Fat Acceptance Makes People Fatter

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

  • Carrying excess body fat increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, some cancers, and all-cause mortality. [1]
  • The economic impact of obesity approaches $200 Billion a year in direct costs of medical care alone, not including indirect costs from loss of productivity due to missing work from health conditions. [2]
  • Nearly 50% of Emergency Medical Workers have suffered a back injury due to moving obese patients [3]

And yet, there are still organizations like the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, pushing the utterly debunked narrative of being “Heathy At Every Size”. We’ve covered the NAAFA before 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 Association, 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.

Data from the study

Where to go from here

It’s been argued that shaming is not an effective means of changing individual behavior, and there are conflicting studies that show this isn’t necessarily the case. 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.

I don't write articles for people who read the New York Times or Nature, I write articles for people who read microwave pizza instructions more than once but are significantly more dangerous as a group. Head Knuckle at Bullshido.
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  1. Your anti bullshit article is full of bullshit. Fascinating. thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/11-reasons-your-concern-for-fat-peoples-health-isnt-helping-anyone/

  2. The problem with calling bullshit by using imprecise terms like “anyone” is that there’s no possible way for you to back up that statement accurately.

    The author himself was “helped” in just this manner, which being > 0, invalidates your statement.


  3. I don’t doubt that some factions of “Health at Every Size” twist it for their own agenda, or other people misinterpret it. However, doctors and nutritionists use it at our local Women’s Health Clinic to encourage healthy behaviours in people who want to eat better or have eating disorders. It is based on positive, realistic goal-setting behaviours to nudge people into doing the things they can do to take care of themselves or improve their health when they feel they are in a hopeless state. What they have found is that shaming people and settings goals with a perfectionist mindset sets people up for failure, and gaining even more weight. Please do not fight ignorance with ignorance.

    If you’re fat and want to be an athlete, you have to be a fat athlete first.

  4. @Bobby, sure, and I understand the need for approaching this issue–when it comes to individuals who are earnestly seeking help–positively and with encouragement rather than scorn or shame.

    The message though is still problematic, and unscientific. “Health” does not exist at “Every Size”, at least in the sense of the term that means you’re not suffering from abnormal/pathological physical conditions. I’d like to think that adults can be presented with realistic facts, and shouldn’t be lied to as a form of motivation, as if they were children. It’s just a bad practice.

  5. Well …. I have no Idea what these people above me are talking about …. but to put it simple:

    If you are a lazy, fat bastard, you have to first get your mind off of being lazy …. do your research, nowadays it’s not even that hard anymore (internet).

    Then set your “perfect” goals, and stick to the plan.

    If you can’t do that you will stay a lazy, fat bastard.

    Sounds hard, but this is the simple truth