Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 72C--Weight

No, not my weight, just my observations on weight in the US. It is clear that the US has a severe problem with obesity. On the other end of the spectrum, we have 8 million Americans suffering from Anorexia. These are both bad things, but not what I've noticed today.

Unless you're an obese person, society does not allow you to complain about your weight. Even if you are obese, courtesy will prompt many people to placate any talk about your weight. This is not good for any of us. Many people who are not obese could benefit from losing weight. We need to stop telling people (unless they're way underweight), "You don't need to lose weight" "You look just fine to me." or other things meant to make them feel better about themselves. I know we mean well, but it's not helping anyone.

As someone whose weight has been right at the high point of normal to the lower end of overweight, I get this often. I know that I'm overweight. I can see it when I laugh and my stomach shimmies like Jell-O. I know people are being nice and possibly honest when they tell me I don't need to lose weight, but the reality is that I will be healthier if I lose about 20 pounds. When I tell people that, it leads to more placating, but that's 14% of my current weight.

I know I'm not alone in this situation. There are plenty of skinny-fat people out there. Or people who are overweight, but not what people would consider "fat." Fat is not a medical term, it's a totally subjective term that seems to have changed meanings as America has become more overweight. Being overweight is a health risk and we should stop placating people about their weight unless we know for sure that they are at a healthy weight. That is not something you can know by looking at someone.

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