We’ve all heard the rage about leading a healthier lifestyle. From celebrities promoting healthier drinks, to magazines telling us about all the unwanted calories in our favourite foods, the world is seeing a massive shift towards making healthier choices.
Most people have welcomed this move, seeing as to how mindful living and healthier food habits can lead to us living fuller lives. So, what could be one of the key deterrents to this move? If you thought of obesity, then you guessed it right.
Does Obesity Affect The Quality Of Life?
Most experts have repeatedly raised questions about the food habits that some of our fast-paced lifestyles forces us to make. Most of these choices generally involve takeaway items that are packed with preservatives and unhealthy nutrients. This lifestyle leads to an accrual of unwanted calories in our body, which can often go up to dangerous levels. In fact, a lot of experts have termed this as an ‘epidemic’ that has gripped various nations of the world. Now, the big question looms over us. Is obesity really that big of a deal, and is it by any means affecting the quality of our lives?
While genetics may play a role in obesity, two key causes are following an unhealthy diet and receiving little or not exercise. Now you might think to yourself, eating your favourite dishes and sitting on a couch all day sounds like a dream, right?
Well, the truth is, that sort of comfort is very short lived. Most of our favourite foods are high in calories and unhealthy fats, which provide a short-term sense of relief and then move on to create a craving for more of such food items. Unless you can find a way to keep satiating these cravings of yours, you might find your mood being altered for the worse. However, should you choose to keep filling yourself with junk food every time these prolonged cravings arise, you’re treating your body to a monumental number of calories and preservatives, all which will bear effects on the quality of your life in the near future.
Now what do we mean when we say quality of life? Typically, this is measured by various aspects of your life, such as physical aspects, psychological fulfilment and social aspects.
Not only does obesity increase the chances of one being the victim of severe diseases such as heart problems and diabetes, but it may also have effects on your reproductive and respiratory health. On an average, obese people experience a dip in their memory levels and cognitive thinking skills. Moreover, they also find themselves often lethargic, which only worsens the exiting condition. However, I think the scariest of all is the fact that obesity also shortens your survival rate, or increases the chances of the premature mortality.
We must take into consideration the fact that we as a society have some extremely improbable beauty standards, which primarily focuses on maintaining an ideal weight. Whether we like it or not, these pre-existing connotations often creep into the minds of obese people. This leads to a low self-image, which can often hamper how they portray themselves to the world. This low self-esteem often manifests in the form of crippling anxiety or depression.
The cycle further continues when obese people suffering from mental health issues are forced to comfort themselves with foods that provide a momentary sense of relief. And more often than not, these foods are rich in white sugar, one of the unhealthiest foods in the world. This invariably leads to an unhealthy level of self-loathing and a very pessimistic outlook on their lives, leading to a lower quality of life.
Most obese people find it very hard to fulfil their psychological needs, which is one of the most important tiers in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. People suffering from obesity often find it hard to wade through the cruel remarks of society. People are quick to jump to conclusions about obese people, often discriminating against them on various bases.
Which most of us may agree that such a shallow approach towards our fellow humans is not ideal, we can’t help but acknowledge the existence of such prejudices. When obese people are subject to this form of inequality, it further hampers their self-image and may have devastating consequences on their mental health and work output.
All these factors point to the glaring conclusion, that obesity habitually affects the quality of life, mostly in a negative way. However, we must understand that fighting obesity is not only an uphill task for us as a society, but also for the people suffering from it. All we can do is spread awareness, and support them through this fight and we shall overcome it.
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