Sociologists define social problems from two points of view: objective reality and subjective perception. As an objective reality, a social problem is substantial; it obtains an injurious quality that some people can verify by their own experience. However, a social problem is a matter of personal perception; that is, any issue becomes a social problem depending on how people perceive it (Thio&Taylor, 2012). Thus, one of the most crucial social problems in the healthcare policy of the society is obesity of the population. It is an urgent issue, as the obesity, as well as overweight, causes great number incurable illnesses that leads to the population dying out.
Many people will argue that obesity is not a social problem, but personal. There are two ways to define whether a problem is individual or social. The first way deals with numbers. Obesity is entirely social problem, as it is the problem of many people, not of few. Another way deals with causation and confirms that obesity is from top to bottom social problem. As the causes that lead to it are sociological, those are some social forces, such as, for example, widespread media popularization of fast food (p.4-5).
It is not a secret that most Americans are overweight and one third are obese. Unfortunately, health statistics informs that although the obesity trend seems to be reducing, the prevalence stays unacceptably high and obesity remains to be a serious national health concern (Kazaks&Stern, 2013).
There are many reasons that cause obesity and overweight. Among them increased consumption of foods with saturated fats, harmful products that are nutrient poor, and confectionery and other foods with high levels of sugar, as well as reduced physical activity and extend media propaganda of fast foods. The implications of the obesity are appalling. The most dangerous consequences of it are chronic diseases related to diet, cardiovascular disease type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart stroke, and some forms of cancer. Child obesity, that is constantly increasing, should be a special concern of any society, as children is the future generation.
During the 20th century, international free trade is extended, corporative production of food, and political food grants decreased prices on food, simultaneously producing products that have lower nutritional level, higher-fat foods in larger portions. As the result, people can buy more food than ever, and the kinds of products that are cheaper and much more easy in preparation, but with high sugar and fat level. Entire economic achievement has implied that as people get richer, they choose to consume more meat and products that are more expensive. Fresh production is more troublesome to convey long distances and store for long periods, so it is not profitable in an international food market ( Bell & O'Keefe, 2005).
Another social force that makes a great contribution to the process of obesity of the nation is lack of money in families. Nowadays, women in most families work the same way as men do. Therefore, they sought for convenient and not always nutritional food, which would reduce the process of preparation at home. (Friel et al, 2007).
Obesity is a social problem; there should social solution to it. Thus, local, as well as national government and nongovernmental agencies should support citizens in the fight with obesity and overweight. Wilkinson put forward several ways of the protection of society from the problem of obesity. One of the strategies is to acknowledge people of food and nutrition, growing food and social value of preparing food and eating together. Another is support for sustainable agriculture and food production methods that conserve natural resources and the environment. Government should explain the application of scientifically originated nutritious values and to assist the growth and realization of policies on food and nutrition (Marmot&Wilkinson, 2005).
The global obesity epidemic is spread all over the world. It is being assisted by economic, social and psychosocial factors together with elevated applicability of energy dense food and reduced physical activity. The propaganda of the healthy lifestyle is the ultimate way towards a healthy nation.