Marian L. White
December 4, 2011
Psychology and Health Issues: Obesity
Obesity, today, is one of the main causes for the many deaths in America. The health issue differentiates between sociocultural, gender, and age difference and all play a role in what the outcome will be for years to come. Before the mid-1990’s, physicians evaluated if a person was overweight by the degree of excess over ideal weights given in tables. Today, these judgments are based on the body mass index (BMI). People are classified as overweight, according to the index, if their BMI is 25 or higher, and obese if their BMI equals or exceeds 30. What many doctors fail to include in their results when calculating an individual’s weight, though, is their background, gender, and age. Why do these characteristics matter? Research has revealed that obesity rates are high in the United States and low in Asian nations. In most countries, including Australia, and Sweden, obesity rates are higher among women than men. Not only is obesity affecting women and men, but children as well. Among children and the population as a whole in the United States and other developed nations, the percentage that are overly fat has increased substantially during the last few decades. The rates of overweight for Americans has increased dramatically for men and women, and more than quadrupled for children since the early 1970’s. The reason why so many are gaining so much weight is because people are consuming more calories and engaging in less physical activity than in the past. Also, Americans get heavier throughout the early and middle-adulthood years, with the prevalence of overweight reaching and staying at their highest levels from 50 to 75 years of age. Two more important points about the body weights of American adults are, first, the rates of overweight and obesity are extremely high across the three largest ethnic groups- White,...