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How much do you weigh?

15 Feb

It always bugs me in one way or another when someone comments on others about their overweight or lack thereof. For some reason, it is a norm in India to comment on a person’s weight. It is the first question that people start with when they meet you. Though it sounds like a concern, it also sounds like a mild sarcasm. While the western world is so paranoid about having a lot of obese people, the same is somehow termed as a symbol of prosperity in India. Why is this discrepancy? A friend of mine and I had a chat and he said some things that were quite interesting.

If you notice, you will notice that the poorer people in richer country and richer people in poorer country are overweight and vice versa for the healthy/normal weight. What does this mean? If you look back at history, you will find that, food has always been a scarce resource. So, people wanted to make the most of it when they had access to it. Especially, fatty food is good because it can keep you from not getting starved, for relatively large periods of time. The most affluent people could have access to more of the fatty food. So, as a result of it, being fatty was probably a sign of prosperity…In a poorer country, food is still a scarce resource. So, it is probably the reason why we still see the remnants of those arcane ideals. In the western world, especially here in US, food is not a scarce entity. Especially, fatty food is very cheap even to the poorest people. I read in an article that “A regular serving of McDonald’s French fries contained 200 calories in 1960; now it has 610”. The price hasnt changed much from then… On the other hand, non-fatty food is expensive… So, that probably explains why poorer people are fatty in richer countries.. Here in US, things are just the opposite…

Everything said and done, the above paragraph is not trying to make a generalisation about why people are overweight or underweight. It just states the historic background behind the phenomenon. Personally, I think, it is a decision that people have to make for themselves. We all are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of both the extremes. We all make conscious decisions to stay the way we choose to. So, being judgemental about others, not just in this context, but in any context will only provoke unpleasantness.

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3 Comments

Posted by on February 15, 2006 in From AM-KICKING blog

 

3 responses to “How much do you weigh?

  1. IamwhatIam

    February 15, 2006 at 2:25 am

    Mindframe, that is a very interesting observation. As you mentioned answering the question may involve several variables but you have given a very plausible explanation.

    I think in India people say you are healthy and wealthy when you are overweight. This is different from the obesity of those in US. I have seen more obese people in USA than India. I see more overweight people in India than in USA.

     
  2. Survivor

    February 15, 2006 at 5:20 am

    Hmmm …Thinking about it, it does make logical sense .
    In India, people are not called obese or overweight, they are said to be wellbuilt. Reminds of Obelix….:-)

     
  3. bumblebee

    February 21, 2006 at 3:26 am

    I always tell my people back in India to give away sweets and snacks (like Murukku) to our maid. For the physical labor she does, she’ll burn it in no time.

    On the other hand, people who like to vegetate after relishing the delicacies seem to be the ones most likely to have access to these foods!

     

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