walkeryocum - Obesity today is a serious concern for both...

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Obesity today is a serious concern for both governments and health professionals alike. The growing number of obese people, especially in the United States and the First World, strains health care systems by increasing the risks for serious conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Diabetes is a particularly costly disease in which the sufferer must purchase insulin for the rest of their lives. Though most people agree that obesity is a problem, there is generally less consensus on the root causes of obesity. Some attribute obesity to genetic factors while others blame capitalism and poor personal choices. There is no doubt that obesity is a complex and sensitive issue both for the individual and society as a whole. Whitney Walker and Blake Yocom’s presentation on obesity, humorously entitled “Globesity,” was generally a good introduction to the topic. The clips from the movie Super Size Me were relevant if not slightly sensationalized accounts. However, I had difficulty following the flow of the presentation, and the discussion sometimes diverged into comedic outbursts about certain topics. I am not saying that I discourage levity (I laughed a lot during the presentation), but sometimes the interjections appeared to be off topic and pointless. I also take issue with the presentation of information. Many of the interesting slides and graphs were brushed over too quickly and were removed from the screen before I had an opportunity to digest their meanings. Furthermore, some of the graphs conflicted with their argument. The graph on larger income and high-fat consumption directly opposed a graph and quote right next to it which attributed obesity to poverty. I think this was a symptom of a larger problem with generalizations about cause and effect in the presentation. Whitney and Blake introduced many theories about the causes of obesity without really establishing credibility for these postulates. For example, the connection between racism and obesity was interesting to me but was hastily and, in my view, inadequately explained. My third concern was the focus of the presentation on health and nutrition. An explanation of physiological and genetic factors for obesity was virtually nonexistent. I asked a question about how genetic predisposition to obesity was related to a certain surgery. I asked this question because I heard that gastric bypass surgery was primarily for obese people who because of some physiological problem had trouble losing weight on their own. I thought that my question was answered quite inadequately when the presenters stated that genetic predisposition did not determine poor eating choices. If the person has a physiological imbalance resulting from a genetic defect, they may not be able to completely control food cravings.
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This note was uploaded on 02/16/2012 for the course BIOL_SCI 108 taught by Professor Goldberg during the Winter '06 term at Northwestern.

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walkeryocum - Obesity today is a serious concern for both...

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