Obesity - Is Obesity an Epidemic?

· 2 min read
Obesity - Is Obesity an Epidemic?
Obesity - Is Obesity an Epidemic?

The word "epidemic" has been used to describe various kinds of diseases. In scientific terms, it refers to the spread of a disease that threatens the public health. It also refers to the psychological effect that an epidemic has on society. The problem of obesity is not confined to one geographical region. However, it has become a worldwide problem, and scientists are working to create new definitions for it.

It is a public health threat

Many people have heard that obesity is a public health threat, but few have really taken the time to understand why this is true. Obesity is a growing epidemic that affects both young and older people alike. For instance, in the United States, the obesity rate among children and adolescents was 18.5% between 2015 and 2016. This represents more than one in every six children and adolescents. The number of children and adolescents affected by obesity was also higher among low-income communities, which often have limited access to health care.

It is a psychosocial effect

Studies have found that adolescents who are overweight or obese experience more mental health issues and are at a higher risk of suicidal thoughts. Interestingly, the associations between weight and mental health were mediated by victimization. While the direct effect of victimization was stronger in obese adolescents than in normal-weight individuals, the indirect effect may have been stronger in overweight and obese individuals. While the results are not conclusive, it shows that obesity increases the risk for mood disorders, including depression and suicidal thoughts.

It is a social problem

The issue of obesity is a social one, with several complex factors involved. Sadly, people of South Asian descent in the USA have higher rates of obesity than the rest of the population, with the disease being six times as likely to affect them. While little research has been done on the causes of obesity, it does seem that racism plays a significant role. Clearly, we need to make this issue a priority in society and find ways to combat it on a larger scale.

It is a political issue

The debate over obesity centres on two basic issues. On one side, the food industry, knowingly manufacturing harmful foods for teens and adolescents, is largely to blame. On the other hand, the media, advertisers, and processors promoting such food for monetary gains are blamed. Both sides see their role as coercive and seductive. Regardless of which side you fall on, the topic of obesity is a highly political one.