Now, when I read this article this morning, my first reaction was one of anger. I don't get angry often, but I am increasingly becoming more outraged by studies such as this one (maybe not the study itself, but the way it is reported). In another post I made last month, I discussed another article with the headline Obesity Now a Lifestyle Choice for Americans. This one also made me angry.
I'll quote directly from the Reuters article here: "Some of the basic stereotypes associated with being overweight include laziness, sloppiness, untidiness and lack of self-discipline and control. Overweight people are also regularly labelled as having increased health problems, which is an issue often considered cumbersome by organizations", said Cort Rudolph one of the researchers. Cumbersome? Hmmmm.
Now, from the race for the Democratic Nominee for President in the U.S., we can see some really historic things happening - either a woman or a black man will get the nomination. What this shows me is that stereotypes related to women and black men may be on the decline, or at least I hope so. But why do we continue to allow discrimination against overweight or obese people, disabled individuals, older workers, women who are coming off of a maternity leave, etc?
My only hope is that studies like the Wayne State University study will result in policy changes at organizations, specifically in the hiring process. Weight-based discrimination, like other forms of discrimination, is justnot acceptable.
What would be even better than carrying on studies such as this one? How about money for nutritional education in schools across the board? More extracurricular activities in schools that have incentives associated with them? Ridding our schools of all the ridiculous choices of foods and drinks? Providing workers with free club memberships on-site at their workplaces? Ridding our food chain of all of the poisons within it instead of caving in to lobbyists? Allowing workers to have life-work balance in all organizations? And so on.
My advice to you who are struggling to lose weight is to "just ignore" these types of studies and go for your dreams! Do your best to eat well, exercise and be a great role model for your friends and families. And if you want to do something on the political side, lobby for change.
Well, I am off to South Africa on a 3-week vacation. In the meantime, have a great day and a fabulous March break with your kids if you have them. Spring is just around the corner here in North-America, which is just great!
School nutrition is a huge pet peeve for me as well. Even if a school cleans up it's act kids are still rewarded with candy, sodas and pizza. And it seems that every fundraiser is about candy. Kids are actually trained to reward themselves with sugar and junk food. There's got to be a better way.
I completely agree with you. This weekend, my sons will be at a "Spring Fair" fundraiser at their school with all kinds of great activities out of doors. The only food to eat? Hot dogs, cookies, brownies and cupcakes! I think it's up to us parents to work for change. If kids are hungry, they'll eat what you give them ... eventually :)