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Obesity within the United States has been a topic of increasing national concern since the spike of its prevalence among the population. Its growing presence in American society sparked governmental attention around the early 1980s (NCBI). This relatively recent phenomena in the scope of American history has generated the need for research around the economic, medical, and societal implications of this emergent epidemic. While research has been conducted by medical experts, there is a missing analytical perspective from the field of sociology in the national discussion of obesity. More often than not, sociological understandings and evaluations are absent from nation-wide discussions of health. Since the issue first began to grab official state attention, obesity has shown no signs of slowing or dissipating within our society. Rather, the condition has been increasingly spreading among various ages, genders, and races. The goal of this thesis is to begin empirically exploring the ways in which obesity not only affects the economy and medical profession, but also the social and mental health of these labeled individuals. In this chapter, we will begin by exploring existing research about obesity’s growth throughout the years, why it causes governmental and social concern, and some of the known implications for adults in the U.S. who have been categorized as obese.



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