Cultural Beliefs and Influence On Obesity

Subject: Nutrition
Type: Synthesis Essay
Pages: 1
Word count: 336
Topics: Obesity, Health, Medicine


In the age of technology and a profound scientific knowledge, obesity has become a major concern in the society. According to Caballero (2007), the percentage of obese people around the world rose dramatically between 1965 and 2001. However, a question of what has influenced its fast growth between the technology and cultural beliefs still remains prevalent. This paper seeks to briefly identify some of the cultural beliefs which have played a role in influencing obesity.

Cultural beliefs and influence on obesity

Comparing technology and cultural beliefs, it is evident that cultural beliefs have played a bigger role in influencing obesity. This remains true because while the technological aspects related to obesity can avoid, cultural beliefs act as a catalyst for most of the illnesses in the society (Helman, 2007).

Cultural beliefs are playing in a rapidly growing epidemic of obesity around the world. Brown (1991) argues that there exist many cultural connotations associated with weight gain. In most communities, especially the black community, weight gain is perceived as a sense of well-being, enjoying good life and wealth. On the other hand, being thin is associated with misery and trouble in life. Other cultures believe that being thin is a sign of illness such as Tuberculosis or AIDS. Lastly, some cultural beliefs have associated less physical activity to progress and engaging in hard labor and walking to hardship. 

All the above cultural beliefs have in one way or the other, influenced the issue of obesity in the society. The human being is naturally created to seek perfection and justification from his environment (Cooley, 1992). The beliefs have forced people to engage in activities and diets that contribute to obesity in search of justification and respect from the society.


To conclude, it is clear that cultural beliefs have influenced the health of obesity in a big way. However, it is important for human beings to realize the dangers associated with this epidemic, and break away from the slavery of cultural beliefs that put their health at risk.

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  1. Brown, P. J. (1991). Culture and the evolution of obesity. Human nature, 2(1), 31-57.
  2. Caballero, B. (2007). The global epidemic of obesity: an overview. Epidemiologic reviews, 29(1), 1-5.
  3. Cooley, C. H. (1992). Human nature and the social order. Transaction Publishers.
  4. Helman, C. G. (2007). Culture, health, and illness. CRC Press.
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