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World Obesity Day – Let’s Not Make Fun
“There are more than 10 million cases of Obesity every year and that is just in India.”
Obesity is not just about accumulating fat over your body, but the condition can further lead to causing some chronic diseases if it isn’t taken care of. It is not the matter of few jokes just because of a person’s weight.
About the Day
When it was launched, the registered charity made up of over 50 regional and national obesity associations. In recent years, the campaign has grown quite a lot to reach more than 6 million people and continues to grow. The campaign comes up with a new theme each year and the past themes included were, ‘Treat Obesity Now and Avoid the Consequences Later’ (2017) and ‘Childhood Obesity’ (2016).
This year, the focus will be on the obesity crisis and how it is showcased in the media, newspapers and also on online and other social media platforms with a number of articles and stories using negative language and images with regards to obesity.
“Being overweight or obese has been linked to more deaths worldwide than being underweight.”
The Popular Weight Stigma
Weight stigma has caused a lot of fuss and created a flurry of problems for the people suffering from obesity.
Weight stigma refers to the negative behaviors, manners, and attitude shown towards people solely and mostly due to their weight. If we have to end the obesity stigma, the main objective will be changing our negative behavior around people suffering from the problem. We need to address the problem and raise awareness about it and also understand the sensitivity of the topic.
What’s Our Responsibility!
Our first and foremost responsibility is to raise awareness about the problem. We need to spread the word about the problems related to obesity and diminish the negative image around it.
“The obesity around the world has nearly doubled since 1980.”
• We need to make people aware that there are multiple sources of weight stigma and which needs to be worked on and require a better understanding to avoid it carefully. For e.g. Weight discrimination during every stage of employment or the environment around schools and colleges where people often get indulged in teasing and bullying of people with the problem of obesity.
• Media along with certain creative platforms and brands needs to abandon the use of negative images, language and attitude about obesity. For e.g. ‘People suffering from obesity’ or ‘people with obesity’ should work better instead of directly addressing them as ‘obese people’.
• All the health care providers need to acknowledge the factors affecting the problems of obesity. It includes environmental, genetic, and all the related means like food, water etc. A better understanding of these will also improve the support and efficacy around it.
• The Government should work on improving the environment we live in or it will be too late. Everyone will be affected not just people with the problem of obesity.
“44% of the people with diabetes, 23% of the ischemic heart disease cases and between 7% and 41% of certain cancers are due to overweight and obesity.”
Please remember, people with obesity should be treated with the same dignity and respect. Instead of sympathizing with them, they should be empathized as their counterparts (Slimmer ones).
“The issue is so serious that people sometimes end up feeling bad about themselves and their body or may even fall prey to depression and suicide.”
So, what’s your take on the problem and how would you feel if the person being made fun of because of his/her weight was you?