Obesity AcceptanceThe idea for this article spawned from a discussion I had with my wife Miranda, her sister Justine, and her boyfriend Cam during our awesome trip to South Carolina. Please note that my intention is to spawn more discussion and to see what you as the reader thinks about this subject, not to force my opinion on anyone. Please comment below when you finish reading!

Initial Thoughts on this Subject

I write this article with the hope that my words will not offend. I am not in the business of judging you for the way that you choose to live, or for the circumstances that have existed in your life. I live in my own world filled with my own experiences and I accept that you do as well. My beliefs might not be your beliefs, and my values might not be your values, and that is okay!

I have always lived with the frame of mind that being open to others is the best way to be a true friend, and the ONLY way to truly listen to other people. If I am judging people with my own belief system and holding them accountable for something that they don’t believe in, how can that person ever truly trust me and respect me?

The answer is that they cannot. Respect is built upon accepting the other person for who they are and recognizing that we are all different and we each are entitled to our own thoughts and opinions.

I recognize that I can no more thrust my belief in God upon people than I can shove an apple in their face and tell them to eat! We all are in charge of making our own choices and, if we are honest with ourselves, our own mistakes.

All of this being said, it is important to seek truth and discussion with other people and to be willing to grow. My aim in this post is to talk about the danger of accepting obesity in our society while still remembering that people are people, and that everyone is indeed unique and that is okay!

I am going to first discuss the health problems associated with obesity, then I will delve into the reasons why it is so dangerous to begin to accept obesity in our society. I will conclude with hope for change and for ways that we can trend in the right direction, both personally and culturally.

The Health Risks Associated with Obesity

Anyone that is over 20% of their normal weight for their height is considered obese. Obesity is the leading health problem in the US and over two-thirds of adults in America are considered to be overweight or obese. This statistic may not be shocking for most of you, but the truth is still painful to hear.

Most adults are obese! This means that the problem is only going to get worse if steps are not taken to educate and to stop the current trends, as parents teach their kids poor eating habits, and so on throughout generations. This is a very real problem, and it shows very little signs of stopping.

Obesity has many health risks including but not limited to:

  • Obese people are less healthy in general than their normal weight counterparts.
  • Heart Disease and Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Sleep Apnea and other breathing problems related to asthma
  • High Blood Pressure

There are also several other risks associated with obesity that might hit more at home than the risks above.

  • People that are obese with not live as long as normal weight people. This is something that is controversial and is discussed in the Obesity Paradox theory so believe what you will here, but the fact is that being obese is a drain on your body.
  • Obesity can lead to depression and depression can lead to obesity. Break the cycle before it is too late!
  • It can be harder to play with your children or to go outside in general if you get winded just by walking out the front door.
  • If you are a parent that is overweight or obese, be honest with yourself here for a second. Do you really want your children to feel the way you do when they get older? Do you really feel “good”?
  • Obesity can get extremely expensive if you count the costs of increased doctor’s visits and prescription drugs.

The Danger of Accepting Obesity In Our Culture

Melissa McCarthy comes to mind when thinking of this highly sensitive issue of the acceptance of obesity.

First of all good for her for recently losing weight. She seems to be taking steps to meet her dreams and that is awesome. She is a beautiful person for sure, and should not be considered otherwise.

Secondly, looking at her would you truly think that she is healthy? She is quite obviously overweight and we know that being overweight causes health problems. It is not a good thing for our culture to start to think that being the same size as Melissa is a good thing.

Some people may think that it is Okay to Be Obese, but as far as our health goes, you might want to take a second look at this. Obesity caries very severe risks as noted above!

Should being obese really be acceptable? I would definitely agree that people that are obese should be accepted as readily as anyone since they are still human, but my fear is that if we are going to start to accept obesity as the norm, are we not then forgetting the important of being physically fit and choosing to eat healthy? Are we forgetting that obesity carries with it some pretty extreme health risks? Do we not want to live healthy and happy lives?

One more question I would pose is this-

Does anyone really WANT to be obese?

If overweight and obese people were truly honest, they would admit that they do not want to be overweight and obese. No one wants to be out of shape and carry around extra pounds. Obesity is not something we should start to believe is acceptable because for the most part people decide their own fate when it comes to being overweight.

Medical reasons notwithstanding, if you are obese it is because you have made a lot of poor decisions in your life. Do you disagree here? Do you think there are people out there that are truly happy with their extra weight and not just resigned to their situation? I just don’t see it. I don’t think that obese people are truly happy with their situation.

The notion that obesity is an acceptable part of human life is absurd. There is virtually no reason for you to find yourself accepting obesity as your fate with no hope of an alternative way of living. There is always hope for improvement! It is wrong for our culture to tell us that the only hope is just resigned acceptance to being fat.

It almost makes me sick to think that somewhere out there people are looking at Melissa McCarthy and thinking “You know what, It is okay that I am obese. It is okay that I might die young and that I continue to lead a sedentary lifestyle. There is no reason for me to change because she seems to be getting along just fine.” This line of thinking will only lead you to continue to make poor decisions about what foods to eat and how much to exercise.

It is truly dangerous for us to continue to trend in the direction of acceptance for an unhealthy lifestyle. We must start to push back, while still showing people grace and love. The health risks associated with obesity are not something we should be ignoring, as there are very real risks associated with this dangerous societal trend.

Final Thoughts On Obesity

It seems like the pendulum is starting to swing in the direction of obesity acceptance in our culture. Problems such as anorexia, and the idea of beauty as only relating to our size and shape are very real issues that are close to home.

However, we must be careful not to swing too much in the other direction! There is a balance that can be struck, that MUST be struck, between the extremes of being way too skinny and being obese. There is a good middle ground that can be reached in which people can live a long, happy, and healthy life while still being accepted for who they are as human beings.

Obesity is a problem for a lot of people. If you struggle you are surely not alone. I personally struggled with this and it has taken a lot of effort to make it as far as I have. I have found that the key is to make a commitment to yourself and to Make Small Changes to your lifestyle in order to start heading in the right direction.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with me here?

Further reading:

Obesity: What It Really Is, The Risks, and How to Combat It

Thanks for reading and have a great night!

-Jordan