All Articles Tagged "obesity"
For years we’ve heard the stat that the average American woman wears a size 14, but with an equal number of stories running about our nation’s obesity epidemic, it should come as no surprise that that size has now risen to a 16-18.
The update comes from the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education which determined that size 14 figure was based on 10-year-old data, NY Mag pointed out. In comparing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with ASTM-I dress size classifications,Washington State University researchers determined:
“[C]ontrary to popular assumptions, the average American woman’s (AAW’s) clothing size is larger than anticipated. The AAW wears between a Misses size 16–18, which corresponds to a Women’s Plus size 20W, with greater distinctions found when considering race and ethnicity.”
The study authors recommend Misses and Plus-size clothing standards be updated as a result to ensure better fit — and less returns — but we also imagine this new stat will spark great discussion about Americans’ expanding waist lines and what should be done about that as well.
According to the BBC, women’s rights groups in Egypt are upset over the fact that the Egyptian Radio and Television Union’s female director, Egyptian Broadcaster Safaa Hegazy, has suspended eight women TV presenters in the hopes that they will slim down before returning to the small screen.
Hegazy, a former TV anchor for Egypt state, reportedly gave the eight women one month to lose weight and work towards an “appropriate appearance” if they wish to get back in front of the camera. One of the presenters, Khadija Khattab of Egypt’s Channel 2 told an al-Watan newspaper that the move is “just an attempt to get rid of the successful [presenters] and retain others who present programmes that have no strong content.” She said that she would prefer for viewers of her show watch and come to a conclusion on their own, not through Hegazy’s actions, of whether or not her size is a distraction and she needs to be removed from the air. According to the BBC, another presenter said she was upset that the situation wasn’t handled internally.
The women will be put on leave with pay and their benefits intact, but the Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness is speaking out against the ERTU. They call the decision to remove the broadcasters one that is both a violation of the constitution, and a violation of women in Egypt, specifically, “a form of violence.”
Different voices in media across Egypt are going back and forth about the fairness of such suspensions. And while some aren’t against the move, some have defended the broadcasters, with a few publicly asking what an ideal weight should be for a woman on TV, and others saying there needs to be a focus on bettering the content of the shows the presenters work for, instead of worrying about their appearance.
Seriously though, what is an “appropriate appearance”? It’s all subjective. And while going after larger Egyptian TV personalities sounds egregious enough, we here in the United States have probably heard quite a few stories of broadcasters in our country who were told their hair isn’t appropriate and were fired for defending their style. Yes, I get the idea that people know they’re going into a business where your outward appearance is important. Still, we shouldn’t ask or need TV broadcasters to look like something out of a J.Crew catalog in order for them to be able to tell us the latest sad new story or whether or not we should step outside of the house with an umbrella.
What do you think of the decision to push the women to lose weight and giving them a month to do it by taking them off of the air? How important is a presenter’s appearance to you?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (otherwise known as the CDC), the average American is more than 15 pounds heavier than we were 20 years ago.
What the hell have we been eating?
But seriously, after sampling more than 19,000 people between the years of 2011 and 2014 who were interviewed and underwent medical examinations in their homes, and comparing the results to samplings done between the years of 1988 and 1994, American women went from an average weight of 152 pounds to 169, so 17 pounds heavier. The weight of men also increased, going from 181 to 196 pounds over the years, making them 15 pounds heavier. Also increasing includes the size of our waists and the weight of our children, which I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about all over the news (i.e., the childhood obesity epidemic, the Let’s Move!). According to Women’s Health, via the CDC report, girls are seven pounds heavier than they were 20 years ago while remaining around the same height, and boys are actually 13.5 pounds heavier these days while gaining an inch in height. And while the weight of adults has really shot up, the average height has remained the same: around 5’4″ for women and about 5’9″ for men.
According to CBS News, via the CDC report, Black Americans have increased the most on average with women gaining 22 pounds over the last two decades while staying around the same average height. As for Black men, they have added about 18 pounds.
