Having been overweight most of my life — literally, I think I started being overweight at 3 and have been there ever since — I just wanted to echo Mark Ambinder’s concerns in this article, but also mention a little bit more about fat stigma. He mentions it briefly, and says that it leads to a whole host of problems, among them the tendency to “duck exercise.” But I don’t know how many people actually realize how deeply true that this is, and how deeply tied into fat stigma it is — in other words, big people duck exercise, not because they don’t want to, but because there is a different unbearable weight on their lives: the unbearable weight of other people’s opinions.
Rest after the jump:
Well, just when you thought Rod Dreher couldn’t get more annoying, he comes out with this post. A taste:
I push back hard against well-meaning people like Harriet Brown, not because I think Fat People Are Bad, but because I want to push back against this culture that tells me I can’t overcome my own sloth and gluttony, that I ought to settle for the spiritual disorder that results in my being overweight. Weight loss really is hard, …you have to push back against this permissive, indulgent culture at every turn.
He’s referencing an article by Harriet Brown in which she basically finds that medical professionals are willing to say horrible things about fat people without hiding their biases. Furthermore, Brown outlines how this attitude among medical professionals leads them to treat fat patients with less respect, spend less time with them, work less hard on their cases, and assume that they won’t follow prescribed treatment. (And we wonder why there might be health issues associated with obesity — I’m not saying that weight has nothing to do with it, only that the cultural attitudes held by your primary care-giver might play into the quality of care received.)
But Dreher is really annoying here, and he’s annoying because his assumption is basically wrong.