Obesity as a Social Issue Essays

Decent Essays

Obesity as a Social Issue Individual problems such as addictions, illnesses and mental depression stalk us throughout our lives, but there is more to addictions, illnesses and mental depression than meets the eye. A good example of this theory is obesity. Obesity in Australia is turning into a problem and as the rates of obesity increase each year, the larger the problem expands. According to sociologist, C. Mills, problems can be divided into either troubles or issues and more often than not, a problem which is seen as a person trouble, when looked at globally, is in fact a social issue. This idea is referred to by C.Mills as the sociological imagination. The sociological imagination according to C. Wright Mills is an idea which gives …show more content…

In the example of Obesity, an individual’s obesity can be wrongly viewed as their own personal trouble but when viewed at a broader spectrum, it is noted that there is a variety of social issues involved which transforms it from a personal trouble to a social phenomenon. In addition to Mills’ ideas, there has been a significant amount of research which suggests obesity is a social phenomenon. Louise Townend in her research concerning the moralizing of obesity addresses the issue across a wide spectrum of categories such as economic, health and social policy. She enumerates the different social contexts of the obesity debate and begins by stating that obesity is no longer a trouble but an epidemic which is now a “significant issue for health and social policy, with major ramifications for general economic productivity across the globe”. (Townend) 2009: 3. She points out obesity is often associated with stigma such as laziness, dirtiness, illness and poverty (Townend, 2009). This connects the problem of obesity with the history of poverty and creates the question of why is laziness connected to obesity? And why does that consequently turn into poverty. Townend argues that “the convergence of moralized discourses around poverty and illness is represented most visibly and powerfully in the issue of obesity “As exemplified by the bold statements she makes, her argument is that obesity affects a nation in a variety of

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