Obesity is typically defined as the abnormal accumulation of body fat, which is in turn usually defined as 20% or more over an individual’s ideal body weight. 20-40% is considered mild obesity, 40-100% over is considered moderate obesity, and greater than a 100% more than ideal weight is considered to be morbid obesity. Ideal weight is defined as the weight corresponding to the lowest death rate for individuals of a specific height, gender, and age. The treatment and study of obesity is known as bariatric medicine.
The article I chose is “The Worldwide Obesity Epidemic”, an article published by Philip T. James, Rachel Leach, Eleni Kalamara, and Maraym Shayeghi.
The major cause of obesity (at least in my opinion) is a hybrid of social and economic issues which have proven to be an effective combination for causing obesity. Specifically, I believe that the position processed foods have taken in our lives has profoundly affected obesity. Since the rise of processed food which is nearly always simultaneously packed with overly high levels of sodium and fats and an extreme lack of actual nutrition. There are many individuals in the United States who are malnourished not because they do not have enough to eat, but because the food that is widely available is not nutritious. This is made especially worse by the fact that these processed foods are incredibly cheap compared to food that is actually nutritious; because of this poverty is positively associated with higher obesity rates. Finally, this is also made worse by the extremely sedentary lifestyle that has emerged in the post-industrial United States.
In my opinion, not enough is being done towards the treatment and evaluation of obesity. Quick fix remedies are being extensively researched and marketed to individuals, but few work very well. Instead of convincing individuals that they need to change their lifestyle we try to provide them with drugs to solve their problems without having to change a thing(all the while making a tidy profit to boot) Unfortunately, I do not know what can be done to remedy this situation. The processed/fast food industry is too large and profitable for any action- such as the ban or taxing of processed fat, etc., etc. to ever occur. While we are still perfectly capable of simply changing our habits and eating healthier without government regulations ensuring it, this is not such an easy thing to do for those in poverty.