Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I am getting on my soap box for a minute:
A prominent bioethicist is offering a controversial fix for America's obesity epidemic: "fat-shaming." Daniel Callahan, senior research scholar and president emeritus of the Hastings Center, makes the suggestion in a new article, "Obesity: Chasing an Elusive Epidemic." Callahan likens what he calls his "edgier strategy" to anti-smoking campaigns of recent decades.

Really? Is this really where the world is headed?! I find it amazing in a time when bullying is brought to the forefront in the media as a BIG problem it would honestly be even considered that it would be ok to “fat-shame”. And at what weight would it be ok to start doing this when more than half of the country is considered at least overweight? I am OUTRAGED that this could be even considered in this day and age. Shall we shame those who are too thin? Shall we shame those who do something that we find not normal?
Dr. Callahan feels that it will combat obesity the same way it worked to defeat the smoking of cigarettes. Personally I do not see the correlation. Smoking is a voluntary habit that is picked up at some time in life (really when was the last time you saw an infant take a drag?). Obesity has a more systemic fight. Some people are predisposed to being larger than others. I am not using that as an excuse to my figure but it sure did not help. (oh and I have seen fat infants/toddlers). Some people have illness or disabilities that throw hurdles in the way of staying thin. Children only can eat what their parents give them.

But ultimately the largest difference between cigarettes and obesity? You can’t stop eating. I can go cold turkey and not smoke. I can not decide to not just eat. (Well I can but it wouldn't be very healthy). So as we still must eat, you need to be taught what you should eat and how much of it you need to eat. There is never an okay number of cigarettes to smoke or a right way to smoke them.
Most obese people will indicate that they have some emotional eating problems. Does no one think that are emotions will go into overdrive when we are picked on and humiliated everywhere we go? Teenage girls will often report bullying about their weight as reasons they have eating disorders (bulimia/anorexia), does this seem the “better” way to go?

So government sanctioned fat shaming? No thank you.

(If you would like to read more of Callahan's article, http://www.thehastingscenter.o

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Ummm, I thought fat shaming is what this country is already doing. How many times have I watched a news piece on obesity that featured close-ups of unwitting pedestrian's jiggling tummies and bottoms? Doesn't the billion dollar diet industry prey on our shame? And the smoking campaigns in the 80's weren't shame based. We were told repeatedly that smoking was bad for us. That was it. By time I was old enough to consider picking up the habit, my peers and I had been programmed: smoking=cancer. Very few of us started.

    This is sensational content. I don't think it will take off at all or gain any real support in the white house.
    1748 days ago
    Thanks for posting this. Fat shaming doesn't work, and it's just plain cruel. Your cigarette analogy is spot on. Shame on Callahan!
    1749 days ago
    As someone who has been fat all her life, I can assure you that I'm been "shamed" many times by family, friends and strangers both publicly and privately. This is not a new idea and it does not work. Oh, it taught me to love myself regardless of what everyone else was shouting at me, but I'm still fat! Someone else telling me I'm fat isn't going to change that. Only I can. Dr. Callahan should have his title retracted and be barred from the scientific community and the general public.

    Shaming is about admitting to everyone something they wouldn't know about you otherwise - it's all about revealing secrets. But anyone who looks at me knows I'm fat. It's not a secret. The very basis of his idea is idiotic. Bullying, indeed.

    Thank you for sharing this article!
    1750 days ago
    yeah, im not sure if i agree with that but to each his own!
    1750 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by HISTORYBUFF1980