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Rethinking Body Weight

By paigeymack310 Oct 12, 2008 940 Words
Synthesis: Body weight

Body weight is a major area of concern for many Americans. Not many men and women know what to believe about body weight because we are receiving countless mixed messages from the media, medical industry, food industry and much more. One industry will promote weight loss products whereas another will push products onto consumers that will produce weight gain. The public receives so many messages about body weight, yet none coincides with one another.

The problem with the clothing industry is that most pieces of stylish clothing are designed to fit a smaller person. In a department store, sizes basically range from small to large. There is no extra-extra large and so on. A person would need to go to a specialty store in order to find larger sizes. According to Worley, if a person is overweight, finding clothes that fit is a major problem. To find her first piece of fashionable clothing, Worley had to go to a special convention held especially for the acceptance of fat people. She stated that where she comes from, a person can not find clothes that he or she can actually get on and there are not many choices as far as clothing options. Clothing for large people is normally unattractive. Stylish clothing for large people is usually only found at a specialty store such as Lane Bryant. This makes the public wonder if a larger person is limited to certain stores. If larger people are being limited to specified stores, there could be no end to what industries limit heavy people to. (Worley 1)

The media perceives fat as unattractive. All people see on magazine covers are pictures of thin celebrities. If there happens to be an overweight person on the cover, it is probably to publicity humiliate them for being fat. There is a whole page dedicated to celebrities who look unsightly in a bathing suit. If a person has a bit of cellulite, the cameras zoom onto that area to make sure everyone sees it. Many people wonder if being skinny is the new fad and that is the only way anyone will ever find you attractive. However, there are pictures on television, as well as magazines, of rail-thin celebrities. The media is not only ostracizing overweight people, but thin people as well. The public oes not know whether to gain weight or to loose it. There seems to be a perfect weight that no one is telling us about and that no one can achieve.

Spake, author of “Fat and Happy,” feels that a large problem obese people face is the phony diet programs and drugs advertised to reduce fat. There are many infomercials dealing with weight loss and that is harmful to people because it is giving them an impractical view of what can be accomplished in such a short time. Commercials advertise medical treatments that will produce just enough weight loss in six months which will make a person healthier, but is not enough for most people to be satisfied. Many people are looking for better, faster and more drastic results.

According to Spake, Obesity is a disease and should be treated like one in the medical field. Spake feels that obesity is not a choice that one makes and that it should be covered under insurance. However, many health insurers believe that being overweight can be reversed by making healthier lifestyle choices. Maybe obesity is a case of overeating rather than a biological disease and that is why it is not covered under insurance. The health insurance industry argues that obesity treatments can not be covered because there is not evidence of success of medical treatments. The health insurance system is based on illness, not treatment of success. (Spake 2)

Fat people are often reluctant to seek medical attention because doctors are some of the fastest people to prejudge. No matter what complaint you have, doctors often attribute that to being overweight. Some doctors say that heaviness is credited towards the shortening of people’s lives. According to Worley, health risks of being fat have been highly overestimated. She states that being fat may occasionally contribute to compromised health but not to the amount that people say. (Worley 3)

The food industry also sends the public mixed messages. They sell fattening foods in grocery stores and fast food restaurants are getting more fattening foods as well. It is all that we see and it is very easy and affordable. If we do not have time to make a healthy dinner, we stop at McDonald’s and grab something on the dollar menu. If we really had the time to make a healthy dinner, it would cost much more than it would if we grabbed something fast and cheap.

The public is getting so many mixed messages that we do not know what to believe. Is the ideal weight skinny or a little heavier? No one will ever accept anyone’s weight. We always have to be skinnier than that person next to us. The food industry, clothing industry, medical industry and the media all send so many messages that body weight is a huge issue with everyone. Instead of wanting to be healthy, we want to be skinny no matter what the cost.

Works Cited

Worley, Mary Ray. “Fat and Happy: In Acceptance of Fat People” Writing and
Reading Across the Curriculum 9th ed. Ed. Lawrence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005: 5.

Spake, Amanda. “Rethinking Weight” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum
9th ed. Ed. Lawrence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. New York: Pearson
Longman, 2005: 5.

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