Debate over Body Positivity and the Rise in Obesity

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

“This is Healthy,” read a headline in the February 2021 Cosmopolitan UK that featured an array of women of different body shapes and sizes, including two who appear to be morbidly obese. As the body positivity movement has grown in recent years, so has the increase in those with obesity in the United States. With the Coronavirus pandemic showing a link between weight and risk of death by COVID-19, Rachel Hosie of Insider questions whether weight loss should continue to be “taboo” in a time when many emphasize body positivity and self-love.

Hosie discusses the topic of obesity in society from the perspective of various health experts, personal trainers, self-love advocates, and medical doctors. While there may be no exact correlation between weight and physical health, obesity leads to additional complications from various illnesses. At the same time, those who at least stay active and practice proper nutritional habits are less likely to experience health problems associated with obesity.

While it is essential to be accepting in society irrespective of one’s physical size and appearance, media need to address the increase of obesity and a goal of fat loss without those pushing an idea that obesity should be the norm while creating an environment of safe weight loss and inclusivity.

Source: Rachel Hosie, “Health Professionals are Divided over Whether Obese People Should Be Encouraged to Lose Weight or Not,” Insider, January 22, 2021,

Student Researcher: Joshua Schwarz (Indian River State College)

Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)