Throughout the human history, weight gain and fat storage have been seen the signs of fertility and prosperity. Currently, due to the rise of living standards, excess weight and obesity are posing a growing threat to health in many countries around the world.
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Obesity is a chronic disease that prevails in both developed and developing countries and affects children as well as adults. This problem is urgent to the extent that it replaces more traditional public health concerns including infectious disease and malnutrition as negative depositors to person’s health.
In addition, as obesity is the major risk factor for other chronic and non-communicable diseases, it is just a matter of time before the same high mortality rates for such diseases will be viewed in developing countries. The same rates existed in industrialized countries 20 years ago thought having good developed market economies (Takrouni, 2008). Finally, obesity is referred to as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation to an extent that human health may be affected (Takrouri, 2008).
Obesity is a serious disease that is being heavily discussed in the United States and is contributing to the development of other chronic conditions and dangerous disorders. The weight excess influences the organism and provokes heart diseases and disorders of blood-vascular system.
The weight gain also provides a considerable stress on other organs and, therefore, weakens the immune system of the organism. However, there are cases when excess weight is the outcome of genetic heredity, which is often serves as a viable excuse for obese people. Therefore, there is the necessity to shatter all the myths and to make people lead a healthy life style.
The Epidemic of Obesity
It is undeniable that the epidemic of obesity has no social, economic, technologic, and geographic boundaries. This especially matters as the skyrocketing rates of this disease are closely associated with metabolic syndrome affecting the rate of mortality and morbidity of obesity.
Approximately, two hundred and seventy million (270,000,000) people in the world are considered to be obese and the number is assumed to reach three hundred and fifty million (350,000,000) in coming 2026 (Kushner and Bessesen, 2007, p. 100). The problem of the excess weight has become more urgent in the United States during the last three decades. In particular, one third of adults are obese.
What is more deplorable is that this obesity proliferation has no gender, age, and racial distinctions (Kushner and Bessesen, 2007, p. 100). The more significant concern is connected with the impetuous growth of the childhood obesity. The statistics counts that the United States has each sixth child suffering from obesity (Kushner and Bessesen, 2007, p. 100).
Obesity is considered to cause major impacts on the health care costs, economic costs, and social costs because its swift growth has almost outstripped the HIV/AIDS. To be more precise, 2005 witnessed about 75 % of American people suffering from HIV/AIDS and almost 86 % are the victims of excessive weight (Mooney et al., 2008, p. 42). Therefore, apart from preventive measures of obesity, which are viable solutions for assisting in slowing down the rates of disease, there should be some alternative and effective methods of treatment.
This can be achieved through government research and implementation of scientific projects aimed at facilitating the public education on issues concerning obesity. Proper treatment to those who are already suffering from obesity should be administered and proper care given so as to assist them to overcome the problem of excess weight. Obesity management needs urgent attention, especially in rural areas.
Health care services should be decentralized to local areas for easier access to all people who need them. Therefore, these individuals should be seriously targeted for treatment to prevent obesity proliferation in the United States. There is also the necessity to create awareness of the disease as a major health problem because government and some health care systems pay insufficient attention to it.
Obesity as a Disease
Apart from genetics, most cases of patient’s obesity are the outcome of unhealthy food intake and actual lifestyle. There are few people who think over the reasons of such chronic diseases as heart failure, diabetes, and asthma are excess weigh and careless attitude to the food allowance.
Taking into consideration the weight issues, the above chronic disorders can be considered as symptoms. Therefore, the obesity is the root of all problems that should be eliminated immediately. According to statistics, “even with improved management of comorbidities associated with obesity, the estimated number of excess death in 2000 association with obesity was 111.909” (McKnight, 2005, p.1)
With regard to the above, a healthy life style, culture of food consumption and human behavior are the main pillars of healthy existence.
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This is why when buying food and other product, people should stick the appropriate rules. However, the lack of education and proliferation of food culture still leaves much to be desired. In addition, people should stop spending money on weight loss products but spend more on the processes of developing health actions, behavior, and eliminating poor lifestyles (Finkelstein et al., 2003)
Other Chronic Conditions That Make It Hard To Overcome Obesity
The occurrence of chronic disorders is difficult to eliminate for a person who tries to reduce or improve when they have excess weight. Such chronic disorders include the heart disease causing many lethal outcomes, particularly among the American population. Arthrosclerosis is another chronic condition emerging as a result of obesity problems, diabetes, and genetics inheritance. The presented complications aggravate the process of treatment considerably (DeBruyne et al., 2007, p. 372).
In addition to the above-defined chronic conditions, there are some other factors hampering obesity treatment. It should be admitted that obesity prevention and therapy should be carried out with the help of effective strategies and, therefore, common measures are not likely to be implemented. Hence, it is necessary to consider all risk factors, future complications that might occur as well as side effects. Therefore, these chronic diseases are major stumbling blocks for people suffering from obesity.
Types of Illness Relating to Obesity and Consequences of Stigma
Cardiovascular, hypertension, mortality diabetes, and breathing difficulties are related with obesity. Sometimes obesity does not have a negative impact on health. But it might cause stress, anxiety, loss of self-esteem, and depression. This is excess weight affects both the health and the psychological status of a person (Ross, 2003).
Attention to obese people has spread worldwide due to high and shocking rates of obesity and its health problems particularly in the United States of America. Obese people experience stigma and discrimination leading to serious consequences for their emotional and psychological health.
