I know I’ve been really ranty lately so today I wanted to do a pleasant blog about something positive, like ponies – but the government just keeps doing dumb ass things to fat people so we’re going to do a little from column A, a little from column crap.
First I saw this article (trigger warning: fat shaming, correlation vs. causation error, headless fatty pictures, comments as expected, including suggesting that we should just starve poor fat people, I hope that person’s mama is proud.) The headline states “Obese Adults Should Get Counseling, Federal Task Force Says” so already I’m super psyched.
It seems that “a federal health advisory panel on Monday recommended that all obese adults receive intensive counseling.” While I can see how we might need counseling to help us deal with all the BS we encounter from the useless War on Obesity, sadly this would just be more weight loss propaganda – but in counseling form. The news study didn’t say how many people on the advisory panel stood to profit from the recommendation, but I’m curious. My first question was answered by this sentence “The panel acknowledged that one problem with its recommendation was that no studies have shown such intensive programs provide long-term health benefits.”
Wait…What? Let me get this straight – ONE of the problems is that they have no reason to believe that this will work. If that’s the case, does it matter what the other problems are? Are there problems bigger than the fact that they want to spend a ton of money on an intervention which has no basis in evidence? Why are they still considering this?
Obesity is not a disease, but even if it was, I would not submit to being part of an experimental treatment. Even if we pretend that obesity is a disease, there are NO OTHER DISEASES where everyone who has the disease is constantly subjected to experimental treatments with no evidence basis and without being informed of the experimental nature of the treatment or that it fails 95% of the time, and that 80% of the time it results in the exact opposite of the intended outcome; all by people who are making tens of billions of dollars a year in profits selling the experimental interventions without ever being asked to provide evidence of efficacy, and in fact blaming the people with the disease when they are not cured. And the reason that doesn’t happen is because it would be completely nuts. Patient’s rights advocates would rightly freak the hell out. As fat people, we have the right to freak the hell out. We have the right to say no to this, vehemently. We have the right to refuse to be experimented on, especially at our expense and for someone else’s profit, especially when the “diagnosis” is a simple ratio of height and weight.
Here’s how I expect my counseling session would go:
Counselor: “Ragen, are you aware that your body is a socially unacceptable size to which I am erroneously attributing disease causality.” No wait, that’s what they should say, what they would probably say is “Ragen, are you aware that you are obese and that you need to lose weight to be healthy?”
Me: “I didn’t consent to be the subject of an experimental treatment with no evidence basis, so first how about you provide me with evidence that this counseling is likely to lead to permanent weight loss, let’s say over a five year period, with no negative side effects. I’ll wait” And then I die of old age in the chair before he/she can produce any evidence.
Then I found out that the government in Western Australia teamed with Heart Foundation and Cancer Council WA to create television spots that show pictures body fat, making it look as disgusting as possible (as if the rest of our innards look like cute fuzzy bunnies) in an effort to shame and terrify people into losing weight. Now, it’s not that people aren’t trying to lose weight (the diet industry makes billions every year), it’s that weight loss hardly ever works, and when it does there’s no proof that it makes people healthier in the long term.
But the WA government can’t be bothered with annoying facts and evidence – they’ve got to “do something” about obesity. Apparently they didn’t feel that it was enough that the media, government, medical establishment etc. work day and night to make fat people ashamed and terrified of how we look on the outside, now they want us to also be ashamed and terrified of how we look on the inside as well. I say fuck a bunch of that – I’ll hold a sign that says “beautiful inside and out” while wearing a glittery pink argyle bikini and holding a body scan picture, and the WA government can come kiss my big fat ass.
So I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring of suggesting random crap for “curing” obesity. I think that every fat person should get a pony. Why the hell not? Who knows, maybe ponies are the key to thinness. I have precisely as much evidence to support my theory as the US and Australian governments have to support theirs and they are looking at millions, maybe billions of dollars of funding for their programs. If we’re going to waste my tax dollars then I’d like to waste them on a pony, because even if I don’t get thin (which of course I won’t) – hey, pony! Of course, I’d rather have my tax dollars go toward making evidence-based healthcare from HAES doctors available and affordable for me, but I think the pony thing might actually be more likely.
Activism Opportunity – They want a war on obesity? Let’s give them one.
Sign the petition against the WA fat shaming campaign. [trigger warning: it contains a picture of body fat. I don’t personally think that’s triggering because it’s just what we look like on this inside, but I wanted to let you know.)
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