The FINANCIAL — After having two children 41 year old Marekhi Papuashvili started to put on weight and subsequently lost her job position. Marekhi faced an obesity problem that dramatically changed her life for the worse.
“I spent most of my time at home and didn’t even want to go out. I simply lost the joy of living,” said Papuashvili.
In Georgia people with obesity problems face unemployment more often than others. Their rights are quite limited in terms of employment, career development and social status. Employers always avoid talking about this “trend” at their companies, but the fact is that you rarely find overweight people among front desk personnel and services personnel.
“There are certain professions like model, sportsman or fireman for whom stable weight control is essential. If they put on weight they will be fired immediately,” said Endocrinologist Elene Giorgadze.
We looked at the current vacancies announced by the leading companies in Georgia, “Good Looking” is always included in the paragraph of requirements.
As Papulashvili explained, complaints and remarks about her appearance from family members were nothing more than additional stress. The stress consequently increased her feelings of hunger and so she consistently continued to put on weight.
“I needed a stimulus to lose weight rather than the comments I received which only succeeded in negatively affecting me. Somehow they caused an internal protest within me. I was sure I could become slimmer, but I didn’t want to anymore,” added Papuashvili.
After Marekhi noticed that the seat in the minibus she used had become too small for her, she completely lost the will to go out anymore.
“Then my husband forced me to come to Bormental. I know now that nothing is impossible and my emotions at the time were possibly wrong. Anyone can lose weight if they learn how to manage their emotions and sense of hunger,” Papuashvili said.
Weight-based discrimination consistently affects every aspect of employment, from hiring to firing, promotions, pay allocation, career counselling and discipline, according to Roehling’s work.
“The bias appears to be most prominent during the hiring process, when an employer knows a potential employee the least and therefore is most likely to be influenced by stereotypes (such as fat people are lazy), says Cort Rudolph, a Wayne State University researcher. The bulk of research has also shown that the bias tends to be felt most by overweight white women,” reported Forbes magazine.
Corresponding to the report of Forbes magazine obesity tends to be more dramatic for women in Georgia than for men. 22 year old Tazo Kupreishvili is a young journalist who weighs almost 120 kilos. He can’t remember any discriminative facts or issues he has had to overcome due to his weight. Tazo feels absolutely happy with his appearance and doesn’t plan to go on any diets or visit any endocrinologist for the purpose of losing weight.
As he added, he went on a diet 3-4 years ago because of the pleas of his family members. The only problem Tazo has experienced from the extra kilos he carries is connected with clothes.
“Mostly my taste in clothing is made for slimmer men. Except for this, I can’t see how my weight might be damaging my private and professional lives,” said Kupreishvili.
Kakha Bendukidze, former State Minister and Minister of the Economy is one of the wealthiest and most successful businessman in the country these days despite his sizeable girth.
Natia Chkheidze, 31, considers obesity the main reason for her depression. In the past she was among a number of people suffering from obesity.
“I lost my self-confidence,” noted Chkheidze.” My husband was happy as I was spending more time at home.”
Endocrinologists Elene Giorgadze said that in recent times the number of her overweight patients has significantly grown. The explanation for their increase is the pandemic growth of obese people all over the world. The prevalence of young female patients is evident Giorgadze claims. Although a number of men are included in her patients as well.
80% of Bormental patients are also women. A significant growth of patients is obvious in the spring. As psychologist of Bormental Tamta Lapachi explained the centre offers a psychological method of weight loss.
“During the four day long psycho-therapeutic course our patients learn how to distinguish hunger from appetite,” explained Lapachi. “Frequently overweight people pretend that they don’t eat much. Nobody puts on weight without eating and getting unnecessary calories. It causes digestive disorders and a person permanently puts on weight. We train our patients to withdraw their appetites.”
Endocrinologist Giorgadze claims that wilful diets can damage the health and psyche of an individual. The correct definition of a diet is a physiological process, which means getting the right nourishment.