Social problem refers to negative conditions or issues that are raised in every society. Obesity qualifies to be a social problem in many communities, because it is an undesirable issue in any community. In the United States, obesity has become an epidemic and, in fact, in many developed nations. Obesity is increasing in the American society due to the abundance of food and also because the majority of people are employed in places that require less physical activity. Statistics indicate that two-thirds of people living in the United States are overweight including one child in every group of five children. Every year, the United States spend billions of US dollars on dieting, the foods diet, book diet, pills diet, and others. America spends $75 billion on treating illnesses related to obesity. Moreover, businesses suffer $20 billion in the productivity every year from employee absenteeism due to diseases caused by obesity.
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, the obesity has indicated that it carries some devastating social stigma. 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. The 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. Several studies have indicated that obese children suffer more from psychological and psychiatric, than non-obese children at the same time more female ratio than male was observed. Low self-esteem and behavioral problems were frequently observed in obese children. This was attributed to discrimination towards obese children and constant negative feedback generated 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 the 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. 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 were observed in the institutions where the focus on the performance of athletic is higher or where obesity is uncommon.
In addition, it was observed that obese students have a 12% chance of entering college, which is a bigger percent than that of non-obese students. Obese girls suffered more than obese boys. Within the employment segment, the 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 1,4% lesser in each ten-pound (4,5kg) rise in weight, although the phenomenon was absent in men. The increase of the obesity also affects places of work, ergonomic equipment functionality, and time as well as motion efficiency (Kiess, 2004).
Experts’ Opinion About the 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. Celebrities currently are turning to Gastric Band operations and Weight Loss Hypnotherapy in order to help them to 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 to 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 ongoing cafeteria foods and promotes foods of minimum nutritional values. The food that is obtainable can be found in snack bars and on the school grounds. The majority of Americans about 57% favor this proposal, which specifies nutritional values for institutions meals and also argued that the same should be applied on food sold in bake sales, vending machines, and snack bars (Stern & Kazaks, 2009).
Alternative to Obesity
The obese people who want to reduce weight can use medication such as Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia). The weight-loss medication 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. The doctor must monitor the weight loss of the 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.
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 one vision, and sleep disorders. Pregnant women are not allowed to use this drug, because it is risky to unborn infant (Kazaks & Stern, 2013).
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. Tough measures ought to be taken in order to fight the harm obesity cause in the society.