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Obesity Is An External Consequence That An Individual Does Not Have Much Control Over

1678 words - 7 pages

“Look at her, eating at Macdonalds, maybe if she stopped eating so much she would lose some weight”. This statement is constantly made by thousands of people who do not know the truth about obesity. Humans are quick to make judgements based on what they see in front of them. If an obese person is eating, the first thing that comes to mind for many people is, “Its their fault that they are overweight”. The details of the obese individuals story are often overlooked. People do not realize that there are many factors that contribute to obesity such as; genetics, medical disorders, and the lifestyles being passed on to current and upcoming generations. Likewise, the story of a woman named Claire illustrates how a person can be deemed overweight from the beginning of their childhood. She was raised by a family who used the “clean your plate” method. Since the age of 3, whenever she was being fed, Claire would be forced to finish the enormous portions of food on her plate completely. If she refused, even due to feeling sick, Claire would be punished by being locked up in a garden room by her parents. She now suffers being morbidly obese, having a weight of 392 pounds at age 43 (BBC News Magazine, 2012). These causes are all substantial evidence that obesity is not brought upon an individual at their own fault, however, due to the circumstances they face in their life.
Genetics play a significant role in obesity, since they increase a persons risk of gaining weight or developing excessive eating habits. “In a study of 226 families by Plymouth's Peninsula Medical School, researchers found that obese mothers were 10 times more likely to have obese daughters and for fathers and sons, there was a six-fold rise” (Medindia, 2009). The obesity link between parents and their offspring can arise because of two causes; inheriting specific genes that lead to obesity, or being brought up in a lifestyle that causes you to gain excessive weight throughout your life. According to an international team of researchers, individuals who carry two variants of the gene known as “FTO”, have higher levels of the hormone ghrelin in their blood stream. This hormone produces the feeling of hunger, thus a person will feel the need to eat more often, even shortly after finishing a meal. Moreover, brain scans revealed that people with the double FTO gene were experiencing the same brain responses that an individual experiences through alcohol and recreational drug use, simply from eating (WebMD, 2013). These facts demonstrate that the causes of overeating may be the result of specific genes in your body that you have no control over.
Furthermore, problems associated with health, such as disease or depression, can result in obesity. For example, Prader-Willi syndrome, which is characterized by a defect in chromosome 15. This disease causes a dysfunction in the brains hypothalamus, the part controlling hunger and satiety. An individual with Prader-Willi syndrome will have...

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