I’m copying Tara Parker-Pope’s New York Times/The Well blog post (“Weight Issues Around the World“) verbatim because there was no use in rewriting something like this.
Clearly, the U.S. isn’t the only country obsessed with weight (or struggling with it).
And that news doesn’t exactly make me happy to hear.
Sadly, obesity is a growing global epidemic, and much of it is fueled by inactivity and over-eating, coupled with economic hardships — a trifecta for disaster.
None of these survey results were particularly ground-breaking, but seeing it all laid out paints quite a dismal picture about weight and our tenuous relationship with our bodies.
Here is Parker-Pope’s post in full:
“Is the United States the only country worried about its collective weight? A new Reader’s Digest survey has analyzed responses from 16,000 people in 16 countries to find out what people around the world think about weight. Here are some of the findings:
The most pressure to be thin: Brazilians topped the list, with 83 percent complaining that the culture places too much emphasis on weight. India was second, at 68 percent, and the United States ranked third, with 62 percent complaining about an overemphasis on weight.
Wives who want their husband to lose weight: Just over half of married women in the United States want a thinner husband, while 47 percent of married American men said they were unhappy with their wife’s weight.
Husbands who want their wife to lose weight: Indian men were most unhappy with their spouse’s weight, with 48 percent saying they wished their wife was thinner.
Most likely to use weight loss pills: The survey found that 37 percent of people in China had used weight loss drugs, followed by Brazil (30 percent), Russia (24 percent) and Mexico (23 percent). In the United States, 19 percent said they used diet pills.
Most likely to blame genetics: Seventy percent of Russians said their weight problems are inherited, followed by Germans (61 percent) and Indians (50 percent). In the United States, 20 percent of respondents blamed their genes for a weight problem.
Most likely to blame Americans: More than any country surveyed, the French were most likely to blame American eating habits and American fast-food companies for spreading obesity.
Go to the Readers Digest Web site to read the full article, “Global Poll: Weight Around the World,” where you’ll learn where people are most likely to use smoking to lose weight, where most people are happy as they are, and where weight is most likely to affect a job promotion or to ruin your sex life.”
How about you? What do you think about these survey results? Are you surprised that the American way of eating/living has come under attack?
6 thoughts on “Weight Issues Around the World”
Wow, this is so interesting. I found this most interesting: “In the United States, 20 percent of respondents blamed their genes for a weight problem.”
It’s a very American thing to assume we have control over how we look. Obviously, we don’t do much to control our height (yet), but we think we can manipulate our weight. We fully believe it’s something change-able and we go to great lengths to prove this. Genes really do play the biggest role, in my opinion, and we’d be happier if we could accept this.
That’s such an interesting poll. I look at it and think that if you look at it from a societal standpoint, the results go in line with what some of the views of those societies are like. Brazilians=models, Indian culture=stricter roles of subordinate wives…
Very interesting. Not suprised that the French place blame on the American way of eating. It is pretty terrible and we are exporting it all over the world withi very negative effects.
I have read about how eating disorders are very prevalent in Brazil, a few years ago twoyoung Brazilian models died from anorexia. They are also so obsessed with plastic surgery.
I used to live in Buenos Aires and they have a HUGE anorexic population, as well as plastic surgery. I actually wrote a poem about it when I lived there. http://talesofadisorderedeater.org/2008/09/03/bittersweet-poetry-body-image-ghosts-from-my-past/
lovely blog i just found. how has blogging halped you out personally? i just started my own blog for my recovery in hopes of helping myself and others toward recovery!! thanks for all your thoguhtful insights
I just found your blog and I want to say that I really love it! I posted about how I overcame my own eating disorder on my blog today. Maybe it could be inspirational for some of your readers 🙂
Keep up the good work !