Obesity is Becoming Acceptable – Is it Okay to be Obese?
There are a few reasons why obesity is on the rise, including the following:
- Improved New Self Image: There is a trend toward acceptance of one’s body that embraces and encourages obesity. According to the article “Obesity Among Women In U.S. Becoming More Socially Acceptable,” Medical News Today, women, in particular, are told to change their perceptions of beauty and be comfortable with their bodies.
- Advocacy for the Obese: The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) advocates dignity and equality for the obese. However, the Association does not look upon obesity as a disease. Articles found on the website included topics such as the downside of losing weight and refuting the BMI Index. The International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA) promotes size acceptance and fights size discrimination against both children and adults.
- Social Environment: Food and eating have very deep-seated cultural and social importance. People are subtly shunned if they do not eat like the group. An interesting anecdotal example was related by an individual who experienced three unique “feeding environments” at three different jobs:
- At a 24-hour call center manned by registered nurses, daily “potlucks” was held with food available at all times. All but a few employees were very obese.
- A bank, in which employees brought in a variety of lunches and snacks, had employees of varying weight levels.
- In a physical therapy clinic, employees snacked all day on fresh, hand-held fruit and no employee was overweight.
Why it is Not Okay to be Obese
According to the NIH Publication, ”Understanding Adult Obesity,” there are numerous health risks associated with obesity. Those who are obese are at high risk for chronic, degenerative and fatal diseases including the following:
- Diabetes: Obesity results in insulin resistance, the cause of type 2 diabetes. Even being overweight dramatically increases the risk of diabetes.
- Cancer: Men who are obese have a greater chance of having prostate and colon cancer. Obese women face a higher risk of cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and gallbladder.
- Cardiovascular Disease: Fatty deposits in the arteries cause coronary heart disease and stroke. Extra fatty tissue also requires blood to pump harder. Resulting high blood pressure can result in heart attack.
- Osteoarthritis: Obesity puts extreme pressure on the knees and hips. The obese are at much higher risk of failure in joint replacements. Even obese teenagers experience knee pain – imagine the joint pain in an adult who is obese.
It is Not Okay to Be Obese
Advocating consideration and accommodation for the obese in society is not the same as denying that obesity is unhealthy. Associations who truly wish to help the obese must acknowledge the negative health effects of obesity.
Those who are obese should accept themselves and seek acceptance by others. However, they should not become resigned to obesity or comfortable with their weight.