394 Obesity Essay Topics & Research Questions + Examples

Are you looking for the best obesity essay topics? You are at the right place! We’ve compiled a list of obesity research questions and catchy titles about various aspects of this problem. Read on to discover the most controversial topics about obesity for your research paper, project, argumentative essay, persuasive speech, and other assignments.

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  • The Causes and Effects of Obesity
  • Causes and Consequences of Childhood Obesity
  • Childhood Obesity: The Parents’ Responsibility
  • Childhood Obesity: Causes and Solutions
  • Parents Are Not to Blame for Obesity in Children
  • Health Promotion for Obesity in Adults
  • Health Promotion Proposal Obesity Prevention
  • Unhealthy Food Culture and Obesity
  • Obesity as a Disease: Arguments For and Against
  • Childhood Obesity Study and Health Belief Model
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Child Obesity On the basis of the given assessment, it is evident that a child’s environment is a stronger influencer than his or her genetic makeup
  • Junk Food and Children’s Obesity Eating junk foods on a regular basis causes weight gain and for one in five Americans, obesity, is a major health concern though no one seems to be sounding the alarm.
  • Childhood Obesity and Health Promotion Today, childhood obesity is one of the critical health concerns. Being an important factor impacting the future of the nation, children`s health should be cultivated.
  • Obesity From Sociological Perspectives The social problem under focus is obesity originating from Latino food norms. The problem of obesity is the direct result of adherence to social norms.
  • Obesity: Background and Preventative Measures Obesity is an epidemic. It tends to have more negative than positive effects on the economy and can greatly reduce one’s life expectancy.
  • Children Obesity Prevention Proposals The purpose of this paper is to propose the study of motivational interviewing benefits in preventing childhood obesity in the context of the literature review method.
  • Link Between Obesity and Genetics Obesity affects the lives through limitations implemented on the physical activity, associated disorders, and even emotional pressure.
  • Obesity: A Personal Problem and a Social Issue Obesity is a problem affecting many persons and society as a whole. According to World Health Organization, over 40% of the US population is either overweight or outright obese.
  • Obesity Issue: Application of Nursing Theory This analysis will show that well-established theories are valuable to nursing problem-solving as frameworks for analyzing issues and planning solutions.
  • Obesity Prevention and Weight Management Theory The issue of obesity prevention will be guided by a nursing theory. One of the theories applicable in the case of childhood overweight is a theory of weight management.
  • Childhood Obesity: Methods and Data Collection The first instrument that will be used in data collection is body mass index (BMI). The BMI is measured by dividing a patient’s weight in kilograms by height in meters squared.
  • Childhood Obesity: Causes and Effects Childhood obesity has many causes and effects, which denotes that parents and teachers should make children with obesity engage in regular physical exercise in school and at home.
  • Health Promotion Strategies for Obesity The paper outlines and critically analyses the population based strategy as a method of managing and preventing obesity used in United Kingdom.
  • Obesity Management and Intervention Many patients within the age brackets of 5-9 admitted in hospital with obesity cases have a secondary diagnosis of cardiovascular disease exceptionally high blood pressure.
  • How to Reduce Obesity and Maintain Health? Health is becoming a matter of grave concern, especially the health of teenagers and adolescents, who are becoming increasingly overweight and obese.
  • Obesity in Miami-Dade Children and Adults The problem of childhood obesity is rather dangerous and may produce a short-term and long-term effect on young patients’ social, emotional, and physical health.
  • Childhood Obesity and Socio-Ecological Model Childhood obesity can be significantly reduced through a public health intervention grounded in the socio-ecological model.
  • Obesity in Children and Adolescents: Quantitative Methods Obesity in children and adolescents has increasingly become prevalent in the recent past and is now a major problem in most developed countries.
  • Childhood Obesity Causes: Junk Food and Video Games The problem of “competitive foods and beverages” that are sold in schools outside the existing breakfast and lunch programs has been discussed for a while now.
  • Addressing Teenage Obesity in America The paper states that adolescence is one of the most crucial developmental phases of human life during which the issue of obesity must be solved.
  • Childhood Obesity: Quantitative Annotated Bibliography Childhood obesity is a problem that stands especially acute today, in the era of consumerism. Children now have immense access to the Internet.
  • Care Plan: Quincy Town, Massachusetts With Childhood Obesity This study will develop a community assessment program based on the city with the aim of creating a care plan for tackling the issue of child obesity in the town.
  • Childhood Obesity and Nutrition The prevalence of childhood obesity in schools can be compared to an epidemic of a virulent disease on a global scale.
  • Link Between Watching Television and Obesity One of the primary causes of obesity is a sedentary lifestyle, which often includes excessive screen-watching periods.
  • Prevention of Obesity in Teenagers This paper aims to create an education plan for teenage patients and their parents to effectively inform them and help them avoid obesity.
  • Childhood Obesity: Prevention and Mitigation Over the past three decades, childhood obesity has developed into an epidemic and is considered as one of the major health issues in the world.
  • Trending Diets to Curb Obesity There are many trending diets that have significant effects on shedding pounds; however, the discourse will focus on the Mediterranean diet.
  • Childhood Obesity and Overweight Issues The paper discusses childhood obesity. It has been shown to have a negative influence on both physical health and mental well-being.
  • Obesity: Cause and Treatment The sphere of contemporary medicine faces the problem of obesity as a troublesome trend that proceeds to embrace the global citizens.
  • Technology as the Cause of Obesity Today, humanity witnesses the third industrial revolution, or the broad implementation of innovative solutions into various spheres of activity.
  • Obesity Prevention: Social Media Campaign A variety of programs aimed at reducing the risk of obesity has been suggested by healthcare practitioners and scholars. Among them, diet interventions are highly popular.
  • Approaches to Childhood Obesity Treatment As parents have a decisive influence on children as well as their dietary and activity patterns, it is only logical that education interventions must be aimed at them and not just the child.
  • Pediatric Obesity and Self-Care Nursing Theory The presence of excess body fat in children has to be given special consideration since healthy childhood is a prerequisite to normal physical and psychological maturation.
  • Obesity in School-Aged Children as a Social Burden In addition to personal concerns, overweight and obese children are at risk for long-term health consequences, including cardiovascular problems and additional comorbidities.
  • Obesity in Miami as a Policy-Priority Issue Obesity is a health condition associated with unhealthy eating practices. Many states in the US have outlined obesity as one of the health issues affecting their citizens.
  • Childhood Obesity and Public Policies in England The study identifies the preventive measures of the English government to deal with childhood obesity and compares the trends in England with the rest of the UK.
  • Obesity Education Plan for Older Adults The given paper presents an obesity education plan targeted at adults and older adults who are overweight or obese and, therefore, are at risk of developing various diseases.
  • Obesity as a Global Health Issue The purpose of this research is to identify obesity as a global health issue, evaluate the methods and findings conducted on obesity, and find solutions to reduce obesity globally.
  • Behavioral Modifications for Patients With Obesity This paper aims to find out in obese patients, do lifestyle and behavioral changes, compared to weight loss surgery, improve patients’ health and reduce complications.
  • Obesity, Diabetes and Self-Care The paper discusses being overweight or obese is a high-risk factor for diabetes mellitus and self-care among middle-aged diabetics is a function of education and income.
  • Depression as It Relates to Obesity This paper will argue that there is a positive correlation between depression and obesity. The paper will make use of authoritative sources to reinforce this assertion.
  • The Effects of Gender on Child Obesity The high percentage of women’s obesity prevalence is a result of poor nutrition in childhood and access to greater resources in adulthood.
  • Obesity Rates and Global Economy The process of obesity in modern society is undoubtedly a severe obstacle to the development of the global economy, as well as to the achievement of its sustainability.
  • Childhood Obesity: Problem Analysis The introduced project addresses childhood obesity problem and highlights the inconsistency between the existing programs and their implementation in real life.
  • Eating Healthy and Its Link to Obesity A careful analysis will reveal that obesity is a silent killer, and that it has created an unnecessary pressure in the U.S.
  • Physical Exercises as Obesity Treatment Exercise cannot be considered an effective tool for weight loss, but it does help individuals to maintain their normal and healthy weight.
  • Childhood Obesity: Research Methodology Based on their body mass index measurement or diagnosis by a qualified physician, all children in the sample should be qualified as having obesity.
  • Obesity Prevention in Community: Strategic Plan This paper is a plan of how to change the way the community should treat obesity and improve people’s health through the required number of interventions.
  • Childhood Obesity Prevention: The Role of Nursing Education Nurse practitioners have to deal with childhood obesity challenges and identity healthy physical and environmental factors to help pediatric patients and their parents.
  • Childhood Obesity Prevention: Physical Education and Nutrition The paper examines how physical education in schools can prevent child obesity and how to educate parents about the importance of proper nutrition.
  • Treat and Reduce Obesity Act and Its Potential The paper discusses the background, processing, and potential consequences of a Congress bill presented as H.R.1953: Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2017.
  • Ways of Treating Obesity in Older Patients The researching obesity management and treatment in older adults is important, as it could help to raise the quality of life of the elderly.
  • Obesity Interventions and Nursing Contributions Detecting health problems that may affect children later in their adulthood is worthwhile. This paper reviews roles of nurses’ actions in replacing obesity with wellness.
  • Evidence Based Practice Related to Patient Obesity An effective weight management plan should be designed to tackle the health problem. The plan should also be implemented using desirable processes.
  • Obesity, Its Contributing Factors and Consequences Obesity is one of the issues that are often discussed by medical workers and researchers. This topic has been chosen for several reasons.
  • Children Obesity Research Method and Sampling This paper presents a research method and sampling on the investigation of the issue of childhood obesity and the impact parents` education might have on reducing excess weight.
  • Prevention of Obesity in Children The aim of the study is to find out whether the education of parent on a healthy lifestyle for the children compared with medication treatment, increase the outcome and prevention of obesity.
  • Technological Progress as the Cause of Obesity Obesity is the increase of the body’s weight over the natural limit because of accumulated fats. Technology is a cost to the lost creativity and control over the required healthy lifestyle.
