Fat Stigma Spreads Worldwide as Obesity Numbers Increase

by Descygna Webb

As obesity numbers continue to climb in the United States and throughout the world, there is a social stigma that is growing right along with it. There was once a time when some countries viewed extra weight as a beautiful thing (i.e. Mauritania welcomes overweight, divorced women), but those view points are quickly changing. Some countries are now holding a negative attitude towards excess pounds. In fact, having a negative perception about those who are overweight and obese is becoming a normal part of many cultures.

Obesity is being seen by many as a lack of self control and as contributing factors to global warming and food scarcity since the obese eat more and require more energy for transportation purposes. These factors were brought to light in a 2008 letter that was published in the Lancet. Some believe that having social stigma associated with being obese should motivate people to lose weight, but research says that it isn’t so.

More people are becoming obese, and as that happens, more emphasis is being placed on being thin and having the perfect body. Health care spending has risen dramatically to cover the diseases and ailments associated with being overweight. Many people are starting to view the obese as they view those with alcohol and drug problems.

Being overweight affects more than 65 percent of the population and the number of people in the obese category has doubled since 1980. Blaming people and inciting punishments like sin taxes on certain foods is not likely to help the situation. These types of actions don’t consider the individual differences in people that might complicate weight loss making it easier for some than others.

Obesity is definitely a huge problem that needs to be dealt with, but assigning more stigma to those that fit these classifications is not an effective method to help the problem. Education about proper eating and exercise can be a great start, along with sharing the dangers of obesity on overall health.

Via U.S. News

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