Today in Fat, Part 2

[Part 1 is here. Content Note: Fat bias; medical malfeasance; diet talk.]

The wonderful Marilyn Wann is over at CNN, also talking about the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association which came to the astonishing, ahem, conclusion that, as Wann puts it, "being fat might not be a death sentence."

Otherwise known as: What living fat people have been saying for years.


Wann also indirectly refutes Will Saletan's bullshit contention about the great medical care we fatties get:
How many of the deaths blamed on weight are actually caused by medical equipment -- everything from blood pressure cuffs to surgical instruments -- that fails to accommodate fat people when we need it most? ... How many of the deaths blamed on fat actually happen when people are diagnosed as fat instead of being diagnosed and treated for an illness?

Then there are the fat people who did everything their doctors recommended to lose weight ... and died from dangerous diet drugs, from starvation diets, from mutilating weight-loss surgeries. I also hear from many people who live with the devastating physical and psychological consequences of such weight-loss attempts.

...People are telling their stories of weight bias in medical care on websites like First, Do No Harm, This Is Thin Privilege and Obesity Surgery Gone Wrong. The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance has been speaking out on behalf of fat people's civil rights since its founding in 1969.

Health professionals of good conscience are joining this effort in increasing numbers. They've developed an approach called Health At Every Size that is proving to be better for people's health than weight-loss attempts. The Health At Every Size professional organization, Association of Size Diversity and Health, this week launched the project Resolved, a response to New Year's weight-loss resolutions. It invites people to share stories about weight discrimination in health care and opinions about what needs to change.

Weight bias has been documented among doctors, nurses, fitness instructors and other professionals on whom a fat person might need to rely for help. Last year, researchers who themselves are part of an anti-"obesity" institution (Yale's Rudd Institute) surveyed medical professionals who specialize in caring for fat people and found that they had high levels of weight bias, viewing us as "lazy, stupid, and worthless."
Which is the inevitable result of treating as scientific fact that all human bodies are built the same, and the only reason anyone could possibly be fat is because they are lazy, stupid, and worthless.

I know it's a radical notion, but if everyone who purported to be concerned about fat people's health started by respectfully treating us as individuals, by recognizing our humanity, that would be awesome.

No one has ever gotten healthier, in any way, by being constantly treated like garbage.

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