  • Nutrition: Fighting the Childhood Obesity Epidemic Childhood obesity is defined variably as the condition of excessive body fat in children that adversely his/her health. It has been cited as a serious health concern issue in many countries.
  • Obesity and Iron Deficiency Among College Students The study seeks to establish the relationship between obesity and iron deficiency by analyzing the serum hepcidin concentration among individuals aged between 19 to 29 years.
  • Obesity: Racial and Ethnicity Disparities in West Virginia Numerous social, economic, and environmental factors contribute to racial disparities in obesity. The rates of obesity vary depending on race and ethnicity in West Virginia.
  • Health Psychology and Activists’ Views on Obesity This paper examines obesity from the psychological and activists’ perspectives while highlighting some of the steps to be taken in the prevention and curbing of the disease.
  • Obesity in the World: the Prevalence, Its Effects to Human Health, and Causes There are various causes of obesity ranging from the quantity of food ingested to the last of physical exercises that utilize the accumulated energy.
  • Obesity Problem in the United States Obesity is not just people going fat; it is a disease that causes maladies like type-2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and strokes.
  • Adolescent Obesity: Theories and Interventions This paper explores the issue of adolescent obesity and provides a cohesive action plan to propose how to remedy barriers to the success of implemented interventions.
  • Obesity Management: Hypothesis Test Study This paper will show how a hypothesis test study can help inform evidence-based practice regarding obesity management.
  • Childhood Obesity Interventions: Data Analysis The described analysis of research variables will make it possible to test the research and null hypotheses and contribute to the treatment of obesity in children.
  • Obesity Counteractions in Clark County, Washington The prevalence of obesity has been increasing sharply among children and adults in the Clark County because of the failure to observe healthy eating habits.
  • Childhood Obesity and Public Health Intervention Childhood obesity can be significantly reduced through a public health intervention grounded in the socio-ecological model, in particular, parents’ active participation.
  • Advocacy Campaign: Childhood Obesity This paper will review two articles studying different advocacy campaigns: a community-based approach and a youth-led intervention for childhood obesity.
  • Should fast-food restaurants be liable for increasing obesity rates?
  • Does public education on healthy eating reduce obesity prevalence?
  • Is obesity a result of personal choices or socioeconomic circumstances?
  • Should the government impose taxes on soda and junk food?
  • Weight loss surgery for obesity: pros and cons.
  • Should restaurants be required to display the caloric content of every menu item?
  • Genetics and the environment: which is a more significant contributor to obesity?
  • Should parents be held accountable for their children’s obesity?
  • Does weight stigmatization affect obesity treatment outcomes?
  • Does the fashion industry contribute to obesity among women?
  • Obesity as American Social Health Issue In the public health sector, obesity is defined as a social problem because it is associated with the eating habits and bodily lifestyles of every community.
  • Childhood Obesity: A Global Public Health Crisis Karnik and Kanekar try to show the threatening tendency towards the deterioration of children`s health and the actions that should be performed to change the situation.
  • Food Ads Ban for Childhood Obesity Prevention In order to prevent childhood obesity, it is necessary to ban food ads because they have adverse effects on children’s food preferences, consumption, and purchasing behaviors.
  • Obesity in African Americans: Prevention and Therapy According to the official statistics, African American people present the group of American citizens which is the most susceptible to obesity.
  • Food Allergies and Obesity This short research paper will examine how food allergies can lead to food addiction that can cause obesity in individuals suffering from these allergies.
  • Obesity: High Accumulation of Adipose Tissue It is important to point out that obesity is a complex and intricate disease that is associated with a host of different metabolic illnesses.
  • Childhood Obesity During the COVID-19 Pandemic While the COVID-19 pandemic elicited one of the worst prevalences of childhood obesity, determining its extent was a problem due to the lockdown.
  • Overweight and Obesity Prevalence in the US Obesity is a significant public health problem recognized as one of the leading causes of mortality in the United States. Obesity and overweight are two common disorders.
  • Obesity Screening Training Using the 5AS Framework The paper aims to decrease obesity levels at the community level. It provides the PCPs with the tools that would allow them to identify patients.
  • Prevalence and Control of Obesity in Texas Obesity has been a severe health issue in the United States and globally. A person is obese if their size is more significant than the average weight.
  • Nutrition: Obesity Pandemic and Genetic Code The environment in which we access the food we consume has changed. Unhealthy foods are cheaper, and there is no motivation to eat healthily.
  • Preventing Obesity Health Issues From Childhood The selected problem is childhood obesity, the rates of which increase nationwide yearly and require the attention of the government, society, and parents.
  • Describing the Problem of Childhood Obesity Childhood obesity is a problem that affects many children. If individuals experience a health issue in their childhood, it is going to lead to negative consequences.
  • Researching of Obesity in Florida It is important to note that Florida does not elicit the only state with an obesity problem, as the nation’s obesity prevalence stood at 42.4% in 2018.
  • Preventing Obesity Health Issues From the Childhood The paper is valuable for parents of children who are subject to gaining excess weight because the report offers how to solve the issue.
  • The Role of Social Workers in Addressing Teenage Obesity The social worker should be the bridge uniting obese individuals and society advertising social changes, and ending injustice and discrimination.
  • Obesity and Health Outcomes in COVID-19 Patients The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges over the last three years, and significant research has been done regarding its health effects and factors.
  • Childhood Obesity in the US from Economic Perspective The economic explanation for the problem of childhood obesity refers to the inability of a part of the population to provide themselves and their children with healthy food.
  • Obesity in the United States of America The article discusses the causes of the obesity pandemic in the United States of America, which has been recognized as a pandemic due to its scope, and high prevalence.
  • The Problem of Childhood Obesity Obesity in childhood is a great concern of current medicine as the habits of healthy eating and lifestyle are taught by parents at an early age.
  • Oral Health and Obesity Among Adolescents This research paper developed the idea of using dental offices as the primary gateway to detect potential obesity among Texas adolescents.
  • Obesity, Weight Loss Programs and Nutrition The article addresses issues that can help increase access to information related to the provision of weight loss programs and nutrition.
  • Childhood Obesity in the US From an Economic Perspective Looking at the problem of childhood obesity from an economic point of view offers an understanding of a wider range of causes and the definition of government intervention.
  • Diet, Physical Activity, Obesity and Related Cancer Risk The paper addresses the connection between cancer and physical activity, diet, and obesity in Latin America and the USA. The transitions in dietary practices may be observed.
  • Obesity From Sociological Imagination Viewpoint Most obese individuals understand that the modern market is not ready to accept them due to negative sociological imagination.
  • The Current Problem of Obesity in the United States The paper raises the current problem of obesity in the United States and informs people about the issue, as well as what effect obesity can have on health.
  • Childhood and Adolescent Obesity and Its Reasons Various socio-economic, health-related, biological, and behavioral factors may cause childhood obesity. They include an unhealthy diet and insufficient physical activity and sleep.
  • Pediatric Obesity and Its Treatment Pediatric obesity is often the result of unhealthy nutrition and the lack of control from parents but not of health issues or hormonal imbalance.
  • Impact of Obesity on Healthcare System Patients suffering from obesity suffer immensely from stigma during the process of care due to avoidance which ultimately affects the quality of care.
  • Issues of Obesity and Food Addiction Obesity and food addiction have become widespread and significant problems in modern society, both health-related and social.
  • Diet, Physical Activity, Obesity, and Related Cancer Risk One’s health is affected by their lifestyle, which should be well managed since childhood to set a basis for a healthier adulthood.
  • Articles About Childhood Obesity The most straightforward technique to diagnose childhood obesity is to measure the child’s weight and height and compare them to conventional height and weight charts.
  • Obesity: Causes, Consequences, and Care Nowadays, an increasing number of people suffer from having excess weight. This paper analyzes the relationship between obesity and other diseases.
  • Discussion of Freedman’s Article “How Junk Food Can End Obesity” David Freedman, in article “How Junk Food Can End Obesity”, talks about various misconceptions regarding healthy food that are common in society.
  • Obesity Prevention Policy Making in Texas Obesity is a national health problem, especially in Texas; therefore, the state immediately needed to launch a policy to combat and prevent obesity in the population.
  • Obesity and How It Can Cause Chronic Diseases Obesity is associated with increased cardiovascular diseases, and cancer risks. The modifications in nutrition patterns and physical activity are effective methods to manage them.
  • Physical Wellness to Prevent Obesity Heart Diseases Heart disease remains to be one of the most severe health concerns around the world. One of the leading causes of the condition is obesity.
  • Obesity and General State of Public Health Obesity is a condition caused by an abnormal or excessive buildup of fat that poses a health concern. It raises the risk of developing various diseases and health issues.
  • Ways of Obesity Interventions The paper discusses ways of obesity interventions. It includes diet and exercise, patient education, adherence to medication, and social justice.
  • Obesity, Cardiovascular and Inflammatory Condition Under Hormones The essay discusses heart-related diseases and obesity conditions in the human body. The essay also explains the ghrelin hormone and how it affects the cardiovascular system.
  • The link between excess weight and chronic diseases.
  • The role of genetics in obesity.
  • The impact on income and education on obesity risks.
  • The influence of food advertising on consumer choices.
  • Debunking the myths related to weight loss.
  • Obesity during pregnancy: risks and complications.
  • Cultural influences on eating patterns and obesity prevalence.
  • Community initiatives for obesity prevention.
  • The healthcare and societal costs of obesity.
  • The bidirectional relationship between sleep disorders and obesity.
  • Aspects of Obesity Risk Factors Obesity is one of the most pressing concerns in recent years. Most studies attribute the rising cases of obesity to economic development.
  • Obesity in Adolescence in the Hispanic Community The health risks linked to Hispanic community adolescent obesity range from diabetes, heart problems, sleep disorders, asthma, and joint pain.
  • Obesity as a Wellness Concern in the Nursing Field A critical analysis of wellness can provide an understanding of why people make specific health-related choices.
  • Physio- and Psychological Causes of Obesity The paper states that obesity is a complex problem in the formation of which many physiological and psychological factors are involved.
  • How Junk Diets Can Reduce Obesity To control obesity there is a need to ensure that the junk foods produced are safe for consumption before being released into the foods market.
