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Obesity has become a major health concern for the society since it predisposes many individuals with a variety of disorders such as diabetes, noninsulin-dependent stroke, coronary artery diseases, and hypertension. These disorders have been linked to increased incidence of some cancers; for example, cancers of the rectum, colon, breast, prostate, cervix, and uterus. According to the research done in the American society, obesity has indicated that it carries some devastating social stigma (Bouchard & Katzmarzyk, 2010). Obesity has been extensively researched in previous years, and it has been linked to several chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, type two diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension as well as life expectancy reduction. An American research done by Fontaine and others reveals the relationship of obesity across the lifespan and life expectancy. The research indicated that; young adults, whose body mass index is increasing, incur a life expectancy that is lower than that of older adults, in comparison with an average life expectancy. A cross-sectional study done by Spanish involving 245 mature children (13.22+ 1.8) concluded that, the rising of weight does have an impact on children foot development structure that contributes to the low medical longitudinal arch or flat foot. The alteration in gait and balance are the complications that can produce abnormal lower edged alignment such as ankles, hips, and knees with more pain among the adults.
Another dimension is the connection of functional capacity and obesity. Obese people were reported to have poor functional status like climbing stairs and walking. This is attributed to the reduction of social activity that prevents an individual from living complete life. “Obesity affects the psychological dimensions of an individual” (Bouchard & Katzmarzyk, 2010). Several studies have indicated that obese children suffer more from psychological and psychiatric illnesses than non-obese children. At the same time, more female ratio than male became observed. Low self-esteem and behavioral problems were frequently observed in obese children. This is attributed to discrimination towards obese children, and constant negative feedback generates negative self-concept (Bouchard & Katzmarzyk, 2010).
Implications on Society
Obese people have tendency of being stigmatized by the American society and they get real, implied, as well as imagined negative feedback that reduces self-concepts. The negative feedback forces the individual to respond with either externalizing or internalizing social feedback. An obese person frequently internalizes social feedback. This dramatically hinders the confidence and motivation needed to develop personal goals (Kiess, 2004). Studies have indicated that people can externalize social feedback that includes detachment from work or school, alcoholism, and drug usage. Further study on status attainment and obesity indicate that obese students manage less achievement than those who are non-obese. Such incidences are observed in institutions, where focus on the performance of athletic is higher or where obesity is uncommon.
In addition, it is observed that obese students have a 12% chance of entering college, which is a bigger percent than that of non-obese students. Obese girls suffer more than obese boys (Kiess, 2004). Within the employment segment, study conducted on adulthood indicated that earning, promotion, and hiring fairs badly in obese adults. The study concluded that hiring managers who are anti-obesity can subconsciously remove obese people from interview. The study also confirmed that obese people were paid lower earnings than non-obese counterparts. Women were paid 14% lesser in each ten-pound (4-5kg) rise in weight, although the phenomenon was absent in men (Bouchard & Katzmarzyk, 2010). The increase of obesity also affects places of work, ergonomic equipment functionality, and time as well as motion efficiency (Kiess, 2004).
Experts’ Opinion About Obesity
Claire Hegarty, a principal of Weight Loss Hypnotherapy, argued that there is not sufficient help for obese people aiming to lose weight. Claire continued by saying that it is vital for obese people to care much about their health, and find ways of reducing the excess weight so that they can live a healthier lifestyle. He argued that the more weight one has, the higher the risk of carrying serious health problems that reduce life expectancy. The Gastric Band Surgery and Weight Loss Hypnotherapy currently have become more common, as people resist weight increase (Kiess, 2004). Celebrities are currently turning to Gastric Band operations and Weight Loss Hypnotherapy in order to help them gain that ideal weight quicker than diets may offer. Claire feels that the NHS should examine the use of this popular technique to assist many patients reduce weight. The United States (USDA) Department of Agriculture recently proposed a policy as one of its mandate to increase school nutritional values. The proposal is aimed at preventing students from cafeteria foods and promote foods of minimum nutritional values. The food that is obtainable can be found in snack bars and on school grounds. Majority of Americans (about 57%) favor this proposal, which specifies nutritional values for institutions’ meals (Stern & Kazaks, 2009).
Alternative to Obesity
Obese people, who desire to reduce weight can use medication such as Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia). This weight-loss medication is formed by mixing two drugs and permitted by the FDA to be used by adults for a long-term. Qsymia combines topiramate, a medication used to eradicate seizures and phentermine, weight reduction drug prescribed to use for short-term. Doctors must monitor the weight loss of patient while taking this drug. If the patient does not reduce weight at least 3% of his/her body weight, during the first 12 weeks of treatment, the doctor might suggest either increasing patient dose or stopping the use of Qsymia, depending on the condition of the patient (Kazaks & Stern, 2013).
The side effects may include tingling of feet and hands, increased heart rate, dizziness, insomnia, constipation, and dry mouth. Other side effects that are rare, but serious include problems with memory, suicidal thoughts, comprehension, changes in person’s vision, and sleep disorders. Pregnant women are not allowed to use this drug, because it is risky to unborn infants (Kazaks & Stern, 2013).
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Obesity as an American epidemic did not appear as a concern to many people until people grasp that children are currently suffering from obesity than never before. About 15% of American children in age gap between 6-19 have the body weight of 20% higher than normal weight range for a kid of that age. Obesity is not child fat or an awkward period that a child will eventually come out of. “Obesity is a severe medical condition as well as a menacing threat to emotional, physical, and social growth of the entire generation” (Kiess, 2004). Tough measures ought to be taken in order to fight the harm obesity cause in the society.