Obesity Essay, Obesity Composition
Writing, Examples and Samples of Essays
Essay 1: Obesity.
People who are overweight and obese
face many difficulties their normal weight peers do not. Frequent
doctor visits are a fact of life for overweight and obese people,
due to the development of weight-related disorders such as diabetes
and osteoarthritis. Along with the daily difficulties associated
with these diseases, the overweight or obese person may be
personally affected financially as a result of weight-related
expenses and reduced income.
The personal consequences and costs of obesity are serious,
and the personal financial cost great. Multiple studies have shown
that obesity significantly negatively affects personal and
working relations, wages, and advancement, particularly for females.
While the health problems as the overweight/obese age may ravage
savings, an overweight/obese person may have difficulty accumulating
those savings in the first place. One of the earliest sociological
studies of the overweight, in 1966, found that the heaviest students
had a harder time getting into top colleges. The obese, particularly
white women, are paid less. A study by Cornell University found that
a weight increase of 64 pounds above the average for white women was
associated with 9 percent lower wages.
I can personally attest to the ceiling placed on the obese; the jobs
that are available to you based on your talents and abilities are
often not received; there can be pattern of coming in second in
interviews. This is particularly so when the job involves social
context or a large amount of meet and greet.
Overweight people may or may not spend more than normal-size people
on food, but their life insurance premiums are two to four times as
large. They can expect higher medical expenses, and they tend to
make less money and accumulate less wealth in their lifetimes. They
can have a harder time being hired, and then a harder time earning
promotions. People carrying as little as 30 to 40 pounds extra can
be seriously affected.
In 2004, The Obesity Society created a Task Force on weight
which found accumulating evidence of clear and consistent bias,
stigmatization, and in some cases discrimination, against obese
individuals in three areas of living: employment, education, and
health care. They also reported that recent studies have documented
automatic negative associations with obese people among health
professionals and among obese individuals themselves.
In addition to the negative financial impact that excess weight
carries, there is also impact on quality of life. People who are
severely overweight may have difficulty performing simple daily
tasks, such as tying shoes or walking up a flight of stairs. Many
obese people have trouble sitting in, or can not trust the weight
limit of, standard furniture. It becomes difficult to go to
restaurants or theaters, or to utilize public transportation. Many
bathroom facilities would be inaccessible to the obese were it not
for the availability of the much larger handicap stall. While I was
able to use the regular stalls when I weighted a little over 300
pounds, which is certainly obese but not gargantuan, there were many
that were on the small size, and getting in and turning around to
shut the door was awkward, if not difficult.
Think about all the places you might not go if you had to be worried
about fitting in, or not breaking, the chairs; think of all the
places that have booths, which have fixed distances from the table.
Consider the size of the average subway turnstile. Go window
shopping and mentally buy several stylish items; then go to one of
the plus size departments or stores and try to replicate the
satisfaction you had mock shopping in your size range. Tie a few
gallon water jugs to yourself and see what it is like to sit in your
If you are really looking to get an inkling of the reality, fill the
jugs with water and carry in your groceries. Water weights about
eight pounds a gallon, so you can see what it is like at 50 pounds
overweight, 100, 150. I doubt many of us could handle carrying
around enough jugs to bring our weight up to the 500, 600 or higher
that some people live with; the obese put the weight on over time so
tend not to realize just how much weight they are asking their backs
and knees to support. There is no way to truly feel what it is like
physically to be obese: things like raw inner thighs from chaffing
and permanent raw indentations from bra straps can not be
These problems may seem trivial to some, but they represent serious,
multi-layered difficulties that can have both a cumulative and a
rippling effect. If you are afraid you might not be able to use
facilities, long shopping trips become less inviting. If your size
affects your lung capacity, you may have trouble sleeping, which can
affect your performance at work, which in turn may worsen the
experience of day-to-day financial strains. So might the ability to
keep up, literally.
Duke University Medical Center researchers reported in 2004 that
obesity significantly impairs the sexual quality of life. Obese
people report sexual problems such as lack of desire, lack of
enjoyment, avoiding sex, and performance difficulty at a much higher
rate than people of normal weight.
