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Essay: How can socioeconomic factors shape the obesity problem?

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  • Subject area(s): Sociology essays
  • Reading time: 2 minutes
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  • Published: 3 October 2015*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 443 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 2 (approx)

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The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically over the world particularly in developing country . The burden of obesity at the level of health and financial aspects has been well documented , obesity is defined according to WHO as a body mass index equal or greater than 30kg/m2. The research trends is to study obesity by health disparities perspective (Differences which are unnecessary and avoidable) which test how health is distributed across socioeconomic group . There are large number of cross sectional studies give estimation and image about obesity around the world . Moreover,there are a numbers of other studies that go beyond the root causes of obesity properly . so its suggest how can socioeconomic factors shape the obesity problem .
By using studies published in social science and medicine used data for 67 around the world to examine how SES and obesity is related . some research studies used body mass index as a measure and look at association between obesity and SES (such as income , education , occupation ) and the findings suggest that in low income countries , people with higher SES tend to be more obese in contrast to high income countries , people with higher SES may show more respond to healthy eat and doing physical activity . Not only that , but also other research studies using a life course approach to explain socioeconomic inequalities on obesity , and these studies reveal varied finding by SES indicators . For example, sobal and stunkard found a negative association ( lower SES associated with larger body size in highly developed country which characterized with highly educational level and occupation while positive association in medium and low development country , so this finding are interpreted in context relation to globalization . Obesity is more frequently problem of the more affluent countries . However other studies found a mixed relationship ; Mclaren found that there is appositive association between higher SES and obesity tend to switch in to inverse relationship as one moved from countries with lower human development index to ones with higher Human Development index .
in our Palestinian context that is a subject to a set of specific constraints imposed by the occupying power that render the full utilization of human and economic resources impossible and affected SES causing food insecurity , hindering Palestinian economic growth , spreading of unemployment and low income status due to all of that obesity is still an existed problem not only that but also life style changing and urbanization phenomena which go toward increase prevalence of obesity
Finally , the relationship between obesity and SES is not simple as it seems , it require to study several SES variables that may mediate the association. The inverse relationship between SES and obesity should be investigated more.

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