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… As a culture, we must embrace different body types and accept that a person’s weight and waist circumference are not a commentary on their worth. Governments and societies must address the social deficits that contribute to obesity – poverty, food deserts (districts with no ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food) and lack of exercise spaces – to empower people to take care of their own health. In the long run, the medical community must find ways to help people stay healthy through lifestyle fixes, medical interventions, or both, regardless of their size.

I find it difficult to understand how the woman wrote the article that preceeds the above (final) paragraph came to these conclusions. I am glad those were her conclusions, but I wish she could have included more of what led her to this final paragraph because it certainly does not show in the rest of the article.

Caroline Weinberg is not exactly a fat-phobe – but there is a deep thread of healthism and thin privilege in her recent article.

Caroline Weinberg probably means well, but she doesn’t seem to understand that her attitudes are part of the problem when it comes to the stereotype of fat equals unhealthy.

The focus on weight by society as a whole, and the healthcare community in particular, is a major problem for fat people.

Let me reiterate (once again) – there is NO treatment that achieves significant long term weight loss for all but a small percentage of fat people.

I’m not saying we should not be looking for a successful treatment, but we do need to stop pretending that one exists. And we need to stop pretending we can treat fatness by using treatments that have and continue to fail while blaming and shaming the recipient of those failed treatments.

Implying that long term weight loss is achievable if us fatties would only try harder, is harmful. It leads to society believing being fat is a choice; that fat people are simply lazy and lack will power. It leads to fat people being blamed (and blaming themselves) for being fat . It leads to the acceptance of fat shaming. And it leads to healthcare professionals thinking it is the fault of fat patients (rather than the failure of the treatment) when the patient remains fat.

It leads to putting fat children on diets, something that pretty much guarantees that the fat child will grow up to be an even fatter adult.

For the most part, diets not only fail to make you thin, they make you fatter.

Is being fat unhealthy? It depends. Fat has protective properties, especially in regard to those conditions which fat people are most likely to develop (such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease). Yes, fat people, on the whole, tend to develop these conditions; however, fat people, on the whole, tend to have fewer complications and/or survive these conditions better than their thinner counterparts.

Is being fat unhealthy? Who cares? As of now, there is no “cure”.

[To be continued]



  1. Just a minor correction, fat people as a whole don’t get diabetes. That would imply that most fat people have or will develop diabetes… the opposite is actually true.

    Statistically, about 9% of the population has diabetes. It’s said that 60% of the population is falls into the ridiculous “overweight” or “obese” categories on their silly height/weight calculation… if most fat people have diabetes, that number should be way higher.

    It is true that a large number of diabetics do tend to be on the heavier side (although it’s not uncommon to see thin diabetics) there is mounting evidence that that might actually be a side effect of diabetes – so it might be that being fat doesn’t cause diabetes, but being diabetic causes fat.

  2. When I have done the research, the information does show that at least 25% of thin people are or will be diabetic & at least 75% of fat people will not be, which sounds pretty evenly distributed to me, or even possibly balanced more toward thin people being diabetic than fat, since there ARE more fat people. Developing diabetes does indeed tend to CAUSE weight gain, not the other way around. And there are NO diseases which fat people get that thin people do not also get &, as you said, Terri, fat people do tend to survive longer & do better with chronic health problems than thin people do. I personally do not think that they NEED to waste time, money, energy, on trying to ‘cure’ fat people & make everyone thin. I think we need to work on respect & acceptance of everyone, celebration of diversity, &, yes, on giving proper care & access, including equipment to accommodate larger people, & especially that attitudes of medical personnel, to make the world a better place for all of us. Remember too that all the diseases which they CLAIM are caused by fatness are also caused by stress, by being discriminated against, bullied, stigmatized. Older research has also indicated that, in cultures where fat is accepted & even celebrated, there is NO increased rate of any of the so-called ‘obesity-related’ diseases.

    We need to work on building a world where there is no more stigma attached to any health problems I may develop than to all the many health problems my size 6 daughter-in-law has had, including cancer at least 6 times, hypothyroidism, needing her gall bladder removed when she was 32, & on & on. I will be 66 next Sunday & I was born with cerebral palsy, but I have had fewer health problems in those 66 years than most people I know. I also remember that a LOT of research indicates that body size is about 80% genetic & that fat has historically been a good survival trait for humanity. How can that be a disease or a bad thing which needs to be eradicated?

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