Obesity is the most common problem in today’s society. There are many fad diets, and weight losing options out there that are temporary. In this essay, why diets fail and don’t necessarily lead to long term weight loss is discussed as well as the causes of Obesity and the Set Point Theory .
A woman’s body image plays a big role in her self esteem. Around 50% of young women have reported to be dissatisfied with their bodies (Bearman, Presnell, and Martinez 2006). According to the NHS Information Centre, Obesity is a term used to refer to a condition where there is excess amounts of body fat and weight is more than what the height requires. The NHS also reported, in 2008, nearly a quarter of adults aged 16 and above, 24% men and 25% women were reported as obese in the UK. There are many causes of obesity such as over-eating, genetics, stress, depression and many more.
The role of media is listed as one of the many reasons of obesity particularly in children (Boyce, 2006). A study by Dietz & Gortmaker (1985) suggests, for each additional hour of television children aged between 12 -17 viewed, the prevalence of obesity increased by 2%. On the other hand, food being the most advertised product on children’s television, advertisements make quite an impact on unhealthy consumption (Boyce, 2006). Children who watch this advertisements are more likely to choose the foods advertised compared to the ones who don’t (Coon & Tucker, 2002). The image of body presented by the media is expectable, obese characters are commonly portrayed as unattractive, unpopular and unsuccessful (Brown & Witherspoon; Parallel as cited in Boyce 2006). This portrayal or image of obese people can be harmful for their self-esteem and can cause stress, anxiety and/or depression.
The Set-Point Theory developed in 1982 by Bennet and Gurin to explain why dieting is unsuccessful in producing long term body changes suggests we all have a control system in-built in us that dictates how much fat the person should carry (MIT Medical). This theory also suggests that over-eating during childhood makes the body produce cells that are used for the storage of excess fats and as the person grows, the cells continue to store more fat (Sace, 2009). The set point is like a thermostat, it keeps the weight constant although the drawback would be that it fails to see the difference between dieting and starvation (MIT Medical). It automatically assumes that the body is going into starvation mode and conserves all the calories making it hard for the dieter to lose weight. In addition, the dieter is likely to experience unceasing hunger if the diet is started out with a high set point causing the diet regimen to be less effective (MIT Medical) . On the contrary, a professor from the University of California, Cheryl L. Rock said that recent studies are using more precise and advance methods to challenge this theory. Another professor Dr Rock went on and suggested that the problem with...