  • The Problem of Obesity: Weight Management Obesity is now a significant public health issue around the world. The type 2 diabetes, cardiac conditions, stroke, and metabolism are the main risk factors.
  • Sleep Deprivation Effects on Adolescents Who Suffer From Obesity The academic literature on sleep deprivation argues that it has a number of adverse health effects on children and adolescents, with obesity being one of them.
  • Hypertensive Patients Will Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure and Prevent Obesity Despite hypertension and obesity are being major life threats, there are safer lifeways that one can use to combat the problem.
  • The Consequences of Obesity: An Annotated Bibliography To review the literature data, the authors searched for corresponding articles on the PubMed database using specific keywords.
  • Evolving Societal Norms of Obesity The primary individual factors that lead to overeating include limited self-control, peer pressure, and automatic functioning.
  • The Worldwide Health Problem: Obesity in Children The paper touch upon the main causes of obesity, its spread throughout the world, the major effects of the condition and ways of prevention.
  • Mental Stability and Obesity Interrelation The study aims to conduct an integrative review synthesizing and interpreting existing research results on the interrelation between mental stability and obesity.
  • Crutcho Public School: Obesity in School Children Numerous school children at Crutcho Public elementary school, Oklahoma City, are obese revealing how obesity is a threat to that community.
  • A National Childhood Obesity Prevention Program We Can!® A national childhood obesity prevention program We Can!® explains the rules for eating right and getting active. The program also pays attention to reducing screen time.
  • Obesity in Low-Income Community: Diet and Physical Activity The research evaluates the relationship between family earnings and physical activity and overweight rates of children in 8 different communities divided by race or ethnicity.
  • Dealing with Obesity as a Societal Concern This essay shall discuss the health issue of obesity, a social health problem that is, unfortunately, growing at a rapid rate.
  • Adolescent Obesity in the United States The article reflects the problem of overweight in the use, a consideration which the authors blame on influential factors such as age and body mass index.
  • Obesity Problem Solved by Proper Nutrition and Exercise Most people who suffer from obesity are often discouraged to pursue nutrition and exercise because their bodies cannot achieve a particular look.
  • Girls with Obesity: Hospital-Based Intervention This paper includes a brief description of a hospital-based intervention targeting middle-school girls with obesity.
  • Hispanic Obesity in the Context of Cultural Empowerment This paper identifies negative factors directly causing obesity within the Hispanic people while distinguishing positive effects upon which potential interventions should be based.
  • Childhood Obesity Teaching Experience and Observations The proposed teaching plan aimed at introducing the importance of healthy eating habits to children between the ages of 6 and 11.
  • Exercise for Obesity Description There are numerous methods by which obesity can be controlled and one of the most effective ways is through exercising.
  • Obesity and Disparity in African American Women Several studies indicate that the rate of developing obesity is the highest in African American populations in the US.
  • Factors Increasing the Risk of Obesity The consumption of fast food or processed products is one of the major factors increasing the risk of obesity and associated health outcomes.
  • Childhood Obesity in Modern Schools Most schools have poor canteens with untrained staff and poor equipment for workers. That’s why they can’t cook quality food and offer better services to students.
  • Obesity in Hispanic American Citizens The issue of obesity anong Hispanic Americans occurs as a result of poor dieting choices caused by misinformed perceptions of proper eating.
  • Effectiveness of a Diet and Physical Activity on the Prevention of Obesity Research indicates that obesity is the global epidemic of the 21st century, especially due to its prevalent growth and health implications.
  • Community Obesity and Diabetes: Mississippi Focus Study The paper provides a detailed discussion of the correct method to be used in the state of Mississippi to control and avoid obesity and diabetes issues.
  • Multicausality: Reserpine, Breast Cancer, and Obesity All the factors are not significant in the context of the liability to breast cancer development, though their minor influence is undeniable.
  • The Home Food Environment and Obesity-Promoting Eating Behaviours Campbell, Crawford, Salmon, Carver, Garnett, and Baur conducted a study to determine the associations between the home food environment and obesity.
  • The Problem of Childhood Obesity in the United States Childhood obesity is one of the reasons for the development of chronic diseases. In the US the problem is quite burning as the percentage of obese children increased significantly.
  • Children Obesity in the United States Together with other problems and illnesses, obesity stands as one of the main difficulties in modern societies.
  • The Situation of Obesity in Children in the U.S. The paper will discuss the situation of obesity in Children in the U.S. while giving the associated outcomes and consequences.
  • Childhood Obesity and Healthy Lifestyles The purpose of this paper is to discuss childhood obesity and the various ways of fostering good eating habits and healthy lifestyles.
  • Screen Time and Pediatric Obesity Among School-Aged Children Increased screen time raises the likelihood of children becoming overweight/obese because of the deficiency of physical exercise and the consumption of high-calorie foods.
  • Eating Fast Food and Obesity Correlation Analysis The proposed study will attempt to answer the question of what is the relationship between eating fast food and obesity, using correlation analysis.
  • Policymaker Visit About the Childhood Obesity Problem The policy issue of childhood obesity continues to be burning in American society. It causes a variety of concurrent problems including mental disorders.
  • Public Health Interventions and Economics: Obesity The purpose of this article is to consider the economic feasibility of public health interventions to prevent the emergence of the problem of obesity.
  • Obesity Overview and Ways to Improve Health The main focus of this paper is to analyze the problems of vice marketing and some unhealthy products to teens and children.
  • Nursing: Issue of Obesity, Impact of Food Obesity is a pandemic problem in America. The fast food industry is under pressure from critics about the Americans weight gain problem.
  • Childhood Overweight and Obesity
  • Childhood Obesity as an International Problem
  • Obesity Negative Influence on Public Health
  • Problematic of Obesity in Mexican Americans
  • Child Obesity Problem in the United States
  • Screen Time and Pediatric Obesity in School-Aged Children
  • Obesity Treatment – More Than Food
  • Effects of Exercise on Obesity Reduction in Adults
  • The Problem of Obesity in the Latin Community
  • Obesity Prevention in Ramsey County, Minnesota
  • Childhood Obesity and Its Potential Prevention
  • Non-Surgical Reduction of Obesity and Overweight in Young Adults
  • Obesity Prevention Due to Education
  • Physical Activity and Obesity in Children by Hills et al.
  • The Best Way to Address Obesity in the United States
  • Nursing Diabetes and Obesity Patients
  • Obesity Problem Description and Analysis
  • The Issues with Obesity of Children and Adolescents
  • Obesity in People with Intellectual Disabilities’: The Article Review
  • Non-Surgical Reduction of Obesity in Young Adults
  • Obesity in Children in the United States
  • Childhood Obesity in Ocean Springs Mississippi
  • The Problem of Children Obesity
  • “Physical Activity and Obesity in Children” by A. P. Hills
  • “Physical Activity and Obesity in Children” by Hills
  • The Current State of Obesity in Children Issue
  • Effects of Obesity on Human Lifespan Development
  • Obesity and High Blood Pressure as Health Issues
  • Adult Obesity: Treatment Program
  • Obesity in Children and Their Physical Activity
  • The Prevention of Childhood Obesity in Children of 1 to 10 Years of Age
  • Obesity as a Major Health Concern in the United States
  • Screen Time and Pediatric Obesity
  • Janet Tomiyama’s “Stress and Obesity” Summary
  • A Dissemination Plan on Adolescent Obesity and Falls in Elderly Population
  • The Issue of Obesity: Reasons and Consequences
  • “Obesity and the Growing Brain” by Stacy Lu
  • Obesity Disease: Symptoms and Causes
  • Obesity Among Mexican-American School-Age Children in the US
  • Obesity as a One of the Major Health Concerns
  • Obesity: Diet Management in Adult Patients
  • Children’s Obesity in the Hispanic Population
  • Prevention of Childhood Obesity
  • Assessing Inputs and Outputs of a Summer Obesity Prevention Program
  • Designing a Program to Address Obesity in Florida
  • Widespread Obesity in Low-Income Societies
  • Health Policy: Obesity in Children
  • Youth Obesity In Clark County in Vancouver Washington
  • Obesity in Clark County and Health Policy Proposal
  • Obesity: Is It a Disease?
  • Clark County Obesity Problem
  • Obesity Action Coalition Website Promoting Health
  • Childhood Obesity: Medical Complications and Social Problems
  • How to Address Obesity in the United States
  • The Epidemic of Obesity: Issue Analysis
  • Child Obesity in North America
  • Personal Issues: Marriage, Obesity, and Alcohol Abuse
  • Obesity in Children: Relevance of School-Based BMI Reporting Policy
  • Obesity in the United States: Defining the Problem
  • Depression and Other Antecedents of Obesity
  • Obesity in Children in the US
  • Childhood Obesity: Issue Analysis
  • Data Mining Techniques for African American Childhood Obesity Factors
  • Researching Childhood Obesity Issues
  • Infant Feeding Practices and Early Childhood Obesity
  • Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity in U.S. Children
  • Problem of Obesity: Analytic Method
  • Obesity as National Practice Problem
  • Practice Problem of the Obesity in United States
  • Exercise for Obesity Management: Evidence-Based Project
  • Obesity in African-American Women: Methodology
  • The Epidemiology of Obesity
  • Pediatric Obesity Study Methodology
  • Adult Obesity Causes & Consequences
  • Community Health: Obesity Prevention
  • Obesity Treatment in Primary Care: Evidence-Based Guide
  • Childhood Obesity and Mothers’ Education Project
  • Childhood Obesity Research Critiques
  • Childhood Obesity: Medication and Parent Education
  • Obesity Caused by Fast-Food as a Nursing Practice Issue
  • Cardiometabolic Response to Obesity Treatment
  • Childhood Obesity Study: Literature Review
  • Motivational Interviewing in Obesity Reduction: Statistical Analysis
  • Obesity Among the Adult Population: Research Planning
  • Research and Global Health: Obesity and Overweight
  • Childhood Obesity as a Topic for Academic Studies
  • Adolescent Obesity Treatment in Primary Care
  • The Issues of Childhood Obesity: Overweight and Parent Education
  • Childhood Obesity and Parent Education: Ethical Issues
  • Obesity Reduction and Effectiveness of Interventions
  • Childhood and Adult Obesity in the US in 2011-12
  • Anti-Obesity Project’s Sponsors in the USA
  • Obesity Prevention Advocacy Campaigns
  • Childhood Obesity Study, Ethics, and Human Rights
  • Childhood Obesity, Demographics and Environment
  • Childhood Obesity and Self-Care Deficit Theory
  • Overweight and Obesity in 195 Countries Since 1980
  • Childhood Obesity and American Policy Intervention
  • Efficient Ways to Manage Obesity
  • Childhood Obesity and Healtcare Spending in the US
  • Childhood Obesity, Medical and Parental Education
  • Nursing Role in Tackling Youth Obesity
  • Childhood Obesity: Problem Issues
  • Adolescent Obesity and Parental Education Study
  • Childhood Obesity: Data Management
  • Obesity Prevention and Patient Teaching Plan
  • “Management of Obesity” by Dietz et al.
  • Nutrition and Obesity: Management and Prevention
  • Obesity, Diet Modification and Physical Exercises
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StudyCorgi. (2021, September 9). 394 Obesity Essay Topics & Research Questions + Examples. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/obesity-essay-topics/

