Obesity is a condition that emanates from malnutrition and presents with serious social and psychological problems. It is present across different ages and affects individuals in the developing and developed countries. Aiko and Sturm (845-856) writes that obesity has turned into one of the most serious global epidemics as it spreads, to many parts of the globe affecting millions of healthy lives each day. The most shocking revelation is that obesity epidemic is not only affecting developed nations. From studies this condition continues to affect even the individuals in the developing world. This essay aims at discussing some of the views of Aiko and Sturm who authored an article dubbed “The obesity epidemic and changes in self-report biases in BMI.” on obesity epidemic and how self-report biases have increased the trends in obesity cases across the globe. This essay will also cite the research gaps that the authors did not include in their study.
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According to World Health Organisation (WHO), the obesity epidemic remains one of the ignored public health problems that affect millions of individuals across the globe. In a forecast, WHO predicts that without proper public health initiatives, obesity epidemic will affect many people globally and lead to aggressive health complications. According to WHO, this condition is mainly affecting women as compared to men. Nonetheless, the author notes that many men have higher cases of overweight while women have higher cases of obesity. What the article fails to mention is the cases of obesity among children.
Children who had developed obesity in the US and other major cities tend to place the blame on the food sellers such as McDonald. The author reiterates that while many people blame the eater (children), the blame should be made on the food makers. I agree with the author on the fact that many children who are trying to get affordable foods often end up feeding on unhealthy fast foods. Such foods as stated by Aiko and Sturm (855) should not be taken more than once in a single day. However, the author notes how he had to eat fast foods repeatedly since it was the only option for affordable food.
This article explains that there are many cases of diabetes because the fast food industry has grown ten-fold t offer children as well as adults cheaper and easier alternative to affordable foods. Nevertheless, many people working in the restaurants have not realised the dangers that they expose their customers to. I also agree with the fact that ignorance among individuals has contributed to obesity epidemic. While many people yearn for sumptuous foods sold in McDonald, Taco, and KFC, a few understand the risks of obesity that they are exposed to. The fact that Food and Drug Administration does not cover prepared foods, there is little information concerning the caloric contents of such foods.
Additionally, I also contend with the claim that marketing of hazardous fast foods to children is to blame for the heightened rates of obesity among the children. As many fast food companies continue to grow, many children find access to such foods regularly. This has led to unprecedented levels of risks of developing obesity. In this manner, the claim by the author that food sellers are to be blamed for the obesity epidemic. However, the author did not mention the possible effects of sedentary lifestyle and other risk factors such as family history of obesity and lack of warning labels on high-calorie foods.
On the other hand, there are many initiatives that had been introduced in the US such as funding for new bike trails and sidewalks, restrictive labelling of foods and prohibiting marketing of dangerous foods to children. According to the article, such initiatives have the ability of reducing the cases of obesity among school children. High tax for high-fat foods aimed at reducing the production and sale of foods known to cause obesity among the children. According to Gotay et al. (e64-e68), such initiatives are wrought and irrelevant. Balko (Para.3) objects such moves on the basis that they limit the ownership of one’s control of health. The author says that if such regulations are enforced, then certain individuals are forced to be responsible for other people’s problems.
I contend with the claim that individuals have become irresponsible for their own health. While people are supposed to care about their health, many individuals continue to blame the Federal Government on healthcare management. While many consumers continue to develop bad habits, obesity epidemic continues to rise. I also contend that whatever we eat is our own business. While there are many people who think that public health can resolve the issue of obesity, I concur with the writer that our health is a private issue and should not belong to the public health. For instance, Aiko and Sturm (856-860) note that fighting the obesity epidemic starts by change of lifestyle, nutrition as well as physical exercise. These preventive measures are often done privately and not with the help of the government or the public health. However, I disagree with the author on account that healthcare should be privatized. While the government spends millions of shillings in facilitating preventive projects, Dietz (575-596) acknowledge that many people may not be able to afford such initiatives. The cost of health is very high, as such; public health programs aim at initiating preventive measures that target the reduction of diseases and epidemics.
It is true that the contemporary methods of measuring obesity among various populations. The article dubbed, “The Obesity Epidemics and the changes in the Self-reported biases in BMI,” gives a clear insight of how cases of obesity are not fully discovered among individuals. Idyllically, such cases may remain obscure for a longer period of time without the knowledge of the public health officials. I agree with the author that biases subject to social desirability as well as recall errors have led to poor reporting of obesity cases in many countries. As such, this event has facilitated increased cases of obesity leading to unimaginable obesity epidemic.
The author notes that BMI measurement error leads to underestimation of the BMI that can be used to determine the case of obesity among individuals. I also contend with Aiko and Sturm on the fact that media coverage on the cases of obesity has uncovered the lack of awareness among individuals and their weights. According to Aiko and Sturm (4), poor reporting of BMI is one of the faults that ostensibly cause lack of awareness on obesity and related disorders. However, the media has played an imminent role that has transformed lives of many individuals by exposing the disparities in BMI self-reports and the actual BMI reports.
While the bias in self-reporting has been cited as one of the reasons why obesity is growing rapidly in the US, Aiko and Sturm (3) note that measuring of the BMI should include the detailed analyses that will minimise the errors that occur during measurement of the procedures. While the media has been proactive in raising obesity awareness in the recent times, Aiko and Sturm (5) note that the problem of error in self-reporting has led to poor accuracy in estimating the number of individuals who suffer from obesity. To this end, acknowledge that there are possibilities of the obesity epidemic becoming out of control.
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Individuals only continue to gain weight when there are no weight reduction initiatives. As such, it is important to institute proper weight and height measuring techniques that ensure accuracy in reporting the BMIs of individuals. The BMI measurement remains the commonest way of determining whether an individual is obese or not. In this manner, it is imperative as stated by Aiko and Sturm (5) to use techniques that teach individual populations on the obesity epidemic.
On the contrary, I disagree with the claims of the author that the outburst of obesity epidemic is due to errors in measuring the BMI among individuals. Ideally, there are many factors that have changed over time concerning how individuals view healthy choices. Awareness on the obesity issues help in adopting preventive measures that help many individuals in preventing obesity. In this manner, the author should have included lack of information as one of the main facilitators of obesity. A mixture of factors leads to the development of obesity. In this manner, note that erroneous measurement of the BMI can only be counted as a secondary factor in the development of obesity epidemic.
The American Heart Association indicates that many Americans are dealing with complications of obesity in the United States. This is a confirmation that this condition has become a major epidemic. Individuals have chosen unhealthy lifestyles that continue to facilitate the development of the epidemic. With the increased trends in technology, sedentary lifestyles have replaced the manual techniques that ensured physical activities among individuals. On the other side, resisting food cues has been a major problem among many individuals suffering from weight problems. As such, there is a major problem in dealing with nutrition and lifestyle than dealing with BMI measurement errors. However, Aiko and Sturm (4) are also right since raising awareness on obesity can help people in remaining fully aware and capable of regulating risks that can initiate the development of obesity. To this end, it is evident that obesity epidemic is dependent on variant factors that should be considered while preventing the condition.
Dietz, William. “The Response of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Obesity Epidemic.” Annual review of public health 36 (2015): 575-596.
Gotay, Carolyn, et al. “Updating the Canadian obesity maps: an epidemic in progress.” Can J Public Health 104.1 (2012): e64-e68.
Hattori, Aiko, and Roland Sturm. “The obesity epidemic and changes in self-report biases in BMI.” Obesity 21.4 (2013): 856-860.
Radley, Balko. “What you Eat is your Business.” Commentary (2004): Para.1-16
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