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Obesity, a Misery for the Have-nots

Moderate height, chubby body, with a big and round belly used to be the typical image of rich people for a very long period in history. It is also the case in modern days. However, this has been changing in recent years and obesity is becoming a more serious problem among the underprivileged.

These days, those who are affluent put much effort and time to live healthy. They go to fitness centers to work out regularly and they have a healthy, low-calorie diet that is mostly composed of beans, fruits and vegetables.

But for most of low-income people and families, they just eat food items like instant noodles, junk food and high-calorie pastries instead of good, healthy meals. This is due to lack of time and money as most of them have trivial jobs that involve much labor with little pay. Most of them can’t afford to shape up their bodies in fitness centers. With such unhealthy habits, more of them gain weight.

Children of low-income families also have greater possibilities of being obese as they are likely to eat junk food after coming back from school while their parents are working late.

This phenomenon is supported by statistics on obesity rate announced by the government. The number of morbidly obese people has been steadily increasing in recent years and many of them belong to the low-income class.

According to reports, the trend where poor people become obese is not only happening in Korea but in many other parts of the world, especially in the developing countries. It is now becoming a global phenomenon.

It has been accepted that obesity in most cases, is a result of one’s carelessness, lack of desire and will to have a healthy body. That’s why fat people usually had difficulties with their job interviews, having romantic and social relationships. Obese kids have had experiences of being made fun of by their classmates in school.

But under the current situation where obesity is becoming a social issue, voices calling for effective measures by the government are rising.

Several advanced countries including the U.S. and France are already taking the obesity problem very seriously and the governments are implementing policies to fight against it. America's First Lady Michelle Obama is well known for leading campaigns to make school children exercise and stay away from junk food. Several countries are imposing the so-called “fat taxes” on food items that can make people become fat.

Now, health care experts say that Korea should also pay more attention to the obesity issue. But instead of just following the measures implemented in other countries, more considerations on growing obesity among the underprivileged should be made. Making consumption of healthy food items like vegetables easier can be helpful and healthcare welfare policies for low-income obese people are also necessary.

Of course, one’s mindset and will to stay physically fit is the most important thing above all, so promotional campaigns and proper education in schools and community centers can be helpful especially for the underprivileged class.

Obesity problem is no longer a personal problem. A consensus on social efforts to resolve the problem is needed.

질문&어휘 문법TIPs 해석
questions

1. Explain obesity in your own words. What are the common causes of obesity?

2. Why is obesity becoming a serious problem for the underprivileged?

3. Why does the writer think that obesity is a social problem?

4. Explain the meaning of the underlined part and give some examples of it.

vocabularies

have-not 재산이 없는 사람

moderate 보통의, 중간의

chubby 통통한

affluent 부유한

trivial 사소한, 하찮은

morbidly 병적으로

underprivileged 사회 경제적으로 혜택을 못 받는 사람들

consumption 소비

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