More importantly, obesity stigma is experienced in all aspects of person`s life because such people are poorly treated by their counterparts at work and other social spheres. The state of being obese makes people lazy, passive and indifferent to life; they might even lose the sense of existence. This is especially typical of people with inferiority complex that often develops among people suffering from excess weight.
Before considering the stigma of weight, it is necessary to study the phenomenon of stereotypes that serves as the basic condition for obesity biases. According to Brownell (2005), “the content of all stereotypes varies along two dimension of more and less socially desirable traits: warmth and competence” (p. 111).
Such theoretical model closely relates to stigma of obesity. Hence, the content of stereotypes mentioned above can be applied to obese individuals because such people can commonly react to the presented factors. However, this particular bias is more concerned with the issues of controllability and visibility.
It is proved that the problem of excess weight is a negative stigma because is visible and treated to be controllable (Browneell, 2005, p. 111). Arising from the above, there is an assumption that negative perception of excess weight can create negative reactions and stereotypes which, in their turn, provoke people’s resentment and contempt
Obese adults who experience stigma have developed high rates of social isolation because they feel like they are not accepted by the society. Social reluctance to accept such people cultivates the lack of self esteem and refusal to socialize with people agreed with the stereotype frames. Another consequence of stigma is that it leads to a negative consequence of poor eating behaviors or habits such as overeating by some people in response to stigmatizing encounters (Richards, 2009).
Problems Encountered by Doctors When Treating the Obese Patients
Obesity is an important clinical issue that can not be ignored. Therefore, it needs provision of professional and critical health care services directed at improving the health of the population in the United States. Unfortunately, the health care centers are full of insensitivity and judgment toward the obese people creating difficulties and limits for treatment.
The main problem encountered by the doctors is lack of understanding and appropriate ethical treatment. For instance, the doctor may unintentionally communicate some form of discrimination that may negatively affect the client’s care and hence preventing him/her from visiting the healthcare centers in future. Therefore, irrelevant treatment can prevent doctors from prescribing the right medical and treatment procedure for their patients (Kaplan, 1999).
Obesity, a Global Problem and Its Effect on Children and Women
Obesity has been rated among the increasing epidemics in developed countries and rapid spread in developing countries. In the United States, approximately 125 million grown-ups have problems with weight, 70 million citizens are experiencing obesity and around 10 million have severe obesity problems (Ogden, 2010).
Childhood and women obesity is also on the peak in the United States. This ration of population, hence, has a greater probability of diabetes mellitus development and hypertension rise that increases the risk of acquiring heart diseases and other chronic diseases associated with obesity (Ogden, 2010).
The weight of these children enhances bulling and discrimination by other children who have normal weights thus ruining their self–esteem. Today`s children belong to a generation that is full with computer games and television therefore, they have less time to exercise or even go out to play some outdoor games which encourage physical exercises. A part from watching and playing video games, food is readily available at any time they feel like eating (Coakley, 1999).
Preventive Measures to Overcome Obesity
Parents need to be the role models of their children by insisting on benefits of exercise and well balanced diets. This can be achieved through creating of healthy playing environments by carrying out regular physical exercises like cycling, taking a walk together and swimming activities. Parents need to motivate their children so that they can participate fully in sports and dances and pay attention to physical exercises and even enjoy doing it (Christopher, 2003).
Implementation of food culture will help a great deal in obesity reduction and elimination. This can be achieved by preparing and eating the food together as a family and creating new ways to reward children for work well done like talking them out on shopping trips other than making for them fatty foods.
Health care providers should offer improved services to their patients through the improvement of physical and social environment of health care settings. For example, they should provide bathrooms, which heavier clients can easily accept, have meeting rooms that have large exam tables and blood pressure cuffs with good size and reading materials that do not imply discriminative context (Coakley, 1999).
They should also try to improve their interpersonal interactions with the obese clients through being sensitive in everything they do and communicate to them to avoid embarrassing situation during the treatment process. They should avoid any judgmental comments and instead offer encouragement on the objectives of heath and fitness actions.
The victims of the obese problem should be encouraged to take the stigmatization encounters in a positive manner and use that as their stepping stone to overcome the problem rather than to accept the given situation and doing nothing to rectify the situation at hand. Depression and stress contribute nothing to weight reduction but deprives away a person’s self esteem and happiness.
Thus, these people need to wake up and find solutions to their issues immediately to avoid early deaths (Barry, 2007). The chart presented below provides an explicit, comparative analysis of the actual situation in the United States:
Obesity Share by Nation
The given statistics provided by Consumer shows that the United States have on of the highest obesity level.
Prevention of obesity would result into maximized burden of heart problems and, therefore, it will play a big role in reducing the health care budget.
Through the reduction of obesity, other diseases associated with it will also decrease. Therefore, problem of obesity should be given much attention and serious preventive measures should be implemented so that the disease could be treated or prevented. A good obesity prevention program should include balanced diet, exercises, and active involvement of parents and guardians in these programs.
Apart from local measures this problem should be presented at the international level because other countries (developing in particular) should also be engaged in the solution searching process. Hence, the world government should think about effective strategies of economic and social improvement to insure people with a sufficient level of living. Finally, it is necessary to pay attention to ethical and moral aspects when treating obese people.
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