Obesity Essay, Obesity Composition Writing, Examples and Samples of Essays
Essay 1: Obesity.
People who are overweight and obese face many difficulties their normal weight peers do not. Frequent doctor visits are a fact of life for overweight and obese people, due to the development of weight-related disorders such as diabetes and osteoarthritis. Along with the daily difficulties associated with these diseases, the overweight or obese person may be personally affected financially as a result of weight-related expenses and reduced income.
The personal consequences and costs of obesity are serious, and the personal financial cost great. Multiple studies have shown that obesity significantly negatively affects personal and working relations, wages, and advancement, particularly for females.
While the health problems as the overweight/obese age may ravage savings, an overweight/obese person may have difficulty accumulating those savings in the first place. One of the earliest sociological studies of the overweight, in 1966, found that the heaviest students had a harder time getting into top colleges. The obese, particularly white women, are paid less. A study by Cornell University found that a weight increase of 64 pounds above the average for white women was associated with 9 percent lower wages.
I can personally attest to the ceiling placed on the obese; the jobs that are available to you based on your talents and abilities are often not received; there can be pattern of coming in second in interviews. This is particularly so when the job involves social context or a large amount of meet and greet.
Overweight people may or may not spend more than normal-size people on food, but their life insurance premiums are two to four times as large. They can expect higher medical expenses, and they tend to make less money and accumulate less wealth in their lifetimes. They can have a harder time being hired, and then a harder time earning promotions. People carrying as little as 30 to 40 pounds extra can be seriously affected.
In 2004, The Obesity Society created a Task Force on weight which found accumulating evidence of clear and consistent bias, stigmatization, and in some cases discrimination, against obese individuals in three areas of living: employment, education, and health care. They also reported that recent studies have documented automatic negative associations with obese people among health professionals and among obese individuals themselves.
In addition to the negative financial impact that excess weight carries, there is also impact on quality of life. People who are severely overweight may have difficulty performing simple daily tasks, such as tying shoes or walking up a flight of stairs. Many obese people have trouble sitting in, or can not trust the weight limit of, standard furniture. It becomes difficult to go to restaurants or theaters, or to utilize public transportation. Many bathroom facilities would be inaccessible to the obese were it not for the availability of the much larger handicap stall. While I was able to use the regular stalls when I weighted a little over 300 pounds, which is certainly obese but not gargantuan, there were many that were on the small size, and getting in and turning around to shut the door was awkward, if not difficult.
Think about all the places you might not go if you had to be worried about fitting in, or not breaking, the chairs; think of all the places that have booths, which have fixed distances from the table. Consider the size of the average subway turnstile. Go window shopping and mentally buy several stylish items; then go to one of the plus size departments or stores and try to replicate the satisfaction you had mock shopping in your size range. Tie a few gallon water jugs to yourself and see what it is like to sit in your own furniture.
If you are really looking to get an inkling of the reality, fill the jugs with water and carry in your groceries. Water weights about eight pounds a gallon, so you can see what it is like at 50 pounds overweight, 100, 150. I doubt many of us could handle carrying around enough jugs to bring our weight up to the 500, 600 or higher that some people live with; the obese put the weight on over time so tend not to realize just how much weight they are asking their backs and knees to support. There is no way to truly feel what it is like physically to be obese: things like raw inner thighs from chaffing and permanent raw indentations from bra straps can not be duplicated.
These problems may seem trivial to some, but they represent serious, multi-layered difficulties that can have both a cumulative and a rippling effect. If you are afraid you might not be able to use facilities, long shopping trips become less inviting. If your size affects your lung capacity, you may have trouble sleeping, which can affect your performance at work, which in turn may worsen the experience of day-to-day financial strains. So might the ability to keep up, literally.
Duke University Medical Center researchers reported in 2004 that obesity significantly impairs the sexual quality of life. Obese people report sexual problems such as lack of desire, lack of enjoyment, avoiding sex, and performance difficulty at a much higher rate than people of normal weight.
Overweight and obese people are frequently stereotyped as emotionally impaired, socially handicapped, and as possessing negative personality traits. Evidence of discrimination is found at virtually every stage of the employment cycle, including selection, placement, compensation, promotion, discipline and discharge, according to research presented by Western Michigan University. In addition, this bias extends to job assessments of overweight individuals in their various work related roles, both as subordinates and co-workers.
According to recent studies, wages of mildly obese white women were 5.9 lower than standard weight counterparts; morbidly obese white women were 24.1 percent lower. In contrast to females, the wages of mildly obese white and black men were higher than their standard weight counterparts. Men only experienced wage penalties at the very highest weight levels.
