Learning when to push the plate away

April 20, 2017 12:47 pm

Are we disregarding health in order to promote a body-positive society?

We are allowing people around us to be unhealthy and lose the balance on what’s realistic and good for them in life. Body acceptance comes with cons and we shouldn’t ignore the fact that we are allowing  some people to dig their own graves. 

I get it. Our generation is trying to eliminate stigmas behind body types. It’s great. 

You don’t get to tell people what to do with their bodies. You don’t get to tell people what they should or shouldn’t wear.

But when are we blurring the line between acceptance and enabling unhealthy behaviors?

The world feeds us images of unrealistic bodies because in all reality it’s no lie these models are photoshopped. 

Body shaming, fat shaming, specifically usually starts at a young age and children usually then struggle with this throughout their adult lives. 

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in 2010 one in three adults were overweight or obese. 

The Eating Disorder Coalition released a fact sheet stating 30 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime, affecting all ages, races and gender.

Eating disorders umbrellas anything from binge eating, anorexia, bulimia nervosa and pathogenic weight control. 

However, body acceptance is on the rise and has slowly changed this. 

Now you can see plus-size models on magazines and runways. 

Activists are everywhere and are embracing all body types. In February, Sports Illustrated chose Ashley Graham to be on the cover of its swimsuit issue. Graham is a size 14, the average size of an American women, yet models are usually a size zero to six on these covers. 

This is a great way to promote a healthy, realistic body image for women and men everywhere. 

No, we shouldn’t tell people how to live their lives, but there comes a point when someone needs to step in and give honest advice.

While doing research and observing people’s’ reaction, they usually react more strongly to people who have an eating disorder such as bulimia nervosa.

Some say models look like they’re starving or are too skinny. Others say models shouldn’t be plus size. As much I don’t like only using models as an example they are the role model examples showed to youth and adults all over the world. 

“Telling someone to eat a sandwich is just as bad as telling someone to lose five pounds,” said Francisco Guio, graduate of University of California, Davis in exercise biology.

Tess Holliday is a plus size model, size 26 to be exact. She says she is happy and healthy, when asked about her size. But the Internet thinks differently. Many are concerned obesity is being promoted. 

“Accepting who you are is great, but there’s a lot of health factors that come into play,” said Guio.  

Guio said whether someone is happy or not they still run high health risks a person may face from heart disease to osteoporosis.  If people who are overweight and obese have children, health risks are immediately  are passed down to children. They are predisposed to be overweight and obese in childhood and as adults. On the other hand, if people are underweight and receive insufficient nutrition face developmental problems and as adults some women may experience infertility.  

“Preventing the disease is always easier than treating it,” said Guio. 

Weight and size does not define a person but it can also save your life. Our bodies are meant to be moving one way or another.

Getting to unrealistic body goals is unhealthy on both sides of the spectrum and can cause psychological damage lasting longer than the eating disorder might. Accepting others without judgment of their bodies sounds perfect but not happening for a long time. There’s always a critic. Instead of just allowing acceptance to not hurt feelings, which are important, people should just become more educated. 

Education on nutrition and wellness, whether active or mental is important and should be implemented at a young age. Wanting to change your lifestyle for a better life is amazing but no one should feel they are trying to fit a mold.