Despite how shocking multiple publications say these results are, I think we all knew that we were getting bigger. And we definitely know that a balanced diet and exercise can make a big difference in curbing the increase in pounds that has been happening. But we may not fully realize just how big of an impact our lack of activity and healthy eating habits have on our long-term health. The American Heart Association just recently noted that a high BMI can greatly increase your chances of diabetes more than anything else, while being overweight, in general, can also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. So while this information is good to have, it doesn’t make a difference if people don’t take heed and actually make changes so there won’t be another 15-20 pound increase 20 years from now.
In the words of Michael Jackson as the scarecrow in The Wiz: “You can’t win.”
Ain’t that the truth, though?
After reading about the Playboy model who taped a fellow gym-goer naked to share her disdain for the woman’s body on Snapchat, all I could think about was that song. Lord knows we have this very peculiar habit of shaming obese individuals, and then still giving them crap when they make an attempt to shed the pounds.
In case you missed the story, Playboy’s 2015 Playmate of the Year, Dani Mathers, landed in some hot water (and possible legal trouble) after the 29-year-old Snapchatted the body of a woman undressed in the locker room shower. The caption, to accompany the video and the image of Mathers’s shocked face? “If I can’t see unsee this then you can’t either.”
What she hoped would incur laughs and co-signs has since cost Mathers her gym membership. Oh, and her job. To make matters all the more serious, the gym where this invasion of privacy took place called the LAPD on Mathers. According to the Washington Post, she is facing the possibility of being charged with a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct. If that happens, she could end up with a fine, or worse, jail time. Six months to be exact.
And while we all could continue to go ham sandwich on Mathers for doing something very disrespectful and damaging to an innocent, unsuspecting woman, some of us also need to take responsibility for our own fat-shaming hijinks. Whether we do it outright or don’t even realize it, the statements and actions we hurl at the expense of larger men and women are all pretty damaging.
For instance, the way we can’t appreciate a story about Gabourey Sidibe, whether it’s about her career or an outfit she wore, without people feeling it necessary to harp on her size and say, almost seven years later, that she still needs to lose weight.
Or the ways in which we put conditions on who is allowed to be overweight. That includes saying that if you haven’t had a baby recently (emphasis on recently, as in, if your baby is less than a year or two old) or you’re not sick, you should be ashamed of yourself because my tax dollars are going toward people like you.
How we do the most when it comes to the accomplishments and style choices of larger people. If they get through some tough moves in a fitness class, they get attention for keeping up or get ignored completely because of the assumption that they won’t keep up. Or if someone bigger wears a revealing ensemble, it’s an “I see you!” spectacle.
The way that we try and pretend we’re health experts when we tell overweight people that they need to do better for the sake of living longer and happier, not knowing anything about the state of their health or their contentment. Because who could be happy when they’re big, right?
And the way we equate beauty with being smaller, telling an overweight person that they’re “cute for a big ___.”
All of that is cringe-worthy. But what’s even worse is the idea that after tormenting some people into the gym to lose weight, folks, like Mathers, make them feel as though they still don’t belong. As though their weight is something to mock despite their attempts to do something about it. As though working out to take care of themselves is subjecting others to the sorest of sights. It’s all yet another reminder that people really don’t give a sh-t about the health and happiness of overweight people. They just want to mock someone because they are so pressed to feel important or superior in any way possible. And that often has a lot to do with people’s own self-confidence and happiness levels.
Because, if we’re being honest, why would a Playmate of the Year who tightens and tones up to showcase her body, and who had her body reaffirmed on a national stage, be so bothered by another woman trying to take care of her own?
Why did this woman assume that the heavy-set Black woman in her yoga class was “judging,” “resenting” and “stereotyping” her “skinny white body” when she struggled through some moves?
And why does someone confident or working to be confident in their own skin, offend other people so damn much?
Because people are fighting their own inner battles and looking to jump on any person who can make them feel better about themselves.
