Meme Roth is right. There IS an obesity problem in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control have published a survey that spanned from 1999 to 2002. The results showed the following:
- *“An estimated 30 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 years and older – over 60 million people – are obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
- An estimated 65 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 years and older are either overweight or obese, defined as having a BMI of 25 or higher.”
So, there’s that. All we have to do is look around to see a few love handles here, an extra chin there – and I mean…not look very far. So yes, Meme Roth is right.
But her approach to promoting a healthier lifestyle is pretty outlandish – at least in this instance.
Recently Ms. Roth declared a boycott on Redbook Magazine. Yeah, that Redbook that has been around forever. The March 2006 issue, with the cover story called “We Love Your Body From Size 2 – 20”, disturbs her. The article in question has a color spread of 17 women, most of who are Redbook staffers, ranging in sizes from two to 20. The whole point of the article is primarily about the fashion industry’s methods of manufacturing and providing sample sizes. Redbook asked several manufacturers to give them clothing samples in “real sizes”, like petite zero to 20W along with the regular size six and then they let America see these attractive women dressed in duds from the likes of Liz Claiborne, Chico’s and Forth & Towne. The accompanying text is a little lesson on the ins and outs of sample sizes, and retail supply and demand. It’s not necessarily hard-hitting journalism, but it is interesting and refreshing.
Meme Roth took offense to this article however, and called it “reckless in the age of obesity.” She also states, “Until Redbook Magazine gets real about the risks associated with extra heft rather than parading health-compromised, plus-sized women in its pages, boycott it.”
Parading health-compromised women? That’s a little extreme, since Roth has no way of knowing the exact health status of all the women involved. Sure some are overweight, and as it’s been stated here and elsewhere, too much weight can be deadly. But ‘health-compromised’?
Also, what Ms. Roth failed to mention on her Blog was that the very same issue carried the third installment of a health series, “Real-Life, Healthy Life Makeover”. This piece is following three women on their efforts to lose weight and get in shape. It’s more inspiring than the fashion article, but both serve to give women – who are not size six – a sense of acceptance.
You’d hope with all the enlightenment women have been blessed with in the last few decades we would be immune to the impossibly beautiful faces gracing the glossies on the newsstands. You’d like to believe that we’ve all come a “long way, baby” – and that we suffer no inferior feelings whatsoever. Sadly that is so not true. Young junior high girls who are probably a size 4 or 6 feel they are too fat. Yes, that is still going on and that has to stop.
Whether a woman (or a man for that matter) is actively working towards being more fit or not, they do deserve to dress with comfort and style. Redbook does not cater totally to plus size women – and is not exempt from offering beautiful and thin cover girls – but at the least – this issue includes real women, looking great.
*“It is important to remember that weight is only one factor related to disease. If you have questions or concerns about the appropriateness of your weight, please discuss them with your health care provider.” From the CDC.