Even though the media bombards us with the very real fact that we are an increasingly overweight society, talking about weight can still be a very sensitive issue for most people. No other time during the year is this sensitivity on full display than during the holidays when your entire family has direct access to your body and can pick at the “flaws” while inhaling mac and cheese and grandma’s famous sweet potato pie. Despite the sensitivity however, a recent Jezebel article suggests that telling someone you love that they need to put down the second helping of stuffing and skip dessert might not be a bad idea this holiday season.
According to Professor David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum:
“Suggesting to someone that they should consider losing a few pounds may not be a comfortable conversation to have. But if someone close to you has a large waistline then as long as you do it sensitively, discussing it with them now could help them avoid critical health risks later down the line and could even save their life.”
The professor does have a point. With obesity pretty much at epidemic proportions, having the conversation with a loved one about their health is the same as throwing them a life preserver when they’re drowning, but are the holidays, when they are surrounded by people and most likely already self conscious about their weight, the right time to do it? And how do you even begin to nicely teill someone something so potentially hurtful? Personally I feel that if you notice a friend or family member is unhealthy, by all means have an open and honest conversation with them about it and let them know that you are concerned and there to encourage and support them, but the holidays are a time for joy and laughter, not sadness and tears, so save the talk for another time.