“Inequality as an Explanation for Obesity in the United States” by Hedwig Lee Article Review
The article being summarized is named “Inequality as an Explanation for Obesity in the United States”. It was written by Hedwig Lee from the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan.
The article is dedicated to the topic of obesity among the population of the United States, which has significantly increased during the past decades and nowadays is a large public health concern. Obesity prevails in poor and minority populations and the article describes the possible ways explaining this phenomenon. In particular, it describes connection between obesity and stress together with social inequality, by highlighting elements of disadvantage on different levels (such as family, school, individual ones), which are directly connected to obesity.
The article revealed the ways that inequality can be linked to obesity. The socioeconomic status appeared to be the most important factor influencing obesity. The populations with the least education and highest poverty rates, and racial/ethnic minorities, also have the highest rates of obesity. Generally, obesity is the result of an imbalance between food and beverage consumption (energy intake) and physical activity (energy expenditure). It was proven that disadvantaged individuals lack personal resources and knowledge that influence energy intake and expenditure, and are more likely to live in under-resourced and unsafe environments that limit the ability to engage in healthy behaviors.
It is also stated in the article that certain minority groups, such as African-Americans and some Hispanic groups, have higher rates of poverty and live in more disadvantaged areas than Whites. By facing higher level of disadvantage they become more vulnerable to obesity. In addition, the article revealed the link between stress and obesity and underlined the necessity to consider this factor as well. While the argumentation is built on the materialist explanations of inequality, it is also suggested to focus on psychological measures of relative inequality in future researches.
An Article in a Scholarly Journal
Lee, Hedwig. “Inequality as an Explanation for Obesity in the United States.” Sociology Compass 5.3 (2011): 215–232. …