Sample Essay on Epidemiology of Obesity

Epidemiology of Obesity

A key reason for choosing the topic is that the health problem has received attention globally. Additionally, I have a cousin suffering from obesity; therefore, I thought selecting it would enable me to find relevant information about his health problem. Furthermore, I chose this topic because I am a nutrition student and dealing/ treating individuals with obesity is something that I will encounter in my career.

Obesity is a condition that is associated with having many fats in the body. Individuals with obesity may have symptoms of some health conditions like high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure, difficulties in breathing, and joint pain. It has various impacts on the body, for instance, one can develop difficulties in breathing, hypertension, fatigue, and failure to cope with some physical activity (Ewa, Sawicka and Krzysztof 104). All these health problems can result in cardiovascular diseases like stroke and coronary heart disease. Obesity is socially transmitted, for instance, studies indicate that the possibility of one getting fats if a friend becomes fat is 57% and a whopping of 171% if they are closely related. This is also because friends share activities like exercising and eating that can result in an increase in weight ((Ewa, Sawicka and Krzysztof 104). Obesity agents include consuming fatty foods and lack of exercise. The attributes of the agents include high fat content in the consumed meals. The induction period of obesity in rats and mice is a period of 3 to 4 month.

Human obesity can be portrayed in Stone Age artifacts, in specific varied figurines that were realized within a 2000 kilometer band. Paleolithic statutes, produced some 23,000-25,000 years ago. The symptoms of obesity were identified among the early modern man in Europe about 35,000 years ago (Dawn-centre 1). Maybe the most famous and earliest evidence of obesity is the Venus of Wilendorf, located in Austria that probably played a significant role in rituals. Just like other figurines, the Venus portrayed apparent abdominal obesity and drooping breasts. Man started to possess property and domestic animals between 8000 to 5500B.C. This era resulted in the production of various statutes representing obesity. Anthropological studies also show that hunters and gatherers were lean and their overweight was also abnormal, although the rise in their capability to store fats would result in clear survival benefits ( 1).

There are various therapies can be used to treat obesity. They include:

Dietary modification. An individual can be able to manage obesity if he/she maintains his/her diet. For instance, one can reduce intake of calories and maintain his/her nutrition. One is also supposed to take in foods that have low fat content.

Behavior Modification. The fundamental objective of behavior modification therapy is to change exercise and eating habits. This can be attained through having short term and long term goals pertaining weight loss. Reducing consumption of specific types of foods, and consuming specific foods on specific days (Farah, and Cheryl 415). An individual can also reduce the quantity of fats in the body through exercise. This can be done through riding a bike, hiking stairs, and doing more exercise. One can also avoid obesity through avoiding fatty diets like dairy or wheat products, fish, and meat. The weight loss drugs approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating obesity include phentermine, orlistat, sibutramine, and beta-methyl-phenylethylamine.

Obesity has some impacts on the society, for instance, it has vital impacts on the society like expenses related to the treatment of the disease, and its associated complications, such as hospital care services, drugs, and personal medical care among others ( 1).

Incidence and prevalence of obesity by sex. There was no variation in the prevalence of obesity between men and women. Among non-Hispanic black adults, 37.1% and 56.6% of men and women respectively were obese (Ogden, Cynthia et al 1).

Incidence and prevalence of obesity by age. Studies carried out in the United States between 2011 and 2012 indicated that 34.9% of adults were obese. The incidence and prevalence of obesity were higher among middle-aged adults (39.5%) and 30.3% among younger adults (Ogden, Cynthia et al 1).

Incidence and prevalence of Obesity by geographical area. The prevalence of obesity was high in Americas World Health Organizations (WHO) regions. For instance, 62% of both men and women are obese. In South East Asia, 3% of both men and women were obese.

            Incidence and prevalence of obesity by race. The prevalence of obesity was higher among Non-Hispanic black than and Hispanic with 47.8% and 42.5% respectively. Most of the non-Hispanic White adults had obesity compared with non-Hispanic Asian adults with 32.6% and 10.8% respectively (Ogden, Cynthia et al 1).