Overweight and obese people are frequently stereotyped as
emotionally impaired, socially handicapped, and as possessing
negative personality traits. Evidence of discrimination is found at
virtually every stage of the employment cycle, including selection,
placement, compensation, promotion, discipline and discharge,
according to research presented by Western Michigan University. In
addition, this bias extends to job assessments of overweight
individuals in their various work related roles, both as
subordinates and co-workers.
According to recent studies, wages of mildly obese white women were
5.9 lower than standard weight counterparts; morbidly obese white
women were 24.1 percent lower. In contrast to females, the wages of
mildly obese white and black men were higher than their standard
weight counterparts. Men only experienced wage penalties at the very
highest weight levels.
The potential effect of applicant weight, age, sex and race on
ratings of job candidate acceptability in a laboratory setting was
examined in 1988. Overweight candidates were rated significantly
lower, but none of the other criteria manipulations had a
significant effect. Michigan is the only state that prohibits
employment discrimination on the basis of weight.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal statute that
protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination
on the basis of disability in the workplace. Since the enactment of
the ADA, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken the
position that people who are morbidly obese (body weight more than
100 percent over the norm) are disabled and protected under the ADA.
This leaves a huge number of obese, but not morbidly obese,
unprotected in forty-nine of fifty states. It also puts those who do
qualify under obligation to bring an ADA law suit to rectify a
qualifying situation. And you still have to prove it was
discrimination due to obesity.
Compared to normal weight people, morbidly obese and massively obese
people are more likely to incur instances of institutional and
day-to-day interpersonal discrimination. Morbidly obese and
massively obese persons report lower levels of self-acceptance than
normal weight persons, yet this relationship is fully mitigated by
the perception that one has been discriminated against due to body
weight or physical appearance: a more palatable reason
psychologically than character or personality defect, or a job not
Unflattering portrayals of obese people pervade popular culture,
while multiple studies document that children, adults, and even
health care professionals who work with obese patients hold negative
attitudes toward overweight and obese persons. Twenty-eight percent
of teachers in one study said that becoming obese is the worst thing
that can happen to a person; twenty-four percent of nurses said that
they are repulsed by obese people.
Obese people who believe that their health care providers look down
upon them may avoid seeking care; this reaction is potentially
dangerous given that obese individuals are at an elevated risk for
many health conditions.
Research conducted over the past 40 years shows that obese people
are viewed as physically unattractive and undesirable. Obese
individuals also are viewed as responsible for their weight due to
some character flaw such as laziness, gluttony, or a lack of
self-control and self respect. Obese persons may form negative
self-evaluations as a reaction to the pervasiveness of negative
attitudes toward obese persons and real or perceived discriminatory
Interpersonal consequences of severe obesity are most acute
for members of higher socioeconomic strata. A number of studies
suggest that upper-middle class Americans are less likely to be
obese, more likely to adopt negative views toward the obese, and
more likely to view thinness as an ideal body type; the belief that
obesity is a consequence of laziness may be particularly
common among those with richer resources and opportunities. Physical
appearance and putting forth a positive image of your employer also
may be a more critical aspect of job success in professional
occupations than in blue-collar or service occupations. In all of
our surveys, the only striking difference in obesity
statistics was a drop in the obesity percentages in the
shopping playgrounds of the wealthy.
The Employment Law Alliance (ELA) released findings from its America
at Work Opinion Poll portending a rise in lawsuits alleging
employment related obesity discrimination. The survey found 47
percent of obese Americans believe they have suffered discrimination
in the workplace, while 32 percent think obese employees less likely
to be respected and taken seriously in the workplace. Nearly 40
percent of those who identified themselves either as obese or
overweight contend they deserve special government protection
against weight-based discrimination in the workplace, though only 26
percent of individuals of normal weight echoed that contention.
Studies show that overweight and obese students, especially girls,
are less likely than the non-obese to be accepted by the more
competitive colleges. This is true even if their grades,
standardized test scores, and other variables are the same as for
other boys and girls.
