The travesty in the name of “weight loss”

An eternal burning desire humans have had since time immemorial has been to shed excess flab on their bodies for the ideal physique. The hunger for weight loss and peer pressure to achieve superstar looks has pushed millennia to resort to all sorts of ways and means to stay thin. It was not long ago, that the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a “disease”. And to be fair, nobody addressed the elephant in the room. A vast majority of medicos believe it was sugar. Consumable sugar items form the major bulk in contributing to obesity worldwide. And as the principle of causality states, the effect in the form of “quick” weight-loss started cropping up.

It became fairly simple to target obese population by bribing them with quick results. Slogans of “lose weight feel great” populated commercials and magazines. Dieting pills and slimming meds became a huge hit. Slimming teas and fat-burning medicines started raising hopes of consumers to get thin “quick”. There was just one question though, that everybody failed to ask. Is this stuff legit and cleared by the FDA? It was the rhetorical question of the century.

Dieticians have time and again maintained their stand on diet pills and medicines. There are no proven guaranteed results. In fact, the risk of side effects is titanic. The most common symptoms seen in consumers of diet pills were increased dependency, high blood pressure and nervousness. Almost a majority of the appetite suppressants were directly linked to heart disease. In addition, despite a visual weight loss because of these pills, there was always a risk of gaining more weight than before, if the individual discontinued the use of these pills.

THE GLOOMY FOOTPRINT OF SOCIAL MEDIA 

The advent of social media led to an outburst of unrealistic dreams on the minds of young impressionable kids. The obsession of having the “perfect” slim body became the only objective on their minds. The fashion industry was plagued with anorexic models walking the ramp for top brands showcasing haute couture. In a recent post on Instagram, socialite Kim Kardashian posted about “appetite suppressant lollipops”. The post received severe backlash from users, one of them calling her a “terrible and toxic influence on young girls”.

The company in question, Flat Tummy Co. claimed that the lollipops contained Satiereal which was “clinically proven safe and extracted from natural plants”. A further detailed analysis showed that such supplements weren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. While it is true, that there is no direct harm or danger upon consumption of these lollipops, the answer lies in introspection – do we really need them?

A HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE

We have always asked one immutable question – Are there healthier ways to lose weight? There are plenty! For starters, the intake of processed and sweet foods has to be diminished. We have to break a vicious circle of paying money for food which makes us fat, and paying money in the gym to lose fat. Alternatively, a gradual increase in outdoor exercise, brisk walks, and yoga is always beneficial. Quite often, the whole exercise of weight loss is found to be more psychological than physiological. A simple habit of “mindful eating” can go a long way in keeping a healthy lifestyle. Setting a realistic goal for yourself should be a priority. A self-analysis of your own body type and the type of body you can achieve, should help in setting these goals.

In conclusion, we need to stop relentlessly pursuing unreal goals and gaze at what’s inside each one of us. For the answer then, would be more rewarding than ever.

By Ameya Godse

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