Monday, 13 February 2012

Body beautiful?

I was at a health assessment today, where I was factually informed I am overweight. Not much, but I am nearing a risk zone for a gentleman in his 40's. A machine measured my height, fat percentage, muscle mass and age and came up with this unwelcome conclusion. So it's time to start eating healthier and start exercising again.

This got me thinking - why are we so interested in losing weight and achieving 'the body beautiful'? One thing's for sure - this interest is certainly a conditioned attitude.

One of the biggest 'conditioners' of our time is the media - the tabloids. You can't walk around the central areas of most towns in Sweden without being bombarded with messages about weight-loss, new diets or shocking stories about fat people.

Today's Aftonbladet: 'She lost 15 kilos - in 3 months!'
Today's Expressen: 'Lose weight guarantee'

It's no surprise that people feel anxious about their body image and that young people suffer from bodily identity issues. The pressure for body beautful is very strong in Sweden.

However, as we know, Sweden's not the only country with these issues. I'd venture to say it's the same in most western countries. And anything Sweden can do, Britain can do better?

Today's Sun newspaper: '58 stone man eats 8 hotdogs for breakfast'
Today's Mirror. 'How a talking plate can help you lose weight'
Today's Daily Mail: 'Meet the world's fattest man who lives in London'

It's depressing how manipulated we are, isn't it?

Think I'll go get a bar of chocolate.

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