If we were to see obesity as personal trouble, those who are obese would be assumed to have unhealthy eating habits, bad sleeping cycles, are lazy and unmotivated and do not do any form of regular physical activity. Obesity is often associated with a person’s behaviour since people are socialized into learning what is right and wrong. Those who are obese simply choose to ignore the healthy lifestyle and are thus to blame for choosing the easier, lazier option. People tend to explain obesity in terms of laziness. Instead of working out regularly, hitting the gym, going for a walk or meditating, lazy people choose to stay at home, munch on snacks while watching t.v, instead of cooking a healthy meal at home, they choose to eat processed foods, at restaurants or at fast-food chains. The food offered in restaurants, snack food shops, bending machines is all higher in sugar, fat and calories. It is also assumed that people who have bad sleeping cycles and binge eat snacks at night gain weight thus leading to obesity. Thus obesity is assumed to be the result of millions of individual decisions.
People and families may make decisions based on their environment or community. For example, a person may choose not to walk or bike to the store or to work because of a lack of sidewalks or safe bike trails. Sometimes the unhealthy choice is not an easy or hard choice but the only rational choice. People living in poor and rural communities may have less access to quality grocery stores that sell healthy and affordable food items. In these areas, it might be easier and cheaper for residents to purchase less healthy food products. Energy and sugar-rich foods and drinks are now readily available, highly promoted, and low-cost. Advertisements influence people into buying and choosing food not good for our health but good for our taste buds. In such a situation’s obesity can be viewed as a social issue.
Possible solutions to obesity as personal trouble include eating more fruits and vegetables and shifting to healthier options of eating such as eating baked/grilled food and eating fewer foods that are high in fat and sugar. We can also drink more water instead of sugary drinks. Another possible solution is for people to start exercising, even if it is for half an hour every day. Parents from a young age can encourage their children to eat fruits and vegetables and limit the supply of junk food in the house so that the child does not get dependent on it. The behaviour of an individual starts developing from a young age hence parents can also limit their kid’s screen time and encourage them to go and play outside.
One of the solutions to tackle obesity when taken as a public issue is when governments build bike paths, sidewalks, parks which will foster safe and easy access to physical activity. State and local governments can provide incentives to existing markets to switch to healthier food options, and they can also provide incentives for new businesses to establish their supermarkets in low-income areas. Another solution is that communities can advocate for quality nutrition programmes and physical education in their school systems. They can also expand access to fruits and vegetables through farmer’s market programs which would enable low-income people to get fresh food at a reasonable price. To solve the problem of obesity people need to make better, healthier choices, but these choices also need to be changed in schools, workplaces, and communities.