Obesity caused by built environment

Obesity is a condition caused when one adds weight due to excess calories or energy intake, this is usually due to poor metabolism that in turn causes energy imbalance. The physical environment refers to ones’ immediate surrounding, the physical environment therefore has been found to be a contributory factor in the vulnerability to obesity if it’s such that it doesn’t encourage physical activity and good nutrition.

In the United States, there is accessibility to fast food restaurants and the lifestyles of most people is convenient, this encourages inactivity, eating of unhealthy foods and lack of discipline hence increasing obesity prevalence. Obesity or overweight (as can be used interchangeably) has serious health consequences: it results into diseases such as hypertension and type2 diabetes, this in turn results into high medical costs hence puts pressure on a country’s health system.

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Statistics show that the rate of obesity prevalence is increasing among children, adolescents and adults; this makes it expensive on the families of the victims owing to the costs associated with the treatments. The scariest fact however is that: obesity prevention if not taken seriously can increase the mortality rates globally (Kumanyika 2007). As earlier mentioned, obesity leads to serious health consequences; one is at risk of getting diseases like: type 2 diabetes, hypertension, gynecological complications like infertility and abnormal menses, asthma just to mention but a few.

Obese people are also affected in the mind, due to being inactive, the society tends to discriminate them, and as a result, most develop an inferiority complex syndrome a condition that can lead to stress and or depression. In children, this condition leads to stunted growth and dental problems: they mostly take sugary foods like sweets and chocolates that are unhealthy. Obesity has social consequences alongside its impact on health; victims tend to be less sociable when obese, they withdraw from relatives and friends because they generally feel unaccepted and insecure.

Other victims become unreasonably wild and adapt the use of abusive languages, this is entirely based on the fact that the society normally less appreciates and rejects those who are unhealthy. The society subjects obese people to discrimination, this is evident in the working environment where workmates tend to ridicule them and employers would prejudge that they are bound to under perform; it normally even reaches worse extents where obese employees are subjected to wage penalties (they are paid less than their colleagues).

This kind of discrimination also extends to more private cycles like the family, among spouses or love partners (Brownell 2005). Obesity has serious impacts on health, social and in turn to the economy of a country, economically, obesity and returns are correlated, owing to the fact that obese people are considered inactive, there is a wage difference with those who are less heavy in most cases, and this affects women majorly.

The overall impact is that the whole economy will under perform most likely due to inadequate motivation of these employees and also because obese people form a large fraction of the population (Acs, Z. J 2007). The physical environment can be adjusted to curb obesity, this involves the participation of the society. Overall prevention of obesity is based on good nutrition and physical activity, the work place presents an ample environment for instilling discipline to the victims by changing its policies.

Schools can also include some physical activities to be done during idle time. Neighborhoods could also play a role in reducing the number of fast food restaurants, the restaurants should have healthier foods that have less calories and energy giving content, children should be encouraged to do more exercises, other than watching a lot of television, people should engage in long vigorous walks, hiking and other activities that are physically engaging but not strenuous.

References Acs, Z. J, Lyles, A, Stanton, K. R. (2007). Obesity, business and public policy. Edgar Elgar Publishing. Brownell, K. D, Puhl, R. M, Rudd, L, Schwatz, M. B (2005) Weight bias: nature, Consequences and remedies. Gilford press. Kumanyika, S. K, Brownson, R. C, Satcher, D (2007). Handbook of Obesity Prevention: A Resource for Health Professionals. Springer.

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