the HAES® files: Stress Mess: How “Fighting Fat” Makes People Sick

Excellent article. Society needs to shift it’s focus. If people actually care about the health of those who are fat, the first question should be “what is life doing to this person” not “how can I get this person to lose weight”. No one needs to be told what to do. No one wants it. It is judgmental, which symptomatic of bigotry, and must end.

Health At Every Size® Blog

by Linda Bacon, PhD, and Lucy Aphramor, PhD, RD

The Health At Every Size® Blog is honored to feature this post, which is also being posted as part of the “Featured Bloggers” online conference taking place for Weight Stigma Awareness Week 2013.

The World Health Organization uses the term ‘globesity’ to describe a supposed epidemic threatening millions across the world with the specter of serious metabolic health disorders.

We cry foul: Those menaced “overweight” millions, it turns out, come disproportionately from disadvantaged populations, and no matter how fat or thin they are, it’s their marginalized status itself that harms health. “Fighting obesity” as a health target not only adds insult to the injury of poverty and stigmatization, it worsens the situation. Fat, while an expediently visible marker, is not the actual enemy. The move to banish it flouts scientific evidence while honoring half-hidden aesthetic and moralistic biases.

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Blog breaks…

I blog cuts off abruptly toward the end of August because I went to visit my boyfriend in England for two weeks.

What happened there was an eye opener and one I could blog about for the next month. What was happening at home, however, has taken away my desire to write.

My father died less than a week before his 72nd birthday. I do not like discussing it because he was, in a lot of ways, the poster child against everything I want people to feel and believe: He was a morbidly obese ex-smoker with COPD who was so heavy that he could barely get around, let alone lose the sort of weight that he would need to undergo the bypass surgery that would have helped keep him from dying of the congestive heart failure/COPD combo that took him away from us on Sept. 5.

This news — heard after my real struggles in England based on the fact that I simply was not in a physical or emotional shape to tackle the busy, walking-intensive vacation that I thought my boyfriend wanted (turns out, had we actually discussed what we really wanted instead of what we could do, we would have realized we were both much more in a spa-vacation type mood than a whirlwind sightseeing mood) — has made this last week an extreme struggle. I have had issues with my father for a long time, but now he has become a statistic that can easily be used to bolster the side of those who want to cure obesity by destroying every human being that happens to find themselves in the BMI trap.

How does one speak against it all without feeling like some kind of a hypocrite. After all, he WAS too big. It’s not what killed him, but it did exacerbate his health issues as the only real treatment for congestive heart failure is an extreme lifestyle intervention: exercise and a restrictive diet.

Because of all this, I have had to stop following various FB pages/blogs on the subject of body positive/fat acceptance/etc. and I do not know when I will be able to write this blog again, or if I will be able to.

I want nothing more than for every single human being to be able to walk this world with dignity, knowing that those they encounter will treat them with honest respect instead of hidden loathing. But it seems like an impossible thing to ask for when there is so much ammo that can be used to suggest that I and others like me not only deserve to be treated with loathing, but should also loath ourselves for being abnormal.