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Taking Charge of Social Conduct

If the citizens of a democratic nation begin to abuse the liberties they are afforded, at what point should a government take decisive action? Undoubtedly the US federal government exist to regulate society through law and guidance, and have a duty to protect the social fabric from the actions of individual citizens. So in instances where accepted laws or freedoms are being taken advantage of to the detriment of society, there is an argument that the government should take steps to change their rules of operation.

Creating a More Structured Social Environment

It should be said that changing laws to create a more structured social environment does not change the approach of a democracy. What it does is still empower citizens but in a far more considered way, and introduces an element of accountability for individuals and their actions. The act of restructuring the social element of the US would help to tackle many health and behavioral issues, notably those concerning smoking, obesity and anti-social conduct, and ultimately create a more productive and content generation of citizens.

Smoking is a relevant example, especially given the level of statistics and information that exist on its practice and consequences. Despite the fact that the decline in the number of high school children and adolescents who smoke has slowed in the last 3 years, and the eminent research that suggests that smoking addiction is more likely to develop during these formative years, most US states employ a minimum purchasing of 18. This, like the UK’s legislation that allows individuals older than 16 to buy cigarettes, is outdated and not reflective of the damage that smoking can do.

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Obesity as a Worldwide Epidemic

If there were any proof needed to support the current epidemic of obesity that is sweeping the globe, then it can be found through a recent case reported in China. A four year old boy, who weighs a staggering 136 pounds, has been offered free and potentially life saving treatment by a clinic in Hong Kong, with a view to preventing any long term health issues in his future. Doctors have stepped in after the case was brought to national attention through the media, and have ran an extensive number of tests to determine the existence of any underlying causes for the child’s condition.

Despite conducting an investigation that was both labored and considered, doctors have found no medical condition that could have acted as the trigger to the child’s obesity. While this is good news in terms of the child’s long term potential for recovery, it places the responsibility for his state of being firmly at the door of his parents, who allowed him to gradually eat his way into obesity. Yet there appears to be a reluctance to scrutinize his parents conduct throughout the affair, despite the fact that their behavior has put the health and well being of a young child at risk.

The Worldwide Growth of Obesity

The issue of obesity is a global one, and it is becoming increasingly prominent in numerous cities worldwide. It is estimated that obesity has risen to as high as 20 percent in some Chinese cities, as well as continuing to increase in other advanced and educated countries such as the US, UK and France. Its rise is worrying in the extreme, and if this trend continues it may well challenge tobacco as the single largest threat to individual health for the next generation.

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Parenting While Maintaining Individual Health

There is no doubt that creating and nurturing a life is one of the most valuable things that an individual can do with their time, and it is something which continues the essential cycle of life and existence. However, it is also an exceptionally difficult activity, and requires the considered devotion of both time and finance in order to raise a child successfully. With this in mind, it soon becomes increasingly difficult for new parents to maintain their own health and well being while caring for an infant, which can cause serious consequences in their short and long term futures.

Interestingly, a recent study conducted by the Paediatrics journal revealed that mothers rather than fathers are baring the physical brunt of child care, although both receive reduced levels of nutrition and exercise when compared to their childless contemporaries. The detailed study, which followed an approximate 1500 high school students into adulthood, revealed that the women who became parents subsequently consumed over 400 calories more per day than childless women of the same age and demographic.

A Question of Time

The primary issue seems to revolve around time, both in terms of mothers not being able to prepare a health conscious meal and also being unable to exercise accordingly. This creates a distinct imbalance with regards to the volume of calories consumed and the levels of subsequent physical activity, and leads to the individual becoming increasingly vulnerable to various health issues such as obesity. Although it may be argued that this is part of the personal sacrifice required to raise an infant child, it benefits nobody if the mother falls ill or suffers health issues as a consequence.

