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Who is responsible for the rise in obesity?
EmaxHealth ^ | 2014-01-24 | Dr. Harold Mandell

Posted on 01/25/2014 8:05:47 PM PST by Armen Hareyan

The catastrophic rise in obesity across the United States and worldwide has been making headlines. Obesity is associated with a myriad of physical and emotional problems which can be life threatening. It appears modern lifestyles with too much junk food and not enough exercise are largely to blame, and yet who is actually responsible for things going this far wherein the overall health of the entire human species is at risk from obesity?

Researchers sought to determine who it is the public perceives of as being most responsible for the rise in obesity, reported the journal Appetite. The researchers also wanted to identify the determinants for such perceptions. They conducted a nationwide survey of 800 U.S. individuals. The respondents were asked in regard to three categories, primarily, somewhat, and not to blame for the rise in obesity, to list the following seven entities:

1: Food manufacturers

2: Grocery stores

3: Restaurants

4: Government policies

5: Farmers

6: Individuals

7: Parents

Eighty percent of the respondents said individuals were primarily to blame for the catastrophic rise in obesity. Parents were noted to be the next-most blameworthy group, with 59% ascribing them primary blame.

Fast food restaurants have been hit with a great deal of the blame for the rise in obesity in the United States, but questions have been raised regarding the validity of this blame, reports College of Aces on Jan. 22, 2014. The research survey, which was conducted by two food economists, has revealed that most people believe that individuals are to blame for their own obesity, not restaurants, grocery stores, farmers, or government policies.

An implication which has arisen from this research is that creating and enforcing public policies to help lower obesity and/or to encourage healthier food choices may not be as effective as policy makers would like to think. Brenna Ellison, a researcher at the University of Illinois, has explained that she and her colleague, Jayson Lusk at Oklahoma State University, have both been interested in the effectiveness of different food policies. However, previous research has shown many of the food policies which are designed to improve food choices, such as requiring calorie information on restaurant menus and taxing sugar-sweetened beverages, do not always produce the results which are intended. Questions have arisen as to why these policies are meeting with failure.

Ellison has said, “Obesity is in the news every day so it would be hard to say that people are unaware of the policy initiatives in place to reduce U.S. obesity rates.” Ellison takes the position that a more likely conclusion is that the beliefs of consumers do not necessarily align themselves with the beliefs of policy makers and public health advocates. We like to think of the United States as an individualistic based society, and so it’s not really surprising that we would put this responsibility for obesity on ourselves.

The online survey used for this survey was administered by Clear Voice Research whose registry of panelists is said to be representative of the U.S. population in terms of socioeconomic characteristics, gender, and region. The survey responders took the position that farmers and grocery stores were relatively blameless for the upsetting rise in obesity. The researchers found that farmers and people who received food stamps were more likely to blame government and farm policy for this problem. The researchers were surprised by this, feeling that opinion would not be expected from people who are benefiting from those policies. However, it appears these individuals may be in the best position to observe the potential harm which some government policies create.

This is an interesting evaluation of the problem of determining who is ultimately responsible for the obesity epidemic. Although it is fair enough to say that individuals should take some of the responsibility for this problem, I also perceive of other factors which should be evaluated in more depth. In particular placing the blame primarily on the individual does not seem fair to me when you give consideration to literal forms of brainwashing by aggressive marketers of junk food and the offering of junk food which is literally addicting.

However, it does make sense for people on food stamps to blame government policies for this serious problem, because most of these people appear to feel strained economic conditions due to government policies have pushed them into the welfare system wherein they can hardly afford to buy as much healthy food as they would like. What we therefore come up with is that the problem of obesity has multidimensional causes, all of which should be taken into account in efforts to deal more effectively with obesity. The problem begins in childhood with childhood obesity being at epidemic levels and needing better intervention, as I have reported upon in a separate article for EmaxHealth.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: healthcare; obesity; obesityinusa
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The only way to curb obesity in the United States is to change our lifestyles and improve food quality. How do we do that?
1 posted on 01/25/2014 8:05:48 PM PST by Armen Hareyan
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To: Armen Hareyan

Mostly fat people, I’d guess.


2 posted on 01/25/2014 8:06:25 PM PST by Baynative (Got bulbs? Check my profile page.)
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To: Armen Hareyan

Obama fighting obesity with new label laws (by executive order)

http://asspos.blogspot.com/2014/01/obama-fighting-obesity-with-new-label.html


3 posted on 01/25/2014 8:07:10 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Armen Hareyan
Bush's fault.


