3 Obesity Myths (Video)

April 21, 2014 Updated: April 21, 2014

Obesity is a soaring epidemic in the US, and with its rise in numbers have come many myths about the possible causes. Recently, natural scientist Deborah Cohen called out several of the theories that just don’t hold water, pointing out the real probable causes instead.

Slimming Down Alone, Together

For many overweight and obese people, getting in shape can feel like an act that is meant to be publicly announced and privately executed. Consider NBC’s The Biggest Loser, which has consistently drawn in millions of viewers over the last 10 years by showcasing the spectacle of rapid physical transformation. Sure, the contestants’ dedication to improving their health might be inspiring, but more alluring is the promise of watching a sweaty, shout-filled struggle, with a Big Reveal at the end of the season.

In non-reality show reality, being gawped and sneered at by their fit peers has actually led heavier gym-goers to become members of facilities like Downsize Fitness in Forth Worth that cater exclusively to bigger clientele. There’s a sense that no one will be singled out for the state of her health but, instead, welcomed as part of a community with a shared goal. Emphasizing the importance of community to curtail the prevalence of obesity is the goal of Drs. Walter Willett and Malissa Wood, the co-authors of Thinfluence: the powerful and surprising effect friends, family, work, and environment have on weight. Jointly, the two hope to counter the notion that getting in shape is a solitary pursuit and the sole responsibility of the obese.

This article was originally published at www.theatlantic.com. Read the original here.

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