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Using Online Resources to Tackle Stress

It cannot be escaped that stress is an inevitable consequence of contemporary existence, especially given the increasingly fraught nature of the economy and personal finance. As individuals are finding it difficult to find or maintain employment, and the cost of living continues to rise steadily at the same time, stress is an unfortunate but entirely predictable consequence that can have a long term effect on a persons health.

However, recent research and its findings have revealed that the accepted knowledge about dealing with stress may well be inaccurate, and that there are in fact far more suitable methods for relieving its symptoms. This is indicative of the internet age, where a swathe of independent research bodies are conducting similar tests simultaneously, and publishing entirely opposing results that often conflict with each other.

The Issue with Online Media

This is the main problem with online media and Internet resources. As the World Wide Web continues to expand, more and more website pages are created on a diverse range of topics. As bodies investigate different concepts, the element of competition between researchers produces similar tests that generate contrasting results, with the result that the internet becomes a host of diametrically opposed opinions and supposed fact.

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The Concept of Diminished Responsibility

If you consider the intricacies of democratic government, then there is no doubting the size of the tasks that face officlals in the US and similar civilized societies. From attempting to represent their citizens in the most fair and balanced way to seeking to impart the principles of democracy on affiliate countries afflicted by war and by conflict, their resources are often stretched in an attempt to create a more functional world and individual societies within.

While their intentions are good, you can not help but question whether the same democratic principles that define them are also taken advantage of by certain factions of society. As the US government look to battle a range of financial and health issues, they must face up to two especially prevalent aspects of contemporary culture. Firstly, that they are unable to appease everyone in a country of such diverse cultures and requirements, and secondly that a consequence of liberal government is the diminishing of personal responsibility.

Changing Circumstance Through Education

To give an example of the inhospitable situation that democratic officials find themselves in, you need only address the range of social issues that currently blight local and global societies. As obesity, consumer debt and instances of violent crime have shown general levels of oncreae over the last 3 years, there has been intense pressure to create resolutions and move the country forward. However, there is often little done to question the individuals own responsibliltiy for their personal plight, leaving them largely absolved an any accountability.

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The Age of Enlightenment or Ignorance?

According to various reports, we are the time of year where people begin to renege upon or abandon their new year resolutions. Whether an individual has given up smoking or pledged to undertake an increased daily exercise program, the two week period between the end of January and middle of February oversees a watershed in their aspirations, as they their good intentions are challenged by the rigors of everyday existence. More often than not, resolutions that are formed in good spirits are broken do the detriment of a persons health or well being.

Worryingly, these health resolutions that are conceived in order to benefit an individual are being disregarded despite the wealth of information that surrounds them. The age of internet has afforded citizens access to a volume of information that is unprecedented, but despite this there is an inherent lack of motivation to abandon habits that continue to damage the health of society and its members. This raises questions about the World Wide Web, and whether it is ushering in an age of enlightenment or ignorance.

A Dilution of Relevant Information

The statistics surrounding health in the US. As the rate of US citizens suffering from being overweight or obese rises towards 70 percent, and a further 20 percent still choose to smoke on a daily basis, there are increasing concerns of an nutrition and health epidemic in the country. Yet these issues continue to remain prevalent despite the fact that their related information is not only readily available, but also advertised and promoted on various affiliated products.

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Confronting the Issues of Body Image

Since the turn of the century, we have appeared to exist in a world of increasingly apparent extremes. Whether this refers to political opinion and religious belief systems, or the swelling number of underweight and overweight individuals in US society, the concept of the extreme is particularly prevalent in contemporary culture. Although it is a clear symptom of modern living and behavioral trends, there is little to suggest whether there is an inherent cause or a suitable resolution.

The issue of health and body image acts as a significant example. Statistics released by the US census suggests that less than a third of the adult population are considered to be at a healthy weight and BMI, with the remaining majority either underweight or overweight in comparison. To compound this worrying data, each problem appears to be divided by gender, with males recording 70 percent of their number either overweight or obese, and an estimated 3 percent of females underweight.

