Causes of Increased Obesity in the Post War Era

Essay by bertofrayUniversity, Bachelor's April 2006

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) figures indicate that obesity is a "global epidemic". There are more than 300 million obese people worldwide. Obesity occurs when individual intakes more energy through food consumption than the body is able to expend adequately without regular exercise. Since World War II, the level of obese persons has increased dramatically and while genetics play a role in obesity to certain extent, there are several controllable factors which contribute to this health concern which is caused by human indiscipline and a changing society.

Most prevalent among these is the increased consumption of fast food. Fast food restaurants have become thriving businesses in the world because of people's reluctance to prepare meals and the hectic world schedule of today's world. These foods are filled with calories, carbohydrates and harmful hormones which increase the incidence of obesity in humans. Low food cost and increased competition for market share has led to increased portion sizes.

Case in point, McDonald's French fries portions rose from 200 calories in 1960 to 600 calories today. In 2004, Morgan Spurlock's documentary film "Super Size Me" produced negative publicity for McDonald's with allegations that their food was contributing heavily to obesity in American society. Fast food restaurants are not to be blamed for this problem however as their main focus is to make profit and undisciplined persons are the basis for their huge profits. The low cost of foods which allow the fast food restaurants to be able to increase their portions still have effects on those persons who consume little or no fast food. This is because while these persons avoid fast food, they are able to purchase more food at the supermarket or the grocery store and this cause some persons to consume more food than they should. The main...