Fat Stigma Spreading Worldwide
While in college, I remember studying research indicating that in certain parts of the world actually view fat positively, as a sign of affluence and the ability to have leisure time.
Seems like that is changing, at least somewhat.
This article highlights some preliminary evidence that stigma against fat is spreading around the world. In the midst of our worldwide warranted concern about obesity, it is challenging to find a good balance in which those who are overweight are not marginalized, judged, or blamed. As a person, a woman, a youth leader, and a mom (especially a mom of girls), I personally struggle to find, model, and talk about a balanced perspective on health and weight in which I am being a good steward of my body but not being overly focused on nutrition, working out, etc.
I remember one tough conversation with a friend who was concerned about her high school sister, who was pretty heavy at the time. She didn’t know how to talk to her about it without making her even more insecure. She wanted to be a safe place, a place of encouragement and help, but was afraid that she’d push her sister away instead of draw her close.
If you were concerned that your own teenage child, or a teenager you were close to, was so overweight that his/her health was at risk, what would you do? If you thought that a kid’s weight was causing them to feel more insecure and withdraw socially, would you talk with them? Or would you be afraid that that would hurt instead of help?
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