Don't try to solve problems with progressive bollocks

How everyday language casually stigmatises obesity – and what to do about it

This has the makings of some terrible bollocks. The headline itself suggests a coming attempt to change 'everyday language' in the manner of the progressive, who wants to amend the meaning of words to fit a given narrative.
Terms like 'casual racism' and 'casual sexism' are being used to suggest that normal language is in fact wrong. It's an attempt to make us think in the same way as the progressive by changing the meaning of our language

So let's see how it goes

Obesity is a highly stigmatised condition. Those with obesity are frequently subject to prejudice and ridicule at home, school, work and even from health care professionals. Every day, they face social rejection and are deemed lazy, unattractive, unmotivated and unhappy. Alarmingly, many obese individuals feel unable to challenge such stigma, so they passively accept and sometimes believe it.

We live in a world where we are constantly reminded that obesity is a “crisis”, an “epidemic”, that it is crippling the economy, and that it is a burden on society. These ideologies are disseminated throughout the news media, social media, by politicians and by health care professionals – and they are the birthplace of weight stigma.

Interesting. I could get on board with all that. 'Public Health' are responsible for a great deal of fat shaming and so are the media. Us smokers have been warning about this for a long time; that fat people will be next, along with others like drinkers or those who enjoy salt on their chips

It's certainly is time that 'public health' stopped bullying people for their lifestyle choices. So is this where the article is going? I smell a rat

The word “epidemic” is used as a metaphor to highlight the rising prevalence of obesity. But the definition of “epidemic” is the wide spreading occurrence of an infectious disease.
I would argue that this generates a level of fear and anguish towards obesity, perhaps suggesting that you should avoid obese people.

True. It's not an epedemic and the term also makes it sound like obesity is a lot more widespread than it actually is. It's scaremongering by 'public health' to give the impression they actually have something constructive to do

The “obesity epidemic” is only one of the many negative language examples I have found. Even more subtle, subconscious and potentially stigmatising is the coupling of the words “are” and “obese” in statements such as “One in eight people ARE obese”; “Children who ARE obese”, and “How can you tell if you ARE obese.”
Well, it can be argued that obesity is a medical condition. [...] obesity can be more complex than just a result of overeating and a lack of exercise.
So if obesity is a medical condition, it is not something that you “are”, it is something you “have”. It is rare that people are defined by a medical condition they have. You will never hear the phrases, “you are lupus”, or “you are meningitis”.

No. Not good. First up, being obese is not a medical condition in 99.9% of cases, it's simple more calories in than out.
Secondly, changing the meaning of language to be more sensitive to obese people is not the answer
You are fat is just as correct as you are a smoker. It's a descriptive term. It doesn't define a disease one has

May I suggest some answers of my own:
  • Stop saying epedemic. Neither being fat or smoking tobacco is an infectious disease. Nobody ever said, "Don't touch me, I might catch fat". It's not an epedemic
  • Stop saying obese when you really mean overweight 
Rather than change the language even further, do those two suggestions and correct already abused language
And more iportantly than all that, leave fat people alone. If they want help, it's available and they'll ask for it. Stop saying fat people cost society money, stop saying fat people should be forced to get thin, stop bullying fat people

And smokers
And everyone else

Leave us all alone



DAD said...

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