Obesity: Stop judging obese people based on these myths
Although obesity is life-threatening, what makes it worse for people suffering from it are the many misconceptions that are pervasive across cultures and age groups. There are multiple unsupported beliefs that people easily give in to and do nothing but fuel social stigmas. Let's debunk five of the most common ones and help you change the way you perceive obese people.
Here's what our expert says
- Obesity is defined as a basal metabolic index (BMI) of a person being more than 25.
- Basal metabolic index is a method of standardizing the weight and height of an individual to compare it with the general population.
- A person with BMI>25 is at a higher risk of certain lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, heart disease, liver diseases, and certain cancers.
Myth 1: Obese people should eat less and move more
While constantly consuming more calories than the recommended daily intake is the largest and the most direct way to invite obesity, it is not just about that. There are many other factors that can make one obese and these include hormonal imbalance, insufficient sleep, stress, chronic pain, medications, metabolism-related diseases, and endocrine disrupters. Overeating is more of a symptom than a cause in itself.
Myth 2: Obese people are lazy and inactive
This is partially a discriminatory bias. Obese or not, anyone with a sedentary lifestyle can become lazy. The only thing is, it becomes a little more complex for obese folks because they require relatively more energy to do a physical activity than the ones with a healthy weight. Their level of burning calories could be slow but it doesn't mean they are lazy.
Myth 3: Obesity runs in the family
Genetics may have a role in obesity but it doesn't guarantee that you will be obese if your parents are. The moment you change your lifestyle, you can lose weight and make healthy choices, irrespective of your family history of obesity. Obese parents can make a habit for their kids to indulge in physical activities and healthy eating to help them.
Myth 4: Obese people lack the willpower to lose weight
We often believe that losing weight is a matter of willpower. However, that's not always true. Obesity is not a choice but something that can also happen owing to many social, psychological, and environmental factors that are beyond one's control. Obese folks may have the willpower to break free from it but their stress, accidents, or physical conditions may not simply let them.
Myth: Obese people are less attractive than their partners/friends
Beauty and worth today have sadly stooped down to one's physical appearance. Often has been the case where people have misjudged obese folks, called them names for their two minutes of laughter, and taken them as less attractive than their partners or friends. "Fat people look good only with other fat people" is a subset of this misconception that needs to be busted.