I have always been the girl who could eat whatever she wanted – greasy McDonald’s French fries accompanied by a quarter-pounder with cheese, funnel cakes at the fair, triple-scoop ice cream cones. At a mere 4’10”, I count my lucky stars that my metabolism is lightning-fast.
I do realize; however, that not everyone can consume mass amounts of trans fat, sugar and salt without worry. Approximately two-thirds of the United States population is considered obese (or 20% over their ideal weight). With so many people walking around overweight, it doesn’t seem as bad – or different – as it used to.
A study published by the Economic Inquiry from July poses the question: Have our ideals about normal weight changed as a society? The study examined both economic and social factors that affect obesity. The conclusion? As the average weight of the population rises, the standards we hold about “acceptable weight” relax, according to the study.
Not everybody is happy with the results. Some people are upset that the study insinuates that people can’t distinguish between “average” and “healthy” weights. Others agree that accepting heavier weights as average weights is unhealthy.
What do you think? Have we relaxed our societal standards regarding weight? And if so – is this bad?
Check out more about this study and others regarding weight here.