According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one-third of adults in the United States are obese. This proportion is certainly higher among people with diabetes; insulin resistance, a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes, and obesity are both elements of the metabolic syndrome. (Other traits are high blood pressure and abnormal blood lipid levels.)
It is no secret that a large body size can create difficulty — not just practical problems, but also emotional stress in the face of bias against heavy individuals. The following resources address both types of challenges, providing tips, products, support, and advocacy for plus-size people.
LOVETOKNOW PLUS SIZE
This Web site is mainly focused on clothing, with pages on where to buy the best accessories, formal wear, and casual outfits, as well as niche products such as vintage clothes, costumes, and organic clothing. It also has blogs on plus-size fashion. The site has a section called “plus size living” with topics that include bicycles, art, and exercise equipment.
This now-defunct “magazine for large women” still provides many of its articles for free online. Topics include fashion, exercise, dating, art, and activism; there are also interviews with accomplished and famous women. Back issues of the magazine are available for purchase on the Web site.
Exercise and health
REAL FITNESS FOR REAL WOMEN
Grand Central Publishing
New York, 2001
This book offers a six-week exercise program that is tailored, physically and psychologically, to plus-size women. It outlines 25 different exercises designed to achieve physical and mental well-being — not necessarily weight loss — while emphasizing that improving one’s fitness to feel better is possible at any weight.
YOGA: JUST MY SIZE WITH MEGAN GARCIA
This 28-minute DVD is a beginning yoga session for plus-size women. Its host emphasizes both the physical rewards of yoga — including greater energy and flexibility — and its tendency to promote calm and confidence. Poses are taught with tips on how to modify them with props and furniture. The DVD also includes an interview with the host.
ABOUT.COM: PLUS-SIZE EXERCISE
This article outlines how an overweight or obese person can begin an exercise routine. It covers basic topics such as gyms versus home exercise equipment and what to wear.
ABOUT.COM: PLUS SIZE WALKING CLOTHES AND ACTIVEWEAR
This page links to reviews of exercise pants, shorts, tops, underwear, and winter wear, as well as to companies that specialize in plus-size athletic clothing.
BIG, BEAUTIFUL & PREGNANT
Cornelia van der Ziel, MD, and Jacqueline Tourville
Da Capo Press
New York, 2006
This is a general book on pregnancy for overweight and obese women, giving special emphasis to such topics as finding an understanding doctor, the likelihood of a Cesarean section, and gestational diabetes.