Should carrying extra weight be judged as a matter of personal failure? Considering the fact that two thirds of Americans are now diagnosed as overweight and one third as obese, it feels strange that there should be any prejudices against body fat. And yet, stigmatizing heavyset people is more common and seemingly acceptable than any other form of discrimination left on the planet.
When nutrition professionals talk about “befriending food,” they usually do so in the context of eating disorders. They point out the importance of not seeing “food as the enemy,” as one well-known author put it, or “making peace with food,” as others have counseled. For me – also a nutrition expert – it’s a much simpler proposition. Loving food is to understand what it does, how it nourishes us, and also to appreciate what it takes to make good food available.
Health and wellness is on the mind of an ever-growing part of the populace, at least some of the time. But as consumers, people are still widely confused about how to make the right diet- and lifestyle choices to reach their desired goals.
Being slim is the unquestioned standard of beauty and health set by the media and respective industries. It is also a cause for widespread body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, and low self-esteem that often develop in childhood and affect people of all ages, especially women. Studies have shown that being considered overweight by oneself or others can lead to an array of emotional disturbances, including clinical depression. These effects likely worsen when contrary body images are idealized.
Cooking is considered a chore by most people. Restaurant visits, take-outs, and frozen TV dinners are much more in keeping with our busy lifestyles. The downside to all this is that you have little control over the nutritional quality of food prepared by others. Unless you do it yourself from scratch, including grocery shopping and everything else before sitting down at the dinner table, there is no guarantee that you eat really well.
It is common knowledge that persistence and perseverance are important ingredients for success in almost any field. Whether we seek it in our careers or personal interests, stick-to-itiveness is one of the key factors that make or break our advances. Even the most accomplished people share this. In addition to their talents, they develop and maintain routines they rarely deviate from, allowing them to keep building on their achievements.
When it comes to weight problems, many people, including experts, are inclined to put much of the blame on genetic predispositions. Yes, diet and lack of exercise are also known culprits, but ultimately our genes determine how well or badly we fare, common wisdom goes. Now a new study claims that those we share our lives with, our spouses and partners, have a much greater influence on our health- and fitness status, regardless how genetically programmed we are.