Myths of Obesity

The main struggle that comes along with obesity is lack of tolerance and narrow mindedness from fellow human beings. Let us clear the air initially: it is not solely food intake that determines a person’s weight, excessive or not.

What is Obesity?

Approximately 72 million Americans struggle with a disproportionate amount of total body fat or a high body mass index (BMI), which is a number derived from a persons height and weight by a specific formula. If an individual’s BMI is over 30, or if they are twenty percent above their “ideal“ weight, that person is considered clinically obese.

Undoubtedly, some obese persons do not live and eat properly and/or healthily, adding to their condition. However, there are people who follow an even more destructive lifestyle that are not obese. Let us clear the air initially: it is not solely food intake that determines a person’s weight, excessive or not.

Other factors that determine weight:

  • Naturally high or low metabolism
  • Heredity
  • Use of drugs or alcohol
  • Type of food intake (healthy or junk food, portion size, etc)
  • Intensity of physical activity
  • Medication (some steroids and antidepressants)
  • Endocrine system function
  • Illness (hypothyroidism)

Debunking the Myths of Obesity

All obese people are lazy:

Wrong. Brace yourself. It is blatantly ignorant to assume that ALL obese individuals are lazy.

Questions that beg to be answered before this assumption is made:

  • Can this be accurately or scientifically measured to include ALL of the obese population in the world?
  • Did/Do overweight celebrities like David Wells, Babe Ruth, John Daly, Chris Farley, Queen Latifah, Jack Black, The Notorious B.I.G., deserve to be labeled lazy? It is safe to say that their success and fame came from the total opposite of laziness.
  • Not all of the aforementioned were/are obese because they sat on their gluteus maximus all day, so how can the same be said for non-famous individuals?

All obese individuals are unhealthy:

Nope. Surprised again? Physical health is determined by the quality of fit, not the quantity of fat. Epidemiologist Steven Blair at the Cooper Institute based in Dallas, Texas, discovered that larger individuals who are fit, have decreased health risks than thinner individuals who are not fit.

Why Body Fat is a Must Have:

  • Fat is crucial, beneficial and required for a normally functioning body
  • Fat cells are necessary for certain hormone production triggered by the brain to the endocrine system
  • Body fat provides insulation to vital organs and regulates core temperature
  • Fat in the body assists in absorbing vitamins and minerals from food

All obese people have no willpower:

Get real! Not true. Once again, can this be proven scientifically with strong, statistical evidence to back this assumption? Lack of willpower has nothing to do with extra weight.

Further Questions That Should be Asked:

  • Are all overweight people unhappy with their outward appearance?
  • If an obese person is physically healthy, should they need to lose weight?
  • Do anorexics or victims of terminal illness have no willpower?

The main struggle that comes along with obesity is lack of tolerance and narrow mindedness from fellow human beings. If you are a person who has made an assumption about an obese individual due to lack of understanding about this condition, forgive yourself for not knowing any better and refrain from ever doing it again.

SOURCES:

http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2009/12/top-10-obesity-myths/

http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/educational/teaching_backgrounders/body_image/obesity_myths.cfm

http://www.obesityinamerica.org/combatingObesity/myth-fact.cfm

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/obesity/

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/

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Rebecca Adele Scarlett
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Posted on Sep 8, 2010