An Upcoming Threat to Public Health: A case study on obesity and the structural challenges present in Indonesia

University essay from Lunds universitet/Sociologi

Abstract: Obesity rates have been increasing at an alarming pace across the globe however, little has been done to address the issue even in high income countries. To further problematize this issue, many researchers and public health officials have conceptualized obesity as being individually based, rather than analyzing it from a structural perspective. This challenge will be extended to developing countries if objectives and policies are not undertaken to control the rising rates of obesity. The case of Indonesia is an example of this, with many people living in urban areas being exposed to high risk factors associated with obesity, which may later contribute to increasing patterns of non-communicable diseases. The aim of this study will be to analyze external factors which influence individual agency regarding nutrition in the context of Indonesia. In doing this, the socio-ecological model will be adopted to identify indicators that are related to external systems, which may affect individual nutritional behavior or attitude. The results imply that interpersonal relationships, community and institutional operations, and health governance, all to a certain extent, play a role in impacting an individual’s perception and decision on nutritional health and obesity. The conclusion summarizes these results, in addition to positioning this topic in the field of public health and development. A discussion is then opened to demonstrate how this research can be applied to structural obesity interventions and what could be further researched within this area.

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