There’s no sugar-coating the problem. The Plus Size revolution is turning Americans into a nation of overweight, unhealthy individuals. To be clear, I’m not a life-long skinny person writing about fat people. I’ve had my own struggles with being overweight. As a fat kid growing up in the 50’s, there was no such thing as “plus sizes” for kids. Lane Bryant was the only store selling larger adult sizes at the time, but since blacks weren’t allowed to try on clothes in the store, my mother had a seamstress in the neighborhood custom make clothes for me. For my mother that was the easier solution given the times, but a better solution would have been for me to lose the extra weight I gained from my own poor food choices and lack of portion control, overeating and not exercising.
Anyone who tells an obese person that big is beautiful, or that she should love her curves is not telling the whole truth. More than just a fashion statement, being plus-sized is also a major health issue. Many of the diseases that are killing plus-sized adults and children today are preventable. According to the Cleveland Clinic’s Director of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine, Dr, Mladen Golubic, lifestyle choices are the root cause of chronic disease:
Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, overuse of alcohol, poor diet, lack of physical activity and inadequate relief of chronic stress are key contributors in the development and progression of preventable chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer.
Obesity is a precursor to a number of health related problems. Take Type 2 diabetes or “sugar,” as some call it, it is almost always diet related with obesity putting a person at greater risk for developing this particular disease. Health experts predict that by 2020, half of all Americans will have diabetes or pre-diabetes. And it doesn’t stop there, having diabetes puts you at risk for other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and nerve damage.
The big problem is what people are eating day in and day out, People are getting obese and it’s from that day-to-day diet.—Tyler Graham, co-author of The Happiness Diet.
These statistics highlight the growing obesity problem in the U.S.
- More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
- More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese.
- More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity.
- About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.
- More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese. (Source: National Institutes of Health)
African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are much more likely to be obese than whites, according to Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health. And when you examine obesity among African Americans, the picture is even worse, explains Dr. Holly Lofton, a specialist in lifestyle changes and weight loss:
African Americans have one of the highest rates of obesity amongst all ethnic groups in the United States. [Studies] have also determined that this is a major contributing factor in the high prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the African American community.
The Plus Size revolution has succeeded in making obesity chic, fashionable, even sexy to a growing, if not vulnerable audience of children, teens and young adults, while ignoring the very real dangers of being obese. Obesity is the reason that the current generation of youth is predicted to live a shorter life than their parents.
Obese models ‘normalize’ obesity and that can give people the excuse to overeat.— psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman
By 2030, over half of all Americans could be obese. Would there be as many obese individuals in the U.S. if there were no plus size clothes? Makes one wonder what they’ll come up with next.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health. 3 John 2 NKJV
Note: This author acknowledges that not all obesity is caused by overeating. There are a small percentage of individuals whose weight gain is related to other medical causes. If you are gaining weight or are having trouble losing excess weight, please consult with your physician.