Fat People Fight For The Right To Be … Fat!

Perhaps it was inevitable that during the era of the politically correct presidency that one group after another would claim that they have “rights” that should be legally protected. Now it’s fat people, who are throwing their weight around in the great healthcare debate of 2009, as reported by Susan Saulny in the New York Times:

Marilyn Wann is an author and weight diversity speaker in Northern California who has a message for anyone making judgments about her health based on her large physique. “The only thing anyone can accurately diagnose by looking at a fat person is their own level of stereotype and prejudice about fat,” said Ms. Wann, a 43-year-old San Franciscan whose motto in life is also the title of her book: FAT!SO? : Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size.

Hers has been an oft-repeated message this summer and fall by members of the “fat pride” community, given that the nation is in the midst of a debate about health care. That debate has, sometimes awkwardly, focused its attention on the growing population of overweight and obese Americans with unambiguous overtones: fat people should lose weight, for the good of us all.

Heavier Americans are pushing back now with newfound vigor in the policy debate, lobbying legislators and trying to move public opinion to recognize their point of view: that thin does not necessarily equal fit, and that people can be healthy at any size.

Extra weight brings with it an increased risk of chronic disease, medical experts say, and heavier people tend to have medical costs that are substantially higher than their leaner counterparts. As a result, Congress is considering proposals in the effort to overhaul health care that would make it easier for employers to use financial rewards or penalties to promote healthy behavior by employees, like weight loss.

Other less-scientific arguments have also gained traction on blogs, chat shows and editorial pages since talk of the overhaul began in earnest, with the overweight cast as lazy or gluttonous liabilities and therefore not entitled to universal health coverage because of poor personal decision-making. As that thinking goes, a healthful eater should not have to pay for the consequences of someone else’s greasy burger binges.

Either way, heavy people — characterized as over-consumers of health care or as those who should miss out on discounts because of their size — say they have been maligned throughout the debate…

,

  • ProdigalSin

    “Fat pride” ? Honestly?
    Oh well, at least there won't be any danger of marches.

  • OXOMAXOMA

    I love real “full figured women” (nice and rounded) and generally dislike waifish girls, but OBESE people are not “full figured” and they are definitely NOT healthy. All extremes are bad, yes, and I think we should strive for balance, including our weight. This “diversity” thing in western civilization is really going to some surreal places. “Fat Pride”. Jeez. What´s next?

  • http://www.xenex.org/ xen

    Yes, there are different body types. However, as stated in this thread (and huzzah ProdigalSin) morbid obesity is far from healthy. Trying to cloud factual, scientific arguments with “You don't have a right to make me feel bad about being willfully morbidly obese!” emotionality is not going to amount to a win for the truly unhealthy overweight people.

  • jahson

    What rights are fat people being denied exactly? If you want to eat too much then you'll just have to pay for the extra material it takes to create clothes that fit. Instead of being so angry, why not try to look at your health? I've heard all the arguments, “it's a disease”, “I was born with a glandular disorder”, “I have slow metabolism”. These all might be true but you still have to take responsibility for it. It's your body. Obesity is a sign of dysfunction in our society and for people with this issue, they need to nut up and look very objectively at how they spend their time, what they eat and how much exercise they're getting. I'm very aware how difficult it is to make lifestyle changes but what choice is there? And if you don't make the efforts then I don't want to hear you complain. Am I cold? Maybe but I don't see why dysfunction has to be given rights or sympathy. I never get societal sympathy or special considerations for my dysfunctions.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

    i say let people self destruct how ever they want, but don't help them out when their decisions go badly

  • Anonymous

    I am a women who is concidered to be morbidly obese. Yet I have perfect blood pressure everytime it is taken, I have low cholesterol, no thyroid problems, no heart disease, hypertention, or diabetes. I get sick once a year and have a very strong immune system. I do not drink soda, I eat right and I even exercise three times a week. In other words, I am extreamly healthy (backed up by my doc). I am, however, not fit. I am not fit due my sentitary life. I am an IT professional, which requires me to sit in front of a screen for long periods of time. I am grad student and therefore sit in class for long periods and then sit again in front of a computer to do research and write papers. This has been my life for the last 10 years. Granted I may be the exception to the rule but one wouldn’t be able to tell that just by looking at me.

  • nyxynox

    I am a women who is concidered to be morbidly obese. Yet I have perfect blood pressure everytime it is taken, I have low cholesterol, no thyroid problems, no heart disease, hypertention, or diabetes. I get sick once a year and have a very strong immune system. I do not drink soda, I eat right and I even exercise three times a week. In other words, I am extreamly healthy (backed up by my doc). I am, however, not fit. I am not fit due my sentitary life. I am an IT professional, which requires me to sit in front of a screen for long periods of time. I am grad student and therefore sit in class for long periods and then sit again in front of a computer to do research and write papers. This has been my life for the last 10 years. Granted I may be the exception to the rule but one wouldn't be able to tell that just by looking at me.