Yesterday I read an article about an obese woman who posted a photo of herself in a bikini ( The problem with the article is that she claims to have received more than 350,000 likes from social media as well as thousands of “supportive comments.” What is the biggest problem with obesity in America? People are accepting it as “okay” and even celebrating it as evidenced by the 350,000 likes.

Should obesity be celebrated and accepted?

Figure 1

Should obesity be celebrated and accepted? I suppose every society has to choose for itself what it will and will not accept. However, obesity (a BMI greater than 30) increases the probability that you will develop the following conditions: coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer (endometrial, breast, and colon), hypertension (high blood pressure), dyslipidemia, stroke, liver disease, sleep apnea and breathing problems, osteoarthritis, gynecological problems (Source: CDC). Moreover, obesity adds approximately $147 billion dollars in healthcare costs (Finkelstein et al, Health Affairs, 28:822-831; 2014).

..we need to promote healthy lifestyles..

From a public health standpoint, we need to promote healthy lifestyles. In the immediate tense, if we decreased obesity by 50%, this would decrease our annual healthcare bill by $75 billion dollars. Although we do not want to scorn people who are obese, promoting and celebrating it as a nation will not help our national obesity epidemic. Moreover, it will not decrease the amount of money we spend on healthcare.

What do you think?




  1. Morris,
    This is a great topic!! We as a society have a problem. I agree with you that it is “not okay” to be obese, and instead of encouraging people to become healthier and more of an appropriate body composition, many folks take offense to being told this.

    I recently came across this story about TV show host Adam Richman and was just appalled. He used #thinspiration after instagraming a photo of a suit that needed to altered after he recently lost some weight. What ensued next is pathetic, he was hit with an onslaught of comments shaming him for showing off his weigh loss. How sad is that this man does something positive for himself, workouts and losses weight, and is then criticized for it. I dont blame Richman for his responses, he shouldn’t have to defend his weight loss.

  2. I agree that obesity should not glamorized. At the same time, we cannot have a society or some subgroups in a society that is obsessed with body image.yes to healthy lifestyle, but no to the extreme dieting or extreme behavior change just to fight obesity.

  3. Thanks for selecting such an important topic .I agree with all of you!
    Posting pictures like means , it’s ok to be over weight , be Diabetic …..and who cares what you say and what the society thinks about me , I’m careless !

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