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  • Published: 27 February 2019

Obesity: global epidemiology and pathogenesis

  • Matthias Blüher 1  

Nature Reviews Endocrinology volume  15 ,  pages 288–298 ( 2019 ) Cite this article

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The prevalence of obesity has increased worldwide in the past ~50 years, reaching pandemic levels. Obesity represents a major health challenge because it substantially increases the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, fatty liver disease, hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, dementia, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnoea and several cancers, thereby contributing to a decline in both quality of life and life expectancy. Obesity is also associated with unemployment, social disadvantages and reduced socio-economic productivity, thus increasingly creating an economic burden. Thus far, obesity prevention and treatment strategies — both at the individual and population level — have not been successful in the long term. Lifestyle and behavioural interventions aimed at reducing calorie intake and increasing energy expenditure have limited effectiveness because complex and persistent hormonal, metabolic and neurochemical adaptations defend against weight loss and promote weight regain. Reducing the obesity burden requires approaches that combine individual interventions with changes in the environment and society. Therefore, a better understanding of the remarkable regional differences in obesity prevalence and trends might help to identify societal causes of obesity and provide guidance on which are the most promising intervention strategies.

Obesity prevalence has increased in pandemic dimensions over the past 50 years.

Obesity is a disease that can cause premature disability and death by increasing the risk of cardiometabolic diseases, osteoarthritis, dementia, depression and some types of cancers.

Obesity prevention and treatments frequently fail in the long term (for example, behavioural interventions aiming at reducing energy intake and increasing energy expenditure) or are not available or suitable (bariatric surgery) for the majority of people affected.

Although obesity prevalence increased in every single country in the world, regional differences exist in both obesity prevalence and trends; understanding the drivers of these regional differences might help to provide guidance for the most promising intervention strategies.

Changes in the global food system together with increased sedentary behaviour seem to be the main drivers of the obesity pandemic.

The major challenge is to translate our knowledge of the main causes of increased obesity prevalence into effective actions; such actions might include policy changes that facilitate individual choices for foods that have reduced fat, sugar and salt content.

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Obesity Epidemic: Causes and Solutions

Since the 1980s, the prevalence of obesity in the United States has increased dramatically. Data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show rising obesity across the nation, state-by-state . 1

The figure shows three maps of the U.S. with states color-coded based on the percent of the their population estimated to be obese. In 1990, all of the states are a blue color, indicating 10-14 percent of their populations were obese. In 2000, many states are a darker blue color, indicating 15-19 percent obesity, and about half of a beige color, indicating 20 to 24 percent obesity. In 2010, there are still some beige states but no blue ones, and many are orange or red, indicating 25 to 30+ percent obesity.

Figure 7.17. Each year since 1990, the CDC has published maps of the United States in which states are color-coded based on the percentage of their population estimated to be obese. The maps show a clear increase in the prevalence of obesity between 1990 and 2010.

The methods used by the CDC to collect the data changed in 2011, so we can’t make direct comparisons between the periods before and after that change, but the trend has continued. Every year, more and more people in the U.S. are obese.

A map of the U.S. showing obesity prevalence color-coded by state. States are about evenly split between green (20-25% obesity), yellow (25-30% obesity), or red (30-35% obesity).

Figure 7.18. The prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults has continued to rise between 2011 and 2018.

These trends are unmistakable, and they’re not just occurring in adults. Childhood obesity has seen similar increases over the last few decades—perhaps an even greater concern as the metabolic and health effects of carrying too much weight can be compounded over a person’s entire lifetime.

A line graph shows the prevalence of obesity trending upwards between the years 1999-2000 and 2015-2016 in both children and adults. In this time span, the prevalence of obesity in children increased from 13.9 to 18.5 percent. In adults, it increased from 30.5 to 39.6 percent.

Figure 7.19. Between 1999 and 2016, the prevalence of obesity in both children and adults has risen steadily.

While obesity is a problem across the United States, it affects some groups of people more than others. Based on 2015-2016 data, obesity rates are higher among Hispanic (47 percent) and Black adults (47 percent) compared with white adults (38 percent). Non-Hispanic Asians have the lowest obesity rate (13 percent). And overall, people who are college-educated and have a higher income are less likely to be obese. 2 These health disparities point to the importance of looking at social context when examining causes and solutions. Not everyone has the same opportunity for good health, or an equal ability to make changes to their circumstances, because of factors like poverty and longstanding inequities in how resources are invested in communities. These factors are called “ social determinants of health . ” 3

The obesity epidemic is also not unique to the United States. Obesity is rising around the globe, and in 2015, it was estimated to affect 2 billion people worldwide, making it one of the largest factors affecting poor health in most countries . 4 Globally, among children aged 5 to 19 years old, the rate of overweight increased from 10.3 percent in 2000 to 18.4 percent in 2018. Previously, overweight and obesity mainly affected high-income countries, but some of the most dramatic increases in childhood overweight over the last decade have been in low income countries, such as those in Africa and South Asia, corresponding to a greater availability of inexpensive, processed foods. 5

Despite the gravity of the problem, no country has yet been able to implement policies that have reversed the trend and brought about a decrease in obesity. This represents “one of the biggest population health failures of our time,” wrote an international group of researchers in the journal  The Lancet  in 2019 . 6 The World Health Organization has set a target of stopping the rise of obesity by 2025. Doing so requires understanding what is causing the obesity epidemic; it is only when these causes are addressed that change can start to occur.

Causes of the Obesity Epidemic

If obesity was an infectious disease sweeping the globe, affecting billions of people’s health, longevity, and productivity, we surely would have addressed it by now. Researchers and pharmaceutical companies would have worked furiously to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and cure this disease. But the causes of obesity are much more complex than a single bacteria or virus, and solving this problem means recognizing and addressing a multitude of factors that lead to weight gain in a population.

At its core, rising obesity is caused by a chronic shift towards positive energy balance—consuming more energy or calories than one expends each day, leading to an often gradual but persistent increase in body weight. People often assume that this is an individual problem, that those who weigh more simply need to change their behavior to eat less and exercise more, and if this doesn’t work, it must be because of a personal failing, such as a lack of self-control or motivation. While behavior patterns such as diet and exercise can certainly impact a person’s risk of developing obesity (as we’ll cover later in this chapter), the environments where we live also have a big impact on our behavior and can make it much harder to maintain energy balance.

Environment

Many of us live in what researchers and public health experts call “ obesogenic environments. ” That is, the ways in which our neighborhoods are built and our lives are structured influence our physical activity and food intake to encourage weight gain . 7 Human physiology and metabolism evolved in a world where obtaining enough food for survival required significant energy investment in hunting or gathering—very different from today’s world where more people earn their living in sedentary occupations. From household chores, to workplace productivity, to daily transportation, getting things done requires fewer calories than it did in past generations.

The image shows three photos. Left to right: a group of well-dressed Black women sit at a work conference table, with laptops in front of them; 4 vending machines sell snacks and soft drinks; and cars jamming a freeway.

Figure 7.20. Some elements of our environment that may make it easier to gain weight include sedentary jobs, easy access to inexpensive calories, and cities built more for car travel than for physical activity.

Our jobs have become more and more sedentary, with fewer opportunities for non-exercise thermogenesis (NEAT) throughout the day. There’s less time in the school day for recess and physical activity, and fears about neighborhood safety limit kids’ ability to get out and play after the school day is over. Our towns and cities are built more for cars than for walking or biking. We can’t turn back the clock on human progress, and finding a way to stay healthy in obesogenic environments is a significant challenge.

Our environments  can also impact our food choices. We’re surrounded by vending machines, fast food restaurants, coffeeshops, and convenience stores that offer quick and inexpensive access to calories. These foods are also heavily advertised, and especially when people are stretched thin by working long hours or multiple jobs, they can be a welcome convenience. However, they tend to be calorie-dense (and less nutrient-dense) and more heavily processed, with amounts of sugar, fat, and salt optimized to make us want to eat more, compared with home-cooked food. In addition, portion sizes at restaurants, especially fast food chains, have increased over the decades, and people are eating at restaurants more and cooking at home less.

Poverty and Food Insecurity

Living in poverty usually means living in a more obesogenic environment. Consider the fact that some of the poorest neighborhoods in the United States—with some of the highest rates of obesity—are often not safe or pleasant places to walk, play, or exercise. They may have busy traffic and polluted air, and they may lack sidewalks, green spaces, and playgrounds. A person living in this type of neighborhood will find it much more challenging to get adequate physical activity compared with someone living in a neighborhood where it’s safe to walk to school or work, play at a park, ride a bike, or go for a run.

In addition, poor neighborhoods often lack a grocery store where people can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and basic ingredients necessary for cooking at home. Such areas are called “ food deserts ”—where healthy foods simply aren’t available or easily accessible.

Another concept useful in discussions of obesity risk is “food insecurity.”  Food security means “access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.” 8  Food insecurity   means an inability to consistently obtain adequate food. It may seem counter-intuitive, but in the United States, food insecurity is linked to obesity. That is, people who have difficulty obtaining enough food are more likely to become obese and to suffer from diabetes and hypertension. This is likely related to the fact that inexpensive foods tend to be high in calories but low in nutrients, and when these foods form the foundation of a person’s diet, they can cause both obesity and nutrient deficiencies. It’s estimated that 12 percent of U.S. households are food insecure, and food insecurity is higher among Black (22 percent) and Latino (18 percent) households. 3

What about genetics? While it’s true that our genes can influence our susceptibility to becoming obese, researchers say they can’t be a cause of the obesity epidemic. Genes take many generations to evolve, and the obesity epidemic has occurred over just the last 40 to 50 years—only a few generations. When our grandparents were children, they were much less likely to become obese than our own children. That’s not because their genes were different, but rather because they grew up in a different environment. However, it is true that a person’s genes can influence their susceptibility to becoming obese in this obesogenic environment, and obesity is more prevalent in some families. A person’s genetic make-up can make it more difficult to maintain energy balance in an obesogenic environment, because certain genes may make you feel more hungry or slow your energy expenditure. 2

Solutions to the Obesity Epidemic

Given the multiple causes of obesity, solving this problem will also require many solutions at different levels. Because obesity affects people over the lifespan and is difficult to reverse, the focus of many of these efforts is prevention , starting as early as the first years of life. We’ll discuss individual weight management strategies later in this chapter. Here, we’ll review some strategies happening in schools, communities, and at the state and federal levels.

Support Healthy Dietary Patterns

Interventions that support healthy dietary patterns, especially among people more vulnerable because of food insecurity or poverty, may reduce obesity. In some cases, studies have shown that they have an impact, and in other cases, it’s too soon to know. Here are some examples:

  • Implement and support better nutrition standards for childcare, schools, hospitals, and worksites. 9
  • Limit marketing of processed foods, especially ads targeted towards children.
  • Provide incentives for supermarkets or farmers markets to establish businesses in underserved areas. 9

Two photos from farmers' markets. On the left, people are shown selecting fresh fruits and vegetables in a busy marketplace, with tall buildings rising above the market stands. On the right, a closeup of a farmers' market stand, showing enticing fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and beets.

