Prevalence of Obesity Diet Environment and Genetics

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Eyeing to ground the research on academically acknowledged accounts, the researchers reviewed related and relevant literature and studies in the field of inquiry. The current chapter is pronged into two headings. The first section reviews the literature on weight management framework and highlights the behavior modification in pursuit of obese-reduction. This heading also delves into the exploration of eating habits, activities, and genetics contextualized among obese individuals. The second heading of this chapter examines existing research studies concentrated on the varied perspectives on weight control and different obesity-promoting constraints. It, furthermore, explores the findings on current weight management practices.

Related Literature

Due to the escalating trend of obesity and weight-related complications, weight management has received considerable attention over the years (Franz, 2017). With this, a dense collection of information about weight maintenance has emerged. Amidst the said existence of the vast data and materials on this discourse, revisiting the several areas of concern on weight management in terms of its framework, diet, activity, family history and modification are noteworthy.

According to Wirtz (2004), obesity involves a multifactorial framework governed by interrelated systems. Indani (2012) indicated that obesity is the outcome of an imbalance in equation of energy intake exceeding energy expenditure. Hence, with elevated consumption of calories together with poor physical activity level, a surplus strike of energy is stored in the body as fat, attributing to obesity (NHS, 2016). While some fats are utilized and burned for physical exertions, Kafyulilo (2008) clarified that the remaining non-essential fats are deposited in cells. With long-term deposition, these fat cells replete oxygen and get inflamed, and thus, unable to carry its functions (Young, 2018). A biological principle called homeostasis, however, controls this series by maintaining a vital weight management concept – weight set point. Based on Fung (2016), this mechanism is the range where one’s body is optimally regulated. “If the weight drops below body set weight, compensatory mechanisms activate to raise it. (Fung, 2016). Affirmed by Indani (2012), this principle is associated with the usual eating habits of a person, and weight set point may be modified through sustained lifestyle changes. Despite being biologically programmed, Garine & Pollock (2013) asserts “our bodies are a natural environment while also being socially constituted.”

Energy consumption is one of the pertinent contributors to obesity. Hence, a set of eating habits deemed identifiable for obese individuals were classified altogether. With this, some sources indicate food intake as a social structure. In an article published by Health Direct (2018), a parallel relationship between obese individuals and unfavorable food options such as comfort eating, elevated desire for convenience dining, fast food resorting, and fruit and vegetable absence in the meal plan exists. Hawkes (2006) confirms that the growth of global market sprouted inexpensive food selections such as unhealthy food enterprises. This shift of food prices directly affects the people’s access to food as lower cost means increased meal frequency and expanded food portions, thus, influencing obesity conditions. In an article sourced from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (n.d.), careful diet has been demonstrated a clear association to obesogenic weight loss. This article also appeals a compelling theory about obese individuals being impended with consuming highly dense unhealthy food options. In a report from Youbeauty (2018), the publishers argue that the perception on skipping meals to reduce caloric intake are faulty in the perspective that it actually does the opposite. Considerably, when people skip a meal, they tend to reload excessively the next meal to fill the gap in the former meal. Dietary habits are considered as a socially-related significant component in obesity development as they are chronicled to the body’s energy intake.

Physical exertions are equally important as a constituent in minimizing obesity risks. Bodily activities are ascribed to energy expenditure, and compared to dietary habits which revolves on energy intake, physical activities are means of dismissing fat deposition. Human activities, therefore, are components inclined to obesity onset. Nutr (2000) provides a clear distinction that obese people are substantially less active than non-obese people. He further connotes that this circumstance may fluidly sustain or elevate even more the degree of obesity. Standardly, people require at least 2 days of vigorous work out a week; however, only 15% of the adults were meeting this requirement (MedBroadcast, n.d.). In an article based from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (n.d.), a reciprocity in an inactive community exhibiting complacent workforces, public transportation systems, and sedentary leisure time are also associated with rise in weight level. Among obese individuals, however, they happen to be inclined with an oddity in doing physical work since obese people experience quick weariness, abrupt joint pains, and sudden breathlessness. In all this, physical activities are associated with the social build of the environment.

