Obesity Epidemic vs. Body Positivity

Carly Woodfield, Staff Writer

The obesity epidemic is not body positivity. Obesity in America is a major issue that impacts many people and the numbers are continuously rising. Obesity is a condition that does not get the attention it deserves, because it has become too normalized. Recently, people suffering from obesity have come to the conclusion that obesity is just body positivity and every body is a healthy body regardless of size. That is an unhealthy way to think because if someone is morbidly obese, that is not healthy whatsoever considering obesity is directly related to numerous health issues. 

The obesity epidemic in America is an increasing statistic. The CDC says, “From 1999 –2000 through 2017 –2018, U.S. obesity prevalence increased from 30.5% to 42.4%. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%.” That said, obesity is at an all time high. Many people are at risk for health problems that come from obesity, like death, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and gallbladder disease. Overall, I think that obesity is very harmful to one’s health and it should be a priority to move away from obesity being supported. 

Further, obesity in many cases can be fought to improve one’s health condition. Ways that obesity can be fought against is working out towards a more healthy body, getting on a diet plan such as portion control, doing a weight loss program, and even behavior therapy are suggested for obese people in order to try to get back to a healthier body. The reason that obesity is an issue and needs to be fought is clear. The obesity epidemic has simply meant that people are becoming unhealthily overweight and using a movement to justify being unhealthy and not taking care of their body. 

Body positivity has become a more popular movement over the past years which I have found to be a toxic mindset for some people. The meaning of the phrase body positivity,“ refers to the assertion that all people deserve to have a positive body image regardless of how society and popular culture view ideal shape, size, and appearance. Some of the goals of the body positivity movement include: challenging how society views the body.”I agree that everybody deserves to feel good about themselves and have a good outlook on their body. You do not need to look like a Victoria’s Secret model to be pretty, or a bodybuilder to look masculine and handsome. Those parts of the movement are healthy and good for people to know it is ok to have different bodies. Yet, the body positivity movement has been turned into something it should not have and it has turned negative by saying “It is ok to have a different body shape” to a person who is 600 pounds and morbidly obese. 

Overall, it is very unhealthy to think it is okay to preach to people that being obese is just body positivity because there is nothing positive about having all of the terrible health conditions that come with obesity. Body positivity should be about working towards having a healthy body. A healthy body to me means nourished with healthful nutritional foods, working out and getting active in one way or another everyday.  

Comprehensively, I believe that the obesity epidemic should not be turned into a movement showing that obesity should be promoted and accepted as just “different body types.” By fighting obesity, Americans could have overall better health and improve the epidemics status. Normalizing obesity, a public health crisis, is damaging and toxic to the minds of Americans.