Posted: Saturday, July 31, 2010 5:02:47 AM
I have been a bit overweight for a while now, basically since the 4th grade.
At first, I was told, “don’t worry sweetheart, it’s just baby fat. It’ll go away as you grow.” But all of the excuses I had made for myself in middle school failed. I was caught in this perpetual cycle of unhappiness. I didn’t want to be big, so I ate my feelings, but obviously that emotional trickery was causing the problem to begin with. I had been fed statistic after statistic, but simply couldn’t get the motivation I was looking for from myself.
I thought about why the rate of obesity was increasing to begin with. Did people care less about weight? Did people now ignore their appearances? Why was it that people ignored the risks and damages or being overweight and simply continued on with their dangerous lifestyles?
And then I found the statistic that explained it all: “obesity is more than twice as common among women in lower socioeconomic groups as among women in higher ones.”
The reasoning behind this is that people in lower socioeconomic groups aren’t looking to spend a ton of money at Whole Foods when they can easily go to the nearest fast-food restaurant and pick up the same amount for a lot less. If anything, obesity speaks more of the economic turmoil this nation suffers than the lack of motivation or lethargy people are accused of. So if the health risks aren’t enough to make one change his or her mind about eating habits, than you may just be tackling the wrong issue first.
However, there are also other concerns in this topic, an example of which might be the influence of the media. The public is being given mixed signals. Most of the time, shows encourage healthy weight loss and eating. However, every so often I stumble upon a show or commercial that takes one step forward, only to take two steps back.
For example, I took a look at the show Huge. The story of overweight children who go to camp to better their nutritional habits, and in that show, we are given a heroine: this bright young woman who is confident and proud of the way she looks. On one hand, we are given the idea ‘I’m confident and proud of my body, why should I change for other people?’ but the show seems to completely ignore the fact that the poor girl is just waiting for health complications.
Now which do we believe? ‘Be proud of your body. Don’t care what other people think.’ Or ‘Eat healthy. Be happy.’
So here’s my solution for the emotional aspect of the matter...
Yes, be proud of some curves if you’ve got them. But there’s a fine line between proud and stubborn. Make sure you know where that line is drawn, because if you don’t the nation will be risking ‘pride’ for health and well-being.
As for obesity as an epidemic, I feel as though until we can improve our economic effect, change may be beyond the control of some suffering.
Statistic from: (http://www.obeseinfo.com/morbid_obesity_information.htm)