Obesity in the United States

Obesity has become an incredibly prevalent health issue in the world, but specifically in the United States.  The fascinating aspect about obesity within the United States is where it is found most prevalently: poor communities.  Almost everywhere else in the world obesity is a problem within wealthier communities not the poorer ones.  In this way the United States is unique.  Historically, when a person was overweight he was most likely a wealthy person, and his weight represented his ability to pay for all of the food he could possibly want.  Nowadays, at least within the United States, obese people are likely to be a part of the poor community.  This drastic change within our culture can be explained simply by today’s food market.  The fast food industry has made it incredibly easy for a family on a small budget to easily afford food.  If one were to walk around the grocery store today, he would see that almost all of the fattening foods would be cheaper than any health-food product.  As proud as America should be that the majority of its citizens are either well-nourished or over-nourished, the number of obese people in this country has gotten out of hand.  The current first lady of the United States has placed a significant amount of importance on helping the youth of America grow up healthy.  The current government of the United States has focused more on the health of its citizens than any other administration in my recollection.  There are countless numbers of anthropologists who are studying the anthropological perspective of obesity in the United States and I was able to find an article that basically collected and summarized their findings.  The anthropologists all found the current state of affairs within the United States to be drastically different than those found in most third world countries.  The anthropologists could not have explained society’s current situation better than when they wrote, “Ironically, obesity has become the plague of those most marginalized rather than an overindulgence of the rich[1]” (Saryee and Lende).



[1] neuroanth, “The Anthropology of Obesity,” Neuroanthropology, accessed August 7, 2014, http://blogs.plos.org/neuroanthropology/2011/04/12/the-anthropology-of-obesity/.

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