4 posted on 01/25/2014 8:10:07 PM PST by MuttTheHoople (Nothing is more savage and brutal than justifiably angry Americans. Don’t believe me? Ask the Germa)
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To: Armen Hareyan
" It appears modern lifestyles with too much junk food and not enough exercise are largely to blame,"

In a depression economy, people eat what they can afford.
5 posted on 01/25/2014 8:11:00 PM PST by clearcarbon
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To: Armen Hareyan

Simon bar Sinister?


6 posted on 01/25/2014 8:11:03 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Armen Hareyan

Fat Peeps are responsible for themselves.


7 posted on 01/25/2014 8:11:29 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: Armen Hareyan
The only way to curb obesity in the United States is to change our lifestyles...

We are a prosperous nation, a result of our capitalist lifestyle. Give Obama a chance and he'll change that lifestyle. then we will all be skinny as Ethiopians.

8 posted on 01/25/2014 8:11:58 PM PST by RC one
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To: RC one

If you like your fat body...you can keep your fat body.


9 posted on 01/25/2014 8:13:29 PM PST by ogen hal (First amendment or reeducation camp)
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To: Armen Hareyan

ya cant fix stupid but ya can enable it EBT


10 posted on 01/25/2014 8:13:31 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: Armen Hareyan

HFCS


11 posted on 01/25/2014 8:19:11 PM PST by Pox (Good Night. I expect more respect tomorrow.)
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To: RC one
then we will all be skinny as Ethiopians Kenyans.
12 posted on 01/25/2014 8:22:40 PM PST by mountn man (The Pleasure You Get From Life Is Equal To The Attitude You Put Into It)
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To: clearcarbon

There is some truth to that, and poor people are in a depressed economy most of the time. The wealthy who are fat, do not know how to quit eating the wrong things.

The smaller percentage amount may have either thyroid issues, health issues, or other things affecting weight.

Proteins like meat, etc are more expensive than carbs like bread. Balance and restraint are the key.

I think the man who ate at McDonalds for 90 days and lost weight proved that by his portions and choices.


13 posted on 01/25/2014 8:25:24 PM PST by Kackikat
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To: clearcarbon
" It appears modern lifestyles with too much junk food and not enough exercise are largely to blame,"

And who's to blame for that in children, wait ... its on the tip of my tongue ... I can see it in my mind's eye .... Ummm, OH YES, PARENTS [or in a lot of cases, PARENT] !!!

Go for Mickey D's every night, KFC, pizza, soda, etc.

They'd be better off eating their peas ...

14 posted on 01/25/2014 8:25:37 PM PST by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Armen Hareyan; All

SPOONS !


15 posted on 01/25/2014 8:25:50 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK (I'm not afraid to say what i mean nor should you be afraid of what you know to be true !)
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To: Armen Hareyan

Shut down Monsanto would be a good first start !


16 posted on 01/25/2014 8:26:43 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK (I'm not afraid to say what i mean nor should you be afraid of what you know to be true !)
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To: Armen Hareyan
"The catastrophic rise in obesity across the United States and worldwide..."

Who is responsible for the rise in obesity?

Perhaps the War on Poverty? The poor starving wretched masses have been replaced by people who not only have enough to eat, they have a surplus and no need to do the work which used to burn the calories.

Catch 22

/s

(BTW, I have seen people, young & old, starve to death. Believe me, obesity is NOT a "catastrophe".)

17 posted on 01/25/2014 8:28:10 PM PST by BwanaNdege
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To: Armen Hareyan
This is what I don't get...

If Obesity causes people to die young... isn't that a good thing from governments point of view?

I mean... if everyone dies before they are old enough to collect social security and Medicaid ... wouldn't that be a huge savings to the government? and if tons die early from eating a lot... doesn't that just ease the world wide over population problem?

I am not being mean here, but I am just pointing out how weird it is that government the one entity that would actually benefit for people dying earlier is the one most obsessed with fixing the issue.

18 posted on 01/25/2014 8:30:08 PM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: Armen Hareyan

Hand to mouth is to blame....

What people choose to put in their mouth, how often, and measure of is determined by the individual. And if they sit in front of their computers hours on end, chomping away at snacks.....well guess what...you are going to put on weight.

People have become furniture.....people eat out, stop and grab something, not realizing if they prepare their own food even that is burning up calories more than a pick up.

If people aren’t “Moving” throughout their day then they will put on weight. Most of the kids today are simply idol...and their parents aren’t far behind them.


19 posted on 01/25/2014 8:31:38 PM PST by caww
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To: Armen Hareyan
We are our own worst enemies. Cut out the starches and carbs, go on a lean and green diet, and watch the pounds melt off. Or get comfortable with high blood pressure and diabetes. Our choice to make.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

20 posted on 01/25/2014 8:31:44 PM PST by wku man (We are the 53%! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUXN0GDuLN4)
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