What social factors contribute to rising obesity rates in the United States?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many social factors that contribute to rising obesity rates in the United States today.  Among them are such factors as:

  • Relative cost of healthy and unhealthy foods.  Unhealthy foods generally cost less than healthy foods and so are consumed by more people.
  • A built environment that is meant for cars.  Many of our communities are built so that people do not find it safe, pleasant, or easy to walk or bike anywhere.  This helps cause people to get less exercise.
  • Prevalence of electronic entertainment.  This makes kids less likely to go outside to play.
  • General fears of crime and worries about safety.  Parents are no longer very willing to simply let their children roam about a neighborhood playing with other children.  This, too, reduces the amount of exercise most children get.

These factors, as well as many others, contribute to our problems with obesity.