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Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Fight to the Finish: Defeating Obesity and Obesity Bias

There are very few diseases as common, or as immediately obvious, in present day America as obesity. Unfortunately, the visible nature of the disease is one of the contributing factors to a decrease in enjoyment of life for those suffering from obesity. The increased risk for heart failure and diabetes is terrible enough, but constant criticism and condemnation from the general public only furthers the suffering of victims. Unlike other diseases, such as cancer, it is often the case that the overweight individual is blamed for their ailment. This double standard has become a terrifyingly real phenomenon in recent years that must swiftly be brought to an end.

Obesity Bias, or the act of assigning the fault of one’s obesity on the individual, is an instinctual reaction that is equally insensitive and unfair. Instead of sympathy, most people feel a sensation similar to resent for those who suffer from chronic weight retention. On both ends of the spectrum, much of the problem is due to biological responses – many humans retain the archaic instinct to consume calories desperately, and others judge the less healthy due to their inability to live up to the survival of the fittest. Regardless, there is absolutely no reason to judge those who suffer, especially when the focus should be on “how” or why”.

Although answers to overwhelming obesity do exist, such as the successful procedures of bariatric surgery in Oklahoma City, eliminating Obesity Bias is a cheaper, safer option that addresses the issue directly. Instead of insulting the victim, perhaps it is the culture that made it possible that is in the wrong. With so many extra calories openly available for anyone to consume, is it really a surprise that weight gain is an ever increasing trend?

Do you think it’s an individual’s fault if they are obese? How much could eliminating Obesity Bias aid in bettering our understanding of the problem?

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