Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Obesity and suicide

The lede of this story says it all:

As if the many physical health concerns associated with the obesity epidemic weren't worrisome enough, new research shines a light on an alarming mental health connection: Teenagers who are overweight are at higher risk of attempting suicide. Even teens who merely believe themselves overweight -- but actually are not -- are more predisposed to suicidal behavior, the researchers found.

As if reading stories like this weren't enough of a health risk. . . .

Why the shock, ladies and gentlemen? By now we know that the stigma associated with being fat in this society has devastating consequences for your health, mental and physical.

We know that hormonal shifts, poor impulse control, and other factors make teens especially susceptible to suicide.

Put the two together, and what do you get?

Shocking, no?


Anonymous said...

2 + 2 = 4

Gwen said...

What's particularly irritating about that paragraph you quote is that they seem to imply that the higher risk of suicide is caused by the obesity or overweight status in and of itself. In reality, the higher suicide risk appears to actually be a result of the extreme views our society seems to hold about obesity/overweight. In other words, just being overweight isn't going to increase a person's suicide risk. But how they feel about being overweight certainly would. The paranoia and moral judgments about obesity needs to stop.

Nancy said...

Anna Wintour's comments on Oprah, obesity and anorexia:

Although Vogue typically only covers stick-thin models within its pages, she said her magazine maintains an awareness of obesity.

"I'd just been on a trip to Minnesota, where I can only kindly describe most of the people I saw as little houses," Wintour said. "There's such an epidemic of obesity in the United States, and for some reason, everybody focuses on anorexia."

Wintour, who commissioned a feature on the topic complete with illustrations, said that it was an important issue.

"We need to spend money time and education on teaching people to eat, exercise and take care of themselves in a healthier way," she said. "It [has gotten people] provoked, which is really the point."

Ms Wintour, Vogue, Oprah and other fashionistas promote body hate and that our worth is all tied up in appearance, size, weight, etc. Our culture seems to be getting even worse in this area. Millions of women "beat" themselves up because they can't attain "thin-ness"----how truly sad and dangerous this is for women of all ages.