Obesity : Better Policies For A Healthier America 2015

1319 WordsNov 4, 20156 Pages
According to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2015, a report from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, obesity is defined as “an excessively high amount of body fat . . . in relation to lean body mass.” Body Mass Index (BMI), while not a diagnostic tool for children or measurement of body fat directly, is an indicator of body fatness and is used to assess whether a person is overweight or obese (as well as normal or underweight). BMI differs for children and adults, as well as males and females. It is measured by dividing a person’s weight by the square of height. Childhood obesity is defined when BMI is at or above 95th percentile. Generally, obesity is associated with higher energy intake and lower energy expenditure. Egger and Swinburn (1997) call it a “traditional” view and suggest the need in a paradigm shift; their ecological approach to the problem suggests that the impetus for rising obesity is the “increasingly obesogenic environment” (p. 478), which they define as “the sum of influences that the surroundings, opportunities, or conditions of life have on promoting obesity in individuals or populations,” rather than individual’s genetics or metabolic disorder (as cited in Lake and Townshend 2006:262). Hence, Egger and Swinburn (1997) see obesity as a normal physiological response to a pathological environment. Increasingly, researchers view obesity epidemic as the product of changes in vast and underrated

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