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Defending obesity is not cute

Nomalanga Defending Obesity

Nomalanga Defending Obesity

Defending obesity is not cute

By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

     Not long ago, I wrote a blog post suggesting that a young woman who was overweight and had recently acquired a platform ought to use the platform to address the challenges and effects of being overweight (or obese or even corpulent).

The problem with discussing weight issues is that people, especially women, tend to become very, very defensive. Long story short, the conversation did not go as I intended, but instead turned into a debate about whether or not making such a suggestion was mean spirited or not. Just to be clear, my intention was not a mean spirited one.

Because I have had my own challenges with managing my weight, I do feel that, unlike the people who have never known the frustration of being able to mange most things in your life except your weight, I feel like I approach the subject in a more realistic way.

The first step to tackling being overweight is to acknowledge it-remember: you cannot change that which you can not acknowledge.

To further clarify what the effects of being overweight are and also at what point a person is actually overweight, I reached out to Yonka Beckem, a personal trainer as well as a health and wellness expert.

Beckem outlined the following as effects of being over-weight:

·       insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes

·       Joint problems (osteoarthritis)

·       breathing problems

·       cancers

·       heart disease

·       strokes

Beckem went on to further elaborate on these effects as follows:

“Insulin resistance is when your liver, fat and muscle cells stop responding correctly to insulin. As a result, blood sugar doesn’t get to these cells to be stored for energy. This causes high levels of blood sugar to build up in the blood, which is also known as hyperglycemia.

Obesity leads to osteoarthritis, which is wear and tear on the joints. Bio mechanically, the force on the knee joint is three times your body weight when walking, and more when performing more intense forms of activity. This means that a 300 lb person’s knee joints are getting 600 lbs of force. This wears out the cartilage in the knee, which leads to pain from bones rubbing together from not having the cushion between them.



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