Cause and Effect Essay
The Obesity Epidemic
The widespread problem of obesity in the UK and what has made it a challenge to deal with.
Obesity can be termed as a modern day disease that has cropped up as a result of the recent developments in the society as a whole. It has been referred to as a modern concept because its origin is based in the high level of progress made in the field of technology, the numerous immensely useful inventions made in the past century, huge rise in the popularity of fast food in the last 30-40 years and the shift of a large part of the general population of various countries from rural life and profession to it's urban counterpart. This has had a larger impact on the human population of the Earth than most other health issues. And it significantly continues to do so.
One of the causes of obesity that can be considered as the starting point of the “epidemic” in the UK is the amount of urbanisation that has taken place in the country during the last 50 years. According to a report published by the World Resources Institute in 2010, 90.1 % of the total population of the UK was living in urban areas as compared to a lesser 78.4% in 1960(www.wri.org[->0], 2010). This shift of the population has exposed more people to the ills of a busy urban life. Many people are employed into clerical jobs that demand them to sit continuously for long hours. This results in such people having a larger waist circumference and an increased risk of cardio-vascular diseases. Also, in the recent times there has been a substantial increase in the usage of motor vehicles by people. This is in part due to the ease with which car loans can be obtained. Sources like www.moneysupermarket.com[->1] and www.creditplus.co.uk provide car loans even to the people who have had a bad credit history. Also, there is a well-spread and affordable network of public transport in the UK. There are special offers like ‘£4 Day-saver’ (Brighton and Hove buses, 2012) that attract high number of commuters. Although these conveniences help in smoother travel and reduce the time spent on the road by people, they have resulted in a heavy decline in the usage of physically engaging transportation methods like cycling and walking. Apart from that, the rise in the usage of the internet as a shopping medium has lead to the people being confined to their homes and avoiding any sort of physical activity.
Another factor that has perhaps posed as the biggest contributor to the ever increasing problem of obesity is the worldwide rise in the popularity of the consumption of high-calorie fast food. It is a known fact that the younger generation abstains from cooking their own meals and prefers the economically viable and convenient option of readily available fast food that contains a very high amount of sugar and carbohydrates and almost no positive nutritional value. There are added bonuses of fast food companies providing ‘free home delivery’ which leads to an even higher amount of consumption of such products. The UK is no stranger to this trend. There has been a substantial increase in the profits of fast-food chains like McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King in the country. According to Jill McDonald (Chief Executive, McDonald’s UK), McDonald’s has seen a rise of 11% in the profits of the company in the last quarter of 2011 (bbc.co.uk, 2012). This can be seen as a strong example of the rapid growth in business that the company is enjoying in the UK even after years of opertaion.
There can be certain outcomes related to it that…