International Obesity Epidemic

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  The
 International
 Obesity
 Epidemic:
 History,
 Causes,
 and
 Preventions
 
 
  Jonathan
 D.
 Sklaroff
  New
 Challenges
 in
 Global
 Politics
 
  Professor
 Cantos
  November
 28th,
 2012
 
 

 

1
 

Introduction
  When
 asked
 to
 think
 about
 the
 major
 problem
 related
 to
 food
 that
 plagues
  mankind,
 we
 often
 think
 of
 malnutrition
 as
 being
 the
 most
 important.
 However,
 the
  current
 obesity
 epidemic
 is
 now
 a
 worldwide
 problem,
 and
 has
 now
 been
  recognized
 as
 a
 public
 health
 crisis.
 Conversely,
 whereas
 the
 problem
 of
  malnutrition
 has
 been
 around
 since
 the
 dawn
 of
 time,
 the
 obesity
 epidemic
 is
 only
  several
 decades
 old.
 The
 origins
 of
 this
 epidemic
 can
 be
 traced
 back
 to
 technological
  advances
 of
 the
 eighteenth
 century
 that
 yielded
 an
 abundance
 of
 food
 in
 industrial
  advanced
 countries.
 Initially,
 these
 abundances
 of
 food
 increased
 life
 expectancy,
  nutrition,
 and
 quality
 of
 life.
 However,
 as
 these
 abundances
 grew
 larger
 and
 larger,
  people
 began
 to
 overindulge,
 and
 combined
 with
 reduced
 physical
 activity
 from
  sedentary
 occupations
 such
 as
 office
 jobs,
 humans
 began
 to
 become
 obese.
 
  Furthermore,
 being
 “fat,”
 has
 not
 always
 been
 an
 adjective
 with
 negative
  connotations.
 In
 the
 Middle
 Ages
 and
 other
 time
 periods,
 being
 fat
 was
 a
 status
  symbol.
 In
 other
 words,
 if
 you
 had
 enough
 money
 to
 eat
 more
 than
 you
 needed,
 you
  must
 have
 been
 rich.
 This
 is
 the
 reason
 why
 times
 we
 often
 see
 ancient
 kings
 and
  aristocrats
 as
 being
 obese.
 In
 fact,
 obesity
 was
 often
 reflected
 in
 the
 arts,
 literature,
  and
 medical
 opinion
 as
 being
 a
 positive
 characteristic.
 According
 to
 scholar
 Dr.
  Garabed
 Eknoyan,
 a
 medical
 researcher
 at
 Baylor
 University,
 “Only
 in
 the
 latter
 half
  of
 the
 nineteenth
 century
 did
 being
 fat
 begin
 to
 be
 stigmatized
 for
 aesthetic
 reasons,
  and
 in
 the
 twentieth
 century,
 its
 association
 with
 increased
 mortality
 was
  recognized.1”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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