With all that being said, I hope the woman videotaped comes forward and sues Mathers. Not just because of the fact that she grossly invaded the woman’s privacy, but to do so as a warning for people, in general, who are so worried about what other people do with their bodies. You don’t need to cheer an overweight person on in the gym for killing it, nor do you need to shame them for showing up. But what you do need to do is worry about yourself and the vessel God gave you.
I spend a good bulk of my day reading blogs and writing for them, and every now and then, I’ll drop by the comment section to see what everyone thought and what the tone of the conversation is like. For one story in particular, pertaining to the pros and cons of being in an interracial relationship, I was amused by a comment that read, “Black women have a hard time finding men because y’all are overweight and out of shape.” I thought this was ironic since it was written by a Black woman, but she expressed that women who are skinny can basically get any man they want while the sisters on the hefty side have slim pickings. It was a comment clearly meant to troll, but it got me thinking.
Unless you’re superficial, I had never known weight to be a factor in determining whether or not someone was worthy of love unless there’s morbid obesity involved, and even then, there can still be someone for everyone. I thought about my own self and the extra weight that I currently carry. I thought about all that I have to offer as a person and as a woman and hoped that my thickness wouldn’t dissuade someone from pursuing me. With that in mind, I decided to gain a broader perspective on this way of thinking by asking a few people if weight was a factor in whether or not they decided to pursue someone.
“No, it isn’t a factor,” said one man. “But how they carry themselves, I do think that matters.” Carrying themselves, of course, wasn’t in reference to a person’s actual weight, but rather, their natural presentation. Is this person confident? Do they grapple with an overwhelming self-esteem issue that makes them a downer to be around? Do they not know how to dress for their body type? These are the things that mattered to this particular person, not a woman’s size.
“No, I don’t think her weight would make her undateable,” another man stated. “If she expressed that it was a problem for her then we could work out together.” In this particular individual’s case, he expressed that a healthy lifestyle is important to him and he would hope that a future partner valued good health as well. However, if it was something that affected her day to day and the way she felt about herself, then he would want to see a real effort made to turn things around.
One participant felt that if your heart is leading you in a person’s direction, why question it with superficial thoughts about weight?
“That depends on you. If it’s that big of a deal then don’t, but if it isn’t and it’s something you can look past then I say go for it if the person makes you happy. You should always want to be healthy and if the person isn’t, then lend them a helping hand, but don’t discredit them.”
There were a few people who stated that they were raised to believe that in their particular culture, weight can be viewed as a symbol of wealth. Still, they acknowledged that western views have shifted that perception and have set a different standard that the skinnier, the better. However, they choose not to pay attention to such unelightened guidelines of beauty.
But a few individuals felt that it is important for the lifestyle of your partner to merge well with your own, and that played a role in their stance.
“Honestly, I couldn’t date someone who is overweight and unhealthy because that isn’t my lifestyle,” a man said.
In the end, what makes someone dateable is completely relative to a person’s own lifestyle choices and preferences. A majority of the responses that I received seemed to entail more so of a worry about the mental effects of being overweight (confidence, self-esteem, habits) than the actual physical state of the person they would be pursuing. So, in summation of all the answers I received, no, the size of an individual doesn’t make them undateable, but how they feel about themselves does.
The Biggest Loser Being Investigated By Police After Claims Of Contestants Using Drugs To Lose Weight
We told you recently via a great piece by the New York Times that many contestants on The Biggest Loser who dropped a ridiculous amount of weight during their short stints on the show struggled to keep that weight off. Many often gained a large amount of weight back, or even surpassed their original hefty size. The man who studied certain former contestants for six years, Kevin Hall, Ph.D., blamed it on both a slowed metabolism that made it harder to burn calories, and a dip in leptin, which made people’s cravings for food much stronger.
That story, which got people talking, ended up being the beginning of lots of interesting things being revealed about the show and what the contestants go through. Just last month a Season 2 contestant came out and said that contestants were encouraged to take “amphetamines, water pills, diuretics,” and throw up to help lose the weight.
