Obesity as a Social Problem


A critical social problem affecting America today is obesity. Overweight and obesity together make up one of the inevitableprimary causes of death universally.Ironically, underprivileged families are mainly affected due to coexisting undernutrition, inadequate resources to eat healthily, and insufficient venues for exercise.Numerous aspects are presumed to cause obesity, for instance, aperson’schromosomal makeup, excessive eating, consuming foodcontaining high-fat content, and being physically dormant.In 2016, more than 1.9 billion grown-ups aged 18 years and older were considered to be overweight. Of the 1.9 billion,approximately 650 million grown-ups were corpulent(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). To prevent the contraction of dangerous health conditions, obese individuals are recommended by medical specialists to attempt and shed some of their weight by engaging in a new, improvedway of life such as working out and regulating their food consumption.Though healthcare providers need to be involved in the broader public health and community attempts tackling corpulence, assisting patients as they endeavor to shed weight or agonize from its results remains equally imperative.

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Overweight and obesity are varied points on a scale that range from being malnourished to being morbidly overweight.The most extensively integrated classification system for plumpness–an irregular build-up of body fat–is considered the body mass index in grown-ups. BMI is an evaluation of an individual’s weight as it correlates to height. BMI typically presents a great impression of the volume of body fat a person has within the body. .According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020), a standard adult BMI is believed to be between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI ranging between 25 and 29.9 indicates a case of being overweight, a BMI of more than 30 specifies obesity, and a BMI larger than 40 specifies extreme corpulence.  Even though health consequences of BMI cut-offs contrast across racial groups, it is acknowledged that growing BMI is linked to an increased threat of death from malignant cells and cardiovascular ailment. Obesity was strongly connectedto an enormous risk of death among non-smokers with no history of any disease.

Obesity may similarly be assessed by waist-to-hip proportion. This is a measurement instrument that examines the volume of fat on the waist, likened to the fat volume on the hips and rear end. The waist circumference tells the volume of fat in the stomach. Increased fat within the gut is linked to type 2 diabetes, high saturated fat, high blood pressure, and heart ailment. A waist circumference of more than forty inches in males and more than thirty-five inches in femalesis likely to increase the threat for heart ailments and additionalailments tied to being obese.

BMI for kids, unlike grown-ups, is both age and gender explicitsincekids’ bodies change melodramatically during development and thealterationsamongst boys and girls. Terminology for categorizing BMI in kids has altered, and currently, the dialect is more constant with the adult classification. Since a BMI of 95th percentile in older adolescents is more than the grown-up cut point of 30 kg/m2, corpulence within this populace is well-defined as BMI greater than 95 percentile or BMI greater than 30 kg/m2, either is lesser.


Global obesity rates have almost trebled since 1975. The pervasiveness of overweight and obesity amongst kids and youths aged 5-19 has increased intensely from only four percent in 1975 to over 18% in 2016. In 2016, approximately more than two billion adults, 18 years and above, were deemed to be overweight. Of the two billion individuals, 650 million were obese. Thirty-nine percent of grown-ups aged 18 and above were overweight in 2016, and thirteen percent were plump.

While the complete populace appears to be getting thickerevery year, there is proof that corpulencehas a significant impact on severalminor groups in the populace to a larger extent than others.Non-Hispanic Black grown-ups, representing 49.6%, had the uppermost age-adjusted frequency of corpulence, followed by Hispanic grown-ups, representing 44.8%, non-Hispanic White grown-ups, representing 42.2%, and non-Hispanic grown-ups of Asian descent representing 17.4%. The pervasiveness of corpulence was 40.0% amongst grown-ups at the age of twenty to thirty-nine years, 44.8% amongst grown-ups at the age of forty to fifty-nine years, and 42.8% amongst grown-ups at the of sixty and above (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)Secondly, African American and Mexican American females have a greater prevalence of corpulence, BMI greater 30 kg/m2 compared to Caucasian females.

The link between corpulence and income or level of education is intricate and varies by gender and race/ethnicity. Generally, males and females with college degrees had a lesser obesity frequency than those with a lower level of education. Regarding race/ethnicity, a similar pattern in obesity and education was viewed among non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic females. Likewise, among non-Hispanic White males, even though the variances were not all statistically important.Though the variance was not statistically crucial among non-Hispanic Black males, the prevalence of obesity intensified with educational accomplishments.  Among non-Hispanic Asian females and males and Hispanic males, there were no variances in corpulence occurrence by the level of education.