Overweight people are less likely to attend college even though they
score high on standardized tests and are academically motivated.
Also, overweight women are more likely than other men or women to
pay their way through college.
Overweight students are more likely to be refused letters of
recommendation from faculty members.
There has been some change in the practices regarding hiring of the
obese, as so much more of the employment force has become obese
there is not often an option. Look at the number of employees you
see in stores and businesses in a day, and you will notice that
there are more obese employees than there were when you were a
child. But it does not remove the ceiling or reduce the promotion
restrictions that shadow the obese.
A study of 1200 doctors revealed that, although physicians
recognized the health risks of obesity and perceived many
patients as overweight or obese, they did not intervene as much as
they thought they should, were ambivalent about how to manage obese
clients, and were unlikely to refer them to weight loss programs.
Only 18 percent of physicians reported that they would discuss
weight management with overweight patients, and only 42 percent of
physicians would have this discussion with mildly obese patients. I
have lived and worked in five states in my lifetime, and have had
jobs in six different counties in California, so I have had many
different primary physicians in my adult lifetime, and I can tell
you that most never broached the subject of my weight, and the few
who did merely remarked that I should lose some.
In a 1969 survey of physicians, obese patients were described as
weak-willed, ugly, awkward, and self-indulgent. In a more recent
physician survey, one of three doctors said they respond negatively
to obesity, behind three other diagnostic/social categories:
drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness. A survey of severely
obese patients found that nearly 80 percent reported being treated
disrespectfully by the medical profession.
Physicians are not immune to obesity. Ironically, physicians report
fifty percent of their physician colleagues are obese. The
Physicians' Health Study reported that 44 percent of male physicians
are overweight, and 6 percent are obese. Although there are no
published data on obesity in female physicians, the Nurses'
Health Study demonstrated that 28 percent of female nurses in the
United States are overweight, and 11 percent are obese.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic recently released the results of a
survey of more than 2,500 obese patients who went to their doctor
for a regular checkup over the course of a year. They found that
only one in five of those people were listed on their charts as
Discussing weight becomes even more complicated with children.
According to a 2005 study in the Journal of Pediatrics, doctors
diagnosed obesity less than 1 percent of the time among 2 to
18 year olds, a figure far below the one-third of young Americans
struggling with overweight and obesity.
Among physicians, 17 percent reported reluctance to provide pelvic
exams to very obese women, and 83 percent indicated reluctance to
provide a pelvic exam if the patient herself was hesitant. Given
that overweight women may hesitate to obtain exams and that
physicians are reluctant to perform exams on obese or reluctant
women, many overweight women may not receive necessary medical
attention or preventive care.
Overweight and obese people get waited on more slowly than normal
weight customers. They often encounter more difficulty making
returns or exchanges than their thinner counterparts. When I was
obese, sales people rarely asked to assist, and I often felt I had
to track someone down; I assumed this was a general condition of the
loss of the ethics of service of the old days. One thing I noticed
when I became a size 4 was that sales people began to come up to me
and ask if they could be of help much more frequently.
Results of a study by the North American Association for the Study
of Obesity revealed that obese children were liked less and
rejected more often by peers. Obese boys encounter more overt
victimization (verbalteasing or physical aggression) and obese girls
reported more relational victimization (cruelty by friends and
cliques) compared with their average-weight peers.
Obese girls were also less likely to date than their peers. Both
obese boys and girls reported being more dissatisfied with their
dating status compared with average-weight peers. The results
suggest that obese adolescents are at greater risk for mistreatment
by peers and may have fewer opportunities to develop intimate
romantic relationships; this may contribute to the psychological and
health difficulties frequently associated with obesity;
during adolescence, a time of rapid change in body shape and size as
well as dynamic interactions with peers and parents, weight control
is a particularly sensitive issue.