“I vomited every single day,” Suzanne Mendonca told the New York Post about her time on The Biggest Loser. “[Trainer] Bob Harper tells people to throw up: ‘Good,’ he says. ‘You’ll lose more calories.'”
With those allegations coming out about the possible use of drugs, an investigation is now being done into the show. According to Us Weekly, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has set their sights on The Biggest Loser‘s King Gillette Ranch in California.
“We are conducting an inquiry into some of the allegations of wrongdoing that occurred some time in the past,” said Lt. James Royal to the publication this week. He stated that the investigation began in May after police were informed of the “unsubstantiated allegations of illegal narcotics use in the past on the set of the television reality show.”
However, those associated with the show, including producers, former contestants and trainer Bob Harper, who has directly been called out, are refuting the allegations against them, stating that the well-being of contestants has always been a priority and no drugs would ever be given to them.
“These allegations are absolutely false and are also in direct conflict with my lifelong devotion to health and fitness,” Harper said in a statement to Us. “Safety is paramount in my training regimen.”
The Biggest Loser definitely has received a lot of criticism lately, but the show has always been a lightning rod for it. Many have been against the show’s competitive weight-loss angle, which has been seen as dangerous and not conducive to teaching individuals how to lose the weight, change their eating habits and sustain such changes for the long term. And people also have felt that the show pushes contestants too hard by restricting their food intake and making them work out for hours in the gym every day for upwards of six hours, which could weaken the heart muscles. With The Biggest Loser now being hit by allegations of having contestants use drugs to see results, one can’t help but wonder what impact it will all have on the future of the program. If nothing comes from the investigation, you can be sure that somebody is getting sued…
If there’s anything you’ve been wanting to get off of your chest but didn’t know how to, a few painkillers will definitely help you do so. Just ask actress and singer Amber Riley.
The former Glee star had some dental work done recently, and while she was feeling the buzz from her medicine, relaxing in her loungewear sans makeup, she decided to address people who had been making comments about her size on her social media pages. For all those showing faux concern about her weight, through her Instagram page she made it clear that she doesn’t want nor need you to care so much about her business–including her body.
“Why does me being fat offend so many people? Is it because I’m confident, and I’m fly, and I’m sexy? Do my thighs, offend? Does my stomach, offend? Does my big juicy ass, offend? Why? Why? Let my big ass live! I let y’all live! I love all colors, shapes and sizes. So, just so you know, when you come on here, and you call me fat, it’s not an insult, dummy. My a– is fat. And the fellas love it. And so do I. So eat it!”
But her clapback for her haters is no surprise. Back in 2010, when Glee was was all of the rage, Riley told People that while there are some things she works on changing, and that “I’ve gone up and down” in terms of her weight, she loved her body.
“I love my breasts, my face, my butt,” she told the magazine. “Most importantly, “I love myself.”
Check out what Riley had to say below and share your thoughts:
According to a recent survey published in the June issue of the journal Body Image, the way we see our bodies could play a part in the success of our relationships. I’m sure most of us had an inkling that our insecurities could have a major impact on our romantic connections with people. There’s always a possibility that an individual wouldn’t feel like they’re enough for their partner or would rely too heavily on them if they don’t like the way they look or feel. Plus, there is that whole saying that nobody can love you if you don’t love yourself, or, can’t nobody love you for you, or “love yourself, girl!” Or something like that. Work with me, people.
