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Thinness: an idealization that puts physical and emotional health at risk

Thinness: an idealization that puts physical and emotional health at risk
Thinness, idealization that has increased with the use of social networks; As a consequence, health is in danger since it is estimated that 2 out of every 5 adults are obese in the United States.

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The increase in the overweight population occurs in the midst of a culture that imposes thinness, an idealization that has increased with the use of social networks; As a consequence, health is in danger, since new weight loss medications and products to look thinner, promoted by celebrities and influencers, claim that anyone can be slim, generating marked social pressure.

One-third of residents in the United States are considered overweight, according to traditional BMI (Body Mass Index) standards, with an estimated 2 in 5 adults being obese. In the case of the child population, 20 percent of children are overweight or obese, which is why health experts are concerned about the estimated numbers.

Dr. Susie Orbach, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and author of “Fat is a Feminist Issue,” explained during an information session carried out by Ethnic Media Services, that women live in a visual culture that faces the difficulties of being seen in a multidimensional way, generated by the stigma that exists about the female image.

?I also experience this prejudice that is within me. I wake up every morning feeling the same, judging myself, being afraid of my appetite, being afraid to live a life?, Orbach commented.

In that sense, she said she was worried about the younger generations who have to grow up with prejudices, because by not being able to have the measures that ?we should? and the projection of how others look at them generates fear; However, this may, perhaps, become a sign of strength at some point in their lives. 

?I have been told that women choose to be fat and gain weight as a way to assert themselves in society, I remember being raised to belittle and that is very scary?, commented Orbach.

Jasmyne Cannick, a commentator on racial, political and social issues, shared that she herself was overweight and, being of African descent, felt that it was more difficult to cope with it, which is why she seeks to help people who experience the same situation.

Cannick assured that social networks play a very important role in many of the decisions that are made, since they present the way people in the United States should look, due to the different types of body sizes.  

In that sense, he recalled a recent article published in the Washington Post, where they talked about big foods in the anti-diet, stating that social pressure is overwhelming; The media play a clear and specific role by being available to anyone. 

To this, he added that beauty standards should not be the reason for a diet, but rather for worrying about one's own health; Eat what you want because it's good for you in every way. 

Dr. Gary Goldfield, senior scientist at the CHEO Research Institute with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, explained that the influence of social media on adolescents has a great impact.

?Technology is something like news with very little regulation, in reality social networks have marked and defined standards. During my research, it was shown that social media drives the type of food that should be consumed to be fashionable.?, he pointed out Goldfield.

Social networks can be as addictive as drugs, he said, and their abusive use is increasing public health problems, leaving young people vulnerable during adolescence, as it is a period in which body image is more important. for self-esteem than in any other period of life, as does social validation, the need for acceptance, while sensitivity to social rejection is more pronounced.

Given the constant use of social networks and wanting to have everyone's acceptance, bullying is very common for those who fail to meet those standards.

The number of victims of bullying has increased with the appearance of social networks, putting the lives of young people who are victims inside and outside of schools at risk. 

Experts agree that support and information management must be implemented within the reach of everyone in order to regulate the pressure exerted by the media and social networks of a standardized image of thinness to take care of people's health. 

You may be interested in: Medi-Cal: New opportunities to bring quality health care to communities

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