The Obesity Way
“What is obesity? Obesity is a worm that eats you while you're eating. It is to see a beautiful world where people live while you, as a spectator, survive. It Is living on the edge, always,hoping not to be seen. It is to feel "different", it is a long list of "I can't"
(C. Gargiulo, M. Biglia, Togliamoci il peso)
Giovanni, 47 years old, lives in Rome (Italy), and suffers from severe obesity since many years, over time, has lost and put on weight, up to more than 661 lb (300 kg). He has always battled against his body, and obesity has deeply influenced his emotional and work life.
He doesn’t have a secure job (he work for free as a cameramen for a web TV channel), he has two children, is separated, and lives in his parents basement, in a condo full of steep and narrow stairs which makes it difficult for him to go out home.
For those who are obese, the body can become an inhospitable place, a prison they can not escape from. Due to his physical and economic condition, Giovanni spends much time at home alone, and internet and social networks have become his favorite way of communication with the world.
Obesity is a chronic disease with a multifactorial etiology including genetics, environment, metabolism, lifestyle, and behavioral components, and is accompanied in many cases to physical limitations. But the consequences of obesity are not only physical, but also psychological, and in many cases, it is accompanied by psychological distress, depression, isolation and difficulties in social relationships.
Obesity is no longer a rare condition, in the recent decades, has become a global problem called Globesity, and is now considered an epidemic by World Health Organization, which threatens the health of all nations.
Indeed, for the first time in human history, the world has more overweight than underweight people: their are around 2.1 billion adults overweight, of those 600 million are considered obese, and in Italy, more than 1/3 of adult population is overweight, and one person dies every 10 minutes due to obesity-related illnesses.
But the obesity epidemic, is not restricted to industrialized societies, many low- and middle-income countries are now facing a "double burden" of disease, and as the WHO declares, it is not uncommon to find under-nutrition and obesity existing side-by-side within the same country, the same community and the same household.
The life of Giovanni, shows how people affected by this patology, face every day with a inhospitable world and people's prejudice, living suspended between the difficulty and the limitations of their own body.
As Giovanni said “In the cities, within the buildings, behind those walls, there are people like me, folk you’ll never see in the streets. People who have decided to live in a safety shell made of people and places that make them feel at ease, cause the outside is hostile and rejecting them” (Giovanni C.)