Fat Acceptance Makes People Fatter

by Phrost | April 11, 2017 15:02

Let’s suppose that the newest “thing” people are doing on this absurd planet is crashing their cars into brick walls. It’s viral, it’s a meme, whatever. Who cares if they get hurt? It’s their car, it’s their business. Live and let live… or at least, let-see if the airbags deploy, as far as you’re concerned, right?

Peculiarly, this analogy would also have worked about listening to Country Music

The thing is, that’s not how society works. Sure, if you live in the mountains, hundreds of miles from other people, it doesn’t really affect anyone else if you decide to cut your own brakes and see how far you can roll down that mountain before being impaled on a tree.  Maybe in a dozen years some curious hiker will find an interesting skeleton to take a selfie with.

But you don’t live in a shack in the mountains, you live in a society. What you do affects other people, their property, and how we all navigate our daily lives in the wake of your willful stupidity. EMS has to show up, or at best, a tow truck, and even if you’re uninjured thanks to engineers who designed your car with idiots like you in mind, you inconvenience everyone by slowing down traffic.

You see, in a society, the question is always being asked: where do we draw the line as to what behaviors and choices we will, and will not accept? And the follow-up: on what side of that line falls not only self-destructive behavior, but personal health choices that impact the lives of others?

There are a lot of social groups and movements pressing for acceptance of their lifestyles these days, and in a free society there’s plenty of room for accommodation. More importantly, those choices, lifestyles, and orientations rarely have any affect on anyone else, especially if you just mind your own damn business.

The same cannot be said about the “Fat Acceptance” movement.

Heavy Facts

And yet, there are still organizations like the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance[4], pushing the utterly debunked narrative of being “Heathy At Every Size”. We’ve covered the NAAFA before[5] and their destructive, morally negligent message of accepting a dire health condition. So instead of reinventing the wheel (or mobility scooter), here’s a meme to get the point across about them:

The Adverse Effects of Acceptance

In a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Associatio[6]n, fewer Americans are attempting to address their obesity.

“Socially accepted normal body weight is shifting toward heavier weight. As more people around us are getting heavier, we simply believe we are fine, and no need to do anything with it.”
-Lead author Dr. Jian Zhang, public health researcher at Georgia Southern University.

[7]

Data from the study

Where to go from here

It’s been argued that shaming is not an effective means of changing individual behavior[8], and there are conflicting studies that show this isn’t necessarily the case[9]. Regardless of its effectiveness, it’s just a shitty thing to do. But even if Shame is a less-than-producitve means for a social group to express that a behavior or condition is unacceptable, the alternative is not Acceptance.

And with science and medicine having clearly drawn the line as to what a healthy amount of body fat consists of in general, it’s perfectly fair for society to refuse to accept the idea that it’s okay to be obese. Because to do otherwise is demonstrably harmful.

Endnotes:
  1. 1: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effects/index.html
  2. 2: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic/
  3. 3: http://www.chron.com/news/health/article/Obese-patients-take-heavy-toll-on-EMS-1485159.php
  4. National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance: https://naafaonline.com/dev2/
  5. We’ve covered the NAAFA before: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=91045
  6. study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Associatio: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2608211
  7. [Image]: http://www.bullshido.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/jama-obesity-1.png
  8. shaming is not an effective means of changing individual behavior: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/201401/guilt-good-shame-bad
  9. conflicting studies that show this isn’t necessarily the case: http://www.academia.edu/9182746/Shame_and_the_Motivation_to_Change_the_Self

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