Obesity social problem for adults and children


Obesity social problem : The obesity is a chronic disease preventable multifactorial origin by excessive accumulation of fat or general hypertrophy of adipose tissue in the body, it is characterized when the natural energy reserve of humans and other mammals, stored as body fat It increases to a point where it is associated with numerous complications such as certain health conditions or diseases and an increase in mortality. 

Obesity is part of the metabolic syndrome, being a known risk factor, that is, predisposes for several diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2, sleep apnea, stroke, osteoarthritis, as well as some forms of cancer, dermatological diseases and gastrointestinal.

But not only obesity is a dangerous disease that if left untreated can lead to death, in addition, obesity is a social and public health problem, because for the World Health Organization (WHO) overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk factor for death in the world. Every year at least 2.8 million adults die as a result of overweight or obesity.

The WHO defines obesity when the BMI or body mass index (calculation between height and weight of the individual) is equal to or greater than 30 kg / m². An increased abdominal perimeter in men greater than or equal to 102 cm and in women greater than or equal to 88 cm is also considered a sign of obesity. For WHO, when these levels are reached and surpassed, we must talk about obesity and take measures,

since it is not only about health, but about the psychological social consequences suffered by those who suffer from it, since unfortunately the majority of obese people suffer discrimination. labor, humiliation, sexual and affective discrimination due to the fact of being overweight. The majority of the legislations of the countries of the West, contemplate dispositions to penalize the discrimination, nevertheless,

Main social, psychological and physical consequences of obesity

Western society has established models of beauty far removed from the reality in which most people live, that is, television is full of very thin women and men, with flat bellies, tiny feminine waists and strong muscles in men . These models of aesthetics stimulate discrimination and cause anxiety in obese people, whose psychological damage generates in nutritional syndromes such as bulimia and anorexia . Some social consequences of obesity are:

  1. Labor discrimination: Employers of certain companies do not want to have people with obesity, especially in reception or sales jobs because they think that the image that the client perceives of the person is the one that will be taken away from the company, without taking into account the knowledge and skills that the person has, so that the person tends to isolate himself and feel rejected, this encourages him to take refuge even more in the food.
  2. Sexual and affective rejection: The majority of people who suffer from obesity, especially women, suffer from sexual and affective rejection by their partners. Abuse and humiliation have many times fatal consequences, as it can lead to suicide.
  3. Extreme nutritional disorders: When people with obesity do not have the proper guidance to deal with this problem and lose weight in a healthy way, fall prey to serious psychological states in which their body and health are subjected to severe traumas, such as bulimia and anorexia , which, without treatment, lead to death.
  4. Discrimination at school: Children and youth are constantly pressured in their school environment because of their appearance. When a child or young person suffers from obesity, it is prey to ridicule and rejection by their peers. The rejection injures notably the self-esteem of these young people, configuring an antisocial personality and psychological disorders that can be lethal in their adult life.

Childhood obesity is a social problem

the World Health Organization (WHO) publishes an article in its section on “Childhood Obesity” in which it explains “why” children and adolescents become obese.


This organism attributes the overweight and consequent childhood obesity to an imbalance between the intake and the caloric expenditure, due to the following factors:

– The global trend towards the consumption of hypercaloric foods rich in fats and sugars, with few micronutrients.

– Significant reduction of physical activity attributable to the increase of sedentary activities, changes in the form of transport and increasing urbanization.

The child does not choose where he lives, nor what he eats every day and does not understand what consequences his behavior will have on his health.

Obesity in the child is linked to the way he acts and to eat, but not only because the child behaves in such a way and guides him or her in a society that depends, in turn, on economic and social development, on policies related to agriculture, transport, urban planning, environment, education and processing, distribution and marketing of food.

“Obese and overweight children tend to remain obese as adults and are more likely to develop noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease at younger ages.”

The fact that the WHO recognizes childhood obesity as a social problem implies that measures must be developed from this perspective to combat the serious problem that besets present and future humanity.

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