Arguing Cause Alex Gerondale

found this part of my paper to be particularly interesting:
how much less people weighed on average forty years ago.

This part was surprisingly difficult:
constructing how societal influences start obesity

Next time I would do this differently:
focus more on the counter argument.

Alex Gerondale
Argument Exposition
Instructor: Anna Hamann

Societal Issues Causes Obesity

Being fat, overweight, or the proper term obese has been a long standing issue in today’s world, especially in America where 1 and 3 adults are obese (Johnson). There are many causes tothis issue that has plagues are species, many of which are great and well supported theories to obesity’s origins. Such ideas include the human decision to eat unhealthy (foods) or choosing not to exercise. And though these causes are indeed true, they are not the main roots to obesity, rather the true cause of obesity lays in social environment (think about making this last sentence into 2). To be more broad obesity comes from ungovernable reasons and is not something that can be easily controlled in current society.

Many would say obesity is not a problem, that it is just a simple physical body choice. However most of those individuals would be more than likely to be lacking basic health knowledge. For when it comes to being obese the body tends to breakdown. It’s like a machine that has been given an excessive amount of oil. Rather than obtaining the correct amount to remain loose and greased the machine is drowning and clogged in a sea of what is now unnecessary. Obesity is similar in that regard, for when we obtain too much fat our bodies die quicker with things like diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, and clogging of the circulatory system (Johnson). Even worse, obesity can make life not worth living by forcing leg amputations to keep one alive. (think about explaining why an obese individual might need a leg amputation) Who would be excited about living if you couldn’t even walk anymore? And it’s not just our bodies that are being effected that make obesity a problem, but our healthcare system as well. For as more people become obese the more stress it puts on the healthcare facilities. For example a procedure that needs a certain drug to stave of diabetes is now limited because of how many obese people there are. This in turn raises costs for the procedure if you want one. Obesity itself was determined by the Surgeon General to be the 2nd most preventable death next only to smoking (Johnson). And as more people become overweight that rank may even rise to number 1, so obesity can’t just be scoffed at. There are many more numerous reasons for why obesity is a problem that can’t be ignored, that is why it must be acknowledged.

Obesity is a problem, but the main reason must be established. To start with we must delve into why social environment is the main root cause to all of the other reasons for why obesity starts. Perhaps it would be easier to imagine the main cause of poor social environment as a tree. Social implications are the trunk of the tree and all the other issues that lead to obesity are the branches. For instance Americans from the 1970s weighed 8.6 kg less than the Americans of today, the study confirmed that this was caused by overconsumption that started rapidly in the 1980’s (Paddock). The study focused on the calorie intake, but what caused Americans to aggressively overeat in the 1980’s? That answer was simple, social environment. Television was starting to really come in, influencing people to stay indoors and to be less active. Fast food companies really starting to expand and were able to advertise their products better with the radio and TV. And lastly new technologies allowed for more processed foods to enter the food market because it was cheaper. Another might say that sugary drinks make people fat, and though this may be true the drinks were made that way for one reason and one reason only. To make money. The company that made the sugary drinks wants to make customers addicted so they buy more and eventually become overweight. It was a pure business type move so that the owner could trump his competitors, in other words a social implication. To be honest obesity is not the only thing that is born because of how society acts. In fact most of everything is influenced by other people and by our own interactions. Such things like education, new styles in clothing, and even what entertainment we enjoy is all structured around the beast that is social environment. So in plainer terms(,) if most causes of how people (individual) develop(ment) comes from social implications, then obesity has to be without a doubt one of them.

