The British Psychological Society has released an 84-page report on Obesity in the UK: A Psychological Perspective.
They are so concerned about how folks in theUK are getting fatter and fatter and what can be done about it.
I must admit I did not read the entire thing – I did scan it. But I’m not sure I have the stomach to read it all carefully. And what I got out of my scan of this document is that the psychologists are looking at a way to get more of the weight-loss-industry big bucks.
The first problem – the cover of their report with a totally offensive picture! It’s a view looking down over a belly with the feet just visible. Hahahaha – isn’t that hilarious? Not.
And then they just spout all the usual myths about fat people – that they are fat because they eat too much and exercise too little (although they admit a few fatties may not fall into this category); that fat equals unhealthy; and that fat people are a huge burden on the NHS (National Health System) because they are fat. Then they go on to ask (hang onto your hats) how do you cure fat people. Oh and based on today’s numbers there will obviously be this many more fat people in the future and they will all suffer from various medical problems.
The “psychological perspective” seems to be: (i) identify the problem, (ii) motivate the fatty to change their behavior (to achieve weight loss), and (iii) be ready to step in when the fatty relapses! RELAPSE????? Give me a fucking break. So when the diet doesn’t work or the fat person loses interest in exercise because the focus is solely on weight loss, they have relapsed?
The report tells us that anyone with a BMIover 30 has significant physical and psychological challenges when it comes to exercising. No. The problem is that the fatty is treated so badly when said fatty dares to go out into the world to get some exercise. The psychologists say the fatty has social physique anxiety – no, the fatty has a survival instinct. The fatty is not causing the problem. You’ve got the wrong people on the couch, folks. You need to be talking to the sick sons-of-bitches that yell, curse and throw things at a fatty on a bike!
There are a few glimmers of hope in the document – surprisingly in theWLS(weight loss surgery) section, bias in the healthcare professions is addressed and it is suggested that the therapist might consider doing some intervention and advocacy on behalf of the patient exposed to such fat hatred.
The section on childhood “obesity” does talk about the effect of bullying and development of negative body image; and also advises that involving the school is probably not a good idea. It even suggests that exercise and eating well for general health is a better approach. Whoo-hoo. But mostly it talks about how fat kids are abused and traumatized, and come from dysfunctional families. Well, yeah. Some of them. And this happens to thin kids too – so how about we deal with the abuser and the problematic family and stop blaming the fatty for getting fat.
A LOT of the discourse is on “emotional eating”. Yes, fat people do eat for emotional reasons sometimes – just like everybody else. The fact is most fat people do not eat any more than other people on average. I think it is more likely that fat people take more notice of instances of emotional eating because fat people are trained to focus on their eating and the role food plays in their life.
Also it seems most of the people the report is talking about are people who are seeking treatment because they feel being fat is wrong and detrimental to their lives. It is a group that is primed to blame themselves for being fat and to judge their own actions as “bad”.
So the “psychological perspective” appears to be the same as every other perspective. The fatty is to blame. Yeah, that’s a big help.