Obesity Essay Research Paper Obesityalso called CORPULENCE

Obesity Essay, Research Paper Obesity also called CORPULENCE, or FATNESS, excessive accumulation of body fat, usually caused by the consumption of more calories than the body can use. The excess calories are then stored as fat, or adipose

Obesity Essay, Research Paper

Obesity

also called CORPULENCE, or FATNESS, excessive accumulation of body fat, usually caused by the

consumption of more calories than the body can use. The excess calories are then stored as fat, or adipose

tissue. Overweight, if moderate, is not necessarily obesity, particularly in muscular or large-boned

individuals. In general, however, a body weight

20 percent or more over the optimum tends to be associated with obesity.

The body’s ability to adjust food intake to body needs can be disturbed by numerous factors. Of these,

hormone imbalances and glandular defects are believed to be of least importance, being demonstrable in

only bout 5 percent of all obese individuals. Although obesity may be familial, suggestive of a genetic

predisposition to fat accumulation, there is also evidence that early feeding patterns imposed by the obese

mother upon her offspring may play a major role in a cultural, rather than genetic, transmission of obesity

from one generation to the next. More generally, the distinctive way of life of a nation and the individual’s

behavioral and emotional reaction to it may contribute significantly to widespread obesity. Among the

affluent populations, an abundant supply of readily available high-calorie foods and beverages, coupled

with increasingly sedentary living habits that markedly reduce caloric needs, can easily lead to overeating.

The stresses and tensions of modern liv!

ing also cause some individuals to turn to foods and alcoholic drinks for “relief.”

Obesity may be undesirable from an aesthetic sense, especially in parts of the world where slimness is the

popular preference; it is also a serious medical problem. Generally, obese persons have a shorter life

expectancy; they suffer earlier, more often, and more severely from a large number of diseases than do their

normal-weight counterparts. They are also more likely to die prematurely of degenerative diseases of the

heart, arteries, and kidneys. More die of accidents and diabetes, and

more constitute poor surgical risks than persons with normal weight. Mental health is also affected;

behavioral consequences of an obese appearance, ranging from shyness and withdrawal to overly bold elf-

assertion, may be rooted in neuroses and psychoses.

The treatment of obesity has two main objectives: removal of the causative factors, which may be difficult

if the causes are of

emotional or psychological origin; and removal of surplus fat by reducing food intake. Return to normal

body weight by reducing calorie intake is best done under medical supervision. Dietary fads and reducing

diets that produce quick results without effort are of doubtful effectiveness in reducing body weight and

keeping it down, and most are actually deleterious to health. (See dieting.)

Obesity is to be distinguished from overweight caused by edema (excess retention of fluids) stemming from

various diseases.