  • Place nutrition and calorie content on restaurant and fast food menus  to raise awareness of food choices. 9 Beginning in 2018, as part of the Affordable Care Act, chain restaurants with more than 20 locations were required to add calorie information to their menus, and some had already done so voluntarily. There isn’t yet enough research to say whether having this information improves customers’ choices; some studies show an effect and others don’t. 10 Many factors influence people’s decisions, and the type of restaurant, customer needs, and menu presentation all likely matter. For example, some studies show that health-conscious consumers choose lower calorie menu items when presented with nutrition information, but people with food insecurity may understandably choose higher calorie items to get more “bang for their buck”. 11 Research has also shown that adding interpretative images—like a stoplight image labeling menu choices as green or red as shorthand for high or low nutrient density—can help. And a 2018 study found that when calorie counts are on the left side of English-language menus, people order lower-calorie menu items. Putting calorie counts on the right side of the menu (as is more common) doesn’t have this effect, likely because the English language is read from left to right. 12 Some studies have also found that restaurants that implement menu labeling offer lower-calorie and more nutrient-dense options, indicating that menu labeling may push restaurants to look more closely at the food they serve. 10,13

A menu sign at a Nathan's hotdog stand displays calorie countrs

Figure 7.22. As of 2018, restaurant chains and some other food vendors are required to list calorie counts on their menus. Would these make you pause before ordering?

  • Increase access to food assistance programs and align them with nutrition recommendations. For example, in 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture revised the food packages for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to better align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new packages emphasized more  fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy and decreased the availability of juice. After this change, there was a decrease in the obesity rate of children in the WIC program. Similar progress may be made by increasing access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in order to reduce food insecurity. Many farmers’ markets now accept SNAP benefits for the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables. 3
  • Tax sugary drinks, such as soda and sports drinks, which contribute significant empty calories to the U.S. diet and are associated with childhood obesity. Local taxes on soda and other sugary drinks are often controversial, and soda companies lobby to prevent them from passing. However, early research in U.S. cities with soda taxes show that they do work to decrease soda consumption. 3 In the U.S., soda has only been taxed at the local level, and the tax has been paid by consumers. The United Kingdom has taken a different approach: They started taxing soft drink manufacturers for the sugar content of the products they sell. Between 2015 and 2018, the average sugar content of soda sold in the U.K. dropped by 29 percent. 14

Support Greater Physical Activity

Increasing physical activity increases the energy expended during the day. This can help maintain energy balance, thus preventing weight gain. It may also help to shift a person into negative energy balance and facilitate weight loss if needed. But simply adding an exercise session—a run or a trip to the gym, say—often doesn’t shift energy balance (though it’s certainly good for health). Why? Exercise can increase hunger, and there’s only so many calories a person can burn in 30 or 60 minutes. That’s why it’s also important to look for opportunities for non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT); that is, find ways to increase movement throughout the day.  

  • P rioritize physical education and recess time in schools. In addition to helping kids stay healthy, movement also helps them learn.
  • Make neighborhoods safer and more accessible for walking, cycling, and playing.
  • When safe, encourage kids to walk or bike to school.
  • Build family and community activities around physical activity, such as trips to the park, walks together, and community walking and exercise groups.
  • Facilitate more movement in the workday by encouraging walking meetings, movement breaks, and treadmill desks.
  • Find ways to move that are enjoyable to you and fit your life. Yard work, walking your dog, playing tag with your kids, and going out dancing all count!

obesity epidemic essay questions

Figure 7.23. There are lots of ways to increase physical activity, including walking to work, playing with friends, and going for a bike ride.

VIDEO:  “ James Levine: ‘I Came Alive as a Person’ “  by  NOVA’s Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers, YouTube (April 24, 2014), 3:04 minutes. This short video explains some of the research on NEAT and efforts to increase it in our lives.

VIDEO:  “ The Weight of the Nation: Poverty and Obesity”  by HBO Docs, YouTube (May 14, 2012), 24:05 minutes. 

VIDEO: “ The Weight of the Nation: Healthy Foods and Obesity Prevention”  by HBO Docs, YouTube (May 14, 2012), 31:11 minutes.  These segments from the HBO documentary series, “The Weight of the Nation,” explore  some of the causes and potential solutions for obesity.

References:

  • 1 CDC. (2019, September 12). New Adult Obesity Maps. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/prevalence-maps.html
  • 2 CDC. (2019, January 31). Adult Obesity Facts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
  • 3 Trust for America’s Health. (2019). The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America . Retrieved from https://www.tfah.org/report-details/stateofobesity2019/
  • 4 Swinburn, B. A., Kraak, V. I., Allender, S., Atkins, V. J., Baker, P. I., Bogard, J. R., … Dietz, W. H. (2019). The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change: The Lancet Commission report. The Lancet , 393 (10173), 791–846. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32822-8
  • 5 UNICEF. (2019). The State of the World’s Children 2019. Children, Food and Nutrition: Growing well in a changing world . New York.
  • 6 Jaacks, L. M., Vandevijvere, S., Pan, A., McGowan, C. J., Wallace, C., Imamura, F., … Ezzati, M. (2019). The obesity transition: Stages of the global epidemic. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology , 7 (3), 231–240. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(19)30026-9
  • 7 Townshend, T., & Lake, A. (2017). Obesogenic environments: Current evidence of the built and food environments. Perspectives in Public Health , 137 (1), 38–44. https://doi.org/10.1177/1757913916679860
  • 8 Pan, L., Sherry, B., Njai, R., & Blanck, H. M. (2012). Food Insecurity Is Associated with Obesity among US Adults in 12 States. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , 112 (9), 1403–1409. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2012.06.011
  • 9 CDC. (2019, June 18). Community Efforts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/strategies/community.html
  • 10 Bleich, S. N., Economos, C. D., Spiker, M. L., Vercammen, K. A., VanEpps, E. M., Block, J. P., … Roberto, C. A. (2017). A Systematic Review of Calorie Labeling and Modified Calorie Labeling Interventions: Impact on Consumer and Restaurant Behavior. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) , 25 (12), 2018–2044. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.21940
  • 11 Berry, C., Burton, S., Howlett, E., & Newman, C. L. (2019). Understanding the Calorie Labeling Paradox in Chain Restaurants: Why Menu Calorie Labeling Alone May Not Affect Average Calories Ordered. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing , 38 (2), 192–213. https://doi.org/10.1177/0743915619827013
  • 12 Dallas, S. K., Liu, P. J., & Ubel, P. A. (2019). Don’t Count Calorie Labeling Out: Calorie Counts on the Left Side of Menu Items Lead to Lower Calorie Food Choices. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 29(1), 60–69. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcpy.1053
  • 13 Theis, D. R. Z., & Adams, J. (2019). Differences in energy and nutritional content of menu items served by popular UK chain restaurants with versus without voluntary menu labelling: A cross-sectional study. PLOS ONE , 14 (10), e0222773. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0222773
  • 14 Public Health England. (2019). Sugar reduction: Report on progress between 2015 and 2018 . Retrieved from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/832182/Sugar_reduction__Yr2_progress_report.pdf

Image Credits

  • Figure 7.17. “Obesity Trends Among U.S. Adults, BRFSS, 1990-2010” by Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in the Public Domain
  • Figure 7.18. “Prevalence of self-reported obesity among U.S. adults in 2011 and 2018”  by Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in the Public Domain
  • Figure 7.19. “Trends in obesity prevalence”  by National Center for Health Statistics is in the Public Domain
  • Figure 7.20. Elements of obesogenic environment: “wocintech”  by WOCinTech Cha  is licensed under CC BY 2.0 ; “Perfect timing”  by Tamara Menzi , Unsplash is in the Public Domain, CC0 ; “Vending machines”  by Purchase College Library  is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
  • Figure 7.21. Farmers markets. “group of people standing near vegetables”  by Megan Markham  is in the Public Domain, CC0 ; “Veggies at Corvallis Farmers Market” by Friends of Family Farmers is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Figure 7.22. Menu labeling. “Ballpark Calorie Counting”  by Kevin Harber  is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • Figure 7.23. Increasing physical activity. “Early bird” by Jorge Vasconez  is in the Public Domain, CC0 ; “boy running to the future”  by Rafaela Biazi  is in the Public Domain, CC0 ; “people riding bicycles inside bicycle lane beside skyscraper” by Steinar Engeland  is in the Public Domain, CC0

Economic and social circumstances, such as poverty and racism, that impact health.

Built environments that promote weight gain by encouraging food intake and limiting physical activity.

Areas where healthy foods simply aren’t available or easily accessible.

Having consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

Having inconsistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

Nutrition: Science and Everyday Application, v. 1.0 Copyright © 2020 by Alice Callahan, PhD; Heather Leonard, MEd, RDN; and Tamberly Powell, MS, RDN is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Obesity in America: A Public Health Crisis

Obesity is a public health issue that impacts more than 100 million adults and children in the U.S.

What You Need to Know About Obesity

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 21: A man with a large waist stands at an intersection May 21, 2014 in midtown New York City.

Getty Images

Obesity has become a public health crisis in the United States. The medical condition, which involves having an excessive amount of body fat, is linked to severe chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and cancer. It causes about 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. each year – nearly as many as smoking, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The financial cost of obesity is high as well. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , "The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical cost for people who have obesity was $1,429 higher than those of normal weight."

While researchers say the obesity epidemic began in the U.S. in the 1980s, there has been a sharp increase in obesity rates in the U.S. over the last decade. Nearly 40% of all adults over the age of 20 in the U.S. – about 93.3 million people – are currently obese, according to data published in JAMA in 2018. Every state in the U.S. has more than 20% of adults with obesity, according to the CDC – a significant uptick since 1985, when no state had an obesity rate higher than 15%. Certain states have higher rates than others: there are more obese people living in the South (32.4%) and Midwest (32.3%) than in other parts of the country.

Sugar Taxes and Other Efforts to Reduce Obesity

Federal, state and local governments have moved to address obesity in several ways. On the federal level, several programs – such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Healthy Food FInancing Initiative – as well as the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services work to make healthier foods affordable and available in underserved communities. To prevent childhood obesity in particular, there are also school and early childhood policies, such as Head Start – a comprehensive early childhood education program – school-based physical education and Safe Routes to School, which promotes walking and biking to and from school and increasing healthy eating and physical activity while reducing the risk of obesity.

In March, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association offered several public policy recommendations , including raising the price of sugary drinks, encouraging federal and state governments to limit the marketing of sugary drinks to kids and teenagers, having vending machines offer water, milk and other healthy beverages, improving nutritional information on labels, restaurant menus and advertisements, and supporting hospitals in establishing policies to discourage the purchase of sugary drinks in their facilities.