Now that the problem of obesity and its main cause are out of the way, the larger issue that must be discussed is how social environment makes people obese. It is a tremendously large topic to cover, and for most obese individuals who fall victim, it’s like a nightmare. By nightmare it’s something that is mostly outside of the person’s sphere of influence, or at least it’s an impossibility to escape in the overweight person’s mind. Many examples include being overstressed from work, bulling from peers, company adds, family income, and gender roles. To get underway we’ll focus first on being overstressed from work. Stress forces people into a corner, it makes them feel trapped, and makes them believe that they have no time for themselves in their lives. This gets them to stress eat or eat without exercise because work holds them back. One such study worked directly with this idea that being overworked and stressed starts obesity, and that study focused on adverse work schedules of nurses. The study showed that an individual has a fifty-five percent greater chance of being obese if a nurse (she or he) worked long hours with little sleep. It also show that it gave nurses bad habits that resulted in obesity, like fast food binges, smoking, or being heavy drinkers (Trinkoff). The forced overworked social environment influenced the nurses to become unhealthy and overweight. The work schedule was not a choice given to the nurses and in the end they had no control over their environment. With no control they were slung into obesity.

There are of course many other social causes that start and continue obesity. Another major one would be bulling or pressure by peers. If one is told that they are fat then of course that person will believe it because another said it to be true. Even if they weren’t obese and just slightly heavy this could force them into obesity because they will trust in what others say, and unconsciously act that way because of it (Crosnoe). It would be like if someone said a person was hot and that person believed it and tried every day to live up to that mantle of opinion. It’s a social enigma that sets a standard for everyone around them. No one can control that social entity, and that is why they will trust in it because people think that’s just how it is. And when they trust in the system they become what its say’s, and obesity is one of the products. This is even more influential among woman rather than men. Due to societal belief that women must fit into an image of beauty, women tend to be more aggressive in there standards. This is why Crosnoe believes women obesity is higher than males (Crosnoe). This evidence proves that society influences people’s weight and starts obesity.

The last two societal causes of obesity interrelate and involve family income and food companies. To elaborate on this issue we’ll talk about how food companies' relentless competition addict’s people, especially people with low incomes who can only afford their products. To make more sense of this fast food companies, beverage companies, and junk food corporations attempt to make their food more addicting to get humans to buy more of their products. In other words, they stick in a bunch of addictive ingredients to get people to buy more of their food then other companies. The other competition does the same and next thing you know obesity is on the rise (McKay). This is especially true for low income families who can’t afford good food for their households. So in response to lack of funds they turn to the cheap corporations that are pumping in addicting ingredients into their foods (Brody). This is a social recipe of obesity disaster that is hardly controllable, this is because society is more bent on making profits rather than keeping people healthy. It’s a social equation that seems to drown people in their hypocrisies and drills into them obesity through addicting ingredients. This is a major social cause of obesity in our nation.

In conclusion obesity is usually not something that a person can control or manipulate. It begins, develops, and continues through a majority of uncontrollable social problems. Though humans can’t stop these root causes easily, they can maintain them through strong force of will and determination that is very hard to obtain. To finish obesity does not primarily bloom from personal choices a person decides upon, but rather it is a result of ungovernable factors that decide for them. Or a better way to think about it would be the question “who would choose to be obese?”

Works Cited

McKay Betsey, "The ABCs of Beating Obesity", The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2012 .Web. Feb 9, 2014.


Dr. Trinkoff PHD, "Obesity in Nurses Linked to 'Adverse Work Schedules'", American Collage of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug 3, 2012.Web.Feb 10, 2014.


Brody Jane, "Many Fronts in Fighting Obesity", New York Times, May 20, 2013.Web.Feb 11, 2014.


Crosnoe Robert, "Gender, Obesity, and Education", Sociology of Education (JSTOR), July 3, 2007.Web.Feb 13, 2014.

*Gender, Obesity, and Education

Johnson Suzanne Dr, "Addressing the obesity Epidemic. Don't blame the victim", American Psychological Association, Oct, 2012.Web.March 5, 2014.


Paddock Catharine, PhD, "US obesity due to overeating, study", M.N.T, May 11, 2009.Web.March 5, 2014.


Arguing Cause Peer Review Alex Gerondale

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