Every year fashion trends see us swapping our normal comfy clothes for some outrageous fluorescent leggings or a leotard only fit for Beyoncé, but is there an even worse trend sweeping the nation recently? Obesity has increased drastically in the UK, with nearly 64% of people being considered overweight. Could this be because people think it’s OK to be overweight?
Now this is no ITV documentary with panning shots of overweight people eating McDonalds and struggling to walk, but there is a serious underlying issue. British women are now the fattest in Europe, but with a ‘so what I’m fat’ attitude, people have never been more proud of who they are. One in 11 deaths are now considered to be related to obesity and health problems.
Students are considered amongst the worst in the statistics, which may be down to too many beans on toast and hung-over Burger King’s. Without dietary guidance we eat whatever we want without even thinking of the consequences, drinks such as fruit juice contribute to this as they are packed with sugar.
Could this be the latest ‘in’ thing? We all know mainstream media has an effect on how people perceive theirselves, so with more curvaceous women than ever, are people getting the wrong message?
Even last year the focus in the press was relying on stories anorexia or depression from perfect celebrity role models to moan about people’s lifestyles. It was also only then that Valeria Levitin, an extreme anorexia sufferer and supposedly the thinnest woman in the world spoke out about her shocking story and the battle she has with her weight.
She revealed how, shockingly, she receives fan mail from young girls asking how they can be like her. This horrific revelation was worrying to not only young teens, but society as a whole, as people are easily influenced.
However it has always been known that girls from as young as 13 worry about how boys see them and if they are attractive enough. The pressure begins from this young age and has been known to spiral out of control. The thought of not being good enough or not being found attractive evolves into eating disorders, depression and even, in the worst case scenario, suicide.
In a survey of 2000 girls, conducted in 2007, two-thirds said they feel their lives would be better if they lost weight and admitted it was down to the influence of celebrities. The Daily Mail has protested for tougher restrictions on the accessibility of porn for youngsters. This is also a major issue for young girls, who see boys wanting girlfriends like they see on the internet.
So will us Britons ever be able to find the right balance from being a country obsessed with being thin, to finally being happy with how we look and being told we need to change? Where do we draw the line with our need to keep up with current trends and how do we ever stop putting people’s health on the line? A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet may be hard, especially for students who drink too much Carlsberg and eat nothing but spaghetti hoops, but is more serious than we may think.