COMPLETELY IN MLA FORMAT! JUST ADJUST MARGINS! Grant WadeS. ChesneEng. 101329 March 2005 Obesity and Self-Esteem Today obesity is talked about as a major physical health problem. It can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, immobilization, and many other problems. However many articles fail to mention what is one of the most important and most destructive problems. This is the effect of obesity on one’s mental health and wellbeing.
Being excessively overweight usually instills in it’s victims a sense of self worthlessness and gives them a very negative self-image. This can lead to an array of problems that affect the person in a way that is much more direct and difficult to deal with than physical problems. While the problem is known to affect men, it strikes women much more often. The models and celebrities in the media that set the standard for what women should look like are thinner than 90-95 percent of the American female population (Seid p. 6).
This is an unrealistic portrayal of what the human body should look like when compared to most women’s genetic makeup.
Women’s self-image, their social and economic success, and even their survival can still be determined largely by their beauty (Seid p. 5).
Men on the other hand seem to have it a little easier when it comes to looks. Their self-image is largely determined by what they accomplish in life and not by whether or not they meet the social standard for looks. Modern clothing and fashion require women to show off their bodies more in tight clothes and by showing more skin than in the past. According to Roberta Seid women’s bodies which never used to be exposed to the public, are now essentially nude with a small layer of fabric dividing them from the world.
Being voluptuous was a sign of wealth and beauty. Women were not obsessed with diet fads, or trying to look a certain way, but were more concerned with eating healthy and were comfortable with the natural body shape given to them by God. Since 1970, eating disorders have increased by 400% (Rader). What has happened since then to shift the emphasis from a healthy feeling of self worth to a need to ...
Also, she states that more importance has now been placed on how women’s bodies look in the nude because of fashion magazines and commercial images instead of how women look under layers of body enhancing clothing (p. 6).” Obesity is not simply a cosmetic disorder,” state Jeffrey Koplan and William Dietz in their article “Caloric Imbalance and Public Health Policy” (p. 1).
These physicians fail throughout the entire article to truly mention the mental effects of being overweight; they just seem to think that being fat is a small problem when it comes to looks.
This is just one of many examples that have disgusted people who are experts on mental health and society’s pressures. “Like other minorities, fat people are seen as throwbacks to a more primitive time,” states Schwartz (p. 3).
Obese individuals and populations are looked at as inferior, lazy, self-indulging, and out of control. A revolutionary type of assertion is made by Schwartz in his article. He states that if it were a fat society, people would live longer, happier lives because they would be more comfortable in their own bodies (p.
This completely contradicts what virtually every medical study in existence says, but it may be right. There is one example of how this works in America; in the 1960’s Rose to, Pennsylvania had a population of nearly 1, 700 people, almost all of whom were obese, and there is hardly a recorded case of obesity related troubles (Schwartz p. 6).
This can easily be attributed to the lack of self-consciousness for not fitting in and to the lack of hypertension created by being an outcast of society. Men are directly affected by obesity at the mental stage when it hinders their ability to perform tasks that were at one time routine. This is when it takes a toll on them; it’s something like a mid-life crisis only it usually occurs earlier in life (Gawande p. 7).
The book Practicing Our Faith: a Way of Life for a Searching People is about addressing the need for sharing the fundamental needs of man to establish faithful and honorable Christian way of life. It explores twelve central Christian practices contributed together by thirteen individuals coming from diverse denominational and ethnic backgrounds. Specifically this book provides significance to ...
Atul Gawande is a physician at a clinic that performs gastric bypass surgeries for many people every year. He decided to follow up on the surgery of one patient by the name of Vincent Caselli by interviewing him every few months to track his progress.
At first he was depressed because he had reached the point at which he could not go upstairs in his house or even run his business. Then over time, the more weight he lost the more dedicated he became to blending back in with society. Finally, at one of the last meetings between the two of them he invited Gawande to a hockey game. When they got there he went through the turnstiles and turned around shouting happily, “Look at that.
I went right through, no problem. I never would have made it through there before” (p. 12).
This was the re introduction into the realm of acceptability in the eyes of society that Caselli had been working so hard for all of his life. He was one of only a few to escape the grasp of obesity and change his life around enough to permanently keep the weight off (p.
Health cannot be measured simply by physical means; it must incorporate mental well-being into the mix. It is vital for a person’s self image to remain at an acceptable level so as to maintain a high quality of life. There is no remedy for the nationwide problem of obesity, but hopefully be reading this article a greater understanding of what victims suffering from this condition go through can be gained.
Works CitedGawande, Atul. “The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Eating.” New Yorker 9 July 2001. Koplan, Jeffrey P. , MD, MPH, and William H. Dietz, MD, PhD. “Caloric Imbalance and Public Health Policy.” Journal of the American Medical Association (1999).
Schwartz, Hillel. “Fat and Happy?” Never Satisfied. Free Press, 1986. Seid, Roberta. “”Close to the Bone”: The Historical for Women’s Obsession with Slenderness.” The Program for the Study of Women and Men in Society. 1994..