ISABELLE'S OPINION: LINK BETWEEN WEIGHT AND HEALTH
The shift in social norms around obesity worries me. Obesity is now declared as a disease explained by several factors more important than individual choices in terms of diet and physical activity. By removing responsibility from the individual for his weight, there is a risk of considerably harming his physical health. Although we recognize that obesity is multifactorial, that genetic and hormonal factors can influence weight, the energy intake-energy expenditure ratio remains scientific evidence. The establishment of favorable environments is also a public health issue.
The link between overweight and obesity and several diseases is well established. Excess fat is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, several types of cancer, kidney failure, severe complications from Covid, chronic inflammation, physical pain (knees, back, etc.). By limiting individual responsibility, we risk seeing an increase in the prevalence of obesity and a massive use of medication.
Although the culture of diets takes up too much space in our society, this 180 degree turn, putting forward mental health at the expense of physical health, is not a solution. As a nutrition expert, my role is to pass on my knowledge to help people adopt healthy eating habits. My role cannot be limited to encouraging people to accept their body image, without intervening in nutritional quality. Putting the weight aside in our approach for fear of being attributed the qualifier of grossophobe is not a solution. We have literally gone from one extreme to the other, from the restrictive diet to the anti-diet approach. Can we not find a compromise within which we can support obese people with a benevolent approach while aiming to improve eating habits and achieve realistic and desirable weight loss? This has been my approach for nearly 30 years, in working on self-esteem, the relationship with food but also nutritional quality and the achievement of a balanced weight, we aim for health, both physical and mental. Accompaniment by several health professionals (nutritionist, kinesiologist and psychologist) gives the best results and this is the path that I want to promote, not the one that will feed the coffers of pharmaceutical companies selling drugs to lose weight with insignificant results. and significant side effects..