I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open or put them on powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.” --Dean Ornish, M.D.
In the Theory of Leisure Class: Conspicuous Consumption, Thorstein Veblen once wrote, “The ‘successful’ are thin to show that they are assured of their next meal.” This sentence gave insight to why people wanted to be thin. Furthermore, it tends to be a reason why many of us climb on our scales at home each day, and depending on what is read, determines whether we have a good day or a bad day (Beller 264). Whether it’s the unhappy news of the gained weight on the thighs, age creeping up on the body, or perhaps only being uneducated in nutrition. Overall well-being should be the goal for weight control, not only to enhance the body’s appearance (Sobal 81). Being overweight can be helped; as any degree of obesity can be considered one of the most preventable causes of death in America (Frankle et al. 1). Obesity in the United States has grown over the years with no real solution, however vegetarianism can contribute to overall well-being of any individual.
Karlsberg states that obesity is “the condition of being extremely overweight”, being usually about twenty percent over healthy weight (77). Even if one is not obese, but overweight, the problems that obesity has could be the same. Such as heart disease, circulatory problems, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, certain cancers, and arthritis (78). Other troubles associated with obesity include, but are not limited to are: impairing vigor, increasing fatigability, gallstones, cirrhosis of the liver, hardening of arteries, and the increase of surgical risks. These reasons make obesity the “prime reason for early breakdown of the human body,” says Dr. Charles Glen King, once the scientific director of Nutrition Foundation in 1964 (Diehl 120).
Fewer calories (less energy) are needed to be consumed to maintain current weight as the body ages, which is one of the most common reasons for becoming obese. When an individual eats the same amount as he or she ages, weight will gain slowly, but surely (Stern 43).
Why do people eat more than they spend? Factors that are included in obesity are genetic, environmental, cultural, behavioral, socioeconomic, psychological, or metabolic (Whitney 257). The most common are genetics and psychological (emotional; for the need of ice cream, for example).
Some infant feedings, by genetics, could leaving a child permanently prone to obesity (“The Wholesome Diet” 64). And in a couple circumstances (minor cases rather than the major number of cases of weight problems), overweight is directed to disturbances of the thyroid or pituitary glands, which neglect to develop their secretions correctly (Fishbein 338).
With an emotional attachment to foods, perhaps from physical problems, it could lead to compulsive overeating (Karlsberg 78). Like other factors in obesity, psychological problems that are related to obesity are not the causes, but are the consequences. Sonja and William Connor says “the ‘enormous psychological burden’ obesity imposes on an individual ‘may be the gravest effect on obesity’ ” (166). It’s no wonder, in my experience, that most depressed people are overweight (which could be due to the infamous ice cream).
Nonetheless, the global problem with obesity is that more energy (calories) are consumed than are spent during exercise, no matter if it’s carbohydrates, protein or fat, the excess energy is stored as fat in cells (Whitney 255). “Being under-active may be the single most important contributor to obesity,” says Eleanor Noss Whitney and Sharon Rady Rolfes. Experimental data always suggests that the dietary fat in foods eaten influence the body fatness, therefore fat people have a tendency to eat more fat (259). From observing various experiments and...
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