Meanwhile, states have implemented laws, largely through early childhood education settings, to improve access to healthy food and increase physical activity in order to promote a healthy weight. These policies stretch from breastfeeding, providing available drinking water and daily physical activity to limited screen time as well as meals and snacks that meet healthy eating standards set by the USDA or CACFP.

City governments have considered, and in some cases implemented, so-called "sin taxes" that aim to make potentially unhealthy food choices less attractive and accessible. Cities including Philadelphia, Boulder, Colorado, and Berkeley, California, levy a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages; The American Public Health Association noted in 2016 that the tax led to a 21% drop in the consumption of sugary drinks in Berkeley alone. (A proposal to expand it to all of California stalled this year .) In Philadelphia , the price of sugary beverages sold in supermarkets, mass merchandisers and pharmacies rose – and sales fell – after the city implemented a tax on those products, but a study found that sales in towns bordering Philadelphia increased.

Some researchers say there's little proof that taxing food or drink choices really changes behavior. In spite of taxes and warnings about the health effects of drinking sugary beverages, eight of every 10 American households buys sodas and other sugary drinks each week, adding up to 2,000 calories per household per week, new research shows .

"Large authoritative systematic reviews of the peer-reviewed scientific literature have failed to illustrate any compelling evidence that economic interventions are effective in promoting any type of dietary behavior change," says Taylor Wallace , principal and CEO of the Think Healthy Group and an adjunct professor in the department of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University.

But others contend that making it more expensive to buy sugary drinks is a step in the right direction.

"We need to ensure that people understand the threat of these products to their health, so they want to reduce their consumption," says Sandra Mullin, senior vice president of policy, advocacy and communication for Vital Strategies, an organization that works to implement health initiatives, and a former public health official in New York City "And [hiking] the price is a prompt for them to do that."

Learn more about obesity:

What is obesity?

Obesity is a chronic disease . It occurs when an excessive amount of body fat affects a person's overall health.

How is obesity diagnosed?

According to the Obesity Action Coalition , a healthcare provider may diagnose a patient with obesity if his or her body mass index, or BMI, is 30 or greater. BMI is a value derived from the weight and height of a person; normal BMI ranges from 20 to 25. There is no lab test, blood screening or other diagnostic used to diagnose obesity.

What is morbid obesity?

Morbid obesity is diagnosed when a person has a BMI of 40 or greater. People can also be diagnosed with morbid obesity if their BMI is 35 if they are also experiencing health complications like high blood pressure or diabetes.

How is being overweight different from being obese?

Obesity has to do with having too much body fat and a Body Mass Index, or BMI, of 30 or more. Being overweight can involve having too much body fat, the Department of Health and Human Services says , but having extra muscle, bone or water can also be a factor.

What causes obesity?

Obesity occurs when a person takes in more calories than he or she burns through normal daily activities and exercise, according to the Mayo Clinic . It is not simply a matter of over-indulgence or a lack of self control, obesity researcher Dr. George Bray said at the first annual U.S. News Combating Childhood Obesity summit , held at Texas Children's Hospital in May.

"Obesity isn't a disease of willpower – it's a biological problem," he said . "Genes load the gun, and environment pulls the trigger."

Certain scientific and societal factors – including genetics, the increased consumption of processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, and some medications and medical conditions – can increase a person's risk of becoming obese. Age and pregnancy can also trigger weight gain.

The 10 Fattest States in the U.S.

Low Section Of Overweight Men Walking By Market Stall. (Getty Images/EyeEm)

Diet has an important connection to obesity. Studies show the amount of soybean oil Americans consume spiked in the 1960s and 1970s, most likely as highly processed foods became popular, and American adults and children started to weight more around that time, Bray said.

"The fats in our food supply may well be playing a part in our inability to regulate" food intake, Bray said at the obesity summit . Consumption of sugary soft drinks also skyrocketed between 1950 and 2000, he pointed out, as Americans tripled the amount of sweet beverages they drank each year.

Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to obesity . A study presented at the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting suggests artificial sweeteners alter how bodies process fat and obtain energy.

"Despite the addition of these non-caloric artificial sweeteners to our everyday diets, there has still been a drastic rise in obesity and diabetes," one of the study's authors, Brian Hoffmann, assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University , said. "In our studies, both sugar and artificial sweeteners seem to exhibit negative effects linked to obesity and diabetes, albeit through very different mechanisms from each other."

What are some of the risk factors for obesity?

Genetic factors include: the amount of body fat a person stores, where it's distributed and how efficiently his or her body metabolizes food into energy.

Medical conditions include: Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing's syndrome, arthritis and other diseases that can lead to decreased activity. Certain medications – some antidepressants, anti-seizure, diabetes, antipsychotic medications, steroids and beta blockers – can also cause weight gain.

Lifestyle and behavioral factors include: a lack of physical activity that burns calories, smoking, lack of sleep (which can lead to an increased desire to consume calories), eating an unhealthy diet.

Social and economic factors include: not having a safe space to exercise, not having enough money to afford healthier foods, food deserts where grocery stores that carry fresh fruits and vegetables are not available, lack of transportation to access healthy food options.

Can children be obese?

Obesity can be diagnosed at any age. The prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents between ages 2 and 19 was estimated to be 18.5% – more than one in six – between 2015 and 2016, with 13.7 million impacted, according to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics .

Children who are obese are at risk for developing premature heart disease , the American Heart Association reports. A study of nearly 2.3 million people monitored over the course of 40 years found that the risk of dying from heart disease was two to three times higher if they had been overweight or obese as teens.

Obesity is a problem in other countries as well. A study published in the Lancet in 2017 found that the number of obese 5 to 19 year olds worldwide increased from 11 million in 1975 and to 124 million in 2016. The researchers projected the number of children and adolescents who are obese will surpass those that are moderately or severly underweight by 2022.

How many adult men and women are obese?

U.S. adult obesity prevalence between 2015 and 2016 was nearly 40% – about 93.3 million people, according to the CDC . The highest rate (42.8%) was among adults between the ages of 40 and 59; the prevalence among adults age 20 to 39 years was 35.7%, and 41% among adults age 60 and older. There was no significant difference between men and women overall or by age group, according to the data brief.

What preventable diseases and health issues are associated with obesity?

Mental and physical health problems involving obesity include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Cancers (including breast, liver, pancreas, endometrial, colorectal, prostate and kidney)
  • High cholesterol
  • Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints
  • Sleep apnea
  • Respiratory problems
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Urinary stress incontinence
  • Infertility
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Physical disability
  • Lower work achievement
  • Social isolation

What are the financial costs of obesity in the U.S.?

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati in 2008 estimated the cost of medical care to diagnose and treat obesity and its associated health issues to be about $147 billion annually.

The CDC estimates the indirect costs of obesity-related health issues – including absenteeism, premature disability, declines in productiving and earlier mortality – to range from $3 billion and $6.4 billion annually.

Are certain races more likely to become obese than others?

At 25.8%, Hispanic children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 had the highest prevalence of obesity between 2015 and 2016, according to the National Center for Health Statistics . Meanwhile, obesity prevalence was about 22% among black youths; 14.1% among non-Hispanic whites; and 11% among non-Hispanic Asians. While the report notes that there were no significant differences in the prevalence of obesity between boys and girls by race and Hispanic origin, Hispanic boys in particular had a higher prevalence of obesity than non-Hispanic black boys.

Similarly, non-hispanic black (46.8%) and Hispanic (47%) adults in the U.S. have higher obesity rates than non-Hispanic white (37.9%) and non-Hispanic Asian (12.7%) adults, according to the NCHS. Rates of obesity were especially high among black and Hispanic women, according to the report, surpassing 50%.

How is obesity treated?

Treatment of obesity primarily involves changing a patient's behavior, but surgery to reduce the size of a patient's stomach or alter the digestive tract and medication may also be options for those who have trouble losing weight on their own.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says common treatments include eating more healthy foods, incorporating more physical activity and changing other habits , such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Developing a healthy eating plan with fewer calories, setting realistic and measurable goals, participating in formal weight-management programs and seeking help from family, friends, health professionals and support groups can make it easier to develop healthier habits, though the federal agency warns that setbacks occur and people should be prepared.

Experts say obese patients who lose 5% to 10% of their body weight – about 10 to 20 pounds for a 200-lb person with a BMI indicating obesity, for example – can reduce his or her risk of obesity-related health problems like type 2 diabetes as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Can obesity be prevented?

When it comes to suggestions about how to prevent obesity, common principles stand out across local, state and federal guidelines :

  • increase physical activity
  • improve nutrition through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • encourage breastfeeding
  • encourage mobility between work, school and communities.

Some researchers also say that the food industry has a role to play in solving the obesity crisis: Making highly processed and fast food much more expensive could curb consumption and lower the obesity rate in the U.S. over time.

"My former brethren in the soft drink business really fought the issue of obesity early on rather than stepping up and saying, 'OK, we don't wish to be blamed totally for this issue but we still can do something,'" Hank Cardello, a former food company executive who now works as a food policy analyst at the Hudson Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank, said during the U.S. News Combating Childhood Obesity summit in May. "Larger portions, the whole supersize phenomenon – it's actually proven that that made more money for them" while helping trigger the national obesity epidemic, he explained.

What are the most-obese states in America?

According to the CDC, as of 2017 (the most-recent data available) the most-obese states in America are:

  • West Virginia (38.1% of adults)
  • Mississippi (37.3%)
  • Oklahoma (36.5%)
  • Iowa (36.4%)
  • Alabama (36.2%)
  • Louisiana (36.2%)
  • Arkansas (35%)
  • Kentucky (34.3%)
  • Alaska (34.2%)
  • South Carolina (34.1%)

What are the least-obese states in America?

These states have the lowest obesity rates in the U.S., according to the CDC:

  • Colorado (22.6% of adults)
  • Hawaii (23.8%)
  • California (25.1%)
  • Utah (25.25%)
  • Montana (25.27%)
  • New York (25.7%)
  • Massachuestts (25.9%)
  • Nevada (26.7%)
  • Connecticut (26.9%)
  • New Jersey (27.3%)

Is obesity a problem in other countries?

The World Health Organization estimates 39% of women and 39% of men ages 18 and older are overweight, with the highest prevalence of obesity on the island of Nauru, at 61%. (The U.S. ranked 12th worldwide, at 36.2%).

Among the 20 most-populous countries worldwide, the United States had the highest level of age-standardized childhood obesity, at 12.7%, while China and India had the highest numbers of obese children in 2015, according to a 2017 University of Washington study . Further, the United States and China had the highest number of obese adults, the study found. That same year, the researchers determined excess body weight to be associated with about 4 million deaths and 120 million disability-adjusted life-years lost.

