According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases.” Personal hygiene refers to maintaining the body’s cleanliness. Many people equate hygiene with ‘cleanliness,’ but hygiene is a broad term.
Studies have shown that people who are overweight have increased difficulty with many sorts of activities, and this difficulty becomes worse over time. Even people who were just above the normal weight range reported more difficulty than normal-weight adults. Having a weight above the normal range leads to a corresponding increase in reports of difficulties completing day-to-day activities (the more a person weighed, the more difficult it was for that person to do the tasks).
In adults, obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30.0, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Obesity is associated with a higher risk for serious diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Obesity is common. The CDC estimates that 42.4 percent of Americans 20 years old and older had obesity in 2017 to 2018. More than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. Of these over 650 million adults were obese.
For a doctor to diagnose a child over 2 years old or a teen with obesity, their BMI has to be in the 95th percentile for people of their same age and biological sex. In 2019, an estimated 38.2 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Once considered a high-income country problem, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. In Africa, the number of overweight children under 5 has increased by nearly 24% percent since 2000. Almost half of the children under 5 who were overweight or obese in 2019 lived in Asia.
Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents aged 5-19 has risen dramatically from just 4% in 1975 to just over 18% in 2016. The rise has occurred similarly among both boys and girls: in 2016 18% of girls and 19% of boys were overweight.
In an article published in the Huffpost, Tony Posnanski, remembered every single moment of being over 400 pounds. She wrote “All the times I promised myself I would eat better tomorrow. All of the times I swore that I would change. The times I would eat 6,000 calories worth of fat-free food and think I was making a difference in my health and all the times I made empty promises.
She said I do want to share nine things I remember about being morbidly obese. These are things I think about every single day and also things that drive me to fight hard in being healthy. she concluded.
Going to the bathroom. I can remember the day I could not wipe myself while sitting down. I thought it was weird that my arm could not reach. So I did it standing up. Then I remember the day I could not wipe standing up. See, I could not use urinals because I could not hold my pants or grab myself. I had to use a handicap stall to hold onto the rail and for more room. And when I went I prayed I did not have to wipe myself.
Getting dressed. I could not put a belt on while wearing my pants. I had to do it before. I could not put socks on unless I were either on my bed or a soft sofa. It took me 20 extra minutes to get dressed. It felt like a workout to put on my clothes. I could not tie my shoes, either. I wore shoes that did not have laces or just left them untied. In fact, I do not tie my shoes today just for the reminder.
Sweating. I sweat a lot. I would sweat for no reason at all. I would sit in a 69-degree room and sweat. I hated the feeling of being warm all the time.
Breathing. If you were three feet from me you could hear me breathe. I would make this “Huuuuuu-hhhhhhhh” sound, and people would always ask me if I was okay.
Buying clothes. I shopped at one store. It was The Casual Male XL. I would buy George Foreman clothes until they switched over to Harbor Bay. The clothes were very expensive, but I had no other choice. I would spend hundreds of dollars on clothes and accessories that I spend so much less on today.
Consuming enormous amounts of food. You do not get to be over 400 pounds by having a second piece of cake or a processed food item. I got there by consuming a crazy amount of food. I used to say I would eat close to 10,000 a day, but it was more. I would spend over $30 at any fast food restaurant I would go to. I remember getting a bag of food and feeling sad because the food would not last. I would eat and eat and eat. I never got full. I would get numb. Food numbed me.
Sex. I did not have sex at 400 pounds. It was the last thing on my mind. I cared more about eating and other things. Plus, I was self-conscious about the way I smelled, because showers were rare.
Showers. I hated taking showers. I would not be able to wash every part and could barely dry myself.
Being the largest person in the room. You know those stats about how obese America is? Well, I cannot remember a time when someone was bigger than me in a room. When I first joined Weight Watchers I was probably 150 pounds bigger than anyone else in the room. I felt like the obesity epidemic.
Hygiene Tips for Overweight and Obese Men and Women
These are hygiene challenges overweight and obese individual’s face every day, which can sometimes have far reaching health consequences. Here’s a list of must haves for fat hygiene:
Remedy Soap. Skin irritation caused by folds on our bodies is a total bitch. It can be itchy, odorous, and look sorta funny. Remedy Anti-Fungal Soap is made with natural ingredients like tea tree oil, mint, and Aloe Vera which work wonders for healing skin. You don’t have to worry about synthetic chemicals and such, so feel free to use this regularly on your whole body.
Side note – if you’re not into feeling like you have a York Peppermint Patty lodged between your vulva (or other sensitive areas), perhaps avoid using this all up in your nether region.
Bathroom Hardware. Detachable shower heads are so great. Its important to be able to lift those rolls and scrub that body clean without leftover soap remnants which can cause skin irritation. Sick of cupping your hands and aimlessly splashing water in the general direction of your sweatiest parts? Wash it all away with full force and direct precision. You’re going to feel the cleanest you’ve ever felt.
Wipes. Sometimes its hard to reach! Bathroom wipes are getting increasingly popular in all kinds of households. You’re going to want something biodegradable and safe for septic systems.
Long Handled Products. Sometimes many of us happens to be paired with a couple of short arms, it can be difficult to reach areas that we would like to give an extra scrub. Thankfully you can find all kinds of long handled products on Amazon like loofah’s, sponges, toe nail scissors, and even razor extension handles.
Foot Scrubber. Hands free foot scrubber allows you to exfoliate your feet in the shower. It increases blood circulation and helps massage your feet which can feel really great after a long day on your tootsies. Toss some body wash in there to feel extra clean!
Deodorant. This creates a barrier of film that seems to stop sweat from festering on your skin within the folds. Lift your rolls up and rub that shit right on in there. Try Crystal Essence if you’re concerned about putting products with aluminum under your belly and breasts. It’s natural, comes in various scents or fragrance free, and has a roll-on option which I highly suggest for easier accessibility to those hard to reach areas.
Crystal Essence also has a spray on version! This is excellent if you’re like me and feel a little bit weird about sharing deodorant with partners. Plus, it makes it even easier to reach those harder to access areas.
USB Phone Fan. Look at these cute little guys! These USB powered fans plug directly into your phone and run off of your phone battery. Feeling sweaty in a super inconvenient kinda way? Plug this baby right in and start cooling down. Its great because you totally have your phone on you at all times anyway.
Liners. Bra liners are genius! The boob sweat situation is real my friends. Tuck these under your bra on those potentially extra sweaty days. They’re machine washable! They also have disposable ones if you’re more into that sort of thing.
And guess what? They also have tummy liners for us folks who have rolls that tend to get irritated in the hot weather. Say goodbye to skin irritation and rashes this summer! READ Obesity in America: See The Factors Fueling the Weight Epidemic