Sunday, November 8

Fat! so?

“We're kind of a popular punching bag,” said Marilyn Wann, author of “Fat! So?”

As of yesterday, a truly sweeping and historic bill overhauling the US health system narrowly passed the House of representatives (now on to the Senate).

Among all the controversy and concern over health right now and our own class discussions and readings on nutrition, obesity, and health, one important thing to consider is the generalized association of "fat" with "unhealthy."

For example, in an article this week Peggy Howell, the public relations director for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, says: “We believe that fat people can eat healthy food and add movement to their lives and be healthy. And healthy should be the goal, not thin.”

As the Times article continues:

"That idea is gaining strength and popularity among a segment of the overweight population that feels as though traditional dieting to lose weight does more harm than good, ultimately benefiting the $30 billion weight loss industry, not the public"

Knowing that not only body weight itself, but susceptibility to weight related diseases is a complex interaction between environment and genetics, it is interesting to consider the categories of health that we use and their powerful, but perhaps also prejudicial and oversimplifying, extent.


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