Obesity: A Critical Approach Essay Sample

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A Critical Approach In today’s rapid-paced world, there are a countless number of ways to die that it almost seems freighting to go outside and function within any society; you could get hit by a car or be shot in a violent protest, but people fail to realize that one of the leading causes of preventable death in today’s society is obesity. As fat builds in the body, it begins to clog arteries and negatively affect many of the body’s vital organs. For instance, obesity, if untreated, can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and gallstones just to name a few (Obesity, 2014). It is therefore important that individuals who are battling obesity confront the issue head on and treat it as a life-long commitment of change and healthy dieting. According to Obesity (2014), “the chances of long-term successful weight loss are enhanced if the doctor works with a team of professionals, including dietitians, psychologists, and exercise professionals” (para. 7). This shows that dieting and exercise are only two of the factors to consider when treating obesity; one must consider the psychological triggers in order to ward off obesity in the future and stay focused on increasing their overall level of health through a holistic treatment.

Although many health experts claim that dieting alone can be a cure-all for patients that are battling the disease of obesity, it is vital to the success of these patients battling the disease that they implement a holistic approach to their treatment that includes a focus on both physical and psychological factors. Academic Knowledge Coming from a background of highly educated professionals, I understand that assessing accredited academic information is the key purpose of all academic and professional pursuits. As a means of bettering my understanding of the influences of academic knowledge in relation to obesity, I conducted research to better inform myself on the impacts of academic knowledge on Comment [H1]: Title provided at the top of page 2. Comment [H2]: Clear thesis statement stated in the introduction Comment [H3]: Subheadings used throughout, helping the reader to negotiate through the essay.

Comment [H4]: As requested in the assignment instructions, the writer is guiding us through his thinking and subsequent actions. The writer is being reflexive. OBESITY 3 the social elements and institutions of both local and global communities. Conducting educated arguments in social settings is a vital part of social evolution and is therefore increased through the application of academic knowledge and ideas. The review of the effects of academic knowledge on the social elements and institutions of local and global communities communicates to readers that I understand, on a critical level, the importance of academic knowledge and its significance in a social community setting. Companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook have all been greatly affected by the pursuits and implementations of academic knowledge. Academic knowledge can be defined as any topic that utilizes critical thought and is accepted within the academic community as being valid through support of first hand accredited research.

Highly educated employees, who are constantly seeking out new forms of academic knowledge, are the wheels that have driven companies like Google, Apple and Facebook to the top of their business markets. However, academic knowledge within a community is only relative to the amount of social capital that exists within said community. If social capital is the webbing of a community that is made up of members that form to create opinions and policies on political, social, and economic values then it is up to the member’s level of academic knowledge to determine just how high the community will end up functioning (Putnam, 1995). As more and more members pursue academic knowledge and increase their understanding of the world and its functions, the level of educated opinions will rise, which will positively affect the deliberations that exist within the social capital of their local community. This is an important concept when discussing the social institutions of local communities as the introduction of technology has left local community events and boards sparse while online communication boards continue to thrive (Sander, 2010).

It is therefore Comment [H5]: According to the assignment instructions, the impact of academic knowledge should be discussed. OBESITY 4 important that local communities work to increase their academic knowledge and then apply it through critical thinking to increase their social capital. With the introduction of the internet, the world has quickly become a smaller and smaller place as people are able to communicate with each other on a range of topics as if they were sitting within the same room as one another. This means that the spread of ideas and opinions is now happening at an exponential rate, which is incomparable to any time within our history as a species. It is important that all members of the global community understand and pursue academic knowledge so as to properly identify and evaluate facts from fiction within their social community.

For instance, following the recent happening within Ferguson, Missouri, many different opinions have surfaced around what truly happened that day; some which hold some level of validity and some which have been proven false by educated professionals within their field. It is up to the viewers of the global community in every social setting to utilize the functions of academic knowledge and critical thinking in order to derive their own educated opinion on the matter and not just believe the first bit of unexamined information that they are presented with. As a person increases their own level of academic knowledge, on any topic, they are simultaneously increasing the likelihood that they will be able to spread said knowledge through the internet into social institutions across the globe. Literature Review Throughout the research phase of this project, I researched numerous academic documents in order to increase my own level of understanding about the holistic treatments of obesity as I was not highly informed on the topic before beginning the project.

