Obesity, Choice, and Community

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Obesity, Choice, and Community
Have you heard of NAAFA? That is the National Association for the Acceptance of Fat, a civil society organization whose only and unique goal is stated in its name. And why does anyone have to “accept fat”? Most people probably because fat has become a problem in America. Anecdotal evidence and personal observation point to the spectacular increase in numbers of fat people on the streets of every city and suburb.

These impressions are backed by some undisputable facts, such as an increase in average weight in men and women in the United States by twenty pounds over just two decades (Doyle, 2013). Is it some medical condition that has been unnoticed? Is it that people just enjoy the large choice of abundant and high quality food in restaurants and grocery stores? The opinions vary greatly as to what exactly is the cause of the increase of overweight people in proportion to the general population. At any rate, this growth in the average person’s girth in America has a medical and financial cost. There are many diseases linked to obesity, from diabetes to cardio-vascular affections. These ailments fill the hospital wards, and incur increasingly large costs for the national community. At one point, obesity is compared to cigarette smoking in terms of its health impact, evaluated by the Center for Diseases Control at 400,000 deaths a year (JAMA, 2004. Quoted by E. Oliver). So the focus is on the means to reduce the number of overweight people, and subsequently the impact of obesity on the American society.

The many efforts associated with the fight against obesity have led to a strong controversy on what the leading factors to obesity are. This debate is framed in terms of whether the condition of obes...

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...J. (2014). Trends in Global Obesity. International Journal of Childbirth Education, 29 (2). P. 16-20. Retrieved May 30, 2014 from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxy-library. ashford.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=6&sid=09b5e51e-4725-4908-b81d-34a6a 577c8de%40sessionmgr4001&hid=4210

Oliver, J. E. (2005). Fat Politics: The Real Story behind America's Obesity Epidemic. Oxford University Press, London, UK. 240 p. Reviewed by Haney, M. T. (2007). Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 32(1), pp. 130-138. Retrieved May 29, 2014 from http://site.ebrary.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/lib/ashford/docDetail.action?docID =10233602

Randall, A. (2012). The Politics Of Fat In Black And White. In Talk of the Nation (NPR). 05/15/2012. Transcript. Retrieved May 29, 2014 from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxy- library.ashford.edu/eds/detail?vid=6&sid=f1ee2ce2-29f2-4fa4-

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