Body and lifestyle

Obesity has become a global concern in today’s world. At a time when food comes in many varieties and abundance, vegetables are the least of choices while a typical American diet consists of fast food and plenty of unhealthy treats. Two-thirds of Americans adults are overweight and they are not the only culprits. Most Europeans are also gaining percentage in obesity. It holds no boundaries within wealthy or under-developed countries and globally, obesity rates have almost doubled in the past two decades.

There are some factors that contribute to this rising number, and it is mainly dependent on the environment that drives the behavior of individuals. There are also various factors that exacerbate the different problems faced in different regions. In general, the increase in living and working standards has lessened the physical demand on individuals. In addition, the change in dietary habits gives rise to the consumption of processed food in exchange of home-cooked food. Obesity has it adverse effects too. Not only it affects a worker’s efficiency, it increases the risk of attaining various health conditions.

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However, studies have shown that despite the increase in obesity rate, individuals have longer lifespan and lesser childhood deaths. The problem with obesity is not easy to tackle. It depends on individuals to exercise prudence in their selection of food and also to cultivate a healthy lifestyle. If not controlled, it will have repercussions in the near future. Over the years, obesity has become more endemic in Singapore. According to Ministry of Health (2012), Singapore’s obesity rate has gradually increased from 6. 0% in 1998 to 10. 8% in 2010.

There are many reasons that contribute to this: higher standards of living, affluence, reliance on technology, availability of food and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Nonetheless, its prevalence cannot be ignored. Obesity has detrimental effects that can cause health, social and economical issues. Here, we shall discuss the depth of such issues. Obesity has commonly been associated with various health problems and diseases. From a small extent of backaches and difficulty walking long distances, to a larger extent such as strokes and diabetes. Nevertheless, it affects one’s self from his or her normal, daily routine.

Prolonging obesity can only expose more risk or complications to one’s health. An obese individual also faces with social issues that can affect his or her moral well-being. In Singapore, stereotyping and social discrimination do occur at a small extent and this can lead to rejection and stigma, which inadvertently result in psychological issues to the individual. Economically, an obese individual tend to be less productive and efficient in his work, especially so if physical movement is involved. In addition, health-related issues can also be costly in a workplace (The Fiscal Times, 2013).

In Singapore, various groups in society are implementing programs in order to curb the problem of obesity. In schools, the Ministry of Education implemented the Trim and Fit Program (TAF) in efforts to improve physical fitness and reduce the number of overweight students. Since it’s introduction from 1992 to 2006, the number of overweight students decreased while more students were passing their fitness test (College of Family Physicians Singapore, 2012) In workplaces, some organisations encourage their employees to take part in sporting events (asiaone, 2012).

This promotes a healthy lifestyle amongst employees, which helps to curb issues of overweight and obesity. However, despite the well-intended implementations stated above, the effectiveness of such measures can be debatable. Although there was a decrease in obesity rate with the implementation of TAF, it also brought about issues into schools. Students who were enrolled in the program were not only scrutinized on their weight management, they also had to deal with criticism and psychological issues at such a young age. Employees also find that such implementation does not apply to all individuals.

Although they are encouraged to run, the pressure to participate from fellow employees or bosses can cause adverse effects instead. As such, employees tend to shy away or even react negatively towards it. This, on the other hand, disrupts the harmony in the working environment. In conclusion, the problem of obesity in Singapore can cause much issues, be it on individuals, society or even the economy. There can be many efforts to curb the problem, however, the ownership is always on the individual to manage his eating habits or physical exercise in order to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle.


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