Friday, April 11, 2008

Is Overweight Becoming Normal?

It seems to me that we have become a society that has gotten so used to being overweight that what was once considered fat is now seen as normal. In Shape magazine's May 2008 issue readers were polled on the question "Should overweight travelers be required to buy an extra airplane seat?" One of the responses that made the magazine's "no" cut said, "Plane seats are too narrow even for the average person. They need to be made bigger so that all passengers can feel comfortable."

When I read this, I just happened to be on a plane, so I took a look around me at the other passengers to see if the "average" person looked comfortable. I must say that those who appeared to be a healthy weight looked quite comfortable in their seats. Perhaps what the reader referred to as "average" didn't mean "healthy."

We now know that more of the U.S. population is overweight or obese than are a normal weight. Do we look around and see overweight as normal because that's how so many people look? Are we slowly accepting that those who are 20, 30 or even 40 pounds overweight are healthy?

It's up to us to take responsibility for our weight rather than rely on how others look to influence our thought patterns. You cannot judge a normal weight by looking at others to help make your decision. Stop letting the actions and appearances of others influence the way you live your life.

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