Each day we wake up and view ourselves, some days better than others, but have you ever seen a newscast discussion regarding what is deemed healthy and tried it just to fulfill the societal standard of healthy? Or tried it to obtain the ideal weight?Well, body image is defined as a subjective one achieves regarding one’s self, which is based on self-observation and the response of others (Merriam Webster) and each day the societal aspects influence the perceptions we achieve over ourselves and others.
What if someone said that what America perceives to be healthy based on the standards governments and society set is not healthy (Mercola)?That would then lead to the question if that pertains to all aspects of health in America, based on this one may look into the historical and political lens to understand how the history of government actions regarding health have influenced the body image America has achieved.
The belief of health has evolved over time;from the Paleolithic era people were not worried about how they looked, they were worried about surviving. Now health in America has become an aspect of life where it is not just about what you eat but also how much you weigh, how your skin, hair, nails, and etc look. The image of one’s self has become a major factor in the way people and the government define healthy (Psychological basis of Addiction).
For example each year America hosts the Miss America pageant, which is supposed to represent the ideal woman in America, yet the Miss America pageant is not about women’s strengths, accomplishments, but it is about the appearance of women to represent the country of America (Martin). This push for women to be a certain weight and look a certain way alters their lifestyle because some believe if they do not eat as many carbs or stay on this diet they will be healthy or what America sees as the ideal woman, but in reality it can cause harming effects later on in life (Cordain).
Being that Psychological basis of Addiction and Cordain have doctors who specialize in the medical field and see how these societal beliefs of healthy are affecting all people in way that is not medically healthy, the evidence regarding eating disorders, diseases, and etc. do not show bias in regards to how the politics regarding these beliefs may be harming society. Also being that Martin is a nutritional journalist she has hands-on exposure to how the Miss America pageant can present a false belief to women and teenagers in the way they should perceive their health.
Now one may presume that the belief of healthy from the 19th- 21st century has changed drastically because the societal standard of what people believe is healthy has changed, yet that does not correlate with the data because the governments regulation of healthy has not been enforced in a way that allows Americans to actually be healthy and that is a source of the food industry (Nestle). Subsequent to the government’s control of the food industry and reform Americans are not actually being provided with the resources that are actually healthy.
The U.S. has pushed for healthy living from 1953- today, each president since then has worked on initiatives to spread healthy living in America (HHS). However, the main goal for healthy living in America has been to help decrease obesity rates, but since the early 21st century it has become more of a basis on nutrition and excercise(HHS).
This can be shown with Michelle Obama’s national day of play and the reform for school lunches(HHS). Although the presidencies have worked to tackle obesity rates and make America healthier they have not made that easy. The United States commerce helps contribute to the funding that goes toward food in America, yet if their main goal was a healthier America the healthier and organic foods would not be continuously rising prices (Nestle).
Some may argue that the United States government only has a certain amount of funding, but with that argument there’s no consideration of the politicians who are being endorsed by these companies who say that less calories, less sugar, minimal carbs, and etc. are “healthy”. In reality they substitute artificial substances to make up for the calorie count or etc. which causes greater harm to Americans in the long run and these politicians know that but endorse them anyway because they need funding for their campaigns (Healthy Food America).
When understanding how relevant Nestle’s findings are one must understand that she is a professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at the New York University, so she is well educated in regards to the issues people are facing with nutrition and what they are told to be healthy by these superior people. The falsehood of healthy is not benefitting the American people because people who are supposed to be the leaders of America and whose duty is to ensure that Americans are provided the resources to improve their life.
Yet they are not actually making it easier for the average American to consume healthy food because of the inflation in prices. As a result people began to have diseases that were not present in the paleolithic or earlier eras, which is not only causing people to blame themself for not having the ideal body but it also causes people to quit seeking to workout or eat right because it has not produced any changes (Cordain et. al).
The credibility of the HHS, Healthy food America, and Cordain is proven with the fact that the HHS is written by actual officials who evaluate the health services and reforms executed in America, while Healthy food America and Cordain are both established by people who have degrees in the nutritional and sociological aspect of how food in America can affect ones health.
Also Healthy food America has hands on exposure with the food industry and the politics involved that are producing harming affects on the perception of body image for people in America. Justifying that America’s push for healthy living has influenced body image negativively because people attempt to eat healthy as in preached by the superiors of America, yet the superiors are not helping make a healthier lifestyle easy.
Health in America has evolved to not only focus on obesity rates but also to prevent diseases, and there are people such as Miss America, Models, and Politcians who all preach that eating healthy and excercising will give you the ideal results.
Yet in reality these health reforms each presidency has made does not inform Americans what is happen behind the politics of the food industry. Their are exchanges of endorsements politicians make with unhealthy food groups just for campaign funding, which then results in Americans to believe by eating this way or buying this workout plan they too will be healthy(Mercola).
However, in reality these endorsements are falsely expressed, which is causing people to continuously gain or maintain weight or even achieve new diseases which affect their health. One may presume that affecting someone’s health is just making them sick but it also correlates with psychological diseases like anorexia nervosa, bulemia, etc. subsequent to people not fulfilling societies ideal body image.
Proving that America’s politics are pushing towards healthy eating and excercise but the manipulation of the food industry is harming Americans view of themselves. People may argue that people are changing their views of the ideal body because of the reform taking place, which is true but the politics behind it is routed on the economic benefits, societal effects, cultural perspectives, and scientific effects instead of the goal of a healthier America.
Therefore, other lenses show the historical and political influence and control of health in America, proving the inner manipulation of the politics behind what healthy should be and the accessibility to healthy resources established a disconnect that’s resulted in harming interpretation of individual body image in America.