Obesity and the Media

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Obesity and weight gain have been a rising issue in societies all over the world when looking at recent years. For instance, the number of obese people in the world has already doubled since only 1980 and in 2008 alone, it was reported that about 1 in 10 people in the world were obese. Clearly there are some roots to this problem, but what's primarily to blame, no one knows.

Though this body type is becoming more and more visible in our society, a lot of the health conditions and risks that go along with this lifestyle go unnoticed by others or obese people themselves. Not only can a high BMI and case of obesity cause serious cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke, but also severe diabetes and various types of cancers.

It's hard to say what the exact cause of this weight epidemic is, but it is obvious that our society seems to be infatuated with it. There are a handful of popular TV shows watched every day that deal with obesity and some even weight loss, such as Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, Ruby (the reality show based on the life of an obese woman), DietTribe, etc. We also are constantly seeing celebrities on air promoting their weight loss supplements and programs.

http://www.hotspot106.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/hart1a_jennifer_hudson_weight_watchers_spokesperson.jpg

http://woooha.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/queen.jpg

It is possible that this massive media attention brought towards the scene of obesity could be one of the causes of its growth over the decades. When obese people see these shows and their immense popularity, it acts as a type of positive reinforcement in that if they continue to be obese, they could get themselves a reality show or a chance to lose weight to win a huge amount of money. To show the other side of these great incentives, here's an interview with a Biggest Loser winner and his struggle for steady health.

Others, however, argue that by bringing more media attention to the scene of obesity, it shows those with the condition the realities of their condition and holds the chance to shed more much needed light on the situation and help them make a change.

My question is this: if we keep bringing media attention to the issue of obesity, will it further perpetuate its growth by reinforcing others to be obese, or pose a change that will try to eliminate its stance in our societies?


Sources:
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/index.html

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This page contains a single entry by mccud001 published on November 6, 2011 9:22 PM.

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