Get Empowered: Is fat the new thin?

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.

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One Comment

  1. Krista Naposki
    | Permalink

    Stores have relaxed their sizes to match how society has relaxed their perceptions of body image. But, with the great amount of fitness/health magazines and the constant focus on celebrities’ looks, I find it hard to believe that we have really relaxed our standards that much.

    And just because you can eat the junk food and not gain weight does not mean that you are healthy. Many thin people have heart attacks at young ages because they fill their body with artery-clogging food. It really isn’t all about weight when it comes to being healthy, so in some ways, it might be good if we relaxed our weight fixation and concentrated on what we are using to fuel our bodies.