Recently school nurses reported being more likely to label obese
children as sad and lazy. They overwhelmingly agreed with the
statement Childhood obesity is a significant cause of peer
rejection. Another recent study found that children who are obese
are absent from school more than other children, missing an average
of two more days than their non-obese peers. Interestingly, obesity
seems to predict absenteeism more than any other factor, including
school performance and socioeconomic status, two of the top reasons
cited in the past for poor attendance. As a former public school
teacher (at both elementary and high school levels, and as an
principal and superintendent of schools pre-K-12), I can tell you
that the number of days of school missed severely effects a child's
learning, and can carry forward in terms of lesser jobs and less pay
for the rest of the life of a child. That is a steep personal cost.
Social attitudes towards obesity are negative and usually
result in the adolescent becoming withdrawn and isolated. Obese
adolescents have feelings of low self-esteem, social isolation,
feelings of rejection and depression and a strong sense of failure.
Obese children are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors such
as smoking,or consuming alcohol. Obese adolescent girls are more
likely to become sexually active at a younger age in an effort to
achieve acceptance and attention.
The prejudice associated with obesity is intense. Fat teenagers are
often disregarded and subjected to ridicule. Most comments about
fatness have negative consequences. Young people are often
humiliated and frequently suffer permanent emotional scars. Fat
people become tired of being judged by weight first and personality
second. Adolescent girls who are dissatisfied with their bodies
frequently try to lose weight in unhealthy ways, including skipping
meals, fasting, and smoking to ward off hunger. A smaller number of
girls are even resorting to more extreme methods such as
self-induced vomiting, diet pills, and laxative use. Strict food
denial in an effort to lose weight often leads to late afternoon or
evening binging episodes. More than one-third of obese individuals
in weight-loss treatment programs report difficulties with binge
eating. This type of eating behavior contributes to feelings of
shame, loneliness, poor self-esteem, and depression, and these
feelings in return can spur additional eating as a means of solace.
In a study by the University of California, San Diego, researchers
were surprised to find that the scores of obese children on a
quality of life survey were as bad as cancer patients in every
domain of life.
One obesity study asked severely obese persons to take a
forced-choice questionnaire; for each question, they had to make a
choice between being at their present weight or having some other
given illness. The results were astounding. Although there were some
variations on some of the questions, every obese person said that
they would rather be blind or have one leg amputated than be at
their present heavy weight. Most interestingly, every person who
participated in the study would rather be a poor thin person than a
morbidly obese millionaire.
Little wonder that depression is commonly linked with obesity,
and, having been overweight and obese from age 5 to 50, I can
personally attest that this chapter understates the multitude and
magnitude of the true personal costs of obesity.
Essay 2: Obesity and Social Stigma.
Worldwide obesity rates are higher than they have ever been
before and are consistently climbing further. While obesity
can be looked upon as a medical condition, there are heavy
psychological burdens associated with it as well. The social stigma
of obesity often causes those who are obese to dislike
themselves and become reclusive. This can lead to social alienation,
dangerous levels of anxiety and chronic depression. Additionally,
there are uncountable health risks associated with obesity
that require serious consideration.
There is a widespread stereotype directed at the obese in many
societies across the planet. Obese people are looked upon as lazy,
unsightly, lacking health and lacking willpower. Further, those who
are obese have a greater probability to be limited in social class.
They are also far less likely to ever be married. Additionally,
obese people are very likely to experience discrimination of the
Entrance to college;
Acceptance to various social events;
And many more...
The definition of obesity:
Obesity is a condition of having too much body fat. Although
it really has nothing to do with one's weight, it is most often the
case that obese people are overweight as well. The most commonly
accepted method for determining obesity in a given individual
is to measure their body mass index or BMI. According to The
National Center for Health Statistics, a BMI rating of 27.3
determines obesity in women and a rating of 27.8 classifies
The causes of obesity:
While it is true that obesity can result because of psychosocial
problems and/or various medical conditions, the fact is that most
people become obese as a result of chronically improper dietary
choices and lacking physical activity levels. In fact, health
professionals in America classify over 25% of the population as
"completely sedentary". Obviously, obesity is a serious issue
for public health as it is directly correlated to many cases of
morbidity and death.
