The increase in obesity is a serious problem because it causes health problems among both children and adults often for life. Obesity could lead to severe chronic conditions, certain cancers, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease particularly among the adults who adopt unhealthy eating habits (Felitti, Jakstis, Pepper & Ray, 2010).
The issue is more severe in case of kids who could be influenced with persuasive advertising from junk or fast food manufacturers. The researcher would like to pinpoint the fact that the kids develop unhealthy diet behaviors due to media exposure to junk foods as clever advertisers manipulate kids’ cognitive process to entice them towards high fat products. In addition, the problem of obesity has also been identified among individuals who prioritize hectic work schedules instead of living a balanced work life. Consequently, the healthy risky work behaviors increase the probability of energy imbalances that in turn lead to obesity. Another reason for obesity among kids and adults could be inactive lifestyle, which does not involve any regular exercising, sporting and physical movement (Felitti et al, 2010).
As far as the empirical evidences for different diseases are concerned, the survey of NHANES conducted in 2005-2006 revealed that the type-2 diabetes suffering adults accounted for 95%, general diabetes for 13%, and pre-diabetes for 16% approximately. The obesity also causes pre-diabetes that in turn increase the probability of developing type-2 diabetes, heart strokes, or heart attacks. Obesity is not only common among American whites but also the problem is evident in case of minority communities as the latter with obese adolescents and children increasingly suffer type-2 diabetes particularly in the youth ages of 12-19 years. This also leads to the growing concern about substantial increase in diabetes suffering young adults. One recent national research also reported the suffering of type-2 diabetes in the obese individuals, comprising nearly 60% specifically among the young children or tween population. The medical researchers have revealed that the supplemented absolute fasting could be an effective treatment for controlling obesity (Felitti et al, 2010).
The social marketing is an effective tool that could help reducing the adverse impact of unhealthy food habits and developing favorable behaviors such as the monthly medical tests for blood pressure, cholesterol and potassium levels. Nonetheless, the social marketing campaigns in collaboration with community partnerships could increase awareness among majority and minority groups about the symptoms of obesity and the obvious solutions. For example, the firms could initiate social marketing campaign by fulfilling their ethical responsibility and highlighting that they offer food items with the disclosure of actual fat quantity, carbohydrates, and calories contained in their products. In this way, the for-profit business companies could educate the obese youth and adults, thereby restricting them to minimize the consumption level of foods with high fat level. One of the recent examples is the McDonalds’ marketing campaign about the launch of “under 400 calories menu” in July 2014. The second example is advertising campaign of Applebee that targeted audience with “under 500 calorie dishes” to help the obese youth and children in consuming low calorie foods. Finally, there are other organizations that specifically launch campaigns to promote increased consumption of vegetable and fruits among the obese individuals to reduce their unhealthy diet decisions (Felitti et al, 2010).
Felitti, V. J., Jakstis, K., Pepper, V., & Ray, A. (2010). Obesity: Problem, solution, or both? The Permanente Journal, 14(1), 24–30.