Thursday, March 31, 2011

Obesity: The New Smoking

A while ago I retweeted something a friend regarding an article written for The LA Times had written about obesity being the new smoking and I think that is a very interesting analogy.

The actual article was in regards to health and how obesity can cause cancer, but I am interest in exploring the social stigma of obesity and smoking. Research dating back decades has shown that excess weight and smoking are both bad for you. So why do people still smoke and why is there an obesity EPIDEMIC?

I admit it, even at 250 pounds I judge fat people. I also judge people I see sucking on their cancer sticks, especially ones I know sat through all of the same education I did growing up. This as I belly up to fattening foods. So my question is: Is an overweight person eating fattening foods the new smoking? Is one worse than the other?

An overweight person and someone with a nicotine addiction may pity one another for their dependencies, but are they so different? They both say that they can give up their vice, yet most diets fail and cigarette companies are still in business. They are also both marketed to youth. For fast food it may elicit memories of going to McDonalds with your family when you were little, for cigarettes it may embody teenage rebellion or the feeling people got from that rebellion years later. The common denominator is that research indicates both fattening foods and cigarettes are addicting and both threaten the health of the planet.

There's no doubt in my mind that a single cigarette does more harm than a single burger. There's something called second hand smoke and a burger isn't slowly killing a person leading a balanced lifestyle. However, this article has me thinking again before I shake my head at smokers.


No comments:

Post a Comment