Knowledge vs Ignorance

These two very different health issues are born of entirely individual causes. Obesity is a result of ignorance, where individuals do not modify their diet or levels of exertion to match their lifestyle requirements or the accepted knowledge on the subject. In contrast, individuals who are underweight are often influenced by the media representation of body image and type, and adapt their own eating habits and trends to create a body that is more compatible with what the see.

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The Challenge of Childhood Obesity

The continued growth of the Internet has created a vast and diverse resource for information, which allows individuals to educate themselves on a variety of different topics. This, in theory, harvests a more knowledgeable and independent society, whose citizens are able to take control of their own lives and adopt responsibility for their actions. Subsequently, social and behavioural issues should be challenged to the degree where they can be controlled and regulated by the individual members of a community, allowing governments to concentrate on .

However, this logic is not supported by fact and statistical data. Despite intensive work by research bodies and the swathes of media outlets that report their findings, several social issues continue to be pertinent in contemporary society. Obesity, violence and anti social behavioral trends are especially prevalent, and affect both children and adults in equal measure, which serves to question whether individuals are doing enough to understand this information and improve themselves accordingly.

An Inadequate Response to Child Obesity

Child obesity and fitness are issues that have worsened in the US for over a decade. The steady but significant rise in youngsters and teenagers who are unhealthily overweight is perplexing, especially when considering the accepted knowledge surrounding exercise and nutrition that is accessible on hundreds of web pages and television channels. It suggests that individuals are either applying a loose and misguided interpretation to what they read, or simply disregarding it entirely.

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Is Apathy a Cause or Consequence of Social Issues?

If we are to listen intently to the various media outlets that report on news and current affairs every day, we could be forgiven for believing that the world is veering on the very edge of tumult. From global conflicts that push the grand concept of world peace ever further from the grasp of civilized community to health and social issues that are more prominent within the US, it would appear that societies and the people within them are at the mercy of circumstances like no other generation before them.

However, many of these local or global issues are created by the many faults of mankind, whether it is greed to steal or satisfy a personal desire, or a misguided aspiration to use faith and religion and a tool to engineer anarchy. This makes these problems so much more than the sum of their parts, as there are too many cases of individuals turning away and displaying overt apathy in the face of their manifestation. The most pertinent question is whether this apathy is the root cause for such social issues, or whether it is a consequence of them and their subsequent media coverage.

What are the Issues and their Causes

This lack of feeling can be seen in many cases of neglect and wilful ignorance. For example, the level of US citizens who smoke is still unreasonably high at between 19 and 20 percent. Although this figure is down by an estimated 5 percent on the numbers recorded in 1990, it is unfathomable given both the public exposure of the damage that cigarettes cause and the quality of treatments available that so many still choose to smoke at all. This practice is clearly at odds with the advertisement campaigns, scientific research and media coverage that has been invested in revealing the extent that cigarette smoking can do to the human body.

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Understanding Obesity and the Potential Solutions

Health and fitness are both important considerations in contemporary society, where individuals are exposed to an increasing amount of literature on nutrition and exercise. The perceived obesity epidemic in the US and other western civilizations is contrary to these informative trends, as it is apparent that the rates of individuals who are either overweight or clinically obese continue to rise despite such extensive research and data reproduction within the field.

What recent figures show is that the surfeit of text and information that exists in modern culture in not enough to assuage behavioural trends, and that further effort is required to maintain a fit and healthy society. Over eating and a lack of exercise are the two significant causes of obesity and subsequent health issues, and these lifestyle factors are themselves subject to numerous contributing influences.

Statistics and Significant Issues

Alarmingly, just one third of the adult population in the US are recorded as having a healthy weight and BMI (body mass index) measurement. BMI is recorded by adjusting an individual’s weight according to their height, and its guidelines support whether they are underweight, ideal weight, overweight or obese. Of the remainder of citizens that have issues with their BMI readings, just fewer than 2 percent are underweight, and therefore obesity is revealed as the most pertinent problem in the health and fitness of society.

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