Obesity has become one of the most significant health issues for high-income countries. In the paper “Physical activity and obesity in children,” the authors claim that this disease’s major cause is lack of physical activity. (1) The scholars also emphasize the necessity to promote healthy lifestyles and exercises among children and adults to fix this issue. (1) From one point of view, it is impossible to disagree with the discussed article’s critical messages. Nevertheless, the current essay argues that the authors unjustifiably underestimate the role of a balanced diet in the fight against obesity because the excessive consumption of fast food minimizes the benefits of an active lifestyle.
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Although the increase of physical inactivity significantly contributes to the rise of obesity, it is not the sole one. The World Health Organization declares that an “increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars” is another major factor that leads to overweight. (2) From this, it could be inferred that the authors conclusion that the promotion of an active and healthy lifestyle is key to decreasing the number of people who suffer from excessive weight seems to be insufficient. It also should be added that the fight against obesity requires tense negotiations with food and beverage companies that promote sugar-containing products among children and youth.
Secondly, it should be noted that the authors claim that the rise of obesity could be explained through the displacement of active behaviors with more sedentary pursuits. (1) Undoubtedly, this statement is correct. However, it seems rational to devote attention to such cultural phenomenon as body positivity. Initially, the body positive movement signified that people should love themselves despite scars, skin and hair color, wounds, and other peculiarities of appearance. However, such prominent models as, for instance, Tess Holliday persuade youth that obesity is normal. In other words, body positivism demarginalizes obesity. (3) This way, obese people are motivated not to take this issue seriously and to take any measures to overcome this condition.
To conclude, it is necessary to notice that there is a strong relationship between physical activity and obesity. At the same time, it is not the sole factor that causes obesity. Therefore, to reduce the number of people whose weight is higher than normal, it is necessary but not enough to promote an active lifestyle. It is also essential to consider cultural trends and limit access of children to sweet and fatty foods.
- Hills AP, Andersen LB, Byrne NM. Physical activity and obesity in children. Br J Sports Med. 2011; 45: 866–70.
- World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight [Internet]. Web.
- McWhorter KL. Obesity acceptance: Body positivity and clinical risk factors [Internet]. IntechOpen. 2020. Web.