Additionally, the genes of a person may also account in the development of obesity. While energy consumption and physical activities are primary contributions to this disease, an obesity susceptibility of 25-40% is due to genetics (Shetty & Shantaram, 2014). Obesity may vary from the interactions to the hereditary and environmental factors. Both genetic contribution and a person’s exposure to obesogenic environment may result to the development of obesity. An article from Universite Naval (n.d.) reports that families with obesity history are two to eight times more vulnerable to acquire obesity compared to families negative of obesity. With the gene’s capability to instruct body responses and processes, the tendencies to eat, inclination to sedentariness, and metabolic disposition are affected (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Hence, an obese parent who transmits an obesogenic gene to an offspring may also pass these traits. Hill (n.d.) reiterates that certain genes let bodies store more fat naturally. Herewith, Nielsen et. al (2015) demonstrates that a consistent pattern of obesity-related diseases is prevalent among obese individuals. With this, the individual acquiring the trait is then also highly inclined to develop obesity (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, n.d.).

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With energy input and output as well as family history primarily contributing to individual weight, Tsai and Fabricatore (2006) considered behavior modification as a significant component of weight management. While successful weight control does not entirely mean extreme weight loss, it does suggest that a modest amount credit greatly in minimizing the risks of obesity (Montesi et al., 2016). As pointed by Jasul and Sy (2011), diet and activity pattern modifications are interventions used to treat weight-related problems. Medical consultations also play a role in managing the weight as they pose adherence to disease maintenance. Taber (2014), however, asserts an emotive barrier in patient-doctor checkups. Kelly (2006) further explained that natural body urges affect eating patterns such as resorting to binge-eating to repress tediousness, sorrow, and annoyance. Based on Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (n.d.), several available dietary habit alterations are being practiced worldwide. Some of the most common adjustments are changing meal frequency, portion size, and food component restriction. Additionally, Health Direct (2018) remarked working patterns, technological devices, and environment as motivations for engaging in physical activity. In fact, a study lead by Warwick Medical School shows a vital role of standing in a certain number of hours in fending cardiovascular risks (Mucklai, 2017).

Related Studies

As described by Grundy (1998), obesity is multifactorial disease which causes are still vague and coarsely correlated. Over years, a huge leap in its prevalence also demonstrated a hiking demand for it to be mitigated. In seeking to provide increment progress to the growing rate of obesity, several studies on obesity with regards to social circumstances, genetics, perceptions, intervention constraints, and socio-ecological factors developed as a way of grasping better understanding of the disease.

The prevalence of obesity as determined by genetics is still under study. While classical twin studies (where twin siblings are separated in different households) illustrates a consistent biological adherence, environmental contribution accounts 70% of the susceptibility to obesity (Rahilly & Farooqi, 2005). A case of this point, previously explained by Zlot et al. (2007), states that there is not enough research to be specific for genes playing a major role for the individual’s susceptibility. Nevertheless, according to Richard (n.d.), there is a higher risk of obesity or adiposity for the predecessors with a family history of obesity compared to another individual without the disease’s family record. Whether a person has a healthy weight or not, the rate of weight gain increases within age; this process could also be associated by genetic information. It was also stated that there are attainable cases of genetic mutation that is connected to obesity and called the obesity “gene”. Possessing this specific obesity phenotype, one can be obese or not, depending on the environment and the lifestyle this person practices daily including eating habits, energy expenditure, the state of metabolism, and mental health to practice and motivate one’s self in proper weight management. Therefore, while genetics influence obesity, even without this of genetic mutation, a person can be obese due to obesogenic environmental factors and physical activities.

As part of the environmental condition, social stigma impedes low recognition of obesity and low weight management practice according to sources. A prevalence study which was custom-made to provide a thorough review of obesity as a disease explained obesity as an exceedingly stigmatized disease springing from individual choices (Kyle, 2016). It, furthermore, reports the dominant view of the public on obesity manifested through ‘fat shaming’. Although widely recognized as a risky condition associated with various other diseases, obesity is found to be overestimated in terms of body image as concluded by a face-to-face random sampling study conducted by Curtice (n.d.). The same research also noted that the high prevalence and exposure of obesity in the community institutes a low precaution level amongst obese and non-obese individuals. In addition, Owens (2003; as cited in Agrawal, 2015) identifies that obese individuals are associated with inanity, idleness, lack of interest, and emotional problem. A significant study from Rettner (2013) supposed individuals perceiving household works as exercise tend to become heavier. The presence of these social view on obesity may raise impediments in adopting a healthier weight maintenance attitude, Puhl and Hueur (2010) implored. Through a questionnaire instrumentation, a study conducted by Puhl and Brownell (2012) found that recognizing approaches to improve parental, spousal, and relative disposition is a substantial effort to diminish this bias in the community.

