Study finds Fat Acceptance Blogs Can Improve Health Outcomes, or so says the headline. The study looked at a sample of 44 fatosphere bloggers and sought to determine how their involvement in the FA movement had affected them. (Just to clarify – I was not one of the bloggers studied. But the very awesome Fat Heffalump was and her beautiful picture is on the article – double awesome!)
This study has its limitations - 44 people do not a statistically significant sample size make, there doesn’t appear to have been a control group etc. Still, I’m quite happy that people are studying this, as one of the researchers pointed out that “We saw there was a lot of opinion about the movement but very few people had actually studied it.”
I think that’s a significant thing to realize, that the backlash against the FA movement is not based in research or science. So what is it based on?
Why is there so much push back against a movement that simply says we won’t hate ourselves? Is it that people have been inundated by the message of the diet industry that they have to be thin to be healthy; so they are starving themselves, restricting food and working their asses off trying to be thin and most of them are failing and blaming themselves and trying again repeatedly. Thus when a community that says “we won’t buy into this cycle”, there is a backlash?
Maybe it’s because people have allowed themselves to be fooled by marketing that says that fat is the same is lazy, unhealthy, unattractive, unloveable etc. and so they think that fat people should believe that drivel about ourselves?
I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m not surprised that the study found that people who took part in a movement that supports them overcoming stigma and liking themselves had better health. Among all of the ridiculous diet headlines I’ve never seen a single headline that reads “Self-loathing Proven to be Key to Health” or “Five Quick ways to Hate Yourself Healthy” or “Study Shows That Constant Stigmatization Leads to Better Health Outcomes”. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I’m believe the word that we’re looking for here is DUH. I’m incredibly glad that people are studying this because somehow we’ve lost whatever bit of common sense would tell us that people have better health outcomes when they don’t hate themselves. My guess would also be that people take better care of things that they like, so liking our bodies probably gives us a better chance of taking care of them at any size.
So, Dr. Danceswithfat says “take two blog posts and call me in the morning”!