Growing Awareness of Nutrition Sets to Foster Happier Body Images

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 John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • lisa lascala

    lisa lascala

    August 10th, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    i have heard that food additives are a major cause of food allergies and even unnecessary wight gain. i’ll have to read this article.

  • Jay


    August 10th, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    have any of you seen Fast Food Nation? This shows just how much over processed yet easy to come by food has contributed to the growing size of us all. Not a blanket excuse but one that does seem to hold a little water.

  • Ginger


    August 12th, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    Improving the self esteem of those who have weight problems can go a long way toward helping to solve the problem. I have long battled with my own weight issues and have been everything from the ideal weight to moderately overweight and yes chronically obese. Throughout it all I have never felt good about myself and what I looked like no matter what size I happened to be wearing. I am currently looking into therapy for that because I am tired of not liking who I am and having how I feel about myself depend on my size. It is just not worth it anymore.

  • Sharon Johnson

    Sharon Johnson

    August 13th, 2009 at 10:12 PM

    Sounds good to boost self esteem to make people comfortable about what they look like,as I have never found a person happy with their weight – including myself and I have been running a muscle toning/weight business for years. Not only fat people, but thin people want to be thinner. Ask around – do you ever meet anyone who says, yes, I am the perfect weight?

  • Cassie V.

    Cassie V.

    August 14th, 2009 at 11:39 AM

    Hey Sharon I’m the perfect weight. I just need to be six inches taller and I’m there. ;)

    Who has the time to cook proper meals and eat healthy every day? I eat because I have to to live. I don’t want to have to spend time cooking for hours too. I’d rather gain a few pounds with convenience foods to gain a few hours.

  • Julia


    August 15th, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    lol Cassie what a great comment- I am right there with you about just needing to add a few vertical inches and I too would be the perfect woman!

    What I think would really help to resolve some of these issues though has nothing to do with nutrition information, It is all a matter of teaching our younger generations to be healthy and that healthy does not always mean rail skinny. And that fat people are pretty too!

  • Sandra


    August 16th, 2009 at 7:30 AM

    here’s my problem. I know WHAT I am supposed to eat, know all of the nutritional guidelines, but just have a hard time sticking with that and putting all of that into action. Losing weight takes time and I am an instant gratification kind of girl if you know what I mean. I want to commit to losing weight and look in the mirror three days later and have reached my goal. That is when I kind of lose heart and the willpower to continue on with the healthy eating. It just seems so slow and although I think it is great to be getting the message out about healthy eating habits I am not sure it is gonna work when it comes to teaching this old dog new tricks.

  • Martha T.

    Martha T.

    August 16th, 2009 at 10:22 PM

    Sandra I know how you feel. The best way I heard it was that I didn’t put the weight on overnight so won’t drop it overnight either. I want it gone yesterday as well, believe me. Forget the word diet and fit in a couple of dietary changes because this has to last a lifetime to work. Good luck.

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