Modern India paints a picture of a developing economy, fast pace of Urbanisation and growth, the rich becoming richer and a huge middle class moving fast on their heels. Is there a price that we pay for this social and financial upward mobility? For sure! Feed the child all that you couldn’t get, assuage your lack of availability and guilt with food for the eye and not food for health. Think of a well-stocked fridge as a sign of success. Tempt the kids with a kitchen bursting with goodies. The result –– kids who are as fat as their parents’ wallets.
With all this there is a physical and mental health price to be paid. What these young adults see in the mirror is not so complimentary. It creates a feeling of being less than peers who are better structured. After all the body is like the formal sitting room of a house. It is your prettiest foot forward. Not measuring up leads to insecurity, low self- confidence and struggling self esteem. All of this could lead to social withdrawal, being quiet in a group.
The feeling of being ‘less than’ percolates to other mental, social areas of development as well. When family and well wishers advice weight loss, it is then met with defensiveness and denial. After all, this is a confirmation of what the young adult already knows but doesn’t want to acknowledge. Defensiveness often results in rebellion, more eating and more weight.
And these mental health dysfunctions are only of a mild mature. Some severe dysfunctions are unipolar and sexual dysfunctions and eating disorders.
These dysfunctions affect women disproportionately more than men. Matrimonial columns, for instance, reflect this, as they are more likely to read –– wanted fair, tall, slim and well-educated girl. But a similar description for a groom doesn’t seem to figure so strong. But this is the day of sexual objectification of the body. Housing a beautiful mind, a beautiful body is seen as a must. It is expected of men to have a fat wallet but a lean frame.
It is equally expected of women to be intelligent in mind and beautiful in body. Also, fat people are considered to be funny people. But consider this. The obese are 25 per cent more likely to suffer from depression. So where is the room for humour? This is just a myth.
The brain is mostly made up of cholesterol, a fat. It feeds on sugars and essential fatty acids. But is doesn’t need to be overfed. Also it thrives on omega-3 fatty acids, which come from healthy food choices. What’s good for the head is good for the heart too, confirms a study presented at the American Psychosomatic Society, a couple of years ago.
You guys out there, take a good look at your mirror and listen to its diagnosis, pleasant or not. Work at your diet and workout. A healthy diet balances the mind while starvation only gives you mood swings. A healthy workout burns your stress and depressive emotions leaving you mentally calm yet alert. While you burn calories, make sure you don’t run after size 0 and burn your mind with it.