Among males, obesity prevalence was lesser in the lowermost and uppermost salary groups than the middle-income group. This pattern was established amongst non-Hispanic White and Hispanic males. Obesity pervasiveness was more significant in the uppermost salary group compared to the lowermost salary group amongst non-Hispanic black males.Regarding women, obesity pervasiveness was minor in the uppermost salary group compared to women in the middle and bottommost wage group. The pattern was witnessed amongst non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic females. Amongst non-Hispanic black women, there existed no variance in obesityfrequency by salary.

Obesity as a Social Problem

A social problem is described as a challenge that implicates and impacts society at large, necessitating the efforts of each society member in addressing the issue. In recent years, obesity has become a widespread occurrence, particularly in the US. There has been an upsurge in nutrition-related protractedailments that have significantly lowered the life expectancy of persons and enlarged the death rate.Most households and communities are bearing the substantial burden of loss and concern for familyattributed tocorpulence.

The government is similarly not left out in regards to the management of obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020), it was projected that the US administration spent around $190 billion, which is approximately 21% of all health expenses on cases linked to plumpnessonly. Based onimpacts on individuals alone, obesity is accredited to lowerself-confidence in the affected persons, which sequentiallyresults in social stigmatization on the casualties. The personsnegatively impacted by obesity have similarly shown low productivity levels in service.

Obese personsare also known to experience challenges in securing employment in particularsectors, for instance,within the airline, food, and healthcare industries that are deemedto be very stringentregarding the size of the body. In most cases, airline industries have had to escalate their fuel cost to cater to obese clientelesthat make up most of the clients. Social places and institutions have had to incur additional expensestoprovide amenities that supportthe increasing number of obese individuals, for instance, broaderchairs in waiting bays and conferences.In one way or another, obesity has a significant impact on every person in society and, therefore, qualifies as a social problem.

Individual and Social Implications of Obesity

Based on a personal level, obesity bears several negative repercussions. In the contemporary world, particularly in western nationssuch as the US, body image plays a vitalrole in describing anindividual.Obesity is deemed as being physically unhealthy and unfit. According to Rosenthal et al. (2016),obese persons face a significant challenge in attempting toblend in. This results in weight stigmatization and low self-confidence. As a result, overweightindividuals are extremelydisposed tovarious instances of social segregation, melancholy, nervousness, and troublein psychologically adjusting. This significantlyimproves the chances of obese individualsdeveloping health-related problems.

Regarding the consequences that corpulencebears on the community society, the emphasis is on how every individual in the community affects obesity issues. As most overweightindividuals are disposed to developing health problems, they are not as dynamic as they ought to be. Moreover, individuals that are likely to develop difficultiesultimately die. This deprivesthe community of essential personsthat would have significantly assisted in the process of development. The resources used by societyin the management of obesitymay have been used for other development commitments. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020), the US spends around $149 million in addressing the obesity related situations.The medical expenses for individuals deemed obese were $1,429 greater than those with average weight.

Significance of Nutrition Related To Obesity

According to Rosenthal et al. (2016), research shows that large-scale nutrition has shifted from principally to a more nutritionally dense, one of the significant driving forces responsible for the fast and radical increase in plumpness amongst American citizens. This is illustrated by the current surge in the figure of plump individuals in the country. Moreover, numerous lines of proof have provided indicative details that characteristic variation of these changes may play a massive, impactful part in shaping the epidemic, particularly in the emerging regions. The significance of nutrition preventing obesity has attained much-needed attention from both private and public health specialists. For individuals to manage a healthy diet, there is a need to contemplate nutrition, steady physical health, and the concept of preserving a hale and hearty weight. These are some of the vital issues used in the management of deteriorating conditions on nutrition.

