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From the Vaults

February 22, 2012

I’ve been recovering from a cold for several days, so I thought for my latest post, I would go back and revisit one I wrote for my Life on FATS blog back in the summer of 2010. It’s still very timely, because I talk about how the medical community tries to link just about every disease or physical condition out there to fatness.

How many diseases and conditions have the medical community correlated with fat, or believes fat is a direct cause? There are a ton (no pun intended), so hold on to your pies and here we go:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea
  • GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Knee/joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Any form of cancer
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Body odor
  • PMS
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Severe hot flashes
  • Swine flu
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Infertility

(I’m sure I’ve missed some, but these are the most common ones.)

Then, a study came out saying that fat women are at risk for decreasing mental capacity as they age. When I joined the Fat Acceptance movement a year and a half ago, I knew that the medical community links, or tries to link, being fat to many physical ailments and most try to prescribe weight loss or weight loss surgery to “cure” many of these, despite thin people suffering from them too.

However, the idea that people believe fat causes, in a blunt term, stupidity, is really too outrageous to be believed. Using a small sample with BMI as the main form of measurement — which is very flawed anyway — shouldn’t lead to a declaration that fat causes less brain power, and that losing weight is the only solution to stay smart.

With the moral and medical panic over obesity in full swing, it’s no surprise that medical experts want so badly to believe being fat will automatically lead to a host of doctor’s visits and hospital bills. While larger bodies may be more at risk for heart problems, diabetes, stroke, etc., that doesn’t necessarily mean every fat person on the planet will develop any one of these conditions.

In the war on fat people, we tend to forget that genetics plays a role, and that diet and exercise sometimes won’t make a difference at all. How do we explain thin people with these conditions? Doctors more than likely wouldn’t insist they lose weight or increase physical activity, but it’s suggested, sometimes forcefully, to fat people, even if they’re visiting the doctor for the common cold or a minor medical issue. Sometimes weight is even blamed for colds. Many fat people have been misdiagnosed, mistreated and refused medical treatment simply because doctors are already biased toward their bodies. There has also been a push to label obesity as a mental disorder.

If you believe all the medical panic that is reported on the news and on the internet everyday, I, as well as many other fat people, should have died years ago.  This is why we need to take a more critical eye at studies involving obesity instead of blindly agreeing with every result that comes out. If you haven’t already, please read Big Fat Facts. You may just come away realizing most fat people are a lot healthier than you think.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jackie permalink
    March 1, 2012 2:44 pm

    The thing is, I have tried linking fat snarkers to Big Fat Facts. They just go, “Well that’s not what they say on TV!” What are ways fat activists can counter such ignorance?

  2. Jackie permalink
    March 1, 2012 6:44 pm

    I just had a debate over fat acceptance issues. I got called the whitest knight, I didn’t dare ask if the title came with my armor having pretty glitter on it.

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