Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on obesity/body image (sociology)

part iii.

Running Head:

OBESITY BODY IMAGE Obesity Body Image Full School This paper discusses the desired and recommended societal change towards accepting and understanding Obesity as an existing social problem that has to be addressed by every social institutions and requiring the participation of all individuals. Existing social, school, and religious movements also play an important role to instill the right social valued among the citizens to accept their fellow obese neighbors and to fight against discrimination against obese patients. However, social institutions today including the government, family, business employers, school and religion work together to provide support for the obese individuals. Thus, social forces and collective behavior of individuals play an important role in honing how the citizens would react towards obese neighbors by having them provided with adequate information and shaping them to act with right values in accepting their neighbors and practicing respect no matter if they look different. In these ways, desired societal change would be achieved.

Obesity / Body Image


Analyzing the topic of Obesity using the three main psychological perspectives (Conflict, Functionalist, and Symbolic Interactionist), you have come to understand that Obesity is a continuous, existing spreading problem in the society. Obesity is a serious problem in the society that needs to be addressed not only by the social institutions but also, the citizens as well. Thinking about the social forces that are driving the social change towards individuals’ perception of Obesity,–these forces have impact towards citizens’ behavior in their fellow citizens. Once treated with acceptance, obese patients are likely to be more participative and motivated in working towards improvement of their health lifestyle and well-being. The desired societal change with regard to the increasing rates of Obesity in the country is: the participation of every members of the society with the integration of its institutions (the government, family, business employers, school and community, religion, etc.) are: to prevent the disease in proliferating and to encourage obese individuals to accept their own stigma and their normal neighbors as well to fight discrimination and to accept their obese neighbors as it may impact in their psychological well-being (Boggess, 2007).

The current societal change towards individuals’ perception of obesity could effect and have an impact on the modification of social norms as well as social values. When individuals in general learn how to alter the way they think and behave towards obese patients (when they stop discriminating against obese patients rather, accept them as they are), this social norms and values will create a significant change for an ideal, cooperative, and a healthy , discrimination-free society (Blixen et. al., 2006). Social institutions like the family, government, and employers of business would be most affected by this change. The family of obese patients would be more bonded to provide support for their obese family member. plus, they would receive more welfare from the government which would aid their obese member to enroll in a weight loss program or undergo a surgery to save their obese member from the health-threatening and deadly effect of Obesity.

Government though, would have to initiate the change by investing extra funds for the Obese citizens for their health improvement yet, they legislated in the law that every obese patient would have to pay a percentage of their salary to their employers deductible in their salaries for hiring them and providing extra fund for their Medicare would be an extra expenditure for employers as well. Of course, to prevent the likelihood of inequality and social stratification among obese individuals, it is important that the government also controls the provision of welfare and they should maintain implementation of taxes that should be paid by them. These changing elements of our culture greatly affect everyone’s lives and economy as well, in terms of provision of welfare, taxes required to be paid, the societal change provides the opportunity for reciprocation among the social institutions to help each other towards fighting the prevalence of the health problem in the society. Social, school, or religious movements, which promotes the collective behavior of citizens fighting against the prevalence of Obesity is highly contributive for the desired change. and mostly, such movements are in need of the normal and obese individuals’ participation in working towards a desired healthy and fit lifestyle among all members of the society (Bernstein et. al., 1991).

Conclusion Desired societal change is the participation of every member of the society together with the social institutions to fight against Obesity and discrimination against these obese patients. Social forces play an important role in honing how the citizens would react towards obese neighbors by providing them with adequate information and shaping them to act with right values in accepting their neighbors and giving them respect no matter if they look different. With the help of all social institutions, desired societal change would be achieved.


Bernstein, D. A., Roy, E. J., Srull, T. K., & Wickens, C. D. (1991). Psychology.Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. Blixen, C., Singh, A., & Thacker, H. (2006). Values and Beliefs About Obesity and Weight Reduction Among African American and Caucasian Women. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 17, 290-297.Boggess, H. (2007, July 24). Stigma of Obesity: A symbolic interactionist perspective on a Growing epidemic. Retrieved June 07, 2009, from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/311654/stigma_of_obesity_a_symbolic_interactionist.

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