Health risks associated with obesity:
Obesity is a primary factor in the development and onset of
nearly every preventable disease known. By lessening obesity
and maintaining a healthy weight level, individuals significantly
reduce their probabilities for developing all of the following
Various types of cancer;
Diabetes mellitus type II;
High LDL cholesterol levels;
Sclerosis of the liver;
Kidney disorders and failure;
Bone and joint disorders;
And so many more...
The psychological pain of obesity:
It's obvious that most obese people would like to become more fit.
They know that they would look better, feel better and be able to
perform more efficiently in all areas of life. However, for so many
people, leading a fit and trim lifestyle is a very difficult
undertaking, especially when they are already obese to begin with.
Many times, obese people feel helpless. They may give much energy
towards trying to eat right and the more physically active, but
their attempts continually fail. There are many reasons for these
Lacking education about human nutrition;
The ready availability of fast foods, bleached foods, processed
foods, prepared foods, microwave foods, foods high in saturated and
trans fats, high sugar foods and so many other foods that are of
empty nutritional value;
Technological advancements that make regular physical activity less
of a practical necessity;
Fear of chastisement from other members of society;
The social stigma of obesity damages the self-esteem levels
of those who are obese. So called "fit" people all too commonly make
fun of the obese without any consideration to the complexity of
their individual conditions. There is no thought given to the obese
individual's situation or totally unique medical make-up. Childish
fun is poked at the obese with no regards to their feelings - and it
As obesity rates continue to climb worldwide, it becomes more
necessary to exercise compassion and to help to increase education
levels concerning human nutrition. The best place to begin the
journey is in recognizing the need that we all have for
wholesomely-nutritious foods, gallons and gallons of crisp water and
daily physical activity. You can make a difference beginning today
by being intentionally mindful about the thoughts and feelings of
the obese people around you. Your positive energy will help obese
individuals, and you, to feel better and also help to decrease the
detrimental social stigma of obesity.
Essay 3: Fighting Obesity
nation is expanding, or should I say our nation's waistlines are
expanding. It's a sad story. The figures are staggering, the death
toll of Americans who are dying of preventable obesity
related illnesses and is close to 400,000 a year. 400,000 people a
year are dying because of what they are eating and the fact that
they aren't moving their bodies. Our bodies were designed to move,
keeping them still and sedentary goes against nature itself!
According to recent statistics for 2005 from the Center for Disease
Control 25.4 % of U.S. adults 20 years and up were obese. Not just
overweight... obese. This number is a significant increase from the
1997 figures which showed the obesity level of the American
people to be at 19.4%. And the problem is just getting bigger.... No
put intended. There are an estimated 93 million people in the U.S.
who are obese and this number is expected to rise over the next few
years to reach a possible 120 million people.
If you consider the number of people in the states who are
overweight the numbers skyrocket even more. In 1999, 61% of adults
in the U.S. were overweight or obese according to the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, if you consider that this
number has grown at least as quickly as the percentages for
obesity you cannot deny that this is a huge problem.
So what is the difference between being overweight and being obese?
One of the most common methods for determining if you are overweight
or obese is by finding your Body Mass Index (BMI). The number that
you get is derived from a correlation between your height and
weight. The basic guidelines for BMI are as follows: below 18.5 -
Underweight, 18.5-24.9 - Normal, 25-29.9 - Overweight, 30+ Obese,
40+ Morbidly obese (at least 100 pounds overweight). The more
overweight or obese you are the more at risk you are for a wide
variety of diseases and even early death.
This is serious stuff. It's not a laughing matter. The obesity
rate in the states isn't just affecting adults either. The numbers
for children's obesity levels are rising rapidly as well.
Today there are well over 9 million adolescents who are overweight,
these children and adolescents are at a much higher risk of
developing obesity and morbid obesity. They are at a
much higher risk for developing diseases early on in life. They are
at more risk of being teased in school, being left out, and having
low self confidence and poor self image.
