Essay on Obesity and the Set Point Theory

Essay on Obesity and the Set Point Theory

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Obesity is the most common problem in today’s society. There are many fad diets, and weight losing options out there that are temporary. In this essay, why diets fail and don’t necessarily lead to long term weight loss is discussed as well as the causes of Obesity and the Set Point Theory .

A woman’s body image plays a big role in her self esteem. Around 50% of young women have reported to be dissatisfied with their bodies (Bearman, Presnell, and Martinez 2006). According to the NHS Information Centre, Obesity is a term used to refer to a condition where there is excess amounts of body fat and weight is more than what the height requires. The NHS also reported, in 2008, nearly a quarter of adults aged 16 and above, 24% men and 25% women were reported as obese in the UK. There are many causes of obesity such as over-eating, genetics, stress, depression and many more.

The role of media is listed as one of the many reasons of obesity particularly in children (Boyce, 2006). A study by Dietz & Gortmaker (1985) suggests, for each additional hour of television children aged between 12 -17 viewed, the prevalence of obesity increased by 2%. On the other hand, food being the most advertised product on children’s television, advertisements make quite an impact on unhealthy consumption (Boyce, 2006). Children who watch this advertisements are more likely to choose the foods advertised compared to the ones who don’t (Coon & Tucker, 2002). The image of body presented by the media is expectable, obese characters are commonly portrayed as unattractive, unpopular and unsuccessful (Brown & Witherspoon; Parallel as cited in Boyce 2006). This portrayal or image of obese people can be harmful for their self-esteem and can cause stress, anxie...


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...ting self for what one is. A benefit of this would be to avoid the disappointment that may come after all the weight is once again gained back. Wadden & Stunkard (1993), have documented that although weight loss can cause psychological improvement in those who are distressed by their weight, there is evidence that it can cause more psychological distress when followed by weight regain.


Another good point made by Allison & Pi-Sunyer (1995) is, it is traditionally believed that obesity is voluntary and the reason is likely to be poor self control and the only treatment to this is to reverse the obese state. Instead of trying to reverse this with ineffective treatments like dieting this should be replaced with treatment emphasizing on self esteem, self acceptance and help them lead healthy lifestyles by giving them health eating options rather than starving.


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