by Matt Weik
The BBC has recently started a program entitled "Who Are You Calling Fat?" It's a show where nine overweight people are brought together in a house where they interact with each other and talk about their mentality, health, issues, their body image, and their social "norms." it raises the question of when this will come to America and what will these shows prove?
Is society worried or appalled?
For starters, I do not take sides in this debate. If you are happy with your life, so be it. Your life does not touch me. Keep rocking whatever size you are. However, there are some serious health concerns for those who are overweight. I do not feel that we need to go into that point. He was sufficiently analyzed by my content and the news.
I will look at this topic from the perspective of an American because I have no experience living abroad and do not want to pretend that I am doing it. That being said, where does a show like Who Are You Calling Fat come from? put us?
As a society, you have two sides to the debate – as in politics. They have people on both sides who are completely lost in their thinking and no one will ever change their minds.
There is a difference between mental and physical health. If you are overweight, you are not healthy. I do not care what you say. But that does not mean that you are mentally unhealthy. If you're happy with your size, that's cool. Because I'm in the profession, it's my job to help those who come to me lose weight and body fat so they can essentially achieve a healthy weight that minimizes the risk factors of their size. Shows like Who Are You Calling Fat? seem to charm obesity. If you are happy with your skin, which is okay, but makes it look like it's a lifestyle you should adopt, it's really irresponsible.
The term "fat" is a description and I am not saying that it is appropriate. Overweight, obese, morbidly obese and unhealthy is a common medical terminology, but one thing we can not say is "boneless" at this point and continue with your day.
Back to the two sides of the debate. One side sees nothing wrong with being obese, while the other side definitely has their concerns. Are you worried or appalled? Maybe both?
I can only speak for myself, but overall I am concerned about how the society has normalized obesity. More than 60% of Americans today are considered overweight and about 30% of them are in the obese category. People seem to find excuses why they can not lose weight. Some have real medical reasons, which is extremely unfortunate and I can not imagine being in that position. By the way, it's a bad lifestyle and a bad relationship to the food.
Listen, you were not born that way. Your lifestyle determines where you are today. There is no one to point a finger at, and there is no magic pill that can make everything disappear. Therefore, people have simply accepted that they are "big". However, this trend will have fatal consequences and send them to an early grave for a large part of the American population. I really do not want that to happen.
It almost seems as if their grudge against those who weigh less creates this new persona for them, where they lack the mentality and accept who they have become (which is alright), but then try to justify it that they are healthy.
Is an end in sight?
This is not about body shame, negative body image or bullying. This is about life and death. We set the scale at an all-time high and since people need safe space because of their slight insult, we can not sit down and have a meaningful conversation to help. Once you bring "weight", people are shutting down.
We have accepted this overweight and obese trend in society and nobody wants to say more because they are demonized in the social media as "fat phobic". We already have TV shows that are similar to those of Who Are You Calling Fat? here in the States. There are shows like My 600-lb Life and My Big Fat Fabulous Life that air on US TV stations as I type. And I have the feeling that this will be the tip of the iceberg in terms of what will come.
Do I think TV shows are different in appearance and size? I think so (that's my opinion). Is that correct? No. But focusing on specific shows where overweight people are portrayed as "healthy" is not "healthy" at all.
Then, on the other side of the spectrum, we have horrible "fitness" shows like "The Biggest Loser" (which has since been canceled), which are so bad a representation of reality that it causes people to fail. These participants were in a perfect environment, not in the real world. Not to mention that the show was completely wrong and unrealistic. I know many coaches who were asked to join the show and were rejected because of the "conditions" they have agreed to. What you should not open pandora's box, but pretty much rejects what personal trainers stand for.
If we have "body-positive" TV shows, does that help? No, because people will still have problems with it. It seems that everyone is always looking for the negative in things. Damn, just look at the news. It's all negative and why I do not watch it at night anymore. Whether you're tall, short, thin or fat (oh my god, I said the "F" word), the way people see you is through their lens. If you do not like it, change your behavior – but do it because you want.
Is an end in sight? Personally, I do not see any. And that is sad. However, if you are overweight or obese, this is your life and decision. There are things you can do to help lose weight and minimize the variety of illnesses that often occur when you carry around an unhealthy amount of body fat.
I do not see a "nicer" society. Especially when people hide behind their computer screens and believe that their words and / or actions have no consequences. And if I dropped a prediction, over the next 10 years, I would say more than 70% of Americans are overweight. I hope I'm wrong for health reasons, but how things work out does not look good.