Vanity sizing takes toll on general health

Everywhere you look in today’s society you are baraded with weight loss plans. In the checkout line at the grocery store, magazines read headlines of “lose 30 pounds in three week!” and “fastest way to a hotter body”. When watching tv we see ads for unhealthy protein shakes and shoddy workout equipment. These are not effective ways to promote healthy living. 

Many fall victim to these fad diets in which nothing is truly accomplished and oftentimes causes people to deprive their bodies of the nutrients that they need. Women slave over dropping pounds or become extremely critical of their own bodies. In more cases than we would like to admit this leads to unhealthy and unsafe eating disorders that society prefers to turn a blind eye to. According to ANAD at least 30 million people in the United States alone suffer from an eating disorder of somesort. I personally believe that society and popular culture is somewhat responsible for this. 

We live in a society that glorifies the women who are as thin as humanly possible. In every ad, commercial, and magazine we are assaulted with photos of women that most of us will never look anything like. These images of 5’10” and taller women who are a size 0 in no way represent the national average of 5’4” and a size 12, according to WebMD. Why is it that expectations are continued to be set towards this unattainable goal, obviously having an unhealthy effect on many girls psyche, and yet we continue to do nothing to try to change it. We continue to worship these “ideal” women bodies at the health and risk of our own. 

As a society we should move forward into a culture of praising health, not of numbers and comparison to others. Instead of counting every calorie, we should focus more on what we are putting into our bodies, making sure that it is good for us, and that we are eating appropriate quantities. We should focus more on the amount of exercise we are getting and how much time we are spending outside, rather than how we look in athletic clothes. I believe that as society continues to improve we can make the shift towards celebrating healthier lifestyles.