Obesity in The United States

314 words | 2 page(s)

The evidence of the epidemic of obesity in America is all around us. Communities experience higher rates of obesity, and the result is higher rates of negative health outcomes such as heart attacks and diabetes, and at younger ages. The poor are more likely to be obese than the affluent, which is the reverse of the historical impact of poverty on weight. As a member of a large family I have members who are impacted by obesity, and I have also had the opportunity to witness how those who are not obese make judgements about those who are.

One contributing factor to adult obesity is increase in takeout and prepackaged food. In general Americans and others in Western nations have increased their portion sizes while reducing nutrition. The poor in particular are impacted by this, as the cheapest food tends to be higher in calories but without nutrition. Fresh foods have become too expensive for many Americans. Two ways to reduce obesity in this population is for the government to provide subsidies that reduce the cost of fresh nutritious food, and also to raise awareness in the population with regard to portion control as a means of managing weight.

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A sociological theory that contributes to understanding the rise in obesity rates due to the increase in prepackaged and restaurant food is the Marxist perspective. For a variety of economic reasons people have less time and less money. That food which is the most inexpensive is also the food with the least amount of value to our bodies. The need to work leaves one without the time necessary to prepare fresh nutritious meals, but the absence of work limits the money available to buy such food. Class domination is therefore at the cause of the rise of obesity in those that have the least power, and obesity becomes linked that lack of power in society.

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