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Widespread Obesity in Low-Income Societies

The United States is home to many companies and individuals that promote the worldwide standards of attractiveness. Hollywood stars, famous athletes, and popular musicians set the hallmark for both female and male appearances, and the corporations controlling those celebrities use them to promote their views of femininity and masculinity. In modern-day America, being slim means being attractive and accepted by society. That inevitably affects the food consumption levels across the country promoting restrictions and dieting, especially by women who are pushed to follow strict norms of femininity which dictate minimal body fat and androgynous appearance often leading to eating disorders. It is not considered acceptable for a woman to consume too much food or eat the food she wants if that means she might get fat; a woman who does so is often confronted with peer pressure and judgment from her family.

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On the other hand, in low-income societies, there is an epidemic of obesity which contrasts with the nationwide obsession with fitness. There are various explanations for this phenomenon, from the risk that outdoor activities carry in poor neighborhoods, to the lack of accessible healthy food in such regions. It seems that widespread obesity in low-income societies is largely explained by socio-economic factors, rather than by any unique mindset that poor women might carry. Television and the Internet are widely available even in the lower-income communities which means that the impact of the mass media on the eating habits of women there should be no less severe than in the middle-class neighborhoods. It means that factors described by Bordo affect impoverished females just as much but fail to have a more significant impact since those women lack access to the means needed to maintain the image created by the media.

As Susan Bordo indicates, the nutritional habits of women are largely dictated by male requirements. In the modern-day, it means that women are expected to follow the male-invented standards of appearance and abstain from consuming much food by themselves. In ancient times, women were often poorly fed as they were considered to require less strength than men who were doing hard physical labor. That viewpoint survives today, even in the communities where nobody does much physical labor anymore, like large modern-day cities in developed countries. The idea that women need less nutrition than men is based on the primitive perceptions surviving in our society since primordial times and has no real basis in the modern first world countries where real scarcity is long forgotten.

Males have occupied the dominant role in most of the human societies around the world. For most of human history, food was scarce and needed to be distributed among the members of the social group according to their perceived importance. Since most of the groups were patriarchal, most of the food went to males, with females having to make do with what was left. In the primal societies, such distribution was justified, as most of the males were hunters and had to participate in strenuous physical activities to keep the whole group fed. However, over time, the unequal food distribution became a tool used to exercise power over the other members of the society, which included women who often were not even viewed as human beings.

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"Widespread Obesity in Low-Income Societies." StudyCorgi, 13 Dec. 2021,

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StudyCorgi. "Widespread Obesity in Low-Income Societies." December 13, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Widespread Obesity in Low-Income Societies." December 13, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Widespread Obesity in Low-Income Societies'. 13 December.

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