When the thought to do this walk first occurred to me I quickly realized that this was a fund raising opportunity. I want to share with you why I decided on obesity as my cause.
The obvious reason of course is my own weight – I am a big girl. I have struggled with my weight my entire life and it is not any fun to be my size. Just as much as struggling with the actual weight I have struggled with the discrimination and prejudice that comes with being overweight.
Obesity is seen as a choice, something that is “our own fault”. Obese people are often labeled as lazy, undisciplined, mentally ill and greedy. While life style choices have a huge impact on our weight it is important to realize that genetics and hormones have at least as big an impact on our weight.
Emotional eating is also a huge issue and as such feeling isolated, ashamed and discriminated against makes it worse, not better.
Obesity itself discriminates – poverty stricken people are many times more likely to be over weight than well to do people, and certain races are much more likely to be obese than other races.
Poverty is such a big predictor of obesity for many reasons. It is hard to afford high quality food. When working 2 full time jobs it is harder to find time to cook your own food. It is impossible to hire nutritionists or personal trainers. And, many people struggling to survive work long, exhaustive hours in desk jobs.
In short, obesity is a complex issue, and obese people deserves qualified help, support, access to healthy foods and access to healthy forms of exercise.
Now, most of you have seen me say this over and over again. 300,000 people died from obesity last year. This is a staggering number, and yet due to the prejudice that obese people has chosen to be overweight very little money are donated to helping these people. It is time this changes.
So, I am going to ask you to help me in my fund raising efforts.