What Santa Claus Has To Do With 800 Billions Of Sick People Around The World?
You hear Santa Claus.
What do you think? What are your first associations?
Gifts. Christmas. And then there's Santa Claus himself - a jolly, jovial, good-natured, chubby gentleman with a beard.
Did I guess?
Why don't you think: Obese, ailing, with crackling joints, weak bones, diabetes and atherosclerosis, an elderly gentleman?
I'll tell you why.
Because marketing. Because a well-known brand on C, maker of a caffeinated beverage, this is the image and connotations they have effectively popularized since 1930.
Let's look deeper. Let's look under the clothes of Santa himself. What has been hiding the most heavily advertised image and best-loved character for less than a century?
The main cause of obesity is an energy imbalance. In short: we eat more than we need, or (surprisingly!) we eat less - more - less - more.... than we need, and so on and so forth, so that there is no balance in our body and the metabolism slows down. This is why restrictive diets don't work in the long run and cause the yo-yo effect.
WHO alerts. In 2016 we had 650 million people diagnosed with obesity. In 2021, already 800 million. EIGHT hundred million diagnosed obese. And the number continues to grow.
Since 1975, the number of obese worldwide has almost tripled, and among adolescents and children, it has increased five times. This causes huge losses on a macro scale (the economy, the health system) and on a micro scale (our health, well-being, how we spend our time, quality of life, genes passed on). Should sick people therefore be stigmatized?
Absolutely not. It is true that an imbalance in the body is responsible for obesity, but not everything is within our control, or at least not consciously. Factors such as diet, quality of time spent, lifestyle, work, stress, sedentary mode, relationships with loved ones, time in front of the limelight at night, sleep disorders, hormonal and sugar imbalances, and even mental health and our attitude to life and all its aspects come into play. So the problem is complex, and we won't solve it with a magic diet, a pill, or movement alone. It is necessary to act in multiple ways.
And now let's return to our saint.
Is he overweight, or is he already obese? What do you think?
To find a sure answer to this, you have to use math, although I know that instinctively you already know the answer to my question. The most common indicator is the BMI index. Obesity starts with a score of 30. How do you calculate the BMI? You divide your weight in cm by your height in meters squared. That is, if you are 170cm, weigh 70 kg, the equation looks like this:
Evaluation of results:
Your BMI is 20.5 - normal.
>30 - obesity.
We do not know the parameters of our hero, but looking at the ads I assume that he can be 180cm tall and weigh 130kg. Quick count - BMIU 36.1 - obesity. Think of it as a game and an experiment. Check your BMI and let me know the result.
Is there a connection between the image of Santa Claus and the increasing obesity in the world?
In my opinion, yes.
The increase in sedentary behavior, the change in our habits, the availability of food, and at the same time the pushy marketing of companies promoting sweetened stimulant drinks through the figure of a jolly Santa Claus all contribute to the point we are at: 800 million obese worldwide. We have it coded in our heads that fat=happy, nice, smiling, good, generous. And at the same time, the real world, that of flesh-and-blood people (not advertising) attacks us for our weight, leading to self-esteem problems, depression, only making things worse. Body positivity doesn't help either. Because while body acceptance is important, liking what we have, appreciating what will lead us to health, sympathy for the very fat in our bodies is not healthy. Well, unless we live on the pole and then this fat helps us keep our body warm at a constant -20st. C.
Oh, and let me mention that our hero is not very physically active. Although he delivers a mountain of gifts every year, the rest of the year he is in sedentary mode:) And remember, one swallow does not make a spring, it's regularity that will change your life, not a one-time trip to the gym.
So how about it, do you still like Santa Claus, or a little less already?