As my Fokkerites have long known, fat/overweight people live longer than thin/normal people. Guess what? That same fact has been recently proven yet again in yet another mega-study, reporting “that overweight individuals had a lower risk of premature death than so-called normal weight individuals and there was no relationship between being somewhat obese and the rate of early death. Only among people in the high range of obesity was there a correlation between their weight and a higher risk of premature death.”
Do you know what this means? If the “normal” weight range for American adults was reconfigured back to the range which correlated to HEALTH, then “79% of the people we currently shame for being overweight or obese would be recategorized as perfectly fine. Ideal, even. Pleased to be plump, let’s say, knowing that a body that is a happy balance of soft and strong is the kind of body that will carry them through a lifetime.”
If nothing else, this would be the ultimate evidence that the “obesity epidemic” is baloney by any discernable measurement of health.
The only ‘epidemic’ America has is a metabolic health epidemic which has nothing to do with the circumference of your hips or your lack of thigh-gap. Diabetes, hypertension, hardening of the arteries, kidney disease – all that shit – is much more closely linked to the consumption of sugar and processed food and artificial sweetener than weight. The fast-food burger and diet coke is what’s trying to kill you, not cellulite.
In spite of the messages to the contrary, fat/overweight people don’t axiomatically eat more sugary & processed foods than thin people. You can get fat off of “good” foods too. (I am living proof.) Thin people get diabetes and heart disease. That means fat/overweight people are NOT the locus of the metabolic health crisis.
Health is also effected by how much you shake your groove thang. A fat/overweight person who gets at least some exercise is “healthier” than a thin person who leads a mostly sedentary lifestyle. I have a standing desk and do yoga. I am “metabolically fit” according to all my checkups. I also have a large ass and thighs that flow like pink, squashy lava. My super-size booty and vast upper arms mean that doctors have been surprised or even disappointed to discover that I am physically healthy. I don’t go back to those doctors; they are asshats. I go instead to doctors who don’t treat me like garbage and encourage me to maintain my healthy behaviors.
Sadly, a lot of us fatties have learned to avoid seeking medical care because no matter what our symptoms – hair falling out, anal leakage, pregnancy, growing an extra limb -- the standard answer is that to get well we “need to lose a little weight”. Many of us are too “ashamed” of our bodies to even go to the doctor’s office in the first place. We aren’t just imagining that health care professionals are judging us and finding us ‘unworthy’, either. Studies have found that “over 50% of doctors find fat patients “awkward, ugly, weak-willed and unlikely to comply with treatment” and 28% of nurses said that they were “repulsed” by their obese patients. Mary Huizinga of Johns Hopkins found that “The higher a patient’s body mass, the less respect doctors express for that patient. And the less respect a doctor has for a patient the less time they spend with that patient and the less information he or she offers.”
The revulsion for fat/overweight patients means fat/overweight people are misdiagnosed and undiagnosed an ungodly amount of the time. Don’t think this medical bias would apply to you? Think it only applies to people who roll into the office in an ambulance because they were too big to fit in a car? Think again, sunshine. A “recent Yale study suggested that weight bias can start when a woman is as little as 13 pounds over her highest healthy weight.” Seriously, you can be in the healthiest cohort of Americans and yet your physician may still judge you as too weak-willed and noncompliant to bother with.
Why do doctors hate fatties? Why don’t they go with the actual facts when assessing health? Because most doctors and nurses and other health care professionals have grown up in the same cultural environment as other Americans, that’s why. Since they could toddle they have been bombarded with overt and sublet messaging that fat is repulsive, that it is visual evidence of sloth and gluttony, and that it denotes an “inferior” specimen of humanity. Is it surprising that they should view fat/overweight patients as repulsive, ugly, and weak-willed? Medical professionals, contrary to their portrayals as being ‘above’ culture and susceptible only to hard facts, are human beings with the same enculturated subconscious assumptions as the rest of the USA.
Meanwhile, hysterical bullshit stories about the “obesity epidemic” proliferate. Americans are bombarded with “news” reports that completely ignoring factual data showing that fat itself isn’t deadly and the rise of heart disease and diabetes is more about American food stables and lifestyle than America’s pants size. This crap is, of course, biasing another generation of future medical students against fatties.
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