Popular Views On Obesity And Depression: How Little The Public Know

1589 words - 6 pages

AbstractObesity changes the way society functions. The media tells the public the parts of the truth that they believe the public are required to know. They tell them the physical attributes of obesity, yet rarely mention the clear psychological link between the two. The public ignore the remainder of the story, despite the growing body of research showing the link between depression and obesity. Whether happiness lies in the hands of healthiness is unclear, however for the greater good of those who suffer from obesity, healthiness should be a priority. Hopefully people will not go to the next step of anorexia nervosa.Popular Views on Obesity and Depression: How Little the Public Know.Obesity: being overweight by 30% of the ideal body weight for one's height. (RCH, 2006) Living your life as a prisoner to food. Everyday it is on television, in the newspapers, even the trashy gossip magazines throw it at us. There are cartoon characters made to have obesity, in order to entertain us. Leading politicians, top actors, brilliant singers. Everybody knows somebody who suffers from it. But honestly what do we know about it? We know that excessive weight is an indication of obesity. We also know that obesity is linked to many health problems including heart disease, late onset diabetes even early death. We know which foods prevent obesity. There is a constant flow of advertising that promotes "low-fat", "no-fat" or "99% fat free" products, hoping to deter the spread of obesity. The latest trend of "low-GI" products continues to enjoy the high life. There are many shame filled television programs aimed to make people feel guilty about what they feed their family, such as "Honey, we're killing the kids" or "You are what you eat". (Stark, 2006)However, does anyone ever mention the psychological link between obesity and psychology? Very Rarely. In fact, I cannot remember the last time there was a feature article or news special on depression and obesity, yet scientifically there is an immensely strong link between the two. (American Obesity Association, 2002) The link between obesity and depression is strong among those who are considered to be severely obese. (Onyike et al, 2002) The media has made everyone aware of the physical attributes that are associated with obesity; however the psychological affects remain largely untouched. Elizabeth Goodman mentions that obesity may not always be directly linked to overeating, something that is rarely mentioned in the media. (Lawson, 2003) It is time for our society to stand up and insist on more information from the popular press that is accurate and not oversimplified. Psychology Today has released a study demonstrating the strong link between Psychology and Obesity and the influence the length of time has on the overweight person's likelihood of depression. (Lawson, 2003) People should be able to read actual facts on obesity in the news, find out about latest research easily and most importantly know how to fix...

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