“As long as my insurance and tax dollars continue to pay for there [sic] diabetes, and heart disease, I’ll continue to feel justified in telling every overweight person I see that they need to lose weight. Shame is powerful and there [sic] fat is costing me real money”
So I read when I broke the cardinal rule of being fat on the internet and read the comments.
First of all, when someone brings this up I typically demand to see their list of things that their tax dollars pay for broken down into things that they want to pay for and things that they don’t. Nobody has ever produced such a list – I assume they just pick on fatties because they can pick us out of a crowd and they enjoy bullying people. Nevertheless, I hear this argument a lot and I think that today is the day to break it down.
It is based first and foremost on the assumption that all fat people are unhealthy and going to get diabetes and/or heart disease. I’m going to look at this two ways. First the reality/truth, and then if those assumptions were true:
We’ve already talked about the “Diabesity” myth. The truth is, you cannot tell how healthy a person is by looking at them, you can only tell what size they are. There is no such thing as a healthy weight. There are healthy fat people and unhealthy thin people. There are physically active fat people and sedentary thin people. There are fat people who eat a well balanced diet and thin people who eat like crap. I think almost everyone has a thin friend who eats a ton of crappy food and stays thin, and typically people accept that. But let a person eat well and still be fat and, in my experience, those same people call you a liar. But I digress.
I am willing to bet that this person who is so concerned about paying my health care bills couldn’t hold a candle to my level of health. Also, don’t worry about your insurance premiums because I am too fat to get health insurance. Yup, despite having exceptionally healthy numbers (cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, glucose etc.) The insurance company has determined that I am too unhealthy based soley on my height and weight. And that whole “It will catch up with you” thing is also bullshit so don’t even start with the VFHT (vague future health threat).
But let’s pretend that the assumption is true.
In that case: I’m fat, so I’m unhealthy. But…
I’ve never even smoked a cigarette. And yet my tax dollars go to all the people who get health problems related to smoking.
I don’t drink. I’ve never even been drunk. And yet my tax dollars pay for cirrhosis, drunk driving accidents and alcohol poising.
I’ve never done drugs. And yet my tax dollars pay for people whose lives and bodies fall apart due to drug abuse.
I look both ways before I cross the street. And yet I have to pay for people who get run over after failing to do so.
I exercise regularly – cardio, flexibility, and resistance training. Yet my tax dollars will pay for people (of all shapes and sizes) whose sedentary lifestyle leads to health problems.
People I know who want to police my health (based on my body size or anything else) are not that excited to have other people police their health. Should vegans only have to pay for the healthcare of other vegans if they believe that’s the healthiest lifestyle? Should Christian Scientists taxes not have to pay for any healthcare at all? Since I think that people who make this argument are bullies should I not have to pay for their healthcare since I don’t care if they’re healthy?
Marathoners drop dead of heart attacks. People who do everything “right” die of diseases to which they were genetically predisposed. Other people live their lives in ways with which we disagree, we live our lives in ways with which other people disagree.
Shit happens and our tax dollars pay for it and that’s just how it goes.
Even if you could prove that being fat makes me unhealthy (which you can’t). And even if you had a method that was scientifically proven to lead to successful long term weight loss (which you don’t). And even if there was proof that losing weight would make me healthier (which there isn’t). And even if you were going to go around yelling at smokers, drinkers, jay walkers, and thin people who don’t exercise (which you aren’t) this slope is still too slippery. And that doesn’t take into account the reality that your premise is completely flawed, your assumptions are faulty, and your method of shaming people is utterly ineffective since you can’t make someone hate themselves healthy.
So I think it would be dandy if you would just shut up.