Is weight loss something to worry about?



By Simbarashe Mudzviti

28 September 2016

“Sarah and Peter have been married for 3 years. The atmosphere seems to have changed this year. It looks like Peter is concerned with Sarah’s growing body size. Is this a real problem for Sarah?”

THE media is a yardstick for deciding what is normal for most of us. Most people depend on the media for correlational purposes hence it is a major source of definition for the majority of the citizens.

I always watch beauty contests on television. What I have experienced is that   the media has its own worldview in defining the concept of beauty. For the media, beauty is associated with slimness or slander. To some extent, this is filtered to the citizens hence influencing their perception and subsequent behaviours.

Weight loss does not mean starving yourself even though it helps to shed some extra pounds. Weight is depended on height, age, eating habits and other social factors. It appears women are the most affected as they are more concerned with their looks. This also shows that there is a biological relationship between height and weight.

Closely related to weight loss is obesity, which the National Institute of Health defines as weight that is higher than what is considered a healthy weight for a given height. It adds that obesity is caused by excessive food intake, lack of physical activity and a few cases which are genetical.

Interviews conducted revealed mixed reactions concerning weight loss. Lillian Maidza, a Human Resources Lecturer says weight loss is an important area which she takes care of. “Iam one of those people who value weight loss. It is important to minimise the risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart failure and diabetes. Clean eating is really encouraged “, said Lilian.

Charity Moyo, a student nurse, said some people lose weight because they are overweight or they want to be slim. She added that continuous weight loss lead to low immune resistance which in the end leads to anorexia (eating disorder). She also said overweight could lead to many opportunistic diseases such as high blood pressure and colonary heart diseases.

“Some people lose weight due to illness or symptoms of illness. This situation is a problem and I would like to urge all who experience this to consult for medical advice.” Charity said.

Asked whether the issue had effect on relationships, Itumeleng Mongala, a journalism student said this had the potential to affect both ways adding that men and women who are obese do not enjoy “social life”. She said their self -esteem was very low as people always make fun out of them.

Gamiedah Hendricks, a mother of two said some people, especially girls are obsessed with losing weight even though there is nothing wrong with the way they look. Says Gamiedah,”If you are obese, you should lose weight but not to crash diets. You should find healthy alternatives to lose the weight. In my case, I struggle to gain weight so I think the struggle to lose weight is just as real as trying to gain”.

She added that she was not comfortable with the way she looks and that any amount of stress caused her to lose weight within a day or two.

Some young girls like Omphemetse Motene, feel that there is nothing wrong losing weight as long as one is comfortable about it. “Iam very comfortable and I take care of myself. I eat healthy food, walk for a distance as part of exercise but I don’t go to gym. Men are happy with the way I look but at the end of the day it’s not about them”, said Omphemetse.


Mercy Mtembu, also felt that the stomach for the man must not be too big because they will not look “nice”. She added that weight was related to health conditions and how one felt emotionally. “If one is happy. One gains more weight. For me a normal weight must not exceed 60 kilograms” Mercy said.

An Economics lecturer, Mr Shephered Johns said weight was not a major issue as long as one was able to carry him/herself. He however said that his wife usually complains when “my stomach gets big”.

This is really a relative concept. The menu is there for you, you decide what works!