Actual Headline

MSNBC: Health reform idea: Put down the doughnut. Critics say consequences of individual choice missing from reform debate.

There is very little I can say about this that I didn't already say last week on the same subject. Suffice it to say, as a fat person, I can tell you that admonishing fatties to "put down the doughnut" is hardly a revolutionary idea, and the contention that "the touchy topic of individual responsibility has been all but ignored in the debate about how to reform the nation's health care system" is manifestly absurd.

In fact, the "All Your Problems Is Because Of Your Fats!" mentality ubiquitous among healthcare providers,* which results in millions of fat people being treated for obesity when there might be a more serious medical problem causing the obesity,** is the real untouchable subject when it comes to the debate about healthcare and fat.

Just this weekend, Iain was saying that he felt like a whole new person after getting treatment for his diabetes (and his mood and ability to concentrate are markedly, observably improved), and I said: "Just think how fortunate you ultimately were that you had the neuropathy. If you'd gone to a doctor with the symptoms of lethargy, anxiety, lack of concentration, and a general feeling of unwellness with no physical symptoms and a round belly, you probably would have been told to lose weight and put on antidepressants. Meanwhile, your diabetes would be killing you."

Shaker Azzy, as you may recall, was continually diagnosed as "fat" and "depressed," even though "I actually had cancer. Of the thyroid. Which had metastasized to my lymphatic system. OOPS!!"

Every thread we've ever had on illness, mental or physical, and healthcare has had fat Shakers testifying to being misdiagnosed or not heard or ignored or told their fat was the problem, even if their weight hadn't changed but their health had, by doctors who refused to see past fat. Every thread has had Shakers testify to putting off preventative care because of shaming about their weight.

How about the personal responsibility of bigoted, fat-hating healthcare providers to make sure they're treating what's actually wrong with their patients, and doing it with compassion instead of creating spaces that are so thick with contempt and hostility that fat people are discouraged from entering them?

Just sayin'.

[H/T to Shaker Siobhan.]


* Though there are lots and lots of good healthcare providers, too, and I thank them for both their dedication and the kindness and consideration they show to fatties.

** Which is, of course, to say nothing of people who are fat because of a medical treatment, as weight gain is a side effect of many drugs.

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