Obesity Attitudes and Behaviors
The mindset of obese Americans has been heavily influenced by society, medical personnel, and their immediate communities. Hateful words have victimized individuals, creating a sense of low self-worth. Obese Americans blame themselves for their condition and are therefore not keen to plan for doctor follow-up appointments. Despite all these factors, there are some platforms that allow people to share their stories and be encouraged. There are also some organizations that attempt to hold institutions and leaders to a higher standard demanding that they observe the rights of those suffering from this disease.
MINDSET OF OBESE AMERICANS
WHAT THEY BELIEVE - ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS
Society, medical experts, and their immediate community heavily influence the mindset of obese Americans. 68% believe that others judge them for their weight as one in every three believe they lack the support system they need. Even though 75% are concerned about how their weight will affect their lives in the long run, 60% believe diet plans fail, and that life is too short to watch what you eat.
Americans suffering from obesity suffer from depression, with the two feeding off each other. Women are more prone to the obesity-depression cycle. For those who experience stress, the cycle is stronger. Stress can cause a change in activity patterns and a shift in habits. This usually involves eating unhealthy, which can create a habit hard to overcome later on. This habit causes further depression, which results in more stress and binge eating, creating a vicious cycle hard to break. Research shows that 51% of people with binge eating habits have a history of depression. Bad experiences such as teasing about physical appearance can cause binge-eating and depression.
In seeking medical attention for this condition, statistics show that although four out of five believe that they need to hear from their doctor to make a change, only one out of five have reached out to one. In fact, one out of four has decided not to see a doctor until they lose some weight. Americans overestimate the impact of these two obesity treatments: diet and exercise.
It is clear to 65% of obese Americans that their condition is a disease, although only 54% worry about how it will affect their quality of life as they grow older. This is clear as they are poor at following through with treatment. Statistics show that out of the 71% of those who addressed their weight issue with their healthcare provider, 55% were diagnosed with obesity and only 24% scheduled a follow-up appointment. In part, they can attribute it to the emotional and psychological stress that these people have to endure in this condition.
Another external aspect that heavily affects the mindset of obese Americans is how HCPs (healthcare personnel) handle patients suffering from this condition. HCP constantly give excuses for not addressing this condition: lack of time: 52%, not a priority topic: 45%, the HCP observes a patient’s lack of motivation: 27% or interest: 26%. They have influenced patients to think they are the ones responsible for their condition; an idea enhanced by HCP and medical leaders, hence inadequate treatment options for the disease. Patients face constant victimization from healthcare providers and society. 82% of patients blame themselves for their own weight and consider themselves responsible to change that, and would therefore not feel the need to seek medical help. Children who are obese fall victim to cyber bullying. They grow up lacking confidence and conceal themselves behind large, casual clothing. There is also a slow sense of initiative in assigned tasks.
The community of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) addresses the treatment that people suffering from obesity endure and how this can be mitigated. They seek to influence various institutions and society at large. It addresses the employer, demanding a provision for healthcare insurance on the same.
The Weight of the World is a platform that allows people to share their personal story to be a source of encouragement to one another. They established it to address the stigma and bias that comes with obesity.