Essay on Obesity and Food

Submitted By AnneChen
Words: 1238
Pages: 5

In modern society, more often than not, health related issues have confronted government agencies and the general public. People are increasingly aware of the need to have a nutritious and healthy diet in order to stave off disease and illness as well as to promote a longer and fuller life. However, obesity problem is one of the most controversial topics in the UK now, obesity among adults and overweight among children and adolescents have increased markedly since 1980. The obesity rates of the UK have been rising at an alarming rate and obese children have even more than treble in past twenty years. Lisa (2007) suggests that even without reaching an ideal weight, a moderate amount of weight loss can be beneficial in terms of reducing levels of some risk factors, such as blood pressure. In this essay I will outline the root causes of obesity, suggest possible solutions and assess if these strategies are effective.

There are a variety of causes for this situation. One of the main causes is the genetic predisposition. Pigache (2007, p.15) illustrates the genes we inherit affect not only how our bodies are constructed-how much muscle, how large the bones, how much fat-but how our bodies convert food into energy and how various neurotransmitters, the chemical messenger in the brain, affect our appetite, mood and general behavior. There is a dramatic anecdote, in order to lose weight, a successful businesswoman ate like a bird every day. In the weak state she had caught an infection which had developed into pneumonia and in hospital had contracted septicemia and died. She killed herself trying to thwart her genes. Thus, gene has a great influence on obesity. If a child has at least one obese parent, they are around three times more likely to be obese than a child with no obese parents. (Lobstein et al. ,2004)

Another major cause of being obese is that parents did not pay attention to children’s diet, causing the body produce too many fat cells. Parents can have a significant bearing on the food and activity that they provide to their children, but for a variety of reasons may not always encourage the healthiest choices. This may be because parents have difficulty providing nutritious food due to a lack of information or conflicting marketing messages about what the best food choices are; or that some ‘junk food’ options may be cheaper alternatives to fresh, healthy food and they are also more available locally. Portion sizes have increased as has the percentage of meals eaten outside home which has been connected to growing rates of obesity. Meal preparation time is also a factor and can lead to parents purchasing, eating, and feeding their children more prepared food and fast food, which is often higher in calories and lower in nutrients than fresh food.

Finally, due to the significant development in transport, the mechanization and electrification of housework, physical activity is substantially reduced. Fewer people have jobs requiring hard physical labor, car ownership has increased rapidly and homes have labor-saving gadgets. It makes the demand energy supply more, resulting in energy supply and consumption imbalances, and can easily lead to obesity. Some heavy manual labors change their job to be a light manual; athletes terminate the sports they engaged in. In these cases, if you do not adjust your diet correspondingly, it will result in overnutrition, fat accumulation and eventually lead to obesity.

With more and more people facing the risk of obesity, measures must be taken to solve this problem. First of all, change in the eating habits is one of the most important solutions. Lynne and Robinson emphasize (2002) that people have a good awareness of what foods are healthy and can identify the consequences of not eating healthily. However, they do not see it as their role to be interested in health. Fruit, vegetables and confectionery have very different meanings for people, so people should eat these properly