Obesity and Overeating

Personal Problem versus Social Problem

            A personal problem is a condition that is influenced by an individual’s own choices and the consequences of the choices made affect him/her alone. Every individual has total control of a problem and is in the best position to manage the consequences and how they impact on their lives. On the contrary, a social problem is basically a condition termed as harmful by the society and needs immediate intervention since it consumes public resources (26Magazine, 2009).

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Obesity both as a Personal and Social Problem

            Obesity is a medical condition that develops over a period of time and is described one having excess body fats due to consumption of more calories than the body can burn. It is caused by several factors such as genetic makeup of an individual, overeating, eating high-fat foods and physical inactivity (CDC, 2015).

Obesity could be termed as a personal problem since most of its causes are controllable. For instance, one may decide to eat the right amount of food that the body needs, insist to eat a low-fat diet for most meals and exercise regularly to prevent obesity. It could also be referred to as a social problem if it is genetically transmitted thus difficult to control. Obesity is also a chief cause of deadly diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and mental health problems among others which are a major concern in the society. The diseases consume resources of the individuals robbing the society of manpower, and a lot of funds are lost in hospital bills (CDC, 2015).

Dramatic Increase in the Rate of Obesity

According to Thoenen (2002), obesity has increased dramatically due to factors like:

  1. Obesogenic Environment

This a characteristic of people having a higher probability of gaining weight more than others. This trait thrives well if there is intake of high-fat/high calories food and a decrease in individual’s physical activity (Galgani & Ravussin, 2008).

  • Changing Food Consumption

According to Galgani and Rasvussin (2008), there is a considerable change in the mode of eating in families today. The known home-made family dinner has decreased with the increase with one person households, single-parent families and both parent working. This has led to increase in easily accessible and cheaper take-away meals which leave them with no choice other than to eat unhealthy foods.

            Snacking is another key factor which has led to the increase of obesity. There’s an increased consumption of soft drinks, chocolates, chips, and nuts among all age groups.

  • Physical Inactivity

   It is difficult for many people to achieve the equilibrium of balancing the energy expenditure and the intake of micronutrients and the macronutrients that the body needs for good weight maintenance (Galgani & Ravussin, 2008). Decreased energy expenditure compared to the high energy consumption by many individuals has led to the increased rate of obesity. Regular exercises decreases the probability of many chronic diseases affecting individuals in life. Unfortunately, it is the most neglected activity by many individuals yet it is lifesaving.

Significance of Sugar, Fat and Salt in Obesity

Sugar, fat and salt compels one to eat more since they stimulate the neurons which then stimulate the brain to produce a hormone known as dopamine whose main role is to increase one’s appetite. This makes one overeat gain more unwanted calories. The combination gives the consumer the perception of a good appeal and sets the mind to forget the nutritious food one should take .The sight of a snack you’ve eaten before stimulates the brain to make one have another one. The presence of fast food chains everywhere makes it harder for one to quit this behavior (Kessler, 2010). The food industries also have made  junk foods more palatable and cheaper hence a consumer can afford a bigger portion at a cheaper price hence the rapid increase in obesity.It is possible to avoid unhealthy eating if one takes control and chooses when and what to eat and the right proportion one requires (Kessler, 2010).

In conclusion, the overall cause of obesity is poor eating habits that individuals develop from childhood to adulthood. Proper diet should be introduced at a young age and should be observed throughout one’s life while avoiding consumption of foods with saturated sugars, high fats and calories. Family meals should be encouraged where well prepared, nutritious and balanced food is served to every member and this will discourage reliance on snacks and fast foods. This will encourage even the little ones to grow being conscious of their choice of foods.


Adult Obesity Causes & Consequences | Overweight & Obesity | CDC.(2015). Cdc.gov.

Retrieved 23 March 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes.html

Galgani, J., & Ravussin, E. (2008). Energy metabolism, fuel selection and body weight

regulation. International journal of obesity, 32, S109-S119.

Kessler, D. (2010). Obesity: The killer combination of salt, fat and sugar   : Information

Clearing House –  ICHInformationclearinghouse.info. Retrieved 16 March 2010, from


Magazine, 26. (2009). 26 Magazine » Social and personal problems, know the

difference26magazine.com. Retrieved 23 March 2017, from

Thoenen,  E. (2002). Obesity:Facts,Figures,Guidelines. West Virginia: Dale A. Porter. Retrieved


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