Understanding, on a critical level, the available accredited literature that exists on a topic is a crucial first step when developing an academically based research paper. The academic resources on a topic are Comment [H6]: The literature review, a required element, begins. Comment [H7]: More reflexive talk. OBESITY 5 important as they provide insight to the latest perceptions on the research topic, which can be utilized as fact as the resources are not opinionated or speculated points of view, but rather a gathering of researched topics that can be proven by accredited professionals in the field in which the topic originates. The following literature review has been affixed to this research paper as a means of revealing to the audience that I have utilized and critically understand the relevant and accredited resources that exist on the topic of holistically treating the disease of obesity.

Beginning and continuing an exercise routine can be very challenging as it is a program that requires constant implementation of dedication, forgiveness, and mental health practices; which is the underlying message that is portrayed in Laurel Dierking’s blog Sticking With Your Aerobic Routine Long-Term. Dierking belongs to the widely referenced national federation of professional trainers (NFPT) and therefore possesses a stance or bias that tries to convince her audience members that no matter who they are, their exercise ambitions are definitely achievable, they just have to be ready to dedicate themselves to a positive and energetic routine. The utilization of bias throughout Dierking’s blog is positive and is in the stance of selfmotivation. The blog focuses on the ambitious outlook that Dierking is attempting to persuade her audience to embrace. Dierking’s point of view aligns with those of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) in which the blog is hosted.

Dierking’s stance on fighting obesity are reinforced by her graduates degree in the field and years of first-hand experience working as a health and fitness professional as well as a yoga instructor at JKFITNESS (Dierking, 2014). The blog’s messages are relevant to the research topic as they are concentrated on the holistic actions that the audience must embrace in order to conquer obesity and live a successful and healthier lifestyle. For instance, according to Dierking (2014), “if you notice that you are frequently Comment [H8]: Author and title given. Ordinarily in an essay, there’s no need to give the title as that can be found in the reference section. In a Literature Review, it’s good to give both author and title. OBESITY 6 talking yourself out of your exercise routine that you worked so hard to build; it may be time to do some self-evaluation” (para. 1). In this proclamation, Dierking suggests that when one encounters obstacles during an exercise routine, it is vital that they inspect oneself with analytical thought and analysis in order to determine where the obstacles are originating from.

Another online source that portrays the importance of treating obesity with methods beyond just diet and exercise is a video that portrays an interview with channel five’s WABI host and Dr. David Prescott, entitled Healthy Living: Mind Body Connection; Obesity & Mental Health. In the interview, Dr. Prescott clarifies the connections that exist between mental health status and the disease of obesity. Dr. Prescott’s bias is aligned with understanding the underlying mental prognosis that triggers an individual to act on impulses that led to their obesity; a viewpoint that is aligned with Dr. Prescott’s profession as a licensed health advisor. The bias tendency in the interview works to inspire obese audience members to reflect within and focus on gaining an understanding around the complications that have caused their bingeeating behaviors in the first place.

The evidence that Dr. Prescott reviews is sound and meets the standards of academic scrutiny. Dr. Prescott is an esteemed and highly-educated professional in the health advisory community whose background and familiarity on the topic more than qualify him to weigh-in on the subject. The evidence discussed by Dr. Prescott is pertinent to the holistic treatment of obesity as it goes beyond the typical treatments of diet and exercise and focuses on the mental health quality of patients that are battling the disease which has now reached epidemic proportions in developed countries. According to Dr. Prescott (2012), “sometimes the psychological problems lead to the medical eating condition and sometimes the medical condition leads to the psychological problems” (para. 5). This statement emphasizes the fact that regardless of the dieting and exercise routines that a patient has adapted while Comment [H9]: Multimedia source OBESITY 7 combating the disease, it is probable that a psychological infestation is playing a defeating role in their chances for success against obesity.

An important media-based resource that covers a holistic treatment regimen against obesity is a podcast entitled Aging: The Obesity Problem. In the online podcast, Dr. Lotta Granholm covers the cultural facets of obesity and argues that American culture is contributing to the rising level of obesity within the United States. Dr. Granholm’s bias is focused around the development of an increase in living an active lifestyle, while also addressing the cultural values and practices that have contributed to the sedimentary lifestyle that can be found in developed nations. Bias can also be found in the tone of the podcast as Dr. Granholm discusses her Western-European cultural background and how it is connected to practices that can lead to obesity. The detailed information that is discussed throughout the podcast is academically valid as Dr. Granholm not only possesses a doctorate in the field, but she also hold the title of director of the Center on Aging.

