Thinking Thin vs Being Thin

I love the 2nd paragraph of the article below… such a polite way of saying that the women in Britain, Spain and Portugal are delusional.. hahahaha.


Health @ AsiaOne

French women, thinnest in Europe, think they’re fat

France has by far the highest proportion of clinically underweight women in Europe, but only half of them think they are too thin. -AFP
Fri, Apr 24, 2009

PARIS (AFP) – France has by far the highest proportion of clinically underweight women in Europe, but only half of them think they are too thin, according to a new study.

In other European countries the opposite is true: the number of women in Britain, Spain and Portugal, for example, who see themselves as seriously skinny easily outstrips the number who actually are.

"This shows that what people consider an ideal weight in France is lower than in other countries," said the study’s author Thibaut de Saint Pol, a researcher at France’s National Institute of Demographic studies, which published the study on Wednesday.

"If a French person who feels fat were to go to the United States," — which has much higher rate of obesity — "he probably wouldn’t feel fat any more," he told AFP in an interview.

The study also reveals a big gap, both objective and subjective, between sexes.

In western Europe, the mean weight of men in every country except France and The Netherlands tips the scales into the "overweight" category, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

By contrast, in only three nations do women join the menfolk in crossing that line: Britain, Greece and Portugal. And only among the Dutch does one find more overweight women than men.

France is the one country in which both sexes are solidly in the "normal" weight bracket, and the only one in which more than five percent of women are offically "underweight".

The universal standard introduced by the WHO for assessing weight is the Body-Mass Index (BMI): one’s weight in kilogrammes divided by the square of one’s height in meters.

A BMI of 25-to-30 indicates being overweight, while above 30 means one is obese. The range of normal weight is 18.5-to-24.9. (BMI calculators can easily be found on the Internet.)

The proportion of overly thin women in France has long been the highest in Europe, but has shrunk from 8.5 percent in 1981, to 7.8 percent in 1992, to 6.7 percent in 2003, according to once-a-decade national surveys.

In that same period, the proportion of underweight French men held steady at just under two percent.

Beyond objective differences, men and women don’t perceive their own deficient or excess weight in the same way either, the study found.

"Men denigrate their own bodies when they are underweight, but when they are overweight, they often don’t see a problem," said de Saint Pol, adding that outright obesity was another story.

"When women are underweight, they do not devalue that at all. But as soon as they cross the line into overweight, they find that unacceptable."

While particularly striking in France, this axiom held true across all 15 of the European countries covered in the study.

De Saint Pol pointed to powerful cultural symbols that reinforced these different attitudes, though it is hard to tell whether they are more cause or effect.

For women, he said, the body is related to beauty, and beauty to being thin.

For men, however, carrying weight is felt in oneself and perceived in others — consciously or not — as projecting strength.

"This is especially true the further down one goes on the socio-economic ladder," he said.


Memory. All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days,
I was beautiful then.
I remember the time I knew what happiness was,
Let the memory live again.

while searching for my baby photos, i found a lot of old cards that friends had written to me many years back.  i had forgotten that i used to write to this girl in my ballet class who went on to study at a boarding school in UK.  the last time i saw her was at Wisma Atria… about 4 years back.  she was working with SQ then.  i wonder how is she now. 

i also came across letters that my pri school classmate wrote to me when she was back in Indonesia during the school holidays.  we drifted apart in secondary sch and i completely lost touch with her when she was expelled from school.  i wonder how is she too.

i also came across numerous cards & letters of encouragement written by church friends, and many many photos from Senior Sunday School camps, youth choir days, and carolling performances.  i was surprised at the number of photos i took with some friends, and saddened by other photos because i’m no longer close to these friends anymore.  recalling how we grew up together, i wish i am able to revive these friendships.  in my struggle in finding acceptance sometimes, i think i have forgotten their kindness.  perhaps when friends get too close, they take one another for granted, and i have sadly remembered the hurts more than the joys.  i know i tend to shy away from people when i feel left out and i’m very good at building a shell around me.  when i’m truly hurt by a friend’s actions, i tend to bury my sadness and present a nonchalant front, especially when this is necessary for keeping peace.  this is not good.

3 realisations i got while searching for old photos leave me unsettled.  the first is that many many of my old photos were taken with Fuzzy Pillow & Littlewee.  i’ve been trying to contact Fuzzy Pillow w/o success to invite her to the wedding.  Littlewee can’t make it, unfortunately, and hasn’t contacted Fuzzy Pillow in a long while too.

the second was a letter written by a very close friend previously.  i don’t know how we drifted apart but i feel bad because i think i haven’t done my part in being a friend, and i don’t know if it’s too late to repair the friendship.  i get the feeling that my friend isn’t happy about something but is not saying it.

the third is a friend that i never really thought of much before because we’ve never been particularly close… but i’ve taken an amazing number of photos with her!  perhaps she has always been faithfully around church and serving quietly such that i’ve failed to appreciate her character and faithfulness to the Lord.

revisiting memories is good.  i will try to do something about this.