The potential effect of applicant weight, age, sex and race on ratings of job candidate acceptability in a laboratory setting was examined in 1988. Overweight candidates were rated significantly lower, but none of the other criteria manipulations had a significant effect. Michigan is the only state that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of weight.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal statute that protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in the workplace. Since the enactment of the ADA, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken the position that people who are morbidly obese (body weight more than 100 percent over the norm) are disabled and protected under the ADA. This leaves a huge number of obese, but not morbidly obese, unprotected in forty-nine of fifty states. It also puts those who do qualify under obligation to bring an ADA law suit to rectify a qualifying situation. And you still have to prove it was discrimination due to obesity.
Compared to normal weight people, morbidly obese and massively obese people are more likely to incur instances of institutional and day-to-day interpersonal discrimination. Morbidly obese and massively obese persons report lower levels of self-acceptance than normal weight persons, yet this relationship is fully mitigated by the perception that one has been discriminated against due to body weight or physical appearance: a more palatable reason psychologically than character or personality defect, or a job not well done.
Unflattering portrayals of obese people pervade popular culture, while multiple studies document that children, adults, and even health care professionals who work with obese patients hold negative attitudes toward overweight and obese persons. Twenty-eight percent of teachers in one study said that becoming obese is the worst thing that can happen to a person; twenty-four percent of nurses said that they are repulsed by obese people.
Obese people who believe that their health care providers look down upon them may avoid seeking care; this reaction is potentially dangerous given that obese individuals are at an elevated risk for many health conditions.
Research conducted over the past 40 years shows that obese people are viewed as physically unattractive and undesirable. Obese individuals also are viewed as responsible for their weight due to some character flaw such as laziness, gluttony, or a lack of self-control and self respect. Obese persons may form negative self-evaluations as a reaction to the pervasiveness of negative attitudes toward obese persons and real or perceived discriminatory treatment.
Interpersonal consequences of severe obesity are most acute for members of higher socioeconomic strata. A number of studies suggest that upper-middle class Americans are less likely to be obese, more likely to adopt negative views toward the obese, and more likely to view thinness as an ideal body type; the belief that obesity is a consequence of laziness may be particularly common among those with richer resources and opportunities. Physical appearance and putting forth a positive image of your employer also may be a more critical aspect of job success in professional occupations than in blue-collar or service occupations. In all of our surveys, the only striking difference in obesity statistics was a drop in the obesity percentages in the shopping playgrounds of the wealthy.
The Employment Law Alliance (ELA) released findings from its America at Work Opinion Poll portending a rise in lawsuits alleging employment related obesity discrimination. The survey found 47 percent of obese Americans believe they have suffered discrimination in the workplace, while 32 percent think obese employees less likely to be respected and taken seriously in the workplace. Nearly 40 percent of those who identified themselves either as obese or overweight contend they deserve special government protection against weight-based discrimination in the workplace, though only 26 percent of individuals of normal weight echoed that contention.
Studies show that overweight and obese students, especially girls, are less likely than the non-obese to be accepted by the more competitive colleges. This is true even if their grades, standardized test scores, and other variables are the same as for other boys and girls.
Overweight people are less likely to attend college even though they score high on standardized tests and are academically motivated. Also, overweight women are more likely than other men or women to pay their way through college.
Overweight students are more likely to be refused letters of recommendation from faculty members.
There has been some change in the practices regarding hiring of the obese, as so much more of the employment force has become obese there is not often an option. Look at the number of employees you see in stores and businesses in a day, and you will notice that there are more obese employees than there were when you were a child. But it does not remove the ceiling or reduce the promotion restrictions that shadow the obese.
A study of 1200 doctors revealed that, although physicians recognized the health risks of obesity and perceived many patients as overweight or obese, they did not intervene as much as they thought they should, were ambivalent about how to manage obese clients, and were unlikely to refer them to weight loss programs. Only 18 percent of physicians reported that they would discuss weight management with overweight patients, and only 42 percent of physicians would have this discussion with mildly obese patients. I have lived and worked in five states in my lifetime, and have had jobs in six different counties in California, so I have had many different primary physicians in my adult lifetime, and I can tell you that most never broached the subject of my weight, and the few who did merely remarked that I should lose some.
In a 1969 survey of physicians, obese patients were described as weak-willed, ugly, awkward, and self-indulgent. In a more recent physician survey, one of three doctors said they respond negatively to obesity, behind three other diagnostic/social categories: drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness. A survey of severely obese patients found that nearly 80 percent reported being treated disrespectfully by the medical profession.
