Figure hate: Are overweight people actually happier than skinnier ones?

07/06/14 by Rennie Detore



Not that long ago, the overweight and obese segment of the population were referred to as "jolly," and phrases like "body image" and "body mass index" weren't part of the health and fitness lexicon.
Fast forward to 2014, and obesity and being overweight has transformed from being culturally accepted to nothing short of an epidemic. More than 50% of the population is overweight and the obesity numbers are climbing as well. Health care costs have risen immensely and more companies and corporations are pushing their employees to start exercising to help them save a few hundred million on claims.
But even with the focus on fitness and more information become available and prominent about obesity and how it is linked to heart disease, cancer and other physical and mental issues, some who fall under the category of being clinically overweight don't seem to think their excess fat, sagging skin or poor diet habits are a problem.

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Time Magazine recently published a study done in Dallas County that found almost 10% of people that are overweight believe the ideal body type is the one their currently toting around each and every day. The study took that information and deduced two things: overweight people are happy in their own skin and there may be a lack of understanding as far as what being obese truly means in the grand scheme of your overall health and wellness.
The latter hypothesis seems a little bit of a stretch. No one who is 50, 100 or 200 pounds overweight truly believes that their body is ideal. They undoubtedly don't feel their best, nor look it, and you'd venture to say they have at least a few health problems.
If they don't, then they're the exception to the rule.
But just because they aren't inclined to lose weight, however, doesn't mean they lack in the self esteem category, either. Being overweight often is embraced as perfectly acceptable. This group of people are content eating what they want, not exercising and, in turn, not making excuses for their lack of effort when it comes to their body.
There may be a modicum of truth to that, even if it isn't the desirable way of thinking. Overweight people will argue that skinny people are angry, moody and stressed since they're restricting their diet and not eating the foods that would be described as "comfort," thus making their every day existence of celery and bread crumbs the constant struggle.
Stress, as much as poor diet and a lack of exercise, play just as big of a role in sickness and health related diseases. The media hasn't done the obesity and health craze much of a favor when you truly look at the messages being broadcast to the mainstream. The covers of magazines only talk about skinny and beach bodies and suggest starvation is the means to achieve those results.
That said, obesity trumps all when it comes to the difference between being unhealthy and not. The strong push of popular culture from an information and medical standpoint is too strong to ignore. The general population knows too much about obesity to ignore the symptoms that go along with it.
If you fall into the obesity or overweight category and don't care about the vanity aspect of your appearance then kudos for not being influenced for the wrong reasons. To say that you're not interested in changing your body for the betterment of your health is ludicrous and shows more ignorance than the bliss when it comes to accepting your body type.

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