Dr. Granholm’s statements substantiate the discussion of approaching obesity from a holistic standpoint as she addresses the cultural clarification that one must understand before they will be able to successfully identify and address the underlying behaviors that are linked to their battle with obesity. For example, Dr. Granholm discusses that the United States ingestion of Tran’s fats is the leading cause of obesity; yet these Trans fats are provided to children at athletic concession stands in sports parks in almost every state (Granholm, 2014). By discussing this link, Dr. Granholm provides a concise connection between negative dieting practices and cultural practices within United States. This distinction verifies the relevance of the podcast to the discussion surrounding the holistic treatments that should be provided to those who are battling obesity. Comment [H10]: Third source OBESITY 8 Another web-based resource that addresses the important of treating obesity from a holistic point of view is an article entitled Obesity: What Mental Health Professionals Need to Know.

In this article, the authors focus on the impact of obesity on individuals and the failure with anti-psychotic drugs to assist in the goals of those battling obesity. Bias exists in the authors tone as they are focusing on proving that simple prescriptions and exercise routines are not enough to defeat obesity; instead, patients need to focus on addressing their own behavioral issues that have led to their condition and then focus on changing the discovered behaviors in order to live a happier and healthier lifestyle. According to Devlin (2000), “it will be important to encourage sensible eating habits, increased physical activity and development of healthy body-related attitudes” (sec. Obesity Treatment, para. 1). The provided data in the article is valid as the data was gathered from and supported by numerous field professionals, journal articles, and health organizations.

The use of academic knowledge and resources throughout the article goes to show that the authors, although portraying their own bias, were willing to conduct massive amounts of research and obtain multiple view-points on the topic before writing and publishing their findings. Furthermore, the article not only focuses on the psychological treatments as a cure-all, but dives deeper into said treatments and works to discredit some of them, such as medications, to show that their bias had little sway over their search for results on the topic of holistically treating obesity. Obesity Discussion After conducting in-depth critiques of articles that deal with the mental and psychological aspects of treating obesity, further self-discussion was needed in order to obtain a critical understanding of the information as I have not implemented my own educated thoughts and views into the research paper. Providing individual insight is a vital part of the research process Comment [H11]: Writer has smartly added a fourth source to the literature review (only 3 are required) so that he can fulfill the requirement to discuss a multimedia source. Comment [H12]: Writer has shared what others have said about obesity.

Now he shares what he has to contribute. Comment [H13]: Reflexive talk OBESITY 9 as one must not only understand the information that is available, but also what their insights, based on the researched information, can provide to the overall topic. For instance, if someone is shown the statistics surrounding obesity, they may not have any specific opinion other than astonishment, but if they stop and review their own life habits and weight spectrum, they may all of the sudden gain further insight into their own struggle with the disease and then be able to provide further evidence for change to the topic and area of discussion. The following discussion of the topic is implemented into the research paper so that I can further my own understanding of the disease and begin to really analyze my own thoughts and approaches to the topic at hand. Obesity has become an epidemic that is on the rise in just about all of the world’s developing countries. The disease is inundated by lower levels of energetic productivity and negative branding by one’s peer groups.

The epidemic is rising and one recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over one-third of adults and seventeen percent of children in the United States are obese (Halting the epidemic, 2011). With the highest number of miracle diet pills and exercise programs currently in play, it is clear that these statistics show that more than just diet and exercise are required in order to affectively combat the disease of obesity. Another issue plaguing people battling obesity are increased costs and lower professional enjoyment. According to Halting the Epidemic (2011), “people who were obese had medical costs that were $1,429 higher than the cost for people of normal body weight. Obesity also has been linked with reduced worker productivity and chronic absence from work” (para. 4).

The increased medical costs and lower productivity at work are hot-button issues within American society right now as medical insurance costs and the increased unemployment rate have both greatly affected the United States population in a negative manner. It is therefore important that people battling the disease start to understand the disease from a holistic stand- OBESITY 10 point so that they may be able to increase their chances of beating the disease and avoiding any negative stigma’s that come along with it. Understanding the causes for failures can lead to an informed plan of attack that will help to improve the likelihood of beating obesity and put a stop to the behaviors that are causing it. For instance, according to Sharma (2014): The biology of the post-weight loss state is nothing like the biology of someone who has never lost weight. There are countless ways in which the psychoneurobiology, energy physiology and metabolism in anyone who has lost weight are remarkably different from someone ‘naturally’ of that weight (para. 4).

This provides evidence that diet and exercise alone are not enough to keep someone who is battling obesity from relapsing and gaining the weight right back after a period of rest in the exercise and diet department. The patients must undergo a complete psychological alteration and begin living their lives as someone who has always been the weight of the overall target goal. To do this, the person must address the psychological triggers that plague them and have caused their obesity in the first place. It is only through this undertaking that increased success around the battle against obesity can be both obtained and maintained going forward. Patients must also learn to identify the external triggers in society and become educated upon how to avoid them. For instance, Nestle recently conducted a Fairtrade campaign in which they urged the substitutions of low-nutrition value foods in developing countries in order to save money and increase company profits (Bendell, 2006).