Physicians are not immune to obesity. Ironically, physicians report fifty percent of their physician colleagues are obese. The Physicians' Health Study reported that 44 percent of male physicians are overweight, and 6 percent are obese. Although there are no published data on obesity in female physicians, the Nurses' Health Study demonstrated that 28 percent of female nurses in the United States are overweight, and 11 percent are obese.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic recently released the results of a survey of more than 2,500 obese patients who went to their doctor for a regular checkup over the course of a year. They found that only one in five of those people were listed on their charts as obese.
Discussing weight becomes even more complicated with children. According to a 2005 study in the Journal of Pediatrics, doctors diagnosed obesity less than 1 percent of the time among 2 to 18 year olds, a figure far below the one-third of young Americans struggling with overweight and obesity.
Among physicians, 17 percent reported reluctance to provide pelvic exams to very obese women, and 83 percent indicated reluctance to provide a pelvic exam if the patient herself was hesitant. Given that overweight women may hesitate to obtain exams and that physicians are reluctant to perform exams on obese or reluctant women, many overweight women may not receive necessary medical attention or preventive care.
Overweight and obese people get waited on more slowly than normal weight customers. They often encounter more difficulty making returns or exchanges than their thinner counterparts. When I was obese, sales people rarely asked to assist, and I often felt I had to track someone down; I assumed this was a general condition of the loss of the ethics of service of the old days. One thing I noticed when I became a size 4 was that sales people began to come up to me and ask if they could be of help much more frequently.
Results of a study by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity revealed that obese children were liked less and rejected more often by peers. Obese boys encounter more overt victimization (verbalteasing or physical aggression) and obese girls reported more relational victimization (cruelty by friends and cliques) compared with their average-weight peers.
Obese girls were also less likely to date than their peers. Both obese boys and girls reported being more dissatisfied with their dating status compared with average-weight peers. The results suggest that obese adolescents are at greater risk for mistreatment by peers and may have fewer opportunities to develop intimate romantic relationships; this may contribute to the psychological and health difficulties frequently associated with obesity; during adolescence, a time of rapid change in body shape and size as well as dynamic interactions with peers and parents, weight control is a particularly sensitive issue.
Recently school nurses reported being more likely to label obese children as sad and lazy. They overwhelmingly agreed with the statement Childhood obesity is a significant cause of peer rejection. Another recent study found that children who are obese are absent from school more than other children, missing an average of two more days than their non-obese peers. Interestingly, obesity seems to predict absenteeism more than any other factor, including school performance and socioeconomic status, two of the top reasons cited in the past for poor attendance. As a former public school teacher (at both elementary and high school levels, and as an principal and superintendent of schools pre-K-12), I can tell you that the number of days of school missed severely effects a child's learning, and can carry forward in terms of lesser jobs and less pay for the rest of the life of a child. That is a steep personal cost.
Social attitudes towards obesity are negative and usually result in the adolescent becoming withdrawn and isolated. Obese adolescents have feelings of low self-esteem, social isolation, feelings of rejection and depression and a strong sense of failure. Obese children are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors such as smoking,or consuming alcohol. Obese adolescent girls are more likely to become sexually active at a younger age in an effort to achieve acceptance and attention.
The prejudice associated with obesity is intense. Fat teenagers are often disregarded and subjected to ridicule. Most comments about fatness have negative consequences. Young people are often humiliated and frequently suffer permanent emotional scars. Fat people become tired of being judged by weight first and personality second. Adolescent girls who are dissatisfied with their bodies frequently try to lose weight in unhealthy ways, including skipping meals, fasting, and smoking to ward off hunger. A smaller number of girls are even resorting to more extreme methods such as self-induced vomiting, diet pills, and laxative use. Strict food denial in an effort to lose weight often leads to late afternoon or evening binging episodes. More than one-third of obese individuals in weight-loss treatment programs report difficulties with binge eating. This type of eating behavior contributes to feelings of shame, loneliness, poor self-esteem, and depression, and these feelings in return can spur additional eating as a means of solace.
In a study by the University of California, San Diego, researchers were surprised to find that the scores of obese children on a quality of life survey were as bad as cancer patients in every domain of life.
One obesity study asked severely obese persons to take a forced-choice questionnaire; for each question, they had to make a choice between being at their present weight or having some other given illness. The results were astounding. Although there were some variations on some of the questions, every obese person said that they would rather be blind or have one leg amputated than be at their present heavy weight. Most interestingly, every person who participated in the study would rather be a poor thin person than a morbidly obese millionaire.
Little wonder that depression is commonly linked with obesity, and, having been overweight and obese from age 5 to 50, I can personally attest that this chapter understates the multitude and magnitude of the true personal costs of obesity.
