I not too long ago bumped into a Facebook post that confirmed a video animation with photographs like those above. The video is titled, “You are what you eat”.
Five years in the past, I might have discovered the video made sense: “I am what I eat; and if I eat hamburgers and doughnuts, I’ll get fat. And fat is undesirable and unhealthy. Period”.
Today, I see the video as a barrier to a productive dialogue on methods to reside a wholesome life. Here’s why:
1. It denies the fact of physique variety.
Look round you. We come in several styles and sizes. Our genes affect our bone construction, the place we retailer fats, and our weight. Even our organs weigh in another way! This has been the case for the reason that origins of Homo sapiens over two million years in the past.
As coach Ivy Felicia mentioned not too long ago, “why can we accept that some people are naturally thin, but not that some are naturally fat?”.
2. It perpetuates the idea that fats is essentially unhealthy.
Numerous research (see some references right here and right here) present that the connection between well being and weight is one in all affiliation, not causation. The causal hyperlinks between fatness and illness stay hypothetical.
Weight is a marker for well being, however not the one one, and its relevance has been exaggerated.
Studies present that an energetic massive individual is more likely to be more healthy than somebody who’s skinny however sedentary, and that poverty and marginalization are extra strongly related to kind 2 diabetes that conventionally accepted components like weight.
There’s additionally the “weight problems paradox“, a physique of epidemiological literature that reveals that obese and weight problems are related to longer survival in lots of ailments.
Fatness is just not essentially unhealthy, simply as thinness isn’t essentially wholesome.
three. It reinforces weight bias and weight discrimination in our society.
We are weight-biased when we now have “negative attitudes towards, and beliefs about, others because of their weight”.
People in bigger our bodies face discrimination within the office, the media, academic establishments, and the well being system (and Facebook!).
Weight bias and stigmatization don’t make folks wholesome. Quite the other. Stigmatization and weight bias result in poor well being outcomes and improve mortality danger.
Research reveals that medical doctors spend much less time with sufferers in bigger our bodies. Medical college students report mocking overweight sufferers, and fats girls are much less doubtless than girls in decrease weights to have a current pap take a look at or cervical most cancers screening.
Paradoxically, weight stigma can lead folks to eat extra meals. A 2008 examine confirmed that 79% of members in a weight-loss program reported dealing with weight stigma by overeating.
four. It demonizes “hamburgers and doughnuts”.
I’m not denying that there are issues with the meals system and that there are meals which are extra conducive to well being than others. I’m not suggesting you’ve pizza for breakfast both!
But I do see, every single day, that demonizing “bad” meals leads folks to bounce between depriving themselves and weight-reduction plan, to overeating and bingeing. Losing management round meals is a pure organic response to restriction.
This is why 75% of girls within the United States have a disordered relationship with meals and 80% of 10-year previous ladies have already been on a weight-reduction plan.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, giving your self permission to eat “hamburgers and doughnuts” results in a extra relaxed relationship with these meals—in addition to a lower in consumption.
I’ll depart you with two ideas:
Be interested in how the content material you devour and unfold on social media might have an effect on yours and different folks’s psychological and bodily well being.
The mistake of our tradition is declaring the conflict on fatness as a substitute of the conflict on a life-style characterised by excessive ranges of stress, sedentarism, an excessive amount of time in entrance of screens, little sleep, and a weight-reduction plan loaded in meals that aren’t conducive to well being.
This way of life is dangerous to anybody, no matter their weight.
Written by Lina Salazar.