Hca/250 Psychology and Health Issues

Obesity, today, is one of the main causes for the many deaths in America. The health issue differentiates between sociocultural, gender, and age difference and all play a role in what the outcome will be for years to come. Before the mid-1990’s, physicians evaluated if a person was overweight by the degree of excess over ideal weights given in tables. Today, these judgments are based on the body mass index (BMI).

People are classified as overweight, according to the index, if their BMI is 25 or higher, and obese if their BMI equals or exceeds 30. What many doctors fail to include in their results when calculating an individual’s weight, though, is their background, gender, and age. Why do these characteristics matter? Research has revealed that obesity rates are high in the United States and low in Asian nations. In most countries, including Australia, and Sweden, obesity rates are higher among women than men. Not only is obesity affecting women and men, but children as well.

Among children and the population as a whole in the United States and other developed nations, the percentage that are overly fat has increased substantially during the last few decades. The rates of overweight for Americans has increased dramatically for men and women, and more than quadrupled for children since the early 1970’s. The reason why so many are gaining so much weight is because people are consuming more calories and engaging in less physical activity than in the past.

Also, Americans get heavier throughout the early and middle-adulthood years, with the prevalence of overweight reaching and staying at their highest levels from 50 to 75 years of age. Two more important points about the body weights of American adults are, first, the rates of overweight and obesity are extremely high across the three largest ethnic groups- White, African-American, and Mexican. Second, ethnic differences in overweight and obesity vary with gender. We mentioned that many gain weight due to being inactive, but there are other reasons people gain weight.

One cause for obesity is unhealthy diets and eating habits. Consuming food that is high in calories, eating fast food, skipping breakfast, eating most of the recommended calories at night, drinking high-calorie beverages, and eating oversized portions all contribute to weight gain. This is a risk factor that can be controlled and the main way to control it is by preparation. Many people consume fast food because of being constantly on the go.

Preparing your food and packing your meals will help to give you the portions you need to consume and it stops you from overeating and consuming the wrong type of food. Pregnancy is another weight gain that may contribute to the development of obesity in women because a women’s weight necessarily increases and the weight is difficult to lose after the baby is born. Unfortunately, this risk factor can only be controlled if a woman does not become pregnant.

No woman can control how much the baby will weigh and how much weight she will gain during those 9 months. Certain medications can lead to weight gain is the person does not keep an active lifestyle, and if they are not consuming the right amount of food. These medications include some antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and steroids and beta blockers. This risk factor can be hard to control because to get better physically and mentally.

These medications have to be taken. The last reason is genetics. A person’s genes may affect the amount of body fat you store and where the fat is distributed. Genetics may also play a role in how efficiently your body converts food into energy and how your body burns calories during exercise. Even when someone has a genetic predisposition, environmental factors ultimately make you gain more weight.

This cannot be controlled because the genes we have can in no way be altered. The goal of obesity treatment is to reach and stay at a healthy weight. A reasonable goal might be to begin making lifestyle changes by increasing physical activity and eating healthy foods.

Eating fewer calories, while increasing activity, is the best way to lose weight. For most adults, eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day for women and 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day for men is recommended for weight loss. To get faster results, some result in using medicines to lose weight. Medicine is generally used only for those who have a BMI of 30 or higher but sometimes are used for those with a BMI of 27 or higher who are at risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea.

Medicine does not work for everyone and medicine alone is not as effective as when combined with healthy eating habits or activity. A more popular choice that many have been turning to for the past couple of years is surgery. Surgery can help you lose weight in a couple of ways. Restrictive operations (such as adjustable gastric band) reduce how much food you can eat by making the stomach smaller.

Malabsorptive operations (such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) make it harder for your body to digest and absorb food. Surgery will require you to make extreme changes in how you eat such as eating only a few ounces of food at a time because the surgery creates a much smaller stomach. All surgeries have risks. Risks common to all surgeries for weight loss include an infection in the incision, a leak from the stomach into the abdominal cavity, and a blood clot that blocks blood flow in the lung.

The company that I am employed through is called First Transit. I drive shuttle buses and to do that type of job, you have to hold a commercial driver’s license. There are no specific guidelines that state that the person cannot be obese to perform the job. However, there are certain medical conditions that a person cannot have. A person trying to operate a large vehicle cannot be a diabetic that has to use insulin. A major factor responsible for the cause of diabetes is diet. Our body needs a balanced diet to produce energy for performing vital functions.

So even though it does not say in the guidelines that the person cannot be obese, it still makes it known that the individual needs to be relatively healthy. Being obese is not a healthy lifestyle to live. The current company that I am employed through does not have any employee benefits programs, but my previous employer had incentive to help their employees stay healthy. The employees were able to get a discount at a local fitness facility, and they also had a workout area with options of different workout equipment.

One thing that a lot of company’s should implement is creating a company newsletter with healthy tips and ideas that people could use. Also, when the company decides to treat the employees to lunch, they provide healthy food instead of food that is high in calories. To prevent becoming obese, or to change the status of being obese, there are a number if things that can be done. Becoming healthy starts with what is being put in the body. Start eating more fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, legumes, whole grains, and occasional treats form the basis for a healthy diet. When eating these meals, fill only ½ to ¾ of a dinner plate.

To help clean out the body, you should stop smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and using recreational drugs. Exercise at a moderate level at least three times per week for thirty minutes to an hour. Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. The recommended amount is 8 glasses of water a day. Reduce anything that may be causing you stress, Make some time to meditate or focus on your breathing.

Most of all, you have to change your whole, overall attitude. Realize that the changes you are determining to make are for your own good. You have to want to live a longer, healthier life. Obesity is a very serious medical condition that should be taken care of quickly. Obesity does not discriminate against culture, gender, or age. Obesity usually begins at an early age so it is best to prevent a bad situation in the beginning.

ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011, November). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov Sarafino, E. P. (2011). Health Psychology: Biopsychosocial (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. WebMD. (2011, Fall). WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com eHow. (2011, October). eHow. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com