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Obesity as American Social Health Issue

American society continues to grapple with a wide range of social health problems. One of these problems is obesity. Within the past three decades, obesity in the United States has increased significantly. Consequently, the condition has led to numerous health problems that affect the health of many communities, families, and populations. The condition has become a risk factor for various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension (Apovian et al., 2015). In the public health sector, obesity is defined as a social problem because it is associated with the eating habits and bodily lifestyles of every community. People’s health behaviors and diets have led to problems such as obesity and fatness. This knowledge can, therefore, be embraced by social workers, communities, and clinicians to deal with the social health problem.

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Description of the Social Health Issue

Governments across the world have been focusing on various social issues that affect their people. In countries such as the United States, evidence-based efforts have been implemented to encourage more people to eat healthy food materials. Unfortunately, the obesity epidemic has remained a major social concern in every community across the country. Statistics indicate that over 68 percent of adults in the United States are either obese or overweight (Rush et al., 2016). Over 35 percent of adults in the country are believed to be obese (Apovian et al., 2015). Experts also indicate clearly that more people might become obese in the future unless something is done.

Childhood obesity remains a major challenge affecting many families in different parts of the world. The number of overweight persons is still on the rise. These developments show conclusively that obesity is a major social problem that must be reexamined from a different angle. The greatest concern facing many health professionals, policymakers, nutritionists, and social workers is why obesity is currently out of control (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2016). Furthermore, many experts are shocked because this social health problem is preventable.

Within the past decade, several campaigns have been implemented to support the wellbeing of many companies. Studies have indicated that people’s eating habits, behavioral practices, and lifestyle changes have led to this social issue. Bays et al. (2013) argue that every individual is usually encouraged to design a powerful philosophy that can address the problem.

Unfortunately, being obese or overweight remains a social norm in the United States and across the world. Obese people believe strongly that it is ordinary to have the condition. Many people no longer take the issue of wellbeing seriously. Rush et al. (2016) believe strongly that obesity is a socially contagious condition. This happens to be the case because society is the driver of this health condition. Obese people interact with their neighbors and friends without any form of discrimination. This has been the case even though the condition continues to influence the health and wellbeing of every affected individual.

How Obesity Affects the Society

Overweight and obesity are unique conditions that have significant impacts on the social wellbeing and health of every community (Waters et al., 2014). This is the case because the condition dictates the quality of health in every society. Individuals who are obese find it hard to complete various economic activities that can result in personal empowerment (Apovian et al., 2015). The condition is usually associated with mobility problems. More often than not, obese people should be supported by other people to lead normal lives.

Ng et al. (2014) indicate clearly that being obese is one of the risk factors for various conditions that can affect a person’s health. Some of these conditions include cancers and heart diseases (Rush et al., 2016). Most of the health challenges affecting the wider community are usually related to this condition. For instance, many premature deaths arising from conditions such as anxiety, depression, stroke, coronary heart disease, and osteoarthritis have been attributed to the obesity epidemic (Ng et al., 2014).

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This development shows clearly that global society has been losing many people due to diseases that are related to obesity. When more people die prematurely, it becomes hard for the affected society to realize its economic goals (Waters et al., 2014). This problem explains why there are many orphans in the United States. Most of these individuals do not have access to quality health care and medical services. The government has therefore been forced to incur numerous costs whenever tackling some of the diseases associated with obesity.

As indicated earlier, childhood obesity has emerged as a unique challenge that affects every community in the United States. Experts have indicated clearly that the increasing cases of childhood obesity have numerous consequences. This is the case because “the condition results in mental health problems, poor academic performance, and physiological problems” (Ng et al., 2014, p. 773). These issues have been observed to present both long-term and short-term consequences.

Obesity has been observed to disorient the quality of social care and health services in society. The available resources have been shifted to tackle the health concerns arising from the obesity epidemic. These direct expenses make it impossible for different societies to implement powerful models that can deal with the other social issues affecting the targeted society. The financial implications of this condition cannot be underestimated. This is true because individuals who become obese will be unable to promote economic production. The government has gone a step further to provide welfare benefits and social care payments to obese people (Apovian et al., 2015). These finances could have been used to deal with a wide range of issues affecting the wider society.

Recommendations for Remedying the Social Issue

Obesity is a social problem that affects the health and wellbeing of many people in every part of the world. This social health issue has become an epidemic that should be addressed immediately. Unfortunately, most of the measures and initiatives implemented to deal with this condition have not paid off. The condition has continued to affect both adults and children. The most agreeable fact is that evidence-based initiatives can be implemented to prevent obesity and overweight (Bays et al., 2013). The measures or strategies presented below have the potential to deliver positive results.

The first approach should focus on the use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) concept. A person’s BMI is measured to ensure a personalized strategy is developed for every individual. Adults should be guided to have a BMI of between 18 and 25 (Bays et al., 2013). Individuals can be encouraged to engage in various physical activities and exercises that can result in weight management. An adult whose BMI is above 25 should exercise rigorously to deal with the condition.

A powerful campaign aimed at educating more people about the dangers of obesity and overweight has the potential to deliver positive results. The information can be used to develop healthy behaviors and lifestyles to deal with the epidemic. For instance, more people can be guided to develop appropriate work-life balances (Ng et al., 2014). These models will guide them to strike a balance between their economic activities and physical exercises. This evidence-based practice has the potential to deliver positive results and help more societies to deal with the obesity epidemic.

Another powerful approach that can be embraced by many people is to eat healthy food materials. A balanced diet is needed by every person. People should ensure their food materials contribute to their health outcomes (Ng et al., 2014). Foods rich in fats and cholesterol should be avoided. A wide range of fad diets has emerged in the recent past. Every person should examine each of these diets before embracing settling on a specific one. This strategy will deliver positive results and tackle the problem.

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Children should be guided and encouraged to eat healthy food materials. This strategy is appropriate because childhood obesity is an undeniable health challenge. The increasing number of fast foods is a good reason why childhood obesity is a major problem today. Parents, teachers, social workers, and guardians can design powerful models to ensure more children tackle the problem of obesity. With proper guidance, the targeted individuals will design evidence-based health promotion programs that can eventually address the problem of obesity (Bays et al., 2013). Future studies will also be needed to ensure more communities and populations are prepared against this global epidemic affecting many people.


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Bays, H., Toth, P., Kris-Etherton, P., Abate, N., Aronne, L., Brown, V.,…Samuel, V. (2013). Obesity, adiposity, and dyslipidemia: A consensus statement from the National Lipid Association. Journal of Clinical Lipidology, 7(1), 304-383. Web.

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Rush, E., Cairncross, C., Williams, M., Tseng, M., Coppinger, T., McLennan, S., Latimer, K. (2016). Project energize: Intervention development and 10 years of progress in preventing childhood obesity. BMC Research Notes, 9(44), 1-7. Web.

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