Friday, August 23, 2019

Economic analysis of Obesity Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

Economic analysis of Obesity - Essay Example According to the World Health Organization, obesity is defined as the condition marked by excess body fat (Youfa and May 8). Body Mass Index (BMI) {weight (kg)/ height (m) 2} is widely used to assess obesity. For adults, world health organization defines obesity using BMI cutpoints of 25 and 30 kg/m2, respectively. It has also been recommended that waist circumference cutpoints of 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women be used to define central obesity. For children, BMI percentile of age and gender has been utilized particularly in the U.S. Specifically, overweight is defined as a BMI greater than 95th BMI percentile (Youfa and May 18). Generally, however, it is argued that obese people are defined as those who are more than 20 percent above their medically determined ideal weight. Statistics indicate that, in the past few decades, there has been an increase with the number of Americans who are considered to be obese from about 25 percent to about 33 percent (Ogalthorpe 94). Studies have documented that among the major contributing factors include poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Due to change in economic times and various laws regarding health and economic issues, many people are faced with the risk of becoming obese. With these deliberations, it has been argued that both economically advantaged and economically disadvantages become victims of obese. For example, rich people are argued to be busy with their jobs and businesses. Although they have all the resources necessary to have the diet they desire, they lack enough time to exercise (Sassi 102). Children who come from rich families are argued to have a tendency of taking meals of their choices as long as their desires are met. They go for sweet snacks and other foods with high contents of calories. As a consequence, they gain weight, but most of them fail to exercise. On the other hand, poor people may lack enough money to place a balanced diet on their tables. They tend to go for cheap meals, which most of them, unfortunately, contains a lot of starch. Getting alternative meals or other variety of diets is difficult. This leads to overweight (Youfa and May 12). Economic analysis Economic analysis in relation to obesity can be viewed from two perspectives. One involves economic as a contributing factor to obesity and economic in terms of consequences of obesity. When prices of calories fall, it is apparent that many people will be able to purchase plenty of it. This is argued to be true because, when food prices are high, some people find it difficult to purchase them (Youfa and May 17). Another issue of concern is when income for many people has gone up. It is obvious that when income has gone up, many people are able to afford different foods and in plenty. The apparent consequence of these deliberations is that rise in weight would be a natural phenomena. Unlike in developing societies, industrialized or post industrialized societies like the United States have problems with balancing weight gain and exercise (Ogalthorpe 91). For example, in developing societies, physical exertion is required to provide with labor. This involves

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