Obesity - case study and health promotion paper

Essay by magdasragdaUniversity, Master'sA, January 2009

download word file, 17 pages 5.0


Obesity has reached global epidemic proportions, and has become a major health problem of out society. According to Peeters et al. (2007), 32% or 60 million people are now obese in the United States. The condition develops as a result of the interaction between genetics, lifestyle behavior, and cultural and environmental influences. Fat accumulates when more energy is consumed than expended. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has adopted a classification system of body mass index (BMI). BMI, the indirect measure of body fat, identifies the overweight and obese individuals. A BMI of 25-29 kg/m2 is considered overweight, 30-34 kg/m2 is mild obesity, 35-39 kg/m2 is moderate obesity, and above 40 kg/m2 is extreme obesity (Palamara, Mogul, Peterson, Frishman, 2006).

Obesity develops due to high-fat, high carbohydrate diet coupled with a decline in physical activity. Modern living conditions, eating habits, and quality of food lead to over-consumption of cheap, super sized portions.

More cars, roads, and fast food restaurants at every corner, as well as quick, ready to eat microwavable dinners loaded with fat, salt, and simple carbohydrates are easier and often less expensive than nutritious, quality food products. Furthermore, the technology has made humans rely on mechanical devices. The automated inventions designed to make life easier, perform thousands of tasks that in the past required physical labor. As a result of sedentary life and over-consumption, the excessive fat accumulates in the body, and may have significant health consequences. Multiple research studies have revealed that excessive weight gain increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, and many forms of cancer. In particular, abdominal obesity has been recognized as strongly associated with the development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (Behn & Ur, 2006) (Chen et al., 2007) (Balkau et al., 2007) (Despres,