The list of diseases that are obesity-related and in many
cases preventable with healthy diet and exercise are many. They
include but are not limited to: high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease,
osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, breast cancer,
colon cancer, endometrial cancer. Think of how losing weight can
also improve orthopedic problems (the majority of people who are
overweight and obese suffer from lower back pain, knee problems etc.
simply due to all of the excess weight and pressure being placed on
their joints). Think of how losing weight can improve self
confidence, self image, decrease stress levels, and more importantly
increase not only the quantity of life but also the quality of life.
So what are the causes of overweight and obesity? There are a
few factors that are the predominant reasons for obesity. The
number one factor is behavior. Behavioral choices such as what you
choose to eat and what you choose to do for physical activity are
the two biggest influences on whether or not you will be overweight
or obese. We live in a society that revolves around food, it is
available in massive quantities on nearly every street corner.
Americans have become increasingly overindulgent and are consuming
far more calories than their bodies need for a day. The calories
that are being consumed tend to be very low in nutritional value,
high in fats and sugars and in general just unhealthy. The choices
that a vast majority of the American population is making when it
comes to food are literally killing them. The choices that a huge
population of Americans are making when it comes to using their
bodies in the way they were intended, by moving and being physically
active, are literally causing pre mature death in our country. An
estimated 40% of Americans don't participate in any kind of extra
curricular physical activity. They lead sedentary lives.
The environment you live in contributes to your chances of being
overweight or obese. This is why it is so important for parents to
set a good example for their children by eating healthy and being
physically active. The growing numbers of overweight and obese
children is rising due to the fact that they are being raised in a
sedentary environment. The environment of our country in general has
made it easier for people to lead sedentary lives. You can drive
your car instead of walking, no matter where you need to go. Many
times you can get your food in a drive thru, you can take the
elevator or escalator instead of the stairs, it's less and less
necessary for us as Americans to "move" our bodies. It's no wonder
that it is so tempting to take advantage of all these amenities to
make life "easier". But consider this, is life truly easier if you
are suffering from overweight and obesity, if you have developed a
number of diseases or conditions due to overweight and obesity,
if you have to go and see the doctor more often, if it is painful to
walk, if you can't fit into your clothes, if you suffer from low
self confidence and self image due to your weight. Do these things
really make life "easier"?
The last predominant factor when it comes to obesity is
genetics. Many people like to use genetics as the ultimate excuse
for overweight and obesity. A lot of people will claim they
have no control over their weight problem because it is genetic. Can
obesity be genetic? The tendency towards obesity can
be genetic, in these cases one must be even more diligent with their
exercise and nutrition in order to prevent overweight and obesity
to occur. When it comes down to it, only about 30% of obesity
is related to genetics and around 70% is related to nutritional
choices and behavioral choices when it comes to physical activity.
It's truly not a laughing matter. This is a major issue that has to
be addressed and changes have to be made. It's not just about
telling someone to lose weight or go on a crash diet though. For
many people the root of the problem is emotional, food is filling a
void in their lives. It is a comfort, it is a friend, eating is what
the entire day revolves around. It's important to address the
underlying issues of overweight and obesity such as the "why"
behind the overeating. Many people who have reached the point of
being overweight or obese may feel that there is no hope, they may
be frustrated which is just going to make the problem worse, not
better. There is hope! Changes can be made, progress can be made, it
isn't a hopeless cause!
It's time to take control of overweight and obesity in the
states. It's time to get physically active. It's time to use your
body the way it was intended to be used! It's time to start moving.
That doesn't mean you have to run out and buy a gym membership and
pumping iron. If you are having trouble with being overweight or
obese take baby steps towards developing a fit and healthy
lifestyle. For example, start just by reducing the amount of
calories you are taking in per day. Cut out one fattening snack or
treat for the day, you would be amazed at how fast the calories add
up just by cutting back slightly.
Start moving. If you enjoy walking or exercising start with small
sessions of around ten minutes and increase from there. You can even
think of starting to get more activity in your day by doing things
like garden work, cleaning the house, taking your child out for a
walk in the stroller, raking leaves, shoveling snow, washing the
car. Whatever it may be just start moving, your life may literally
depend on it! Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart. Let's
fight this battle against obesity with our whole hearts and
we can prevail.