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Obesity and Mass Media

  • By: Jina H. Yoo
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Obesity is a range of weight that is greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. Over the past three decades, the obesity rate in the United States has increased substantially; more than two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese, and nearly 18 percent of children and adolescents are already obese. Obesity has become one of the major health issues in the United States. The medical community defines this phenomenon as the “obesity epidemic,” and has categorized obesity as a disease that spreads quickly and uncontrollably throughout the U.S. population.

Numerous medical research studies have found that obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, hypertension, liver and gallbladder disease, and other ...

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