Rates of adult obesity among the 36 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation were highest in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand and Hungary. They were lowest in Japan and South Korea in 2017, according to an OECD "Obesity Update" report .

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Obesity Essay

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

Obesity Essay: A Complete Guide and Topics

By: Nova A.

11 min read

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Aug 31, 2021

Obesity Essay

Are you assigned to write an essay about obesity? The first step is to define obesity.

The obesity epidemic is a major issue facing our country right now. It's complicated- it could be genetic or due to your environment, but either way, there are ways that you can fix it!

Learn all about what causes weight gain and get tips on how you can get healthy again.

Obesity Essay

On this Page

What is Obesity

What is obesity? Obesity and BMI (body mass index) are both tools of measurement that are used by doctors to assess body fat according to the height, age, and gender of a person. If the BMI is between 25 to 29.9, that means the person has excess weight and body fat.

If the BMI exceeds 30, that means the person is obese. Obesity is a condition that increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions like metabolic syndrome, arthritis, and even some types of cancer.

Obesity Definition

Obesity is defined by the World Health Organization as an accumulation of abnormal and excess body fat that comes with several risk factors. It is measured by the body mass index BMI, body weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of a person’s height (in meters).

Obesity in America

Obesity is on the verge of becoming an epidemic as 1 in every 3 Americans can be categorized as overweight and obese. Currently, America is an obese country, and it continues to get worse.

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Causes of obesity

Do you see any obese or overweight people around you?

You likely do.

This is because fast-food chains are becoming more and more common, people are less active, and fruits and vegetables are more expensive than processed foods, thus making them less available to the majority of society. These are the primary causes of obesity.

Obesity is a disease that affects all age groups, including children and elderly people.

Now that you are familiar with the topic of obesity, writing an essay won’t be that difficult for you.

How to Write an Obesity Essay

The format of an obesity essay is similar to writing any other essay. If you need help regarding how to write an obesity essay, it is the same as writing any other essay.

Obesity Essay Introduction

The trick is to start your essay with an interesting and catchy sentence. This will help attract the reader's attention and motivate them to read further. You don’t want to lose the reader’s interest in the beginning and leave a bad impression, especially if the reader is your teacher.

A hook sentence is usually used to open the introductory paragraph of an essay in order to make it interesting. When writing an essay on obesity, the hook sentence can be in the form of an interesting fact or statistic.

Head on to this detailed article on hook examples to get a better idea.

Once you have hooked the reader, the next step is to provide them with relevant background information about the topic. Don’t give away too much at this stage or bombard them with excess information that the reader ends up getting bored with. Only share information that is necessary for the reader to understand your topic.

Next, write a strong thesis statement at the end of your essay, be sure that your thesis identifies the purpose of your essay in a clear and concise manner. Also, keep in mind that the thesis statement should be easy to justify as the body of your essay will revolve around it.

Body Paragraphs

The details related to your topic are to be included in the body paragraphs of your essay. You can use statistics, facts, and figures related to obesity to reinforce your thesis throughout your essay.

If you are writing a cause-and-effect obesity essay, you can mention different causes of obesity and how it can affect a person’s overall health. The number of body paragraphs can increase depending on the parameters of the assignment as set forth by your instructor.

Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that is the crux of its content. It is necessary to write an engaging topic sentence as it helps grab the reader’s interest. Check out this detailed blog on writing a topic sentence to further understand it.

End your essay with a conclusion by restating your research and tying it to your thesis statement. You can also propose possible solutions to control obesity in your conclusion. Make sure that your conclusion is short yet powerful.

Obesity Essay Examples

Essay about Obesity (PDF)

Childhood Obesity Essay (PDF)

Obesity in America Essay (PDF)

Essay about Obesity Cause and Effects (PDF)

Satire Essay on Obesity (PDF) 

Obesity Argumentative Essay (PDF)

Obesity Essay Topics

Choosing a topic might seem an overwhelming task as you may have many ideas for your assignment. Brainstorm different ideas and narrow them down to one, quality topic.

If you need some examples to help you with your essay topic related to obesity, dive into this article and choose from the list of obesity essay topics.

Childhood Obesity

As mentioned earlier, obesity can affect any age group, including children. Obesity can cause several future health problems as children age.

Here are a few topics you can choose from and discuss for your childhood obesity essay:

  • What are the causes of increasing obesity in children?
  • Obese parents may be at risk for having children with obesity.
  • What is the ratio of obesity between adults and children?
  • What are the possible treatments for obese children?
  • Are there any social programs that can help children with combating obesity?
  • Has technology boosted the rate of obesity in children?
  • Are children spending more time on gadgets instead of playing outside?
  • Schools should encourage regular exercises and sports for children.
  • How can sports and other physical activities protect children from becoming obese?
  • Can childhood abuse be a cause of obesity among children?
  • What is the relationship between neglect in childhood and obesity in adulthood?
  • Does obesity have any effect on the psychological condition and well-being of a child?
  • Are electronic medical records effective in diagnosing obesity among children?
  • Obesity can affect the academic performance of your child.
  • Do you believe that children who are raised by a single parent can be vulnerable to obesity?
  • You can promote interesting exercises to encourage children.
  • What is the main cause of obesity, and why is it increasing with every passing day?
  • Schools and colleges should work harder to develop methodologies to decrease childhood obesity.
  • The government should not allow schools and colleges to include sweet or fatty snacks as a part of their lunch.
  • If a mother is obese, can it affect the health of the child?
  • Children who gain weight frequently can develop chronic diseases.

Obesity Argumentative Essay Topics

Do you want to write an argumentative essay on the topic of obesity?

The following list can help you with that!

Here are some examples you can choose from for your argumentative essay about obesity:

  • Can vegetables and fruits decrease the chances of obesity?
  • Should you go for surgery to overcome obesity?
  • Are there any harmful side effects?
  • Can obesity be related to the mental condition of an individual?
  • Are parents responsible for controlling obesity in childhood?
  • What are the most effective measures to prevent the increase in the obesity rate?
  • Why is the obesity rate increasing in the United States?
  • Can the lifestyle of a person be a cause of obesity?
  • Does the economic situation of a country affect the obesity rate?
  • How is obesity considered an international health issue?
  • Can technology and gadgets affect obesity rates?
  • What can be the possible reasons for obesity in a school?
  • How can we address the issue of obesity?
  • Is obesity a chronic disease?
  • Is obesity a major cause of heart attacks?
  • Are the junk food chains causing an increase in obesity?
  • Do nutritional programs help in reducing the obesity rate?
  • How can the right type of diet help with obesity?
  • Why should we encourage sports activities in schools and colleges?
  • Can obesity affect a person’s behavior?

Health Related Topics for Research Paper

If you are writing a research paper, you can explain the cause and effect of obesity.

Here are a few topics that link to the cause and effects of obesity.Review the literature of previous articles related to obesity. Describe the ideas presented in the previous papers.

  • Can family history cause obesity in future generations?
  • Can we predict obesity through genetic testing?
  • What is the cause of the increasing obesity rate?
  • Do you think the increase in fast-food restaurants is a cause of the rising obesity rate?
  • Is the ratio of obese women greater than obese men?
  • Why are women more prone to be obese as compared to men?
  • Stress can be a cause of obesity. Mention the reasons how mental health can be related to physical health.
  • Is urban life a cause of the increasing obesity rate?
  • People from cities are prone to be obese as compared to people from the countryside.
  • How obesity affects the life expectancy of people? What are possible solutions to decrease the obesity rate?
  • Do family eating habits affect or trigger obesity?
  • How do eating habits affect the health of an individual?
  • How can obesity affect the future of a child?
  • Obese children are more prone to get bullied in high school and college.
  • Why should schools encourage more sports and exercise for children?

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Topics for Essay on Obesity as a Problem

Do you think a rise in obesity rate can affect the economy of a country?

Here are some topics for your assistance regarding your economics related obesity essay.

  • Does socioeconomic status affect the possibility of obesity in an individual?
  • Analyze the film and write a review on “Fed Up” – an obesity epidemic.
  • Share your reviews on the movie “The Weight of The Nation.”
  • Should we increase the prices of fast food and decrease the prices of fruits and vegetables to decrease obesity?
  • Do you think healthy food prices can be a cause of obesity?
  • Describe what measures other countries have taken in order to control obesity?
  • The government should play an important role in controlling obesity. What precautions should they take?
  • Do you think obesity can be one of the reasons children get bullied?
  • Do obese people experience any sort of discrimination or inappropriate behavior due to their weight?
  • Are there any legal protections for people who suffer from discrimination due to their weight?
  • Which communities have a higher percentage of obesity in the United States?
  • Discuss the side effects of the fast-food industry and their advertisements on children.
  • Describe how the increasing obesity rate has affected the economic condition of the United States.
  • What is the current percentage of obesity all over the world? Is the obesity rate increasing with every passing day?
  • Why is the obesity rate higher in the United States as compared to other countries?
  • Do Asians have a greater percentage of obese people as compared to Europe?
  • Does the cultural difference affect the eating habits of an individual?
  • Obesity and body shaming.
  • Why is a skinny body considered to be ideal? Is it an effective way to reduce the obesity rate?

Obesity Solution Essay Topics

With all the developments in medicine and technology, we still don’t have exact measures to treat obesity.

Here are some insights you can discuss in your essay:

  • How do obese people suffer from metabolic complications?
  • Describe the fat distribution in obese people.
  • Is type 2 diabetes related to obesity?
  • Are obese people more prone to suffer from diabetes in the future?
  • How are cardiac diseases related to obesity?
  • Can obesity affect a woman’s childbearing time phase?
  • Describe the digestive diseases related to obesity.
  • Obesity may be genetic.
  • Obesity can cause a higher risk of suffering a heart attack.
  • What are the causes of obesity? What health problems can be caused if an individual suffers from obesity?
  • What are the side effects of surgery to overcome obesity?
  • Which drugs are effective when it comes to the treatment of obesity?
  • Is there a difference between being obese and overweight?
  • Can obesity affect the sociological perspective of an individual?
  • Explain how an obesity treatment works.
  • How can the government help people to lose weight and improve public health?

Writing an essay is a challenging yet rewarding task. All you need is to be organized and clear when it comes to academic writing.

  • Choose a topic you would like to write on.
  • Organize your thoughts.
  • Pen down your ideas.
  • Compose a perfect essay that will help you ace your subject.
  • Proofread and revise your paper.

Were the topics useful for you? We hope so!

However, if you are still struggling to write your paper, you can pick any of the topics from this list, and our essay writer will help you craft a perfect essay.

Are you struggling to write an effective essay?

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As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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Home — Essay Samples — Nursing & Health — Obesity — Essay On Obesity In America

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Essay on Obesity in America

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Published: Mar 5, 2024

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Public health considerations regarding obesity.

