Custom «Health and Economic Factors of Obesity» Essay Paper Sample

Health and Economic Factors of Obesity

Obesity cases have risen globally in the recent past affecting both the developed and developing nations. The issue of obesity is not only a health concern but also an economic issue. Obesity is a health condition whereby excess body fat accumulates up to a level which results in adverse effects on the overall health of an individual. It lowers life expectancy and raises the chances of other health related problems. Excessive intakes of food energy coupled with lack of physical activity are the leading causes of obesity. The condition is prevalent in adults and children and affects life negatively in old age. However, obesity is a preventable condition through dieting and physical activity (Fumento 46).

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According to (Roland 116), the health effects of obesity increases health care costs for individuals, corporations, and governments. There are many problems associated with obesity such as disadvantages in employment and high business costs that affect the economy at all levels in the society. Obese people may face social stigma thus being disadvantaged in employment since there is a likelihood of absenteeism from work that increases costs for the employer and lowers productivity. Such costs include diet expenses, programs on obesity preventions, and medical costs that accrue from other health complications associated with obesity. For instance, obesity is linked to health problems such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension World Health Organization (112). All these conditions not only reduce the quality of life but also places a burden to the economy at all levels.

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Childhood obesity has also been on the rise, this has become a public health concern in most countries worldwide World Health Organization (14). The changing diet in the modern society and a sedentary lifestyle are the two major causes of the increased cases of obesity in children. Technological advancement has also contributed to inactivity since most work can be done by machines thus reducing physical exertion by individuals. Obese children are also likely to persist into adult stage resulting in chronic diseases. Some of these diseases include hypertension, diabetes, and heart conditions that often result in increased treatment costs. However, lifestyle and behavioural changes can help prevent and reduce the chances of obesity cases in children. It is also important to understand and focus on resources and interventions that can address the issue of obesity in children appropriately. All the factors that influence and determine energy consumption must be put into consideration such as genetics, socio-economic status, and the environment as a way of reducing childhood obesity (Pool 23).

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The consumption of sweetened foods and beverages is a contributor to children and youth obesity cases. Beverages like sodas and sweet foods has been on the rise, most children and youths prefer snacking and eating what has been referred to a ‘junk food’. This has increased the likelihood of one becoming obese (Fumento 78). Research also evidences that, most children are watching television instead of engaging in play and consuming excess calories increasing the chances of becoming obese.

In conclusion, the consumption of excess calories above the body’s daily expenditure without exercise can lead to obesity. Obesity is a major health concern that influences the economy greatly especially due its many associated health risks such as heart diseases that are very costly to treat. Therefore, its prevention especially in children is imperative in order to initiate a healthy start of life. In addition, healthy diet and an active lifestyle are important elements in cutting on the costs of obesity and in prevention of childhood obesity. This will also prevent other risky conditions such as high cholesterol levels in the body, diabetes, hypertension, and respiratory illnesses which would otherwise increase health care costs such as hospital bills and obesity prevention campaigns.

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