            Incidence and prevalence of obesity by time. The United States has experienced a reduction in prevalence of obesity since 2003. For instance, the prevalence of obesity for children aged below five years in 2003-2004 was 13.9% while in 2011-2012 it was 8.4%.

The main reasons that explain time, age, sex, race/geographical differences in incidence and prevalence in obesity are variations in the systems. For instance, different countries have varied systems that have been implemented to help in solving the problem of obesity.  Differences in the level of education also explain variations in the rates of prevalence of obesity, for instance, individuals with high levels of education are most likely not to suffer from obesity compared with individuals with high levels of education ( 1). Time differences, for example, it may be caused by changes in treatment therapies and access to different types of drugs. Geographical differences may be caused by differences in the availability of different groups of food consumed by its citizens.

Other factors relating to variability and prevalence of obesity include socioeconomic variations.  A study carried out in England indicated that the rates of obesity were high among individuals with low levels of education, and women with lower education levels. Studies further indicate that low social economic status in childhood is related to an increase in body mass Index in adulthood (Canoy and Buchan 11).

One of the current issues about obesity is thegrowing concern on the prevalence of obesity among children. There is a controversy on the definition of obesity in children and teenagers, and this makes it challenging to approximate the exact prevalence (Sansbury and Bradford 21). There is also an ethical dilemma on the benefits of bariatric surgery, whereby the procedure for carrying out the surgery has various consequences.

In conclusion, obesity is a global health problem and there is a need for it to be addressed. There are various causes of obesity as explained, and they can be controlled through control of diet, exercise or by seeking medication.

Works Cited

Canoy, D, & I Buchan. ‘Challenges in Obesity Epidemiology’. 1.1 (2007): 1-11. Print. ‘Differences in Prevalence of Obesity among Black, White, and Hispanic Adults — United States, 2006–2008’. N. p., 2014. Web. 4 Jun. 2014. Retrieved from

           This article explores reasons for differences in prevalence of obesity among Black, White, and Hispanic Adults in the United States. It also gives prevalence of obesity according to ethnicity.

Dawn Center. ‘History of Obesity.’ N. p., 2014. Web. 4 Jun. 2014. Retrieved from

           This article provides a description of the history of obesity.

Ewa, Kostrzewa-Zabłocka1, Sawicka Agnieszka, & Krzysztof Marczewski. ‘Is Obesity Caused By The Lack Of Knowledge?’ 8 (2008): 104-106. Print.

Farah, Claudes, and Cheryl M. Salome “Asthma and Obesity: A Known Association but unknown Mechanism.” Respirology 17.3 (2012): 412-421. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 June 2014. ‘The Global Challenge of Obesity and the International Obesity Task Force | IUNS’. N. p., 2014. Web. 4 Jun. 2014. Retrieved from

            This article explores challenges of obesity around the globe. It also provide solutions to obesity

Mohamed, Zakir K., & Stephen E. Attwood. “Oesophageal Dysfunction and Disease in Obesity.” British Journal of Medical Practitioners 4.2 (2011): 17-22. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 June 2014. ‘What are the Signs and Symptoms of Overweight and Obesity? – NHLBI, NIH’. N. p., 2014. Web. 4 Jun. 2014. Retrieved from

            This article analyzes the signs and symptoms of overweight and obesity.

Ogden, Cynthia et al. ‘Products – Data Briefs – Number 131 – October 2013’. N. p., 2014. Web. 8 Jun. 2014.

Sansbury, Brian E, & Bradford G Hill. ‘Regulation of Obesity and Insulin Resistance by Nitric Oxide’. Free Radical Biology and Medicine (2014): n. pag. Print. ‘Obesity Treatment | Conditions & Treatments | UCSF Medical Center’. N. p., 2014. Web. 4 Jun. 2014. Retrieved from

            This article explores treatments that can be given to patients with obesity.