Is it possible to write this article without either fat-shaming or neglecting the opinions of thousands of medical professionals around the world? In all honesty, I’m not sure, however; I will write what I believe, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
The fat acceptance movement is a social movement seeking to change anti-fat bias in social attitudes by raising awareness about obstacles faced by fat persons for society. The movement in recent years has involved many influencers fighting back against the damaging pressures of idealised beauty peddled online and off, resulting in a new wave which arguably discourages weight loss.
Terms such as fat pride and fat positive have become misrepresented, either accidentally or intentionally, leading to serious concerns regarding the health of individuals. This is where the fat acceptance movement demands criticism.
I believe there is a difference between accepting and loving your body and being overweight to the point where it is a health concern. We should all be able to love ourselves and love other people’s bodies. In reality, their body should be completely irrelevant in your interactions; nonetheless, acceptance of all shapes and sizes is essential. This minimises the possibility of discrimination and enables positive mental health for all people. No one should be bullied for their weight or food choices, but the fat acceptance movement promotes dangerous weight levels.
Comedian Sofie Hagen recently accused Cancer Research of bullying fat people, after the charity launched a campaign to raise awareness about the link between cancer and obesity. Other influencers have followed Sofie’s actions by shaming health organisations for linking obesity to health risks. This is insanity.
There is nothing healthy about being obese.
Our body can change at different times, thus, at times you could be overweight, and that is okay. However, being obese, which is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30, should never be encouraged.
Obesity is now the second leading cause of lifestyle-related cancers and denying facts is irresponsible. Weight-related hospital admissions in the UK have risen by 19% in the last year and now more than a quarter of British adults are classified as obese. Moreover, being obese significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart failure by 70%. These are statistics and facts which have been researched by medical professionals around the world. I don’t need to use more statistics to prove my point, they are clear, reputable and consistent.
My message to the fat acceptance movement members is simple. Go back to what this movement was originally about. I will 100% support aiming to reduce discrimination against overweight individuals and assist in raising awareness about obstacles faced by fat persons in society. This was the original message of the movement, one that has been lost and must be found again.
Losing weight is a challenge, and for many, it is a lifelong battle. Everyone’s body is created differently and will look different. Regardless, there is no health advantage of being obese.
Your own body is your business, however; actively encouraging unhealthy lifestyle choices and denying health risks in a public space isn’t promoting body positivity. That is why I disagree with the fat acceptance movement.
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