The Burden of Weight

I’m so so SO sick and tired of the specious and dishonest discussions of weight one encounters virtually everywhere. I’m reading a mostly very enlightening book called Numbersense whose author (a-skinny-to-the-point-of-being-skeletal dude, of course) trots out the tired old canard that being overweight doesn’t lead to an appreciable rise in the likelihood of suffering heart attack or stroke.

Of course, people who are overweight at 30 (25, 35, 40, etc.) don’t drop off from strokes. We all know that doesn’t happen. What does happen is that such people become chronic consumers of prescription medications, and this is a real tragedy. Unless you are over 70, a chronically medicated life is no life at all.

Arguing that obesity is no big deal because there is no evidence anybody actually dies from it is completely dishonest and I’d say even immoral. It plays into the hands of pharmaceutical companies that are bent on promoting the idea that it is perfectly fine to go through life in a permanently medicated state. This is also an approach that is very helpful to people who sell us food poisoned with hormones, antibiotics, and all other kinds of noxious substances.

All of these fat acceptance movements, departments, scholarly publications and blogs pose as social activism but, in reality, they are pawns of agricultural conglomerates and junk food peddlers. They shush everybody who tries to ask what the hell we are being fed in this country to make us so abnormally fat and so dependent on drugs. Instead of asking questions, we are supposed to celebrate the harm being done to us as we make our bodies into a site where pharma companies and junk food companies vie for profits.

Yes, it’s comforting to chirp that the BMI is meaningless and that nobody has proven there will be any actual damage from needing prescription meds just to be able to function normally at 40. But that comfort comes at the price of relinquishing your autonomy and personhood and becoming an object that others fill with content, both physically and spiritually.

23 thoughts on “The Burden of Weight”

  1. There’s a very fair distance between expressing concerns for someone’s health and shaming them because you think they’re ugly. I can definitely tell the difference when people comment on my weight.


      1. Of course, nobody should be making any hurtful comments to others. I’m talking about things people tell themselves rather than what they say to each other.(Clarissa)

        The guy holding the poster doesn’t bother me in the least. Just look at him. He is a miserable, unkempt, ugly loser who has no other way of connecting with women emotionally than to try to annoy them with his stupid poster.(Clarissa)


  2. One of the things I have never liked about the fat acceptance movement is that some parts of it sounds as if people are kinda born fat. Sure, not everyone is capable and willing to attain a “perfect” body and there are tendencies towards more or less weight, but I am pretty sure nobody is predisposed by heritage to weight 450+ lbs.


    1. When I ask people why they think Americans suffer from obesity more than other nations, I always hear the response “Genetics.” Which makes no sense since everybody here is from a different ethnic group and those ethnic groups don’t suffer from obesity outside of the US.


      1. I would properly have said that Americans vastly undervalue time spend eating. This might just be me, but the Americans I have met and talked to never just eat. They eat while doing something, be it watching television or playing games. Or are working. As if they are in a constant hurry, as if time spend eating wasted time.


  3. Some random issues. I think the obesity problem in the US is due to a kind of perfect storm of different elements.

    High fructose corn syrup (added to almost everything in the US) and who knows what else….

    Sedentary lifestyle (it can actually be difficult to walk in many places without making it into a special event).

    It’s far too possible in America to ‘graze’ (eat snacks of varying sizes all through the day without every really having a meal or any break between snacks).

    Adenovirus –

    My own thought that is a person eats reasonably healthy food in the form of meals made from fresh ingredients with very little between meal snacking and gets a reasonable amount of exercise throught the day (nb not going to a gym) their body will find a comfortable weight. Not model thin, but comfortable and healthy. But a lot of that is really hard for Americans for historical and cultural reasons.


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