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People Are Not OK With These Cosmopolitan Covers That Ignore The Relationship Between Obesity And Covid
74points
People, Social Issues1 year ago

People Are Not OK With These Cosmopolitan Covers That Ignore The Relationship Between Obesity And Covid

Cosmopolitan UK is facing harsh backlash and mockery on social media for its latest issue. More specifically, for suggesting there is nothing unhealthy about being obese, prompting accusations that the magazine is endangering lives amid the pandemic.

It featured photographs and interviews of 11 women who represented the different sizes of healthy, with a sign that read: “This is healthy! 11 women on why wellness doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all.”

Image credits: RitaPanahi

First, we need to settle on the definitions. “If we’re to listen to the World Health Organization, people are overweight if their body mass index exceeds 25 and obese if it is over 30,” general practitioner, medical researcher, and founder of PrimeHealth Clinical Research, Iris Gorfinkel, M.D., told Bored Panda, adding that this measure has its problems.

“The body mass index does not take into consideration muscle mass, it only considers height and weight. So that’s a bit of a problem. You know, better research is showing that, in fact, health outcomes are more associated with waist circumference. So people with big thighs and hips do not have the same health outcomes as those with big waist circumference.”

“It’s called visceral fat. That’s like a spare tire sitting on the waistline, that’s what predicts poorer health outcomes. And that’s what surrounds our liver, pancreas, stomach, and intestines. It turns out, the more visceral fat a person has—that’s what you can pinch on your waistline—the more fat surrounds the heart … and that is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.”

Cosmopolitan published photographs and interviews of 11 different women with a sign that read: “This is healthy! 11 women on why wellness doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all”

Image credits: RitaPanahi

The publication said that yoga teacher Jessamyn Stanley has become a “superstar in the American wellness industry thanks to her inclusive attitude.”

Stanley noted that she has embraced her body size and has learned to tune out “fatphobic comments” on Instagram where she has 450,000 followers and encountered drawbacks to the attention.

“I’ve had to accept that’s how the mainstream sees me and not try to change. For me, that’s been very therapeutic,” Stanley stated.

Influencer Callie Thorpe, for example, said that “Plus-size people often feel like they can’t be part of the wellness space. We are trolled for being fat, then can feel excluded from exercise because our bodies don’t fit the narrative.”

Cosmopolitan explained that Callie’s journey towards self-love started with her diet blog in 2012. “I thought if I made myself accountable to strangers, I’d [lose weight]. It made me feel worse than ever,” she explained.

Thorpe now adheres to the “body neutrality movement,” focusing on what her body can “do” rather than how her body “looks.”

Image credits: Cosmopolitan

But people on social media have a real problem with it

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“Obesity is a pitchfork that sticks into COVID-19 with three prongs. One is that obesity causes inflammation and increases cytokine levels. And that actually sets the stage for a cytokine storm in which the body’s own immune system attacks not only the virus, but the body’s own cells as well,” Gorfinkel explained. “So cytokine storm not only worsens pneumonia that COVID-19 causes, but directly damages lung tissue, in addition to causing acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS.

“A second problem is that fat in the abdomen, pushes up on the diaphragm, which makes it harder for a person to breathe and for the lungs to become fully inflated with air. And when the lungs are not fully inflated, the risk for pneumonia becomes higher—critical care specialists have learned to take advantage of that by placing sick patients on their belly because it helps oxygen get more easily into the lungs (that’s called pruning). When people are on their back, the weight of the body makes it harder for sections of the lung to inflate. And so a final problem. Obesity causes a slew of chronic conditions that increase the risk of being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19.”

The final problem is that obesity causes a slew of chronic conditions that increase the risk of being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19.

In fact, Since the pandemic took over the world, multiple studies have reported that many of the sickest COVID-19 patients have been people with obesity. In a meta-analysis published on 26 August in Obesity Reviews, for example, an international team of researchers put together data from scores of peer-reviewed papers capturing 399,000 patients.

They found that obese people who contracted SARS-CoV-2 were 113% more likely than people of healthy weight to land in the hospital, 74% more likely to be admitted to an ICU, and 48% more likely to die.

Image credits: RitaPanahi

Image credits: KlytusKing

Image credits: RitaPanahi

“The Cosmopolitan article says there is nothing unhealthy about being overweight. What I would add to that is that what has been extremely unhealthy is doctors’ response to being overweight,” Gorfinkel added. “Let’s take a look at the old school. A patient comes in. “You’re fat. I got the cholesterol I told you last year it was high. Well, guess what? It’s still high this year. You haven’t lost weight.” In other words, it’s asking the person what is wrong with them. That formula does not work. Guilt, shame, humiliation, we know that should not play a role in how any healthcare practitioner responds to somebody who is overweight.”

