Shift toward healthy lifestyle imperative
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 15:10
We live in a society in which everyone judges one another based on appearance alone, where both women and men have been subjected daily to unrealistic advertisements that depict society’s definitions of “beauty.” Adding to this unhealthy phenomenon, misleading labels on food and clothing are making it even more difficult to live a healthy lifestyle, let alone appreciate yourself for who you are.
Both major fast food companies and high-end retailers subscribe to this ruse, making it harder for the average consumer to be confident with his or her body. Whether falsely advertising nutritional value on products or downplaying larger sizes, these companies are contributing to an untrusting clientele, as well as inhibiting healthier choices by purposefully withholding information from consumers.
Increases in vanity sizing, a practice used to increase a woman’s self-esteem by lowering sizes in certain stores, also adds to the overall confusion. Instead of simply being a size 10, a person can wear several sizes throughout different stores, creating an even more difficult shopping environment.
For a nation that prides itself on moving toward a healthier way of living, our country has retailers that still focus on these shady techniques in order to increase overall production rather than advocate for self-confidence and nutrition. These misleading labels can only do more harm than good in the long run, and instead of focusing on generating smaller or larger sizes, we need to place emphasis on what is really important: a healthy lifestyle.
Instead of worrying about how small your pant size is or how the Double Big Gulp will save you a dollar even if it is 64 ounces, we need to focus on the choices that are best for us in the long run. Obsessing over the nonexistent sizes that are displayed on billboards and in magazines can only hurt a person’s body image and self-confidence, a trend that should not have to continue.
Alternatively, we should strive to make a move away from larger sizes at fast food chains and restaurants toward better eating. National Public Radio reports that eating on smaller plates alone affects people’s perception while eating, because people will assume they are receiving more food than they are.
In the end, companies should adhere to stricter standards regarding sizing, creating a uniform layout for generating both clothing and food labels. Instead of trying to appease consumers by creating false or misleading labels, our society should place importance on value and necessity, rather than appearance alone, in order to create a healthier, more confident society.