It is the identification of unhealthy campaigns and practices, such as the one ran by Nestle, which can help those battling obesity to avoid these products in the future and change their habits to include healthier substitutions going forward. OBESITY 11 It is clear that there are many external factors that can shrink the likelihood for success when battling obesity through diet and exercise alone; there are also many internal and psychological factors that can have a far greater effect on a person’s ability to overcome obesity. Many of these internal factors can be traced to childhood habits and psychological events that have helped to secure a person’s position with the disease. For instance, one can obtain firsthand knowledge from an accredited online blogger named Hannah Jones. Hannah has asserted that she has tried just about every diet and exercise program in order to overcome her obesity, but all have left her in disappointment as she has failed to find success with any of the programs (Brave journey, 2009).

Going beyond just the routines of diet and exercise, Hannah’s blog’s focus on the psychological issues and physical practices that have plagued her since childhood. Hannah points to two enabling parents that allowed their only-child to eat sweet treats and drink fizzy pop on a regular basis in order to assure the mental happiness of their daughter as they viewed telling her no as an upsetting trigger that they didn’t want her to deal with (Brave journey, 2009). Due to the freedom and lack of self-control mechanisms that Hannah was given as a child, it has become much harder for her to find success in her adult battle against obesity as she often finds herself reverting back to the practices of her childhood. The psychological battle against obesity can also be as difficult as overcoming personal genetic pre-disposition and cultural advertising attacks that are designed to increase the likelihood of a junk-food relapse. Children are not only battling the metabolic dispositions that were handed down to them by their parents, they are left to battle the environmental factors as well.

For instance, a recent research study shows that there is a psychological link between couples that have gravitated and matched up with each other based on their similar body mass index (BMI) levels (Jayson, 2012). This psychological linkage that exists between similar OBESITY 12 BMI’s puts children that are brought into the family at a significant risk of becoming obese as they are introduced to a psychological predisposition and negative habits at a young age. It is therefore vital that patients address and psychological predispositions that they may have been dealt as a child in order to successfully overcome their battle with obesity. However, patients are not only dealing with their family pre-dispositions, but the calorie-forward marketing campaigns that they view as a child as well. In today’s ever-growing marketplace, children and adults are inundated with marketing campaigns that urge them to give up healthy lifestyles and give-in to the dark side of calorie heavy meals and snacks.

It is therefore vital that patients focus not only their genetic predispositions when attempting to overcoming obesity, but also on the link that exists between their psyche and the ever-growing number of calorie-forward marketing campaigns. Active Citizenship and Obesity As I am no expert on active citizenship, I made sure to review numerous articles discussing active citizenship and its principles in order to build an understanding of how active citizenship can affect the holistic treatment of obesity over the next five to ten years. To understand active citizenship, I had to research different variations of the concept as I am only aware of local actions of active citizenship through voting at elections and other voluntary organizations that I have participated in. Active citizens are the bread and butter that can work to change society and put an end to social, political, and economical injustices. It is therefore vital that all citizens, regardless of their national affiliations, focus on improving their efforts towards active citizenship.

By reviewing the principles of active citizenship and the affects that active citizenship may have on the holistic battle against obesity, the audience will see that I understand Comment [H14]: Another of the required elements, nicely signaled in a subheading. Comment [H15]: More reflexive talk. OBESITY 13 the external influencers of the social issue, as well as gain an understanding of what positive action can accomplish in the relatively near future. Although a level of expert active citizenship participation requires an exhaustive understanding of the world and its functions, it is a relatively easy concept to understand and an even easier one to act on. According to Active Citizenship (2014), “active citizenship should be defined more broadly to encompass active learning for political literacy and empowerment, addressing structures and relations of power and working to change these, where necessary, in the pursuit of social inclusion and social justice agendas” (para. 11).

Active citizens must work together with other members of their community, whether it is a local or global community, to come together in an inclusive manner to build upon one another’s individual knowledge strengths. This functions as the same idea as to why the president has a council of advisors and not just one; more advisors allow for a deeper insight and experience level across a broader spectrum of topics. Developing an understanding around each other’s strengths and experiences allows for each member to develop a sense of empathy towards the other people within their community (Active citizenship, 2014). Another key benefit of a populace of active citizens is the increase in deliberation. When educated people from different backgrounds partake in events such as city council meetings, political elections and even parent teacher association boards, the deliberation that ensues is based on a larger voice as well as a larger educated background.