Essay 2: Obesity and Social Stigma.
Worldwide obesity rates are higher than they have ever been before and are consistently climbing further. While obesity can be looked upon as a medical condition, there are heavy psychological burdens associated with it as well. The social stigma of obesity often causes those who are obese to dislike themselves and become reclusive. This can lead to social alienation, dangerous levels of anxiety and chronic depression. Additionally, there are uncountable health risks associated with obesity that require serious consideration.
There is a widespread stereotype directed at the obese in many societies across the planet. Obese people are looked upon as lazy, unsightly, lacking health and lacking willpower. Further, those who are obese have a greater probability to be limited in social class. They are also far less likely to ever be married. Additionally, obese people are very likely to experience discrimination of the following types:
Entrance to college;
Acceptance to various social events;
And many more...
The definition of obesity:
Obesity is a condition of having too much body fat. Although it really has nothing to do with one's weight, it is most often the case that obese people are overweight as well. The most commonly accepted method for determining obesity in a given individual is to measure their body mass index or BMI. According to The National Center for Health Statistics, a BMI rating of 27.3 determines obesity in women and a rating of 27.8 classifies the men.
The causes of obesity:
While it is true that obesity can result because of psychosocial problems and/or various medical conditions, the fact is that most people become obese as a result of chronically improper dietary choices and lacking physical activity levels. In fact, health professionals in America classify over 25% of the population as "completely sedentary". Obviously, obesity is a serious issue for public health as it is directly correlated to many cases of morbidity and death.
Health risks associated with obesity:
Obesity is a primary factor in the development and onset of nearly every preventable disease known. By lessening obesity and maintaining a healthy weight level, individuals significantly reduce their probabilities for developing all of the following health disorders:
Various types of cancer;
Diabetes mellitus type II;
High LDL cholesterol levels;
Sclerosis of the liver;
Kidney disorders and failure;
Bone and joint disorders;
And so many more...
The psychological pain of obesity:
It's obvious that most obese people would like to become more fit. They know that they would look better, feel better and be able to perform more efficiently in all areas of life. However, for so many people, leading a fit and trim lifestyle is a very difficult undertaking, especially when they are already obese to begin with. Many times, obese people feel helpless. They may give much energy towards trying to eat right and the more physically active, but their attempts continually fail. There are many reasons for these failures including:
Lacking education about human nutrition;
The ready availability of fast foods, bleached foods, processed foods, prepared foods, microwave foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats, high sugar foods and so many other foods that are of empty nutritional value;
Technological advancements that make regular physical activity less of a practical necessity;
Fear of chastisement from other members of society;
The social stigma of obesity damages the self-esteem levels of those who are obese. So called "fit" people all too commonly make fun of the obese without any consideration to the complexity of their individual conditions. There is no thought given to the obese individual's situation or totally unique medical make-up. Childish fun is poked at the obese with no regards to their feelings - and it hurts them.
As obesity rates continue to climb worldwide, it becomes more necessary to exercise compassion and to help to increase education levels concerning human nutrition. The best place to begin the journey is in recognizing the need that we all have for wholesomely-nutritious foods, gallons and gallons of crisp water and daily physical activity. You can make a difference beginning today by being intentionally mindful about the thoughts and feelings of the obese people around you. Your positive energy will help obese individuals, and you, to feel better and also help to decrease the detrimental social stigma of obesity.
Essay 3: Fighting Obesity
Our nation is expanding, or should I say our nation's waistlines are expanding. It's a sad story. The figures are staggering, the death toll of Americans who are dying of preventable obesity related illnesses and is close to 400,000 a year. 400,000 people a year are dying because of what they are eating and the fact that they aren't moving their bodies. Our bodies were designed to move, keeping them still and sedentary goes against nature itself! According to recent statistics for 2005 from the Center for Disease Control 25.4 % of U.S. adults 20 years and up were obese. Not just overweight... obese. This number is a significant increase from the 1997 figures which showed the obesity level of the American people to be at 19.4%. And the problem is just getting bigger.... No put intended. There are an estimated 93 million people in the U.S. who are obese and this number is expected to rise over the next few years to reach a possible 120 million people.
If you consider the number of people in the states who are overweight the numbers skyrocket even more. In 1999, 61% of adults in the U.S. were overweight or obese according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, if you consider that this number has grown at least as quickly as the percentages for obesity you cannot deny that this is a huge problem.
So what is the difference between being overweight and being obese? One of the most common methods for determining if you are overweight or obese is by finding your Body Mass Index (BMI). The number that you get is derived from a correlation between your height and weight. The basic guidelines for BMI are as follows: below 18.5 - Underweight, 18.5-24.9 - Normal, 25-29.9 - Overweight, 30+ Obese, 40+ Morbidly obese (at least 100 pounds overweight). The more overweight or obese you are the more at risk you are for a wide variety of diseases and even early death.
