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Author Topic: Is obsession about weight misguided? Inequality=chronic disease?  (Read 1363 times)

Offline CarmenL

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According to Linda Bacon, CCSF Biology Professor and author of Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight : 
1.   Being overweight or obese does not put people at significant health risk. Rather, factors like fitness, activity, nutrient intake, weight cycling, or socioeconomic status are far more important in determining disease risk;
2.   Humans have internal systems designed to keep us healthy, and to maintain a healthy weight. These systems include signals of hunger, fullness and appetite. If you can follow your body's signals, your body will in turn find the healthy weight for you.
3.   Healthy diets are important, and healthy diets consist of fresh, wholesome food, preferably cooked from scratch.
4.   Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
5.   People today eat more calorie-dense, nutrient-poor convenience foods than Americans did in the past. How we eat also plays a role, as eating while focusing on something else like driving, or eating while in a stressful situation affects our digestive processes.
6.   Assuming fat people are eating worse than thin people is wrong.  For this reason, focusing efforts on obesity sends the message to thin people that they do not need to make any changes in their lifestyles when in fact they may also engage in unhealthy behaviors that put them at risk for disease.
7.   Focusing on obesity stigmatizes larger people and imbues everyone with a fear of fat. Instead of encouraging people to adopt healthy behaviors, an anti-obesity message encourages the development of eating disorders and the adoption of dangerous, restrictive eating habits.
8.   Bacon encourages focusing on health instead of weight and promoting acceptance of people of all body shapes and sizes. While ending discrimination against fat people is one of her goals, she also notes that people who love their bodies will be more encouraged to take better care of them.

Jill Richardson, author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It, states:  “Number one issue we should address on a societal level to decrease the rate of chronic diseases like diabetes is poverty. Lower-income people are more prone to obesity as well as the health problems associated with weight gain. Major risk factors for obesity and disease are in place for each of us before we are born: our parents' income level, educational level and ethnicity, to name a few.” 

Full article, “Is Our Obsession with Weight Misguided? Here's What Really Matters When It Comes to Good Health” By Jill Richardson, Posted on April 13, 2010 at

Also, check out 2008 PBS documentary at