By partaking in these different acts of services, active citizens are assuring that their voice is heard, while at the same time challenging the current status quo by being active critical citizens. With all of the benefits that come from a large populace of active citizens, it is clear that there are many affects that active citizenship can have on the holistic fight against obesity over the next five to ten years. As people strive to participate in their local and global communities, OBESITY 14 their increase in self-education will provide them with the empowerment they need in order to make educated decisions around obesity, as well as the empowerment to educate members of their communities. For instance, Asian countries have a far lower obesity rate than the United States, which is due in part to their diets and their psychological views on over-eating. As people within the United States continue to empower themselves through active citizenship, they will become better aware of the holistic treatment plan for obesity, which will ultimately increase their abilities to overcome their disease over the next five to ten years.

The strongest two components of active citizenship that will have the greatest affect on the battle against the psychological elements of obesity over the next five to ten years are diversity and tolerance. Active citizenship depends on diversity amongst its service members in order to create a varied and well-educated group that can then go forward to better their societies through the choices and decisions in which they will deliberate on. Diversity in this case is not limited solely to the ethnic or national background of a person; it includes physical size variations and bodily differences as well. The inclusion of patients suffering from obesity, that want to participate as an active citizen, will help to remove the negative stigma and connotation that follows the word obesity, which will help to remove the feelings of guilt and depression that work to cause obesity in the first place.

The improved level of tolerance that already exists within active citizenship will therefore spread to obese active citizens that may have felt like an outcast before. It is therefore important that more and more members of American and global cultures strive to become active citizens in the fight against obesity over the next five to ten years so that the current individualistic fight can become a unified front against obesity. Although many health experts have claimed that dieting alone can be a cure-all for patients that are battling the disease of obesity, this paper has shown that it is vital to the success OBESITY 15 of the patients battling the disease that they implement a holistic approach to their treatment that includes a focus on both physical and psychological factors. Many aspects must be examined when discussing and preparing any academic project on the holistic treatments of obesity.

By understanding the distinct correlation between academic knowledge and social communities, one can better understand how to use and assess all of the academic information that they encounter. The article critiques also help to provide a strong understanding of the available information on the psychological ailments that limit patient’s success when battling obesity. In order to then overcome obesity, the patients must address their own psychological triggers, their mental and physical predispositions to the disease, and the mental advertising campaigns that are aimed at their obesity triggers. After initiating critical thought within these areas and further the advancement of academic knowledge around the topic of mental disorders and obesity, patients can rest assure that they will have successfully erased death by obesity off of their list of ways to die.


(2014). Active citizenship. Areas of Work, Retrieved from http://changesuk.net/themes/activecitizenship/ Bendell, J., & Shah, S. (2006). World review. The Journal of Corporate Citizenship, (22), 5-17. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/211963829?accountid=32521 Brave journey into the psychology of obesity. (2009, May 06). The Western Morning News Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/335163067?accountid=32521 Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (2011). Halting the epidemic by making health easier. Retrieved from website: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/obesity.htm Devlin, M. J., Yanovski, S. Z., & Wilson, G. T. (2000). Obesity: What mental health professionals need to know. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 157(6), 854-66. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/220463779?accountid=32521 Dierking, L. (2014). Sticking with your aerobic routing long-term [Blog]. Obesity Action Coalition Blog. Retrieved from http://www.obesityaction.org/sticking-with-your-aerobicroutine-long-term Granholm, L. (Performer) (2014). Aging: The obesity problem. MUSC Health Audio Podcasts. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.muschealth.com/multimedia/Podcasts/displayPod.aspx?podid=636
Jayson, S. (2012, Aug 02). From brain to mouth: The psychology of obesity. USA TODAY Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1030734842?accountid=32521 Obesity: Get the Facts on Guidelines and Statistics. (2014, January 1). Retrieved November 11, 2014, from http://www.medicinenet.com/obesity_weight_loss/article.htm OBESITY 17 Prescott, D. (Performer) (2012). Healthy living: Mind body connection; obesity & mental health [Web]. Available from http://wabi.tv/2012/02/07/healthy-living-mind-body-connectionobesity-mental-health/ Putnam, R.D. (1995). Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. Journal of Democracy, 65-78. Retrieved from the Project Muse database Sander, T., & Putnam, R.D. (2010) “Still Bowling Alone?: The Post-9/11 Split.” Journal of Democracy 21.1 (2010): 9-16. Project MUSE. Web. 2 Dec. 2014. . Sharma, A. (2014). Why diet and exercise is not a treatment for obesity. Dr. Sharma’s Obesity Notes, Retrieved from http://www.drsharma.ca/obesity-why-diet-and-exercise-is-not-atreatment-for-obesity.html

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