The number of people who are classified overweight to morbidly obese is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide. Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States are among the countries where almost 2 out of 3 people are overweight. And 30% of the overweight population are in the obese categories.
Obesity does not only concern adults. Children gain more and more weight and childhood obesity is one of the major issues on the planet now.
The New Normal
Obesity is on the rise everywhere in the world. This worldwide weight gain comes with a new distorted idea about what is being “normal” and what is not.
In far too many countries, being overweight is now considered “normal”. And if you are in the above mentioned “normal” BMI range, you are considered “skinny” or “thin”. The terms skinny or thin are used in a derogative way in these countries. Frequently, they are looked upon as equivalent with “not normal” or “sickly”.
Overweight people, quite often, consider themselves normal, because of the environment these people live in (most people around them are also overweight) or social prejudice that regards overweight people as “well-off”, “affluent” and skinny people as “poor” and “sick” as it is often the case in less developed countries.
And people with BMIs in the obese ranges are looked down on as “fat”.
So, this is how the world seems to have now, people with BMIs in the overweight category are “normal”, whereas people at a normal BMI are regarded as “skinny” and folks in the obese categories are considered “fat”.
A Dangerous Misunderstanding
It goes without saying, that regarding normal people as skinny and obese people as fat is just a convenient misconception for overweight people.
Clearly, the workings of weight/fat gain are not understood by most people and in particular by overweight and obese population.
To put it simply – you either use fat as an energy source or store fat and gain weight. So, even though you are “only” overweight now, if you have been gaining weight consistently – and may it be only little – you are on your way to obesity.
This is called “the Obesity Process” and is a frightening trend that can be seen throughout the industrialized countries as well as developing countries.