Obesity: What it does to People

Obesity is like a plague sweeping across America killing some emotionally and others physically. With over 29 million people overweight in America, people are still unaware of the risks of obesity. (Kanigel 30) Emotionally, they are effected by the perfect image publicized in media, stereotypes, and prejudices of others. Physically, they suffer from arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and sometimes even death.
The overweight feels as if they have to possess the "Barbie Doll" figure. The perfect body is stressed in American society, which damages the self-worth of those who are bigger than most people. Jennifer Coleman comments, "I finally realized: it didn't matter what I did. I was and always would be the object of sport, derision, antipathy, and hostility so long as I stayed in my body." (9) Are there ever overweight people kissed in soap operas, shown in bathing suits in magazines, or glorified on television shows? No because people are too judgmental on the outward appearance and whether one is thin or not. Being obese is not by choice for many people; it is normally brought upon by a metabolic or genetic disorder. (Blumenkrantz 1) Therefore, the overweight should be looked at as an average person and treated the way a person wants to be treated.
The obese also have to deal with the ignorance of people in the workplace and other surroundings. Prejudice is no longer just a color issue, but also one of how much one weighs. The overweight hear derogatory remarks such as, " Fat-so get out of my way!" and "Oink, Oink!" which is putting one down because of his/her appearance. Is this right? Such remarks are wrong because they are as detrimental to the self-esteem as any racial or ethnic slur. (Coleman 3) Some workplaces feel, as if they have an image to uphold, so the overweight are not hired in order to keep this image. Employers tend to stereotype the obese as lazy and ugly without giving them a chance at the job. It's discrimination to not hire or fire a person based upon their weight. Overweight people can be just as productive and beautiful as any thin person.
An obese person tends to have arthritis and dysfunctional bones and joints. Mechanical problems begin to arise as a person begins to gain weight with the pressure building up amongst bones and joints. This pressure can cause one to experience great pain and very slow movement. ("Obesity") Normally the older generation will experience some type of arthritis, but it can be brought upon early when an individual is obese.
Obesity attributes to diabetes through the hormone leptin and by depleting an energy source of the body, insulin. Leptin is known as the obesity hormone, according to an article by Kathleen Fackelmann, which may be associated with Type II diabetes. (43) People who may have a higher concentration of leptin are more liable to suffer from this sugar processing disorder. The obese have problems with diabetes when the body is unable to produce enough insulin or the cells become resistant to the insulin that is present.
Another health risk of obesity is cardiovascular disease. The distribution and location of fat can determine at what risk a person is of this disease. A person is more likely to be at risk when they have abdominal or truncal fat, also known as the "apple -shaped figure." ("Obesity") Abdominal or trucal fat causes high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can lead to more serious problems such as a heart attack or stroke.
The most serious of all effects can be death. Hippocrates once said, "Sudden death is more common in those who are naturally fat than in the lean." (Hippocrates qtd. in "Lancet") The idea of death as a result of obesity has been known for many years, but people are still dying from this disorder. Other effects of obesity can lead to death such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a low self-esteem because a person might decide to take their own life. It has been proven that even the modest weight gain can put a person at risk of this disorder. In America, out of 34,413 deaths contributed to diabetes 55,110 were caused by obesity. (Bray 160) This statistic is just of diabetes, one