As a caring physician, it is painful to witness the increasing number of models claiming their substantial weight gain (to the point of overweight and/or obesity) has produced a healthier happier person.
In the United States, our rates of cancer, diabetes, cardiac disease and stroke have proven to be associated with unhealthy weight gain. As a precursor to these conditions, metabolic syndrome is a major factor crippling the health of our population. Metabolic syndrome leads to chronic inflammation within the body creating a conducive environment for life threatening diseases. For more about metabolic disease you can click on the following link: (What is metabolic syndrome?)
“Nearly 35% of all adults and 50% of those aged 60 years or older were estimated to have metabolic syndrome, a concerning observation given the aging US population.”
(REFERENCE: Journal of The American Medical Association: Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome in the United States, 2003-2012)
I’m aware these models are speaking out to help those with distorted body images recognize that “beauty” and “happiness” comes in ALL sizes. While I understand the intentions, the health risks associated with behaviors (lifestyles) that lead to excessive body weight and body fat place the average person in serious danger.
It would be wiser to improve self esteem by discovering purposeful living; an approach that increases self value and self confidence. People that choose this approach often experience greater joy, happiness and improved health.
Although many of these models claim to eat healthy and exercise, it is unlikely their approach to either one adequately satisfies their physical (and likely emotional) needs for quality health. These models are typically “young” and often at a stage in life where their bodies are capable of compensating for harmful actions. Using lab values as exclusive guidelines to determine one’s health is highly inaccurate.
Although I truly believe these model’s “coming out” testimonials are meant to help, the overweight and obese population will likely suffer irreversible harms as they try to emulate these models in finding “happiness.” What they are more likely to find is eventual cancer, diabetes, vascular disease, liver disease, gall bladder disease and/or stroke.
“Happiness” is an emotion existing within oneself. Changing one’s appearance on the “outside” doesn’t create everlasting “happiness.” If it did, all those dieters over the years would never have regained their weight.
I suggest rather than focusing on weight gain or weight loss, each of us focus on a lifestyle that provides the essential needs necessary for achieving true “happiness.” A healthy BALANCED weight becomes the OUTCOME of this journey rather than the FOCUS. This removes the anxiety and stress that unhealthy obsessions about weight causes and keeps us on a path where purposeful living can be discovered.
These models feel a sense of “freedom” as they pursue careers in modeling no longer subjected to highly restrictive weight guidelines. This, however, doesn’t mean their newly discovered “freedom” will result in LONG TERM happiness or better health.
If this type of weight gain is needed to create individual beauty, freedom and happiness, is the price we’ll face (increasing chronic diseases) too high?