Aditi Tiwari ; Palanikumar Balasundaram .

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Last Update: June 5, 2023 .

  • Continuing Education Activity

Obesity is an alarmingly increasing global public health issue. Several countries worldwide have witnessed a double or triple escalation in the prevalence of obesity in the last three decades, probably due to urbanization, sedentary lifestyle, and increase consumption of high-calorie processed food. The alarming increase in childhood obesity foreshows a tremendous burden of chronic disease prevention in the future public healthcare systems worldwide. Obesity prevention is a critical factor in controlling Obesity-related Non-communicable diseases (OR-NCDs), including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, cancer, and psychological problems. This activity reviews the public health considerations in obesity and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in developing public health strategies for the management and prevention of this condition.

  • Review the comorbidities associated with obesity.
  • Outline the psychosocial considerations in people suffering from obesity.
  • Describe the individual and public health consequences of obesity.
  • Identify barriers to the delayed seeking of healthcare and utilization of preventive screening programs by interprofessional team.
  • Introduction

Obesity is an alarmingly increasing global public health issue. Obesity is labeled as a national epidemic, and obesity affects one in three adults and one in six children in the United States of America. [1] [2]  Several countries worldwide have witnessed a double or triple escalation in the prevalence of obesity in the last three decades (Figure 1, Figure2), probably due to urbanization, sedentary lifestyle, and increase consumption of high-calorie processed food. [3]

The alarming increase in childhood obesity foreshows a tremendous burden of chronic disease prevention in the future public healthcare systems worldwide. Obesity prevention is a critical factor in controlling Obesity-related Non-communicable diseases (OR-NCDs), including insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome, featuring hyperinsulinemia, type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. [4] [5]

The failure of the traditional obesity control measures has stressed the importance of a new non-stigmatizing public policy approach, shifting away from the traditional focus on individual behavior change towards strategies dealing with environmental change. The other big challenge related to overweight and obesity is weight bias and discrimination. In public settings such as work environments, healthcare facilities, and educational setup, obese individuals face discrimination.

  • Issues of Concern

Public Health Impact of Obesity 

  • Life expectancy: Obesity, the modern lifestyle disease, not only cause serious illness but also substantially decreases the average public life expectancy. Obesity in adulthood is a strong predictor of early death. Framingham Heart Study, a prospective cohort study, revealed that adults who were obese at 40 years lost 6 to 7 years of expected life. However, in obese people who smoked, the years of life lost almost doubled. [6]
  • Quality of life: Obesity affects both the physical and psychosocial aspects of quality of life, more significant among morbidly obese individuals.  The self-perceived Health-related quality of life (HRQL) among obese individuals worsens with increasing BMI. The effect of obesity on HRQL is assessed most frequently by SF-36 (Short-Form Health Survey), comprising 36 questions covering eight domains including physical functioning, physical role limitations due to physical health problems, social functioning, bodily pain, general mental well being, emotional role limitations, energy, and general health perceptions. [7] [8] [9]  The risk of suffering from any chronic medical condition is almost doubled in morbid obesity compared to overweight individuals. [10] Obesity causes a substantial psychological burden exacerbated by the public's marked preoccupation with thinness. Sullivan et al. reported more significant psychosocial consequences in obese women when compared to obese men. [11]
  • Prevalence of obesity-associated diseases:  The individuals who are obese in their childhood tend to remain obese in adulthood and prone to high risk for Obesity-related non-communicable diseases (OR-NCD) at a younger age. [12]  Obesity-related non-communicable diseases, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, have increased worldwide. These non-communicable diseases are primary targets for global disease prevention by WHO. [13] Compared with their normal-weight peers, severely obese individuals lose about eight disease-free years, and mildly obese individuals lose about four disease-free years. [14]
  • Employment:  Obesity is one of the leading reasons for discrimination in the hiring process for employment, more noticed among obese females than obese males. [15] Obesity can cause reduced employment and an increase in self-reported work limitations compared to normal-weight individuals. [16]
  • Economic impact: Obesity is estimated to account for more than 20% of all annual health care expenditures in the United States. [17] The medical costs are 30% to 40% higher among obese individuals than their normal-weight peers, double the increase attributable to smoking. [18] The direct costs of obesity are attributed to the amount spent on diagnosing and treating obesity and obesity-related chronic comorbid conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Indirect costs are attributed to the lost wages secondary to illness and premature death, elevated costs paid for disability and insurance claims, and decreased productivity at work.
  • Clinical Significance

The World Health Organization describes obesity as an excessive fat accumulation with body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 labeled as overweight and BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 labeled obesity. The relative risk of death increases with an increase in BMI. This association is non-linear, with a much higher relative risk of death for very high BMI (>30) individuals. [19]  The stigma of obesity is a threat to proper healthcare resource utilization, preventing morbidity, and identifying complications early. Obese individuals have lower rates of age-appropriate preventive cancer screening. [20] [21]  

Women who suffer from obesity delay seeking routine gynecological cancer screening due to many social barriers. [22]  The compromise in healthcare quality in obese individuals adds to the burden of morbidity and all-cause mortality; This also imposes a significant load on the healthcare system in managing comorbidities of obese individuals. Crucial risk factors have been recognized in several studies as an effort to decrease the obesity burden, which includes the perinatal factors like maternal antenatal BMI, weight at birth and child's nutrition in the first three years of life, feeding options (breastfeeding versus formula feeding), and growth pattern in the first year. [23]

  • Other Issues

It is imperative to assess and address the barriers that obese patients face which delay pursuing their healthcare needs. Inadequate healthcare in these patients regarding their presenting complaints and preventive health visits leads to public health consequences in obesity. Impairment of efforts in the prevention of obesity cause health and social inequalities. [24]

Public Health Policy and Environmental Changes

Environmental changes are the best initiative in preventing the burden of obesity. A drastic public policy can bring a significant environmental change, of which some are listed below.

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made food labeling regulations that mandate calorie and nutrition labeling in all food products.
  • The FDA has officially banned trans fats in all foods sold in restaurants and grocery stores.
  • Obesity prevention priorities should focus more on children, particularly in schools encouraging healthy habits.  The local government should restrict commercial permits for fast-food restaurants nearby schools (within 0.5 miles) and encourage healthy food vendors to establish near schools. [25]  
  • School-level policies should improve physical education at school and encourage walking or biking to school.
  • Levying significant tax for unhealthy food and subsidizing healthy food are crucial strategies to prevent obesity but with few ethical limitations. Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks have been applied at most state and city levels. [26]
  • Public health policy should focus on designing activity-friendly communities by creating bike and walking paths.

Family-Based Interventions

The family-based approach is the best intervention to sustain weight loss and have weight maintenance among patients with overweight or obesity. The overweight subjects living in a family will have significant difficulties changing their lifestyle without family support. Several studies have proven that a low-fat diet with high protein and a low glycemic index effectively sustains weight maintenance and weight regain. [27] [28]  An easy-to-use tool in family-based dietary intervention is the traffic light diet in which food is classified as green, red, and yellow. [29]  

Weight Bias in Health Care (Figure 3)

The weight bias in the health care system can be explicit (consciously expressed) or implicit (involuntarily expressed). Implicit weight bias is not rare to see among Health care providers. Society's negative biases towards overweight or obesity often are shared and exhibited by the health care provider (HCP). The weight bias by the health care team can impair the patient's health care quality. Most HCPs believe in the energy balance theory of weight control, which encourages the thinking of obesity issues being a personal responsibility and limiting the scope of appropriate counseling. [30] The following interventions could help in reducing the weight bias in health practice. 

  • To educate the health care professionals about the complex etiology of obesity, including genetic, metabolic, and social factors.
  • To make providers aware of the fact that the weight bias could influence the quality of the care. 
  • To train the medical trainees how to communicate without implicit bias. 
  • Another strategy is to expose counter-stereotypical exemplars of people with obesity who are successful and intelligent. 
  • HCPs should address the overall health and the patient's understanding of obesity-associated comorbidities along with weight loss management. 
  • HCPs should be encouraged to use people-first language, e.g., patients with obesity instead of obese patients. Also, using terminology like high BMI instead of morbid obesity will help in motivating the patient.
  • Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Obesity is a national epidemic affecting every one in three adults and one in six children in the United States of America. The rising trend has been attributed to change in environmental and food practices in the face of the increasingly sedentary lifestyles of people. Tracking childhood obesity into adulthood poses a significant burden on the healthcare system for managing this and its complications. Obesity is crucial to developing non-communicable diseases (OR-NCD), which include diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery diseases, to name a few. The psychological aspect regarding the stigma of obesity leads to delay in seeking healthcare in these individuals.

While the primary care physician diagnoses obesity, it is equally important to consult with an interprofessional team of specialists, including dieticians, psychologists, behavioral counselors, and exercise specialists. When managing a child with obesity, consultation with pediatric endocrinologists, neurologists, and surgeons also has a vital role in the child's growth. Nurse practitioners are a vital part of the interprofessional group as continued and frequent motivation is needed to inculcate positive health-related changes in their daily life.

Primary care physicians can help these patients by constantly monitoring their weight and BMI and regularly scheduling annual health maintenance visits. The physician should make an effort to address any barriers that the patient perceives related to seeking healthcare. Dieticians are intrinsically involved in the management and can help create a diet plan considering the patient's personal choices and beliefs. Exercise specialists can make age-appropriate recommendations for exercise for the patient as well as family activities.

Psychological problems play a significant role in the development of maladaptive eating patterns in children and adults. The role of behavioral counselors and school-based health groups in managing children with obesity is crucial. The role of public health policymakers becomes pivotal because obesity is a preventable disease. Coordination between healthcare providers and policymakers, operating as an interprofessional team, is essential to gauge the burden of the disease, address the barriers to seeking treatment and preventive screenings. The failure of the traditional obesity control measures has stressed the importance of developing a new non-stigmatizing public policy approach by public health officials.

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Figure 1: Trends in obesity among children Contributed by the centers for Disease control (CDC)

Figure 2: Trends in obesity among adults Contributed by the centers for Disease control (CDC)

Figure 3: The impact of Weight bias Contributed by Palanikumar Balasundaram MD

Disclosure: Aditi Tiwari declares no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

Disclosure: Palanikumar Balasundaram declares no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

This book is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ ), which permits others to distribute the work, provided that the article is not altered or used commercially. You are not required to obtain permission to distribute this article, provided that you credit the author and journal.

  • Cite this Page Tiwari A, Balasundaram P. Public Health Considerations Regarding Obesity. [Updated 2023 Jun 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-.

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134 Childhood Obesity Essay Topics & Examples

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