Weightism is among the newest additions to our vocabulary. It is also among the newest additions to our discrimination basis. It is the most unhealthy and unfair form of discriminations. Weightism is discrimination of people based on their weight. It is a situation where lean people discriminate against those who are overweight. There are laws that prevent discrimination of people based on race and gender, but there is sort of a condoning culture on discriminating against people based on their weight. Only in the state of Michigan is there a law working against the discrimination on the basis of weight.
The Lack Of Laws Will Only Propagate Obesity
Because of the absence of laws against weightism, the projections of researchers are not looking up. They predict that the trend has only one way to go, upwards. The trend has been spiraling upwards and will continue to do so unless strict laws are imposed. The upward spiral will only have negative effects and chief among them will be an increase of the global epidemic of obesity. This will not be a good effect as there are organizations investing billions annually in the efforts to reduce the epidemic. It is an epidemic that strikes at the core of most people because the number of obese people in the world has risen drastically. The main reason for the increase in obesity is the food companies that operate globally. All they are concerned about these days is increasing the quantity and taste in their food. The result is an increase in the sugar content and fat content. These foods are highly addictive as sugar has been shown to be three times as addictive as cocaine.
Areas Of Manifestation
The main areas of manifestation of weightism are in the work environment and also in interpersonal relationships. In fact, the rate of weightism in modern times has increased more rapidly than the discrimination based on race and gender. It has become even as common, if not more common, than the other two types.
This was a report that was conducted by expert researchers and was published in the International Journal of Obesity. And according to the report, women have it worse. It was shown that women were two times more vulnerable to discrimination than overweight men. The report also states that the discrimination starts at a much younger age for women than it does for men.
The lead researcher of the team stated that the form of discrimination retains society’s approval and that is the worrying part. The lead author is known as Rebecca Puhl. She said the above in an interview over the telephone. Rebecca Puhl is a trained psychiatrist. She conducted the research with her co-author, Tatiana Andreyeva. They collected the information from over 3,000 adults.
This research was done in 1995 and 1996. All the results were published in one of the most disturbing papers ever to make it to publication. The most alarming part is that the trend has only accelerated through the years. With no laws or even restrictions, the propagators of the discrimination have only gotten more fuel for their hate. Puhl has studied the issue of weight discrimination for 9 years. She concluded that society has made it wrong to discriminate someone based on such aspects as color, religion, gender, and greed, among others, but somehow it is okay to look down upon someone simply because they are overweight.
Idolization Of Fitness
The culture nowadays in the world has sent a message to the public that someone is different just because they have put one some weight, and that it is okay to discriminate them on this basis alone. “How has the world done this?” you might find yourself asking. This is because we have propagated a culture that idolizes fitness. In modern times, fitness has become something of a premium.
It has been used to represent important aspects of our culture like ambition, dedication, and hard work. So if a person is not fit and thin but is overweight or obese, they lack these crucial virtues of the modern culture. And this is the reason they get stigmatized and discriminated against. They are seen as people that lack willpower and self-discipline.
Weightism Believes It Is Your Fault
The modern opinion is that nobody is at fault for their color, race, religion, or creed. They are, however, responsible for their weight and as a result, it is their fault that they are overweight. This common misconception is, however, dead wrong. There is a billion dollar industry in the United States centered on weight loss.
But through several random tests it has been proven that sustained weight loss through these methods is basically impossible. Expert panels have said that it is not possible to lose 10 pounds of your body weight and be expected to sustain that loss. Although it is good to try to control our weight as a lot of conditions can be avoided this way, a lot of things contribute to obesity and overweight people, genes being one of them. The food environment is also the biggest contributing factor. We live in the most toxic food environment in history when it comes to finding healthy foods that do not cause weight gain.
The biggest problem, according to Puhl, is the fact that obesity receives so much social stigma that it leads to binge eating due to depression. This only makes it worse.
Is Weightism A Positive Or Negative Effect On Obesity?
There are no benefits to weightism. Weightism only makes the problem worse. Those who are discriminated against usually end up depressed. This depression leads to binge eating. This means that the overweight or obese people will only eat more and become fatter. The fact that the accessibility to healthy foods is rare only makes it all worse. And in addition to this, society and the federal laws almost sanction discrimination based on weight. This makes weightism a bigger problem.
Weightism leads to an increase in the rate of obesity. Obesity in itself is a guaranteed global epidemic that affects a large majority of the population.
Weightism Review Summary
Weightism has become a major issue. The thing that makes it worse is the fact that it is basically socially acceptable. The absence of laws against it is also a contributing factor to its rise. It is an issue that demands to be addressed.