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Obesity As A Social Disease Essay

1362 words - 6 pages

For most people, the phrase , “you are what you eat”, rings more than just a few bells. In a growing visually appeasing society it may come as a surprise however that most Americans are overweight and that poor diet/obesity is a leading cause of death in our country. There are many ways that Americans try and attack this problem, the most common being dieting and exercise. Yet with all the money spent yearly on diet programs and personalized fitness regimens, Americans still top off the list in percentage of adults that are overweight. As of 2010, more than one third of all Americans were overweight and that number continues to climb at an alarming rate. In 2012 , there was an estimated twenty billion dollars in revenue for any and all diet books, diet drugs, and surgeries (1). Capitalism has a say so clearly, one aspect of the money is pushing the mentally weak toward fatty foods, the other form is racking in twenty billion on improper self discipline and fitness fads of those trying to be the opposite. Even with the increasing numbers of diets and obesity prevention programs, American obesity remains an instable issue. In our society obesity has become a primary link to heart diseases and other preventable lifestyle illnesses that can lead to early death. Why is our society overweight, and why is it our attempts to correct the issue have yet to yield positive results? Without the proper understanding that obesity is a social disease, our society will continue to seek quick fixes for obesity and never address the ongoing issue at it's core.

Obesity is a social disease. Like the phrase, “you are what you eat”, it is common to hear “show me who your friends are and I will show you who you are”. Meaning, the people around us directly influence (at least pertaining to this subject) our oft-irrational nutritional intake, as can be observed by analyzing an obesity chart. When a state has a high obesity rate, it's due to conscious adults alotting for poor nutrition to have no consequences. Places like west virginia record astounding numbers of statewide obesity (3), and they contribute to the stance of people influencing people. Not one state out of 50 reach below twenty percent obesity which is astounding (3). People who are overweight generally do not live a happy active lifestyle. More often than not, obesity begins as a mental disease and ends up taking a physical toll. Therefore it is my assertion that the first plan of attacking obesity is by making changes at the mental habituation and enabling a bit of discipline day by day. The goal is to achieve balance and not perfection. Only one third of Americans consume a full balanced diet pertaining all three major food groups from the pyramid (4).
In addition to making changes in your own lifestyle, it is just as crucial to change your surroundings. According to research, healthy eating has become less and less of a personal goal but rather a way to maintain social identity and...

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