Posted by Pattie on 11/20/2009 11:33:00 AM

An extremely timely article from Slate regarding the complexities of stigma and health when it comes to fatness. Turns out there is ample evidence (pun intended) that stigmatizing a population may lead to the poorer health outcomes, co-morbidity and mortality associated with the so-called disease of "obesity." Can you say spurious? I know that you can. (HINT: stigma is the alcohol, fat is the water)

From the Slate Article:

If anti-fat bias can affect our bodies, then it's worth considering how an all-out war on obesity plays out in terms of public health. When we reach out to poor communities and educate them about the risks of being overweight, we are, in effect, exporting the weight stigma that happens to be most prevalent among rich, white people. Indeed, Rebecca Puhl says the reported prevalence of weight discrimination has increased by two-thirds since the mid-1990s, while media coverage of the "obesity epidemic" has quintupled over roughly the same interval. (Meanwhile, the U.S. diet industry has just about doubled its annual revenues—to nearly $60 billion.)


The bottomline is what many of us have been saying all along. Public Health Policy should be promoting HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE not a war on 2/3 of our population!

3 comments:

Ashley said...

"The bottomline is what many of us have been saying all along. Public Health Policy should be promoting HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE not a war on 2/3 of our population!"

Couldn't have been better said!

wriggles said...

If anti-fat bias can affect our bodies...

Indeed, that is the underlying guide and motor of the obesity crisis.

When you whip yourself up into a moral frenzy -based on what you kid yourself is 'truth'- with a defined outcome.

You can end up putting huge and tremendous pressure on your psyche when it meets up with the deep human need to be right.

That will steer your actions and the notions you come up with. It becomes about creating a self fulfilling prophesy.

I think it's to some degree unconscious, although possibly less so amongst the more cynical operators.

Proud FA said...

Obesity is not increasing the cost of health care in the long run.

The leading cause of death in the US is not obesity. It is medical errors!