Initiatives of Addressing Obesity (Essay Sample)
Research and write an essay of 1400-1500 words following the guidelines below. It should include:
- an introduction.
- the main body is divided into paragraphs including the main idea, supporting arguments, examples
- a conclusion.
- 8-10 source texts correctly referenced in the essay.
- a reference list of sources used in your essay.
- word count of essay (not including cover page, title, or references).
Referencing should follow the Harvard system
Do not exceed 1500 words on this essay or you will be penalized.
Question: According to the World Health Organisation (2016), “Worldwide obesity has more than
doubled since 1980”. Outline the causes of this increase and discuss the ways in which
obesity can be addressed in terms of individual, community, and government initiatives.
The rising obesity cases are a matter of great concern to the world community because it leads to poor mental health, poor quality of life and is among the leading causes of death. Two thousand sixteen statistics from the World Health Organization indicate that over 650 million adults, 18 years and over, were obese (WHO). Some of the contributing causes include increased physical inactivity, overeating, and increasing intake of foods that are high in fats and sugars. Fortunately, obesity is preventable and can be addressed through individual, community, and government initiatives. Individual initiatives include limiting the intake of energy-dense foods and engaging in regular physical activity. On the other hand, the community can implement public assistance programs and recreation centers that make physical activities and healthier dietary choices available and affordable. Government initiatives should reform nutrition and healthy lifestyle approaches and enact policies that influence manufacturers in engaging in food practices that promote healthy and nutritious choices.
An increase in physical inactivity due to the sedentary lifestyle choices that have changed the way people work, commute, and live is a primary contributor to obesity. Examples of sedentary activities include spending many hours looking in front of a computer screen or watching television. Spending a lot of daytime sitting in the office, driving a vehicle, traveling, or reading is also sedentary. Obesity occurs because a sedentary lifestyle makes it impossible for the body to burn fat stored in the body after consuming excess calories (Mayo Clinic). Various study findings show that people with a low level of physical activity have higher cravings for food, hence consuming more calories. Engaging in regular physical activities in the form of exercises like jogging helps reduce obesity as it allows people to increase daily energy expenditure by burning body fat. Some people fail to engage in physical inactivity because economic developments such as urbanization have led to variations in physical activity resources (Gray et al.). Rapid urbanization has made it difficult for people to access parks and recreational facilities.
Research findings also show that increasing obesity cases result from overeating (binge eating) behavior among people. Food overconsumption leads to unstable energy balance in the body because it makes people gain excess or unstable body weight (Razzoli et al.). Razolli et al. Point out that increasing stress levels are a major risk factor of overeating behavior. Today, most people experience high-stress levels because of increased financial obligations, emotional problems like depression and anxiety, and pressure from work. High-stress levels lead to overfeeding because it interferes with metabolic regulation. Stress weakens the brain's central pathways level in response to satiety and nutrients from the gut (Razolli et al.). Overeating has also become a problem because food producers engineer products that stimulate the affective system, thus encouraging overconsumption.
Intake of foods with high fat and sugar has long been touted as the key to unhealthy weight and obesity. The increasing intake of such an energy-dense diet has been contributed by the rising popularity and mushrooming of fast-food joints. The percentage of calories and fats in food chips, sausages, hamburgers, and fried chicken sold by fast food is extremely high (Rolls). Cases of obesity have skyrocketed because such processed low-cost foods make people with low-income levels prefer them as a source of nutrients. Foods with high sugar, such as sugar-sweetened drinks, have also been associated with leptin resistance, driving up insulin levels and forcing glucose to enter blood cells (Benaroch). Appetite and hunger increase in the process because the blood sugar drops. The elevated hunger levels lead to additional eating increasing appetite, which in turn contributes to uncontrollable weight gain.
Initiatives of Addressing Obesity
Individuals can take steps to reduce obesity by limiting the intake of foods with high sugar and fat content and engaging in regular physical activity. Obesity is about lifestyle, and engaging in long-term dietary changes can go a long way towards minimizing the number of calories and fats stored in the body. Therefore, people need to avoid heavy consumption of processed foods sold in fast-food restaurants and joints. Instead, they should increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Whole grains and nuts should also be considered as a healthy alternative nutrient sources. Such foods have low food and sugar content, thus facilitating successful weight management by reducing energy density, necessary for sustainable weight loss. Healthy eating and dietary patterns should also be followed by limiting portions of energy-dense foods to ensure that only satisfying amounts of calories are consumed.
Sparing some time engaging in physical activities and exercise can also help individuals burn fats and expend excess energy. Adults should spare 150 minutes weekly for physical exercises (WHO). On the other hand, children are advised to engage in exercises for about 60 minutes daily. Regular exercise enables people to maintain energy balance and also lose weight provided they do not eat in excess to compensate for the lost energy. Physical exercises such as weight lifting and push-ups can help individuals build muscle mass and increase the body's energy, thereby making it easy to control weight. Regular physical activities have also been found to reduce incidences of stress and boost mood, thereby motivating individuals to stick to their exercise regimen.
The community should develop assistance programs and recreational centers that promote affordable healthy food and encourage physical activity. For instance, the community can develop early care and education programs. Such programs make caregivers critically analyze what children consume, their level of physical engagement and develop a foundation for healthy life habits. Rhode Island Food, Fitness, Fun Program is a classic example of a community intervention that helps caregivers address childhood obesity. Another popular community program that promotes healthy eating is the sponsorship of salad bars in schools. Such a program encourages children to develop healthy eating habits in early life, promoting wellness throughout their lives.
A better way for the community to encourage people to engage in physical activities is through policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes. Through PSE, the community can target individual behaviors and family settings to increase opportunities for making healthy choices (CDC). Examples of PSE may include using point-of-decision prompts that will encourage the use of walking paths. Other strategies may focus on increasing spaces where people can be active during their free time. For example, school facilities such as playing fields for public use are opening.
Most governmental initiatives are aimed at formulating policies that reform nutritional approaches to promote healthy lifestyle choices. For instance, the government can promote the development of infrastructure projects that promote physical activity. For instance, the government can allocate parks, walking trails, playing fields and stadiums, and cycling lanes when planning to expand towns or build roads. The availability of such physical amenities provides opportunities for people to engage in physical activities through ministries like the Department for Culture Media and Sports to promote campaigns that increase awareness of the benefits of healthy living and eating. Such campaigns may also include organizing sports activities and events such as marathons and cross-country competitions.
Education policies and curricula that promote physical activities should also be encouraged. Besides academics, the government can instruct teaching to engage in physical educ
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