The latest statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that about 30% of the world population is overweight. In Kenya about a quarter of the population is obese, with the highest representation being women. These people experience a number of challenges in their lives.
When talking about the challenges of obese people face it is vital to think about functional mobility. Many overweight people cannot move from one place to another without strain. For instance, when these people want to take the staircase to the top of a building they suffer from problems in the knee and hips due to their weight. It is more tiresome for them to climb up and down the stairs. They have a hard time balancing while standing or walking because excessive body weight negatively affects their balance. These people find tasks that involve movement very hard to accomplish. Some of them go to an extent of accomplishing these tasks using machines. Also, they find it hard to access essential facilities like washrooms.
As we all know movement helps one to connect with people, it helps one get what he want to use in his daily life and above all this is one way of moving away from danger. Many obese people are usually trapped in burning buildings because they can hardly move swiftly to save their lives. This has led to many of them getting injured in the process.
Living with excess pounds can be so heartbreaking. The social stigma attached to being overweight is worse than being sick. You can probably see it in the eyes and hear it in the words of your friends, relatives, workmates who are overweight. Many societies associate negative stereotypes with excess weight and believe that people who are fat are less likable and appreciated. For example, overweight young adults have low chances of dating or finding a marriage partner. People tend to look down upon them and even fear being seen with them.
At one point I met an obese lady by the name Faith who complained bitterly about being discriminated by men because she was fat. According to her, she noted that men do not find fat women attractive. As a woman, she said she desires a man who can accept her the way she is so that she can feel more confident and live a life of no regret for being fat. She urged men not to constantly judge women based on their weight before considering their other qualities.
“Give us a chance, we may have extra weight, but we can do everything the skinny woman can—maybe even better.” said Faith.
People who are obese suffer from low self-esteem. They think of themselves of having little value or just lesser human being who have a lot of shortcomings. They get 'brainwashed' by constant criticism of their body posture. When a person begins to question their conditions or brainwashing, then a healthier and more accurate sense of self-hatred begin to emerge. This can lead to traumatic stress disorder which maintains the sense of "damage" and low self-worth. With a lot of stress, this people develop other conditions like heart attack and stroke which may lead to premature deaths.
The overweight people sweat a lot hence this makes them feel uncomfortable wherever they are. They hate the feeling of being warm all the time which demand that, they should frequently shower so as to cool their bodies. It should also be noted that these people don't feel comfortable while taking showers because this is a very tiresome task on its own. They find it hard to clean every part of their bodies.
Overweight affect the breathing system of a person. These breathing problems are caused by cardiovascular diseases which are caused by obesity. Their blood lacks enough oxygen which makes them gasp for air. All in all these people need to be treated as normal human being because this is not a permanent condition.