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Female Obesity

Female obesity can be observed in all population clusters, however the racial and ethnic orientation of a person plays a very substantial factor. Obesity is more commonly found among Hispanic, Pacific Islander and African American women. Fifty percent of African American adults are seriously battling with health and weight problems.  These figures are certainly not a laughing matter. The continued dramatic escalation of this health epidemic should be given more serious attention.

There are a number of ailments that can directly be associated with overweight and obesity. Female obesity has been known to develop some really serious health complications such as heart diseases, diabetes, stroke and cancer. People who are overweight have a considerably low glucose tolerance, which result to higher risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes. Obese people are also prone to a serious medical condition known as sleep apnea. This condition causes a person to stop breathing for a few seconds and snore heavily, which is mainly due to an enlarged neck and a narrowed airway. Certain types of cancer are also prevalent in female obesity. Among these are cancers of the breast, cervix, uterus, ovaries and gallbladder.  Women who are overweight have also a lower chance of conceiving. These, and a whole lot more health afflictions can possibly develop with obese and overweight people. It has also been declared that obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.  
Not only does female obesity present a dangerously high risk in the well being of women, emotional and social problems are also expected to crop up. Obese women are often subjected to labor discrimination. Female obesity is considered a potential barrier in getting jobs in any labor sector. Obese women also go through emotional torment. In many cultures, beauty is normally equated to the person’s slimness, and obese people are unjustly labeled as gluttonous and lazy people. This is why obese women and even men suffer depression and a very low self-esteem.
This is a dismal fact that a lot of women have to contend with aside from battling with their own weight demons. A support group and a positive approach should be cultivated for people who are struggling with obesity. With proper knowledge, an effective weight-loss plan coupled with the right attitude, any person can overcome obesity.
Overweight children have a greater probability of turning into overweight adults unless some interventions are made. The causes of obesity are quite complex and include a number of factors that include genetic, behavioral, cultural and biological. A person is at greater risk of obesity if he/she has a history of obesity in the family. Although heredity does not predetermine a person to be overweight, it has a great influence in the amount of body fat and its distribution. A person’s genes make him/her more prone to gaining weight. With a family history of obesity, the likelihood of a person of becoming obese can shoot up by about 25 to 30 percent.  Although there is no known way of altering the genetic makeup of a person, weight reduction efforts will still pay off even if a person has a family history of obesity.

Aside from having a history of obesity, another contributing factor of obesity is the person’s eating attitude and lifestyle. Poor eating habits, excessive food intake and sedentary lifestyle are sure-fire ingredients to acquiring obesity.

Culture is also a big factor in developing obesity since the ethnic background of a person largely influences food choices.  There are some family traditions and rituals that often encourage large servings of food. In a typical American diet, many of the foods have very high calories. 
In some rare cases, obesity can be triggered by some medical ailments.  However, there are less than 2 percent of all cases of obesity that can be attributed to a metabolic disorder, such as hormonal imbalance and low thyroid function.
Considering all the contributing factors of obesity, it is still a highly curable disease. It is essentially up to the person to take full responsibility of his/her health. It mainly boils down to a person’s attitude with regards to his/her health and lifestyle. Adapting a healthier diet, proper exercise and sticking to an effective weight loss program can considerably add years to a person’s life. Proper understanding and knowledge are the primary factors towards a longer and healthier life.
Obesity is simply fatness in a degree higher than being overweight. The energy intake coming from food is stored as fat because the body does not use it. Obesity has quite an impact in one’s physical health that many degenerative diseases are directly and indirectly linked to obesity as observed in the history of obesity.  It may even have a much worse impact on a person’s mental health. Throughout the history of obesity, its reputation varies from appreciation and the opposite among cultures and in time. 

Take a look in the history of obesity and we’ll learn that this is truly an age-old health condition. Ancient Egyptians are said to consider obesity as a disease, having been drawn in a wall of depicted illnesses. Perhaps the most famous and earliest evidence of obesity is the Venus figurines, statuettes of an obese female torso that probably had a major role in rituals. Ancient China have also been aware of obesity and the dangers that come with it. They have always been a believer of prevention as a key to longevity. The Aztecs believed that obesity was supernatural, an affliction of the gods. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was aware of sudden deaths being more common among obese men than lean ones as stated in his writings. In certain cultures and areas where food is scarce and poverty is prevalent obesity is viewed as a symbol of wealth and social status. To date, an African tribe purposely plumps up a bride to prepare her for child bearing. Before a wedding can be set, a slim bride is pampered to gain weight until she reaches the suitable weight. 
Throughout the history of obesity, the public’s view and status of obesity changed considerably in the 1900’s. It was regarded as unfashionable by the French designer, Paul Poiret who designed skin-revealing clothes for women. About the same time, the incidence of obesity began to increase and become widespread. Later in the 1940’s, Metropolitan Life Insurance published a chart of ideal weights for various heights. They also advocated that weight gain parallel to age is not ok. The government and the medical society became more hands-on with obesity by initiating a campaign against it. This was preceded by a study of risk factors of cardiovascular diseases revealing obesity among the high ranks. Since then various diet and exercise programs have emerged. In 1996, the Body Mass Index (BMI) was published. This statistical calculation and index determined if a person is obese or not. At this time, obesity incidence have soared, led by children and adolescent obesity, tripling in just a few short years, greater than any number in the history of obesity.

Perhaps the most controversial is the independent film, Super Size Me. Released in 2004, Super Size Me was written, produced and directed by American independent filmmaker, Martin Spurlock in an exploration of the prevalence of obesity in the USA. He documented 30 days of his life in an experiment of eating only McDonald’s food with completely no exercise. He began the project as healthy and lean but ended up overweight. It was later followed by several other documentaries and a few changes in the McDonald’s menu. The history of obesity should be well studied so precautions can be practiced and thus prevent obesity from spreading.

Over the years and in the history of obesity, it seems to worsen despite growing awareness and combating techniques that it has been called an epidemic.

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