Obesity as a Social Disease

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For most people, the phrase , “you are what you eat”, rings more than just a few bells. In a growing visually appeasing society it may come as a surprise however that most Americans are overweight and that poor diet/obesity is a leading cause of death in our country. There are many ways that Americans try and attack this problem, the most common being dieting and exercise. Yet with all the money spent yearly on diet programs and personalized fitness regimens, Americans still top off the list in percentage of adults that are overweight. As of 2010, more than one third of all Americans were overweight and that number continues to climb at an alarming rate. In 2012 , there was an estimated twenty billion dollars in revenue for any and all diet books, diet drugs, and surgeries (1). Capitalism has a say so clearly, one aspect of the money is pushing the mentally weak toward fatty foods, the other form is racking in twenty billion on improper self discipline and fitness fads of those trying to be the opposite. Even with the increasing numbers of diets and obesity prevention programs, American obesity remains an instable issue. In our society obesity has become a primary link to heart diseases and other preventable lifestyle illnesses that can lead to early death. Why is our society overweight, and why is it our attempts to correct the issue have yet to yield positive results? Without the proper understanding that obesity is a social disease, our society will continue to seek quick fixes for obesity and never address the ongoing issue at it's core.

Obesity is a social disease. Like the phrase, “you are what you eat”, it is common to hear “show me who your friends are and I will show you who you are”. Meaning, the people ...

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...ry by the Numbers, retrieved April 20th2014. Website:

(2) Monte, Liz . Portion-size-then-vs-now. Retrieved April 20th, 2014. Website: (

(3) Trust for Americas Health. ( 2013, August). Retreieved April 20th 2014. Website:

(4) Jane-Schneider, Mary. Introduction to Public Health Third Edition (Chapter 16). Sudbury, MA; Jones and Bartlett, 2011. Print

(5) Weller, Chris. Is Obesity A Social Disease? How The Fate Of Your Diet Is Often In Other People痴 Hands. (2013,December 30th) Retrieved April 20th 2014. Website:
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