Obesity -- More the Fault of the Essay

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Obesity -- More the Fault of the Individual Than of Society

Obesity is a tremendous problem in American society with more than two-thirds of all adults and nearly half of all children either overweight or clinically obese (Baldauf, 2008; Sizer & Whitney, 2003). There are many reasons that account for this, some of which have to do with modern life and others that are attributable to personal choices made by individuals and families on behalf of children. Granted, modern life does entail far less physical activity: personal vehicles and public transportation have taken the place of walking; most work is sedentary rather than physical; and food companies invest heavily in marketing non-nutritious high-calorie food. However, being overweight or obese is not inevitable and many people maintain healthy body composition and weight throughout their lives. Among all of the contributing factors, those that are purely a matter of choice are the most important, in particular, the choice to eat non-nutritiously, the choice not to exercise regularly, and the choice to permit children to overeat and to avoid physical activity in play (Baldauf, 2008; Zimmerman, 2010).

By far, the most important reason that overweight and obesity are so common in American society is that individuals make terribly irresponsible choices in what they eat (Baldauf, 2008). Most people who suffer from being chronically overweight or obese are not ignorant of the types of dietetic changes that would be required to maintain a healthier weight; nor is their condition the result of genetics. Many of them have tried fad diets many times and they know that the diet to which they inevitably return is a personal choice, even if a difficult one (Baldauf, 2008).

Similarly, the fact that most people do not get sufficient physical exercise is also a personal choice. Granted, many people have very busy schedules, but most of them probably spend free time on other things (including on doing nothing) that they could be spending on exercise if they made the choice to do so. Given that it….....

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