Obesity: The Fat Difference

That the female ideal body is getting thinner is only one of the many things fat women and those on the verge of becoming ones should worry. The world simply happens to be much crueler to overweight women than to men of the same size.
As Berit Heitman, a nutritional and medical research advisor to the Danish government said, being obese and female is as bad as it gets. Obese women are socially stigmatized to a greater degree than their male counterparts. Moreover, their health suffer more as they have higher chances of developing diabetes, hypertension and heart disease compared to men with the same body mass index.

The fact is, though death rates are similar among the sexes despite of obesity causing more disease in women, the risk of developing diabetes type two for an obese man is only about half that of an obese woman, with similar figures for hypertension. Women’s tendency to carry more fat on the backside than on the stomach, where it is more dangerous may explain this.

The impact of obesity in a woman’s social life is also greater. A recent Finnish study revealed that fat women faced more job discrimination and earned less, not only compared to men, but also to women of normal weight and to obese men with similar education and job.

“Appearance and size seem related to getting and keeping both job and salary”, Heitman said. For obese females, prejudice begins early in life, with children as young as three shunning their obese peers. In addition to that, family, teachers, and health-care professionals are also more biased against obese girls and women than boys and men. Adding to the disadvantages on their health, these women are being deprived with friendships, intimate relationships, social interactions, education, income and respect.

Poverty is seen as both a contributor to and a result of obesity, which commonly occurs five times more among poor people in the developed world. Although gender differences in the obesity epidemic are narrowing, the vicious claws of obesity and poverty still has more pronounced effects on women. Even in the realm of education, fewer grants and scholarships are awarded to obese women.

Society’s antifat bias, combined with health risks hurt the women more. In fact, they have much to worry about because the global obesity pandemic is more damaging to them than to the men.


About Henz

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