat more fast-food rather than cooking at home because it is cheaper and less time-consuming. We have become lazy when it comes to our diets. We don’t take into consideration the Food Guide and basically eat what we want, when we want. Obesity is also a major drain on the economy. The amount of money being spent on health care because of obesity-related diseases is astronomical. The Globe and Mail had an article headlined, “Obesity costs economy up to $7-billion a year” (Picard). By eating right and maintaining a healthy...

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