Consequently, obesity emerges as the exemplary socially constructed illness, wherein obese individuals attain their ‘sick’ or ‘diseased’ status due to the interaction of their weight and the importance and moral value placed upon health, weight, and body image in modern society (Campos et al.
While fat bodies may have real, physical limitations, the idea that they present a threat to the larger society is overwhelmingly a social construction. Experts may warn that fat is ”catching,” but what is feared is a transfer of ”bad” behaviours, and loss of self-control.
The High Cost of Excess Weight
No less real are the social and emotional effects of obesity, including discrimination, lower wages, lower quality of life and a likely susceptibility to depression. Read more: health risks and why being overweight does not decrease mortality.
The evidence for social and environmental factors that contribute to obesity are often underappreciated. Obesity prevalence is significantly associated with sex, racial ethnic identity, and socioeconomic status, which creates complex relationships between each of these characteristics.
There could be number of other factors such as social and physical determinants that could cause overweight and obesity. Social factors could involve stress that could be financial or a stress from trauma, lack of sleep, marriage problems, and lack of education regarding health or types of food choices.
Definition of social construct
: an idea that has been created and accepted by the people in a society Class distinctions are a social construct.
Body image ideals, like race and gender, are social constructs that have grown out of a combination of history, politics, class, and moral values. One need look back only a few generations, or across cultures, to see that attitudes about thinness and fatness are fluid and ever changing.
Why is obesity a problem to society?
Obesity is serious because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life. Obesity is also associated with the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
It is possible that those who are obese or underweight are less likely to have strong social relationships. These Americans may lack self-confidence or be negatively stereotyped based on their weight, making it harder to form or maintain relationships.
Why does socioeconomic status affect obesity?
In lower-income countries, people with higher SES were more likely to be obese. … It may be that in lower-income countries, higher SES leads to consuming high-calorie food and avoiding physically tough tasks. But in higher-income countries, individuals with higher SES may respond with healthy eating and regular exercise.
However, the inter-person spreading dynamics of obesity are seldom studied. A distinguishing feature of the obesity epidemic is that it is driven by a social contagion process which cannot be perfectly described by the infectious disease models.