This is serious stuff. It's not a laughing matter. The obesity rate in the states isn't just affecting adults either. The numbers for children's obesity levels are rising rapidly as well. Today there are well over 9 million adolescents who are overweight, these children and adolescents are at a much higher risk of developing obesity and morbid obesity. They are at a much higher risk for developing diseases early on in life. They are at more risk of being teased in school, being left out, and having low self confidence and poor self image.
The list of diseases that are obesity-related and in many cases preventable with healthy diet and exercise are many. They include but are not limited to: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, breast cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer. Think of how losing weight can also improve orthopedic problems (the majority of people who are overweight and obese suffer from lower back pain, knee problems etc. simply due to all of the excess weight and pressure being placed on their joints). Think of how losing weight can improve self confidence, self image, decrease stress levels, and more importantly increase not only the quantity of life but also the quality of life.
So what are the causes of overweight and obesity? There are a few factors that are the predominant reasons for obesity. The number one factor is behavior. Behavioral choices such as what you choose to eat and what you choose to do for physical activity are the two biggest influences on whether or not you will be overweight or obese. We live in a society that revolves around food, it is available in massive quantities on nearly every street corner. Americans have become increasingly overindulgent and are consuming far more calories than their bodies need for a day. The calories that are being consumed tend to be very low in nutritional value, high in fats and sugars and in general just unhealthy. The choices that a vast majority of the American population is making when it comes to food are literally killing them. The choices that a huge population of Americans are making when it comes to using their bodies in the way they were intended, by moving and being physically active, are literally causing pre mature death in our country. An estimated 40% of Americans don't participate in any kind of extra curricular physical activity. They lead sedentary lives.
The environment you live in contributes to your chances of being overweight or obese. This is why it is so important for parents to set a good example for their children by eating healthy and being physically active. The growing numbers of overweight and obese children is rising due to the fact that they are being raised in a sedentary environment. The environment of our country in general has made it easier for people to lead sedentary lives. You can drive your car instead of walking, no matter where you need to go. Many times you can get your food in a drive thru, you can take the elevator or escalator instead of the stairs, it's less and less necessary for us as Americans to "move" our bodies. It's no wonder that it is so tempting to take advantage of all these amenities to make life "easier". But consider this, is life truly easier if you are suffering from overweight and obesity, if you have developed a number of diseases or conditions due to overweight and obesity, if you have to go and see the doctor more often, if it is painful to walk, if you can't fit into your clothes, if you suffer from low self confidence and self image due to your weight. Do these things really make life "easier"?
The last predominant factor when it comes to obesity is genetics. Many people like to use genetics as the ultimate excuse for overweight and obesity. A lot of people will claim they have no control over their weight problem because it is genetic. Can obesity be genetic? The tendency towards obesity can be genetic, in these cases one must be even more diligent with their exercise and nutrition in order to prevent overweight and obesity to occur. When it comes down to it, only about 30% of obesity is related to genetics and around 70% is related to nutritional choices and behavioral choices when it comes to physical activity.
It's truly not a laughing matter. This is a major issue that has to be addressed and changes have to be made. It's not just about telling someone to lose weight or go on a crash diet though. For many people the root of the problem is emotional, food is filling a void in their lives. It is a comfort, it is a friend, eating is what the entire day revolves around. It's important to address the underlying issues of overweight and obesity such as the "why" behind the overeating. Many people who have reached the point of being overweight or obese may feel that there is no hope, they may be frustrated which is just going to make the problem worse, not better. There is hope! Changes can be made, progress can be made, it isn't a hopeless cause!
It's time to take control of overweight and obesity in the states. It's time to get physically active. It's time to use your body the way it was intended to be used! It's time to start moving. That doesn't mean you have to run out and buy a gym membership and pumping iron. If you are having trouble with being overweight or obese take baby steps towards developing a fit and healthy lifestyle. For example, start just by reducing the amount of calories you are taking in per day. Cut out one fattening snack or treat for the day, you would be amazed at how fast the calories add up just by cutting back slightly.
Start moving. If you enjoy walking or exercising start with small sessions of around ten minutes and increase from there. You can even think of starting to get more activity in your day by doing things like garden work, cleaning the house, taking your child out for a walk in the stroller, raking leaves, shoveling snow, washing the car. Whatever it may be just start moving, your life may literally depend on it! Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart. Let's fight this battle against obesity with our whole hearts and we can prevail.