But truly, I don’t think we realize the ways individuals display their self-doubt aside from jealousy when it comes to the things we do in our relationships. In the study, which was executed through an online survey posted both on NBCNews.com and Today.com websites, researchers surveyed 12,176 people between the ages of 18 and 65 about the way they feel about their physical appearance, and the type of behavior they exhibit in their relationships. What researchers found was that very few people, men, and women alike were “very to extremely dissatisfied” when it came to their looks, with men clocking in at six percent and women at nine. But as was pointed out, “feeling very to extremely dissatisfied” with weight was a more prevalent issue, with men coming in at 15 percent and women at 20 percent. It was those with a higher body mass who stated that they were more dissatisfied with their appearance and weight. Therefore, they displayed more unstable, neurotic behavior in their relationships, said they had fearful and preoccupied attachment styles and spent quite a few hours in front of the TV. On the contrary, only one-fourth of men and women said they felt “extremely satisfied” with their appearance (28 and 26 percent) and weight (24 and 20 percent). But those people were more open, conscientious and had bigger personalities, causing them to be more secure in relationships, have a higher level of self-esteem and be more content with their life, in general. As researchers summarized, “These findings highlight the high prevalence of body dissatisfaction and the factors linked to dissatisfaction among U.S. adults.” In laymen’s terms, as it turns out, our bodies are playing quite the role in our overall happiness, not just in our romantic relationships and encounters.
In a press release, lead author of the study, David Frederick said that “Body dissatisfaction and anxious attachment styles can lead to an out-of-control spiral and fuel each other. People who are less confident in their appearance become more fearful that their partner will leave, which further fuels their worries about their appearance.”
Basically, it’s a dark hole. So, if you’re less than pleased with the way you look, it’s going to hamper your romantic connections. Without coming to this realization and working to turn such negative feelings around, many of us are setting ourselves up for more hurt and pain as we go from partner to partner.
I kept it hush, but I did it. I didn’t tell many people, because I knew certain circles of friends wouldn’t understand. Others would have jokes. Even women, would suggest I was less than a man. But, quiet as kept…I did it on the low-low. Last year, I spent over six months as a vegetarian.
Through the years, I have lightly explored bouts as a veggie head, primarily for weight loss. However, as I have moved forward in life, I have found that this life as a part-time vegetarian actually works for me. I am at my lightest weight in years. I managed to crank out a half marathon last year and I am far more active than ever. Granted, this is a different time in my life and good health is a priority over all. So, perhaps I could get similar results eating more meat. I just didn’t.
However, what is more important is that I take the kid on this journey with me. Here I will outline my reasons for doing so and perhaps you will ponder it more. These reasons are not that of a doctor so please consult one or a nutritionist when really delving deep into vegetarianism.
1. General Good Health.
I know I’m not a doctor, but I don’t have to be to know this: vegetables are good for you. Duh! Generally, we just don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables. There is a general practice that I have in my house, there have to be at least 2-3 brightly colored items on our plate at night, if we happen to have meat. You can get any nutrition from vegetables that you can get from meat. This is one of the mistakes I made earlier in my exploration, but last year I got help getting my total diet together.
2. Instill Good Health
I know this sounds like the first one, but it’s not. I intend to fully instill the proper way to eat to my daughter now so that she keeps that forever in life. What I mean is that it’s not good enough to just put it on the plate. You have to explain to them why eating veggies is important to their lives. I share with her the dramatic health ailments that some of my friends and associates have had in their 30’s and 40’s. It may not be solely meat related, but it certainly is junk and lifestyle related. I let her know, if she starts and maintains this healthy life, she can have a great quality of life. Once, upon a time, I thought Hamburger Helper was a good, home-cooked meal. My parent didn’t feed me garbage growing up. I just didn’t know.
3. Meat – Gotta Rethink It
I realize now one of the reasons I ate meat a lot of the time. It just got me full and kept me full for a longer time. Also, you could get meat for shockingly cheap prices – that $2 for two cheeseburger deal was the bomb! And I was broke. There is another side to this and it lies in high cholesterol levels, hormone-injected meat, antibiotics, other toxins and no fiber whatsoever. Meat actually contains more pesticides than fruits and vegetables, one study said. Also, meat simply stays in the system far too long. It takes a lot of energy to process. A year and a half ago, ate a giant jalapeño burger in New York City and the ‘itis was so bad, I called it a day. It was the last time I ate beef. My daughter has cheerfully joined me on this journey. Her mother recently told me that she goes to her home and even shares some of the things we cook at my house.
One of my favorite rappers, KRS-One planted the earliest seeds of vegetarianism. Shout out to him and his song “Beef” from 1990.