A focus on the different barriers and constraints on weight management practices also contributes a large section of the data available from research studies. In a cohort study conducted by Sturm and Datar (2005), researchers merged individual-level data based in food pricing and area considerations. The research demonstrated that low vegetable price predicts low weight gain fluctuating the BMI. Affenito et al. (2012), in a contextualized research study, argues that concentration of food markets and outlets are lineated to obesity food selection. Socio-ecological factors were also pointed by Salis & Glanz (2009; as cited in Chan & Woo, 2010) in their large-scale national survey study. The results show that transportation systems diminish activity levels whiles recreation facilities and parks promote physical activity. In Power & Parsons (2000; as cited in Cawley, 2011), financial status was highlighted as one of the steadiest indicators of adult obesity. A low socioeconomic status attributes to poor access of obesity-restricting food in contrast to energy-dense and low quality food (Drenowski, 2004). Herewith, Johnson (2016), access in entertaining contents, which is availed through fiscal power, allows viewers to sit for long hours, engage in long “screen times,” and feel rested. As suggested by Macdiarmid et al. (2012), they found out that parental influences such as parental food choices and their knowledge about it, have a persistent association and affiliation with obesity. Comparatively, Parra et al. (2011) conducted a cross-sectional phone survey which shows car ownership as made possible by higher incoming household is being linearly related with reduced physical activity.

Provided that certain constraints emerge due to different socio-ecological factors, a collection of researches supports that people have developed distinct and combinatoric weight management strategies. A notable strategy in weight management is largely attributed to diet techniques such low-carb diet and low-fat diet. Amidst an interchangeable definition, Hu et al. (2012) points out the key differences between weight loss and fat loss having made a gap in weight management. In view of diets, a meta-analysis clinical trial study of Hu has shown that low carbohydrate diet comes more efficient in terms of achieving weight loss. Hoque (2016) further emphasized sensible dieting techniques like following strict meal schedule, location-specific meal consumption, and snacking withdrawal. This descriptive statistical study implores having a positive parental reinforcement in developing weight management patterns among children. According to Reina et al. (2010), two concepts arose from 7 focus group discussion – home-based and health provider exercise programs. From their study, it was illustrated that patients have higher compliance and substantial yield in home-based exercise but only when motivated and monitored consistently by health providers. Brownell and Kramer (1994; as cited in National Academy of Sciences, 2003) comprehensively includes different weight modification movement centered on medicinal uptake, nutrition counselling and education, and environmental management.

From the presented review of related literature and research studies, the current chapter demonstrates that an examination and analysis on weight maintenance framework, eating habits, activities, and weight management including diverse perspectives, barriers, and practices are recognized and available in several accounts. A collection of research study illustrates that food selection is a steady obesity-promoting determinant. On the other hand, some papers explain the relativity of a reduced physical activity with obese individuals. Consistent literatures about behavior modification as a dependent variable to the environment are also presented in the chapter. In these reviews, some of the emerging themes were based on accessibility to high quality food which are seemingly costlier and ownership of different labor-saving devices or technologies. Research studies on societal perspective in relation to low attention level of individuals found that obesity is highly stigmatized, and therefore, also highly denied. A series of studies regarding this link the high rate of prevalence to flatter precaution value. Also, still in the midst of further scrutiny is the role of genetics in the development of obesity. Latter in the current chapter, studies involving the barriers such as food prices, area considerations, transportation, and food diversity are concentrated on. Lastly, studies about common practices in weight management were presented. While most literature and studies presented a linear relationship with a certain variable, they do not present the relationship between other factors. From these, a gap emerges as these relationships focuses on a simplistic explanation of obesity weight management using only one aspect of obesity. Moreover, no research study focused on the locality of Malate, Manila is presently available in the literature review. Hence, additional research is necessary to give adequate clarification as to how the presented variables interact and coincide with one another and locally administer new information regarding obesity. This is imperative, for this is an interest on understanding the coping ways different individuals with different circumstances engage with in the weight management endeavor to combat obesity.

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Prevalence of Obesity Diet Environment and Genetics. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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