A Fat Nation Is Not a Healthy One
Probably around two billion of people all over the world can be considered as overweight with roughly 13% being obese, according to the World Health Organization’s 2014 statistics. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) that is beyond what is considered healthy for an individual’s height and weight. A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is considered as overweight, while 30 or higher means a person is obese. Obesity is a mounting concern across developed and developing nations as it leads to harmful impacts on people as individuals and as a collective. A fat nation is not a healthy one as obesity can result in social, psychological, and health consequences.
Having a high percentage of fat in the body should be avoided because it can produce different kinds of social problems. The three potential effects of being fat are discrimination, relationship issues, and lower quality of life. Discrimination can happen in different aspects and life stages. It can begin when children, due to social influences, stigmatize the obese as being “less” which can mean fewer friends. Later on, obese people can have relationship difficulties as well. Obese people may have lower chances of marrying and higher risks of being divorced compared to the non-obese either because of internal (e.g. shame can lead to self-pity that creates problems to couples) or external factors (e.g. the partner finds someone with a better body shape). Furthermore, employers or people who make hiring and promotional decisions may also discriminate against fat people if they see the latter as unhealthy and not capable of conducting a wide degree of duties of responsibilities. Employment discrimination can help explain the relationship between obesity and lower employment and salary. A fat nation must be prevented or resolved because it is a country beset by these social issues.
Besides social problems, obesity can create psychological concerns. When people have excess fats, they may have lower self-esteem and anxiety as well as other mental disorders. Modern society prefers slim bodies and rates them as beautiful. Obesity, on the other hand, tends to be scorned. A person who is overweight or obese may then feel lower self-esteem and anxious over his/her physical appearance. Consequently, some obese people can become depressed, especially if they have problems losing weight. They would resist going out and enjoying themselves which can worsen their social and emotional problems. At the same time, some obese people engage in eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia in order to lose weight quickly. Eating disorders have been correlated with self-destructive behaviors apart from anxiety and depression.
Finally, a fat nation has many health risks and problems. The higher BMI people have, the higher their risks for high blood pressure, stroke, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, among others. Many obese individuals also tend to have osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and some cancers such as breast, colon, and liver cancer due to the connection of high body fat and bad cholesterol to the development of different diseases. A nation with numerous overweight and obese people then has higher healthcare costs apart from lower quality of life.
A fat nation is an unhealthy one which is why obesity must be prevented and resolved. People who are overweight or obese can experience a myriad of interconnected social, psychological, and health problems that can make them unhappy in general as well as physically sick. Thus, they should not overlook these negative consequences and strive to become healthier because a country with a normal BMI can have a higher quality of life and overall happiness.