4. Vegetables and Fruits Taste Great
I stopped having junk food in the house. I openly admit, I don’t have the will power and neither does my daughter. I recently tried to have cookies in the house as the occasional treat for her. I looked up there high in the cabinet and saw there were way less cookies than before. She had been sneak-eating! I left her the following note for when she goes for another stealing session!
Huxtable quips aside, I have learned that vegetables taste really good and even better when you add the proper spices. Add some legumes, quinoa, brown rice or fresh-cut potatoes and you won’t have any issue have a fulfilling meal. I admit, it takes a bit more time and planning, but it is well worth it. I don’t want to discount fruits – I love them way more than fruits.
5. I Want To Stay Around
My daughter and I have a great time together and I’d like to keep it that way. I am the product of a father that left the Earth in his mid-40’s. I am acutely aware of my mortality at all times and my health as well. It is my intention to say around, strong and healthy as long as I can – primarily for my daughter. Heck, I want to stay around for myself too, but I just know that it is necessary to help guide your children even when they are grown. She’s do the same for her kids and so on and so on. This has to be a movement.
I just finished a month as a vegan. Let me tell you…that was not easy for me at all. Its like vegetarianism on steroids! However, I will continue to delve deeper into living healthy, as we all should do. Right now, I am a mere pseudo, part-time vegetarian that is weighing out the options. After my month of veganism, I had some great hot wings during the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight. I’m back now though. For me, its not necessarily about rigid vegetarianism. It is about sharing the full breadth of options to my daughter. The food our kids ingest is very different that the food of old even the fruits and veggies. (About 70% of all that stuff is genetically modified!) It just isn’t good enough to ignore the obesity rates in kids, which is about 1 in 3 here in America. Understand, this is a war over mind and body. It doesn’t sound pleasant, but it will be when you’re child is running the same way at 40 when she/he was 14. Now, that’s a vision for the future.
Childhood obesity and its rate in the United States has been discussed time and time again, as more and more kids are being diagnosed with the disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems While in the recent years the steadily increasing rate has leveled off, it’s still a major issue because over one-third of kids diagnosed as overweight or obese in 2012.
In an effort to combat obesity head on, schools across the country have been implementing and issuing weight “report cards.” This program was actually launched in New York City public schools nearly a decade ago. According to New York City’s local CBS news station, “the report cards list the child’s body mass index (BMI) along with a designation ranging from underweight to obese.”
However, a new study by the National Academy of Sciences found the policy doesn’t present an outcome of weight loss. Amy Ellen Schwartz, a Syracuse University professor, and her team studied four year’s worth of data and found those labeled “overweight” or “obese” generally did not go on to lose weight. “In fact, some students — especially girls — gained weight,” WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
As a 24-year-old who remembers my younger years quite vividly, I would hate to not only have to keep up with grades but my weight at school. Honestly, there’s nothing encouraging about these weight report cards for kids to lose weight or be healthy at the very least. So, once a child receives the report card that labels them as underweight, overweight, healthy weight, what happens? Are they just left to deal with it themselves or does the school continue to nurture their education of living and eating healthy?
In school, I learned best about being healthy and maintaining a healthy weight through my health and physical education classes. Sure, many things can be taught at school, but somethings are better left at home — especially when it comes to judging a child’s weight. There’s enough pressure to fit in and find friends and find yourself, so I could only imagine the added stress a weight report card causes most students.
Instead of reporting on weight, school’s should implement environmental strategies to make healthy eating and active living a part of daily lesson plans. Maybe start a classroom garden? Try special potluck lunch where kids have to bring their favorite healthy food? How about the program try out Fitbits that the students use throughout the day to be consicous about making sure they are active throughout the day? While that may take more coins than the school system is willing to put out, there’s got to be more intelligent ways to address obesity in school than a report card.
Am I right or wrong y’all? Apparently, there are nearly 19 states that have instituted the report cards. Has your child received one? If so, how do you feel about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.