“The more enlightened way of managing it is actually asking permission. “Is now a good time to be talking about this?” “What are the challenges that you have faced in addressing you being overweight?” It’s not just a question of what’s going on medically, it’s very much a question of what’s going on socially, what’s going on, psychologically, too. That’s called the biopsychosocial method. And it makes a lot more sense. This way, the person in front of us becomes a part of the health team, as opposed to somebody that’s just being shouted at and being told, “What’s wrong with you? How come you haven’t lost the weight?” We know that food addictions are very much like other addictions. If we tried to do that with somebody addicted to opiates, or somebody’s addicted to alcohol, using negative emotions is tantamount to failure.”

Image credits: _traditionalis

This isn’t the first time that Cosmopolitan has made headlines by featuring plus-sized women. In 2018, the outlet’s cover starred obese model Tess Holliday. At that time, it was widely criticized for advocating for an unhealthy lifestyle as well.

Holliday, on the other hand, was unapologetic for her appearance and lashed out at the “horrible people” who were “whining about how me being on the cover of a glossy magazine impacts your small minded life.”

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Hey pandas, what do you think?
kurisutofu
Community Member
1 year ago

I think people are confusing wellness with healthiness. You can feel well and be obese, good for you. But don't think it is healthy.

Rissie
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Aunt Messy, you are doing the exact opposite. People who are obese don't just ask for it. They don't wake up each morning and think, well let me overeat and not excercise today. It is a complex balance between predisposition, our current culture of too much of everything and vicious cycles that worsten the situation. But because I know that it's a fight to turn that around if it's even possible. And I don't feel people should be ashamed for something outside their personal control, doesn't mean you need to say it's healthy. No shaming, no senseless promoting, just understanding and helping. You are such a nasty person in your comments sometimes. Yuk.

Load More Replies...
Felix Feline
Community Member
1 year ago

That is NOT healthy. Obesity kills.

Blondhorsecrazy
Community Member
1 year ago

Obesity kills 3+ million people each & every year. Its not sexy nor is it healthy to be 400+ lbs. It detracts from quality of life. Younger generations have tripled in average weights as previous generations. When I went to school, there was maybe a handful of "fat kids"...I graduated in 90s. America has come to rely on fast food, takeout & poor food choices. People should not be ridiculed, harassed or belittled for body size but we can't accept it as normal.

Load More Replies...
Luther von Wolfen
Community Member
1 year ago

Cosmo is designed to reinforce the status quo and sell beauty products. If you are in any way interested in being healthy and/or empowered, stop buying this magazine.

Jonathan
Community Member
1 year ago

Their double standards and hypocrisy is shocking too. There's widely publicised examples of their objectivity when it comes to talking about womens bodies but at the same time they post articles about the 'perfect' guys bodies and once even shared an article of zoomed in speedo crotches taken at a mens Olympic swimming event.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
kurisutofu
Community Member
1 year ago

I think people are confusing wellness with healthiness. You can feel well and be obese, good for you. But don't think it is healthy.

Rissie
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Aunt Messy, you are doing the exact opposite. People who are obese don't just ask for it. They don't wake up each morning and think, well let me overeat and not excercise today. It is a complex balance between predisposition, our current culture of too much of everything and vicious cycles that worsten the situation. But because I know that it's a fight to turn that around if it's even possible. And I don't feel people should be ashamed for something outside their personal control, doesn't mean you need to say it's healthy. No shaming, no senseless promoting, just understanding and helping. You are such a nasty person in your comments sometimes. Yuk.

Load More Replies...
Felix Feline
Community Member
1 year ago

That is NOT healthy. Obesity kills.

Blondhorsecrazy
Community Member
1 year ago

Obesity kills 3+ million people each & every year. Its not sexy nor is it healthy to be 400+ lbs. It detracts from quality of life. Younger generations have tripled in average weights as previous generations. When I went to school, there was maybe a handful of "fat kids"...I graduated in 90s. America has come to rely on fast food, takeout & poor food choices. People should not be ridiculed, harassed or belittled for body size but we can't accept it as normal.

Load More Replies...
Luther von Wolfen
Community Member
1 year ago

Cosmo is designed to reinforce the status quo and sell beauty products. If you are in any way interested in being healthy and/or empowered, stop buying this magazine.

Jonathan
Community Member
1 year ago

Their double standards and hypocrisy is shocking too. There's widely publicised examples of their objectivity when it comes to talking about womens bodies but at the same time they post articles about the 'perfect' guys bodies and once even shared an article of zoomed in speedo crotches taken at a mens Olympic swimming event.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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