Check into a given health-related news portal these days and you’re likely to find a wealth of material about obesity. Calling the increasing number of people who grow up overweight an “epidemic,” some medical professionals and reporters have represented the increase with a fair amount of shame and guilt directed toward those people who struggle with their weight. But what such news pieces often fail to highlight is the emotional and mental damage dealt to people who are frequently barraged with talk about the negativity and unhealthiness of fat. Thanks in part to the rare occurrence of such unbiased discussion of the growing weight issues in developed countries, a recently published article in a major UK periodical has gained plenty of attention among medical and mental health professionals alike.
The article focuses on the presence of additives and other unnecessary substances in modern convenience foods, as well as the convenience culture itself, and its role in the creation of a substantial number of overweight people. Touching upon psychological impulses that lead people to eat mindlessly or compulsively, the article provides insight into the mental health perspective on nutrition that is rarely delivered in pieces geared toward the public. This attention to the awareness of practical problems in weight management rather than unorganized blame and negativity directed towards overweight people has great potential to help heal and restore the confidence of those who suffer from difficult body image issues.
As therapists and other mental health professionals work to deliver more quality care to people in need of self-esteem development as well as assistance in nurturing themselves properly with food, a culture obsessed with making a scandal of overweight persons may experience a worthy change.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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