Friday, March 24, 2006

Weighty cause of death

I came across an interesting article recently, “Weighing Reality”. While the gist of the article was taking a group of Reality TV Shows (that I have never seen) to task, it had some interesting thought provoking points about the corpulent in our society.

It, importantly I think, points out that people are overweight for a variety of reasons, it “is not as simple as people just eat”. These reasons vary from person to person and more than one may be operating in any given individual. This may be why so many diets fail, in addition to the fact that many of them are just plain goofy. If you are not addressing the real reason an individual is overweight, they will not trim down successfully. This is not to say all overweight individuals have underlying occult (not in the magical sense) reasons for their being overweight. Many do eat too much and/or exercise too little and many don’t lose weight on programs because they don’t stick with them.

Some individuals are overweight because fast food is easier (and high calorie). Some are overweight because they don’t know enough about proper nutrition. Some are overweight because fruits and vegetables are more expensive than many high calorie, nutritionally empty “foods” that they choose to fill up on. Some are overweight because previous yo-yo weight loss/gain has messed up their natural weight set-point.

Most concerning are those who overeat because of psychological issue that need care and treatment. Being overweight is their hallmark of underlying mental health disease. They overeat to hide themselves because of a history of being abused as a child. They overeat to have “control” over something. They overeat because of an inability to form relationships. Overeating is their eating disorder. Overeating is their method of self-medicating.

There is little doubt that obesity contributes to ill-health and death. But the next tome you make an aesthetic judgment of how “vile” an overweight individual is, consider that there might be an underlying cause that needs treatment. It may not be as easy as just another “diet”.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! Not that anybody is going to take to heart but still, as a formerly fat person, I appreciate your attempting to ask people not to judge us. At 121 lbs, I am treated very differently than I was at 237 lbs but I am the same person. You would think I had invented the cure for cancer with all the comments I've gotten on my weight loss, yet I've done many more valuable things in my life than lost weight. I appreciate this entry... P.S. I really find your blog interesting and read it almost every day.