This is part two of a series in which I dive deeply (or try to) into the mind of the author of this:
Seems like writer Ms. Weinberg ignores one of the main reasons fat people do not engage in healthier behavior – starting from a very young age, fat children are taunted if they try to engage in sports, games or simply existing. So they stop engaging. If every time you step outside your house, you are called names and bullied, you stop going outside. If people stare at you and make unkind statements about you when you go out to a nice restaurant or you are doing your grocery shopping, you start choosing options that reduce your interaction with other people – like using fast food drive-thrus, or the convenience store.
If you eat a healthy meal or exercise, you are either praised (because the people around you think you are doing this because you agree with their judgment that you need to lose weight), or you condemned (subjected to the judgment of, “it’s about time;” or “who does she think she’s fooling”).
Everything you do in public is judged.
Ms. Weinberg does list some of the problems with BMI, but then goes on to say that we should be looking at body fat distribution and waist circumference.
Well, how your body deals with body fat is going to be tied to genetics. If being short or tall statistically presents certain health risks, no one is going to recommend “treatment”.
Remember back when we discovered that what was healthy for a man was not necessarily healthy for a woman? We didn’t know that because up to that point, most studies usually only used men as test subjects. Surprise, different bodies, different needs. Well, perhaps it’s time we try to determine what is healthy for fat people as opposed what is healthy for thin people. Different bodies, (possibly) different needs. We won’t know until we stop the mindset that thin people represent the most desirable health outcome.
In citing the 10 year study of participants in the Australian research, showing that even metabolically healthy fatties have an elevated risk of getting diabetes, how many of those participants also engaged in dieting over those years, and how many were subjected to fat discrimination and fat bias? In other words, what else besides weight and metabolic markers were taken into consideration, in determining what caused one-third of the participants to become “unhealthy” metabolically? And yes, for a significant portion of the participants, metabolic health was transitory but for the majority, it was not. Why was that not emphasized? And what about health deterioration that is just due to getting older?
And then Ms. Weinberg suggests that we should lower the bar to establish metabolic health for fatties! Excuse me? Nobody wants to believe in fat and fit, so let’s just lower the bar until we can say fatties are not metabolically fit. You know, something like they did with glucose numbers.
But then we get down to the crux of the article. Most fat people are not metabolically healthy. There are health risks associated with being fat. The socio-economic reasons are discussed, but nobody is talking about the effect of society, discrimination and fat bias on a fat person.
When you see a fat person, you are looking at someone who has been exposed to hate and discrimination their entire life! If hate worked, we would all be thin, okay?
You are probably looking at someone who has engaged in dieting for a good part of their life. Dieting includes, not only, the harm done to the body through calorie restriction, but the harm done to the mind when the diet fails and the dieter feels the shame and blame of the failure.
We keep hearing that fat people are a burden on the health system. No, unhealthy people are a burden on the health system. If a person suffers from ill health, for whatever reason, should they be denied care? If the healthcare system has no known treatment for the underlying reason (whatever that may be) for the problem, should fatties be denied care?
When a fat person goes to the doctor, they are in the extremely vulnerable position of being ill and having to seek care from someone who is quite likely to have a bias against fat people. Fat people are often given lectures about their fatness, even when being fat has nothing to do with the reason that person is seeking care. And often fat people do not receive the care needed. Instead they are simply told to stop being fat and that will take care of everything.
Oh, and the treatment that is supposed to help you stop being fat, is dieting, a treatment that is pretty much guaranteed to make you even fatter in the future. And if the diet doesn’t work, it’s your fault, so no healthcare for you, fatty.