Nutrition plays a critical role in regulating cases of obesity whereby the consumption of a hale and hearty diet is vital in reducing obesity. The most predominantmatter is the concept of burning oilyfoodstuffs, which must or may be taken to battle against the perception of obesity.Consumption of a healthy diet on a day-to-day basis is of significant effect to be taken to overpowercorpulence, more so to the distressed American adults. According to Vest et al. (2016), researchindicates that a host of American citizensdo notconcentrate on consuming a healthy diet, and this results inbeing physically inactive, which is aconcept that is required to sustain perfect nourishment and proper health in the future.It is recommended that American adults consume fruits approximatelytwiceeach day and vegetables approximately thrice each day which exhibits a transformation in nutrition consumption. Because of alteration of nourishment, aroundone in threegrown-ups and one in six children and adolescents have a great view of being plump. Consequently, it is bindingfor every individual to guarantee that he/she consumes a healthy diet, particulate in day-to-day physical activities, and accomplishingall the aspects by preserving a bodyweight on the kind of food consumed which advances the general health of the individual.

Measures Integrated by the Society in Managing Obesity

Regardless of the growing percentages, there are numerous ways of preventing corpulence in society. Regarding dieting, it is typically a matterpertaining to personal life that individualsmay not easily intrude. Still, sincecorpulence is now developinginto aworldwidechallenge, it is essential to integrate various mechanisms to reduce the impacts of obesity in society.Foremost, the best way to deal with the issue entails educating and encouraging individuals to live a healthy lifestyle. People are being sensitized through commercials and other banners erected in public areas on undesirable impacts of obesity and ways of leading a healthy way of life, free from adverse effects of obesity.

Various policies in public learning institutions by the administrationprovide hale and heartynourishmentsbeginning from when kids are young and programs of watching their diet and working out to guarantee that the future generation is conscious of the challenges.The attempts to sensitize individuals on healthful living are being taken seriously by the citizens as persons are now becoming mindful of the foodsbeing acquired.Adults are now extraapprehensive with the nutritional data on foods before buying them. The number of gymnasiums in neighborhoods is growing, signifying that individuals are altering their way of life and are conscious of the undesirableimpacts of obesity.

Additional alternatives used in sensitizing people on the impacts of obesity involve finding cheaper alternatefoods that may be utilized by the underprivileged in society. Most individualsconsidered to be obese are linkedto poverty. They require to be informed on economicmethods of leading a healthy lifestyle.By concentrating on obesity deterrence and changes in lifestyle, it can be probable to reduce or prevent the growth of these ailments.

Tackling obesity necessitates comprehension of energy balance. It ought to be simpler for society to avert corpulence from an energy balance method than reversing it (Harvard School Of Public Health, 2016). Moreover, it might not be likely to resolve the challenge from an energy balance standpoint by concentrating on food alone. Presently, the energy needs of much of the populacemight be under the level of energy consumption that maysensibly be sustained over time.


Overweight and obesity impact each segment of the United States populace where it escalates the risk of numerous chronic ailments, particularly in children and grown-ups. Obesity is a social challenge that may be effortlessly avoided if personsopt to lead a healthy life. The attitude that individuals have on leading healthful lifestyles is what makes the challenge of obesity seem insoluble. There are economicalmethods that individuals can work out and consume cheap foodstuffs that contain a low amount of calories. People ought to think about how costly it may be to cater to corpulence impacts after it has taken course. This prudence shouldpersuade anindividual to sustain a reduced cost other thanshouldering the total cost after the challenge has taken effect. While confronting the challenge of corpulence, people ought tocontinuously know that deterrence is better than cure.




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, September 17). New CDC data FINDS adult obesity is increasing. Retrieved April 28, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0917-adult-obesity-increasing.html Committee. Journal of cardiac failure, 25(5), 380-400.

Harvard School Of Public Health (2016, April 12). Obesity causes. Retrieved April 28, 2021, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/

Rosenthal, R. J., Morton, J., Brethauer, S., Mattar, S., De Maria, E., Benz, J. K., …&Sterrett, D. (2017). Obesity in America. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 13(10), 1643- 1650.

Vest, A. R., Chan, M., Deswal, A., Givertz, M. M., Lekavich, C., Lennie, T., …& Desai, A. (2019). Nutrition, obesity, and cachexia in patients with heart failure: a consensusstatement from the Heart Failure Society of America Scientific Statements.

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