Fat acceptance: an excuse for poor health

The obesity epidemic around the world is not only gaining weight, but traction thanks to a social justice phenomenon called “The Fat Acceptance Movement.”  

Fat acceptance is a phrase used by many who wish to normalize the otherwise abhorrent state of being the medical field calls obesity.  For some, it’s morbid; however fat acceptance advocates don’t wish to acknowledge the health risks that arise by being fat.

In fact, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) supports the mantra of “health at every size”, meaning they believe no matter how morbidly obese or cripplingly thin you actually are, your size is healthy to them. Those who preach fat acceptance as a way to live are misleading individuals who are at higher risk for fat related diseases. There is no such thing as “health at every size.” There is only health around the right BMI that fits your body.  

Promoting these ideas is not only divisive, it’s dangerous. According to Harvard Medical School, excess body fat can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as sleep apnea and Osteoarthritis, but also more life threatening ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.

There are, diseases that are not caused by excess fat, however, such as Hypothyroidism or Cushing’s Syndrome and obesity can be a symptom of the disorder. These cases should surely be taken into consideration when talking about the obesity epidemic but are still not an excuse to accept and promote glutinous lifestyles.

A survey from the Crushing’s Support & Research Foundation states “The average weight gain (as a symptom) was 55 lbs.” However later in the survey they reported that 72% of those surveyed lost the weight in two years or less through diet and exercise.

To say that anyone can be healthy at any size is exceedingly dishonest and a major “fuck you” to those who struggle with eating disorders such as anorexia/bulimia nervosa or, on the other side of the coin, binge eating or food addiction. Telling those who suffer from such eating disorders that they are beautiful and healthy only enables their self-destructive habits.

Fat acceptance is not something anyone should support but rather condemn. Instead, advocate for positive healthy lifestyles such as daily exercise, dietary mindfulness, and even regular sleep patterns to make sure you and your peers are less at risk of debilitating diseases.

 

Author: Jeremiah Tatola

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