What needs to be done to counter obesity?

by celine.m on April 13, 2015 - 2:41pm

According to the British medical journal, The Lancet, obesity has become a bigger public-health problem than hunger (Swinburn 2015). Approximately, 30% of the world population is obese or overweight which is two and a half times the number of people who are undernourished. While many methods have been implemented in order to counter the growing problem, this problem is becoming an epidemic and the attempts to curtail the growth of obesity are not succeeding. . It is a health and economic issue, which crates a burden on public spending. . It is estimated that obesity costs globally are two trillion dollars a year, which corresponds to 2.8% of the world’s GDP (Swinburn 2015). Although many campaigns attempt to promote healthy living and new diets are being released almost everyday nothing seems to operate correctly. The question we need to answer is what else needs to be done in order to counter obesity. While many specialists can help with this problem, psychologists might be the ones to turn to in order to find the root of the problem amongst individuals. Psychology is a program you can attend at McGill University in Montreal where you can apply to get your masters or you’re PhD in order to become a practising psychologist. A key role of Psychologists is in gathering and interpreting research to enhance their practise or teaching on a wide range of topics regarding individual or group behaviour.  (CPA) Psychologists have contributed to advances in psychological theories and have made many contributions to prevent obesity and health among adolescents. Therefore, they have found potential solutions to this problem. In the Australian Psychologist magazine, an article describes the psychological science and developmental approaches that ought to be taken in early childhood in order to reduce the overall rates of obesity and promote a healthy lifestyle for children. In fact, after further research on psychologist’s contributions, methods to reduce obesity could be explained with approaches taken in early childhood. Therefore, the answer to my question may be developmental approaches.  However, doctors might be the ones with the simplest and most common ways to put an end to corpulence amongst individuals. Individuals who want to become doctor’s can attend McGill University in Montreal in the field of doctor’s of medicine and master of surgery. Overall, studying in medicine will allow you to be a healthcare professional that promotes, maintains and restores health through studies, diagnosis and treatment. (Wooley 2012) In fact, according to a research article in the Journal of Paediatrics and child health, doctor’s need to support parents about decisions on adopting healthy lifestyles and they need to provide them with way’s in order to adopt these beneficial choices. Therefore, doctors have a major influence on individual’s choices and decisions. Doctor’s play a crucial role in preventing obesity by informing the population of the health impacts linked to being overweight. Another academic discipline available at McGill University is the program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition or a dietician. Dieticians use their knowledge on food and nutrition to promote good health. In fact, they play a crucial role to help people make healthier choices and lose weight. Their approaches could be used at a larger scale to inform and help the population make better choices and support people who are trying to lose weight. Their involvement in solving the problem of obesity could be crucial because perhaps the answer to the question lies with the perfect diet and weight loss treatments.

Even though many solutions for this problem have surfaced and many people are trying to promote a healthier lifestyle with their blogs, television shows and books, the answer to the question: what more needs to be done in order to stop obesity, lies in the hands of psychologists, doctor’s and dieticians to develop and advise the population and government on potential solutions. These professionals have the knowledge and scientific basis to understand the impacts of obesity on an individual and society. .


Here are the links to study in the disciplines mentioned above:

Psychology: http://www.mcgill.ca/study/2015-2016/faculties/arts/undergraduate/programs/bachelor-arts-ba-major-concentration-psychology


Doctor: http://www.mcgill.ca/medadmissions/programs/mdcm


Dietician: http://www.mcgill.ca/study/2015-2016/faculties/macdonald/undergraduate/programs/bachelor-science-nutritional-sciences-bscnutrsc-major-die


Link to News Article:  http://flaglerlive.com/76987/obesity-crisis/ 













Obesity is a growing problem, especially in the developed world, with many societal and economic problems arising from dealing with the disorder. You made a good point about the different professions such as doctors, psychologists, and dieticians that can help these individuals combat obesity. However, these are short term solutions to the problem. In order to build a healthier society, we must focus on getting rid of eating disorders as a whole. Today, a movement for body image acceptance is arising. Groups such as Health at Every Size (HAES) and many pop culture idols, including Meghan Trainor, promote the acceptance of body images at every size. However, some critiques of this movement show that this also causes “skinny-shaming” and does not take into consideration that obesity is a dangerous health hazard. We can look at the issue with a value pluralistic point of view. Using value pluralism, society can strive toward the same end goal: promoting self-confidence and body-image acceptance all while encouraging healthy lifestyles. People come in every size and shape, and differing beauty standards across the world value certain body styles. However, as a global community, we must nevertheless strive to promote healthy lifestyles (against obesity, anorexia, eating disorders) through education, prevention, a better access to healthier resources, and combat this problem at the source.