Cultural Influence in Obese People

The most prevalent vulnerable population in our community is the obese. These are people who have accumulated so much body fats that prove to have the detrimental effect on their health. The obese patients are people whose body mass index is high above 30 (Gaillard, Durmus, Hofman, Mackenbach, Steegers, & Jaddoe, 2013). This part of the community has a particular culture that hinders their desire for medical attention. Most of the obese people grew up in a culture that developed their poor eating habits and also influences how they prepare or season their food today. The culture includes family life, education, gender, education standard or age.

The health issues that are prevalent among the obese are heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, gout, diabetes, and gallstones. However, out of the listed, the most relevant disease of people with obesity is high blood pressure (Gaillard et al., 2013). A significant increase in weight by the adults is cited as an important risk factor and as a predisposing factor to hypertension. An effective treatment of blood pressure is the adoption of non-pharmacological practices. This is the introduction of lifestyle changes that can lead to weight loss which include physical activities, low sodium intake, and regulation of alcohol intake.

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Cultural beliefs and urban eating habits lead to an increase in weight gain in people all over the world. However, the cultural belief of some communities makes it difficult for the treatment of obesity. Medical practitioners recommend sidewalks and running as an exercise to achieve weight loss (Ogden, Carroll & Flegal, 2014). Contrary to these, many communities associate weight gain with achievement in life and signify dignity and deserve respect. This belief makes it difficult to follow medics’ instructions. Others are of the opinion that walking for long distance is a sign of poverty hence disregard it. The “slender body is ugly” phobia makes patient overlook the medical advice on healthy living. For this reason, many people are feeding on junky foods to gain weight in the pretext of gaining status and respect.

In relation to this cultural belief, it is correct to say that all these beliefs are misplaced. This is because adopting a healthy living and embracing physical exercise would help keep at bay so many lifestyle diseases. It is also imperative to say that big bodies do not attract respect from other quarters; instead, it is a predisposing factor to so many ailments.

As a health caregiver, it is important to bridge the gap between the belief systems. This can be achieved by conducting civic education to the affected and the susceptible on the significance of eating healthy food, practicing physical exercise and seeking medical attention for screening (World Health Organization, 2017). I would also educate the community on the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and encourage people to begin avoiding it.

In comparison, all cultures have a general effect of causing obesity, therefore people should bury their cultural beliefs and adopt healthier lifestyles. However, in contrast, obesity is largely brought about by poor eating habits.

In summary, obesity is a condition characterized by excessive weight gain. This is mostly as a result of poor eating culture and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Cultural beliefs prevent many people from engaging in physical exercise to balance their body weight and burn excess calories for different reasons such as fear of slender bodies; others believe that huge bodies earn recognition and status in the society.


Gaillard, R., Durmuş, B., Hofman, A., Mackenbach, J. P., Steegers, E. A., & Jaddoe, V. W. (2013). Risk factors and outcomes of maternal obesity and excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Obesity21(5), 1046-1055.

Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B. K., & Flegal, K. M. (2014). Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Jama311(8), 806-814.

World Health Organization (WHO. (2017). Obesity and Overweight factsheet from the WHO. Health.

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