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Obesity in Children

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It is a shame that so many children are obese. I am shocked that 2 million deaths each year can be contributed to physical inactivity (Wharry, 2002). The "How we Grew so Big" article is about the evolutionary reasons behind obesity. I worked in a factory this past summer where there was very physical labour. I ate way more food than I had before I started working there but was a lot slimmer by the end of my contract. Even though the sudden increase in activity in my life reduced my body fat, most of the other workers there were overweight. This leads me to believe that obesity is more of a societal issue than an evolutionary issue. I've had friends who were morbidly obese; one of whom would tell me "I know when I'm full because it gets hard to breathe". Last time I checked, that means you're over full! I have personally struggled with body image issues and am now exactly the correct and healthy BMI, yet by many people's standards would be considered "festively plump". I think that conflicting messages sent to people through media and healthcare providers over what "healthy weight" is, is a cause of obesity. Part of esteem in our society has to do with power, possessions and high luxury. Part of luxury is being catered to, having food made for you. It is hard to achieve this luxurious life style of drinking, partying and eating out all the time when we are also crash dieting so to meet the unattainable standards set out by advertisements and celebrities.

If our lives are filled with inactivity and overeating, why are our pets so fat too? "Twenty-five % of cats of dogs are heavier that they should be" (Lenonick, 2004). It seems to me that if one is so lethargic as to not play with their pet, to the point that said animal is overweight, there is more than an evolutionary explanation to obesity. Though it may seem Marxist of me to write, people would be happier and probably slimmer if they were more connected to their places of work and community and had some kind of tangible association with the food they were putting into their mouth. The move from farms to urban areas in industrialized nations has reduced physical labour and also changed the way we relate to food.

Lenonick, Michael D. 06/04/04 (Online). How we grew So Big. TIME magazine. Available at: accessed Feb 18 2005.

Wharry, Steven. 04/15/2002 (Online). The war on fat enters a new phase. eCMAJ. Available at: Accessed Feb 18 2005

I too worked in a factory last summer and it does change your eating habits and the way you look. Depending of what you're doing in a factory of course. I worked with heavy steel. So part of my job was to move it off a cutting table. At the end of the summer I was toned. I ate at least 3 large meals a day and a ton of snacks in between to compensate for the constant burning of calories. It' threw me off at first and then by the end I was used to it. I was healthy, weight wise and in general. I've seen it and you must have too, people look for ways of avoiding any physical activeness at the work place. I'm not talking about straining themselves, but doing a little more then they have to. Why not? Why make yourself more tired then you already are? I too witnessed that a lot of my co-workers were overweight. You'd think that their line of work would give them some type of a workout. I didn't mind it at all. I hated the fact that I had to work, but it was like I was getting a free gym membership out of it and I'm getting paid.

It's all part of life. I don't want to do that again. I didn't enjoy working



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