Contributing factors to Obesity

Assumptions and hazy perspectives

Post 5 : Mitchell Soames

Aim:To gain more insight of how others perceive obesity and/or an active living, what do they see as contributing factors?

1. What do you think are the 3 main causes of obesity?

I was surprised by the response to my first question as my partner acknowledge that the living environment/ location were the highest contributing causes to obesity. Followed by eating habits which can be impacted heavily by your living situation  (eg. With friends as apposed to with family)

2. Why do you think Location/ environment is the most important?

I directed my second question based on the response to the first, my partner raised an interesting reasoning for her choice stating that your environment can condone or prevent you from certain choices (for example living in an area which has a number of fast food chains, one is more inclined to choose unhealthy options)

3. What’s your perspective on obesity? Positive or negative?

My next question I wanted to hear her perspective on Obesity as a subject/ issue. She expressed that the topic is taking a positive turn, mentioning that there has been a large level of awareness rising about healthier options and ways to maintain a healthy living (specifically on social media and TV shows)

4. What does a healthy living mean to you?

This was a tricky question which raised some alarming opinions, my partner first stated that your body shape/ condition directly relates to your mental state.
She went on to say that Physical health are connected if the person is balanced and health condition in appearance they are healthy.

5. Physical activity is considered to be of grave importance to combating obesity. Do you agree? is there negative things you can think of?

I wanted to focus on the negative aspects of physical activity because from most of the research I have read, the majority of sources are expressing how positive the impact of an active lifestyle has. My partner pointed out that its hard for people with weight issues to overcome barriers and get fit/ healthy specifically referring to patience, encouragement and comfort zones as restricting components.

5 point summary (based on interviewee)

  • Environment/ location in terms of a persons surroundings can have the biggest impact on one becoming obese.
  • A healthy looking physical appearance directly relates to a healthy psychological status.
  • Awareness and interest is currently being shown on the topic of obesity (through social media and TV).
  • There a mental barriers and external factors that stops/ prevents a person from getting physically active.
  • Too many assumptions are made for the reasons behind someone having a weight issue.

I conducted a probe task for my partner  which involved her documenting her feelings pre and post physical activity, and explain her dietary choices in her day. She admitted to feeling unmotivated of a morning to get out and go for a run, but draws on previous experiences to trigger her to get up and get going. The interesting nutritional choice was cereal which she describes as healthy. Its funny that we have come accustomed to believing certain cereal brands are ‘healthy’ because they are advertised in that manner, yet most are loaded with sugars and/or fat and are digested very quickly making it not a  very great choice.

Never the less she also stated “Physical activity does make me feel more aware about my body condition, lift up my mood and as a result I become more considerate about my food choices.” although acknowledged that exercise can encourage her to splurge out more on unhealthy options as a ‘reward’ for her commitment to training.