Has Perception Helped to Cause the Obesity Crisis?
While walking in the local park today with my dogs, I made the following observations while people watching. I find people watching very entertaining!People come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They can be smart and sophisticated, not so smart bordering on scruffy, or just getting on with their lives and pleasing themselves how they dress. It’s interesting working out which category they might come into. Their shapes vary from thin to fat, tall and short, different hair, skin colour and all the variety that goes to make up humankind. Every one of us looks different and except for identical twins there are no two faces alike.Yet, we spend much time and money trying to fit into a one size fits all frame of mind. Almost to the degree that fashion dictates what shape we should be. Are we striving to be something we are not?It starts at school of course; we are usually happy with who we are up until about the age of seven or eight. Then we start to notice the kids who have shiny trainers, or trendy clothes. Many parents find themselves out of pocket trying to keep up with these trends. From a child’s perspective and part of its manipulation to the parents, he or she will indicate that they are the only ones in the class who hasn’t got the item in question.As we get older we start to become dissatisfied with our body shapes and so starts the downward road to dieting, and starving and bingeing. There is an awful lot of confusion around for young people. With the abundance of sugary drinks, sodas, junk snacks, chocolate snack bars and to add to the confusion they will see these foods in the form of diet alternatives that they then believe that they can consume safely. Many young people become Vegetarian, and still other’s become obsessed with counting calories or eating low fat.
So coming back to the way that people dress and my observations in the park, I wondered if somewhere along the line many people who perceived themselves as fat, are not that fat. But just trying to wear the clothes that are designed for the minority of women in society that are super slim. How many of them would avoid having to worry about their size if they wore clothes that they would look good in today, to suit the shape that they are at present? Would they then avoid becoming a victim of the diet industry, who play on these people’s desires?
So perhaps If people did not become unsatisfied with their body and shapes when they were young, perhaps they would not start to diet in the first place. Dieting will bring down their metabolism, and before they know it they have fallen into a diet trap, and there they remain for the rest of their lives. Many of them become Obese and super obese, all because they could not accept a reasonable size, dress appropriately, and stay that way.
So could our self image and perceptions of people’s body image be a major factor in the Obesity Crisis?