The Fat Acceptance Movement

Are the obese the new “black?” (Forgive that politically incorrect phrase). The “Fat Acceptance Movement” is working to bring to light discrimination against the weight-challenged, which a Yale University study found is as prevalent as race or gender discrimination. But unlike race or gender, obesity isn’t something you’re born with — or is it?

Some studies suggest that the overwhelming stress we experience through daily modern life is to blame. But when you peruse the stunning consellation of the web site This is Why You Are Fat, one begins to ponder whether the overwhelming amount of food, and a increased dependence on high-fat, high-salt convenience foods is more likely to blame.

Whether it’s due to heredity issues, a sluggish thyroid, medication or a host of other issues, it’s more difficult for some people to lose weight. There’s also a lot that the medical community can’t explain about why some people can eat cheeseburgers and stay relatively thin, while others balloon up to become Biggest Loser contestants. But the one point that I’d like to make is this: the more you rely on processed foods, the more likely you are to struggle with your weight. The more you weigh, the greater the likelihood that you’ll suffer from a whole slate of health issues.

In doing research for my next book, I’ve found a couple dozen research studies that support this, some focusing on the use of MSG in foods, others on food stamps users reliance on boxes and convenience foods, or the prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup in such product.

At the same time, virtually all research points to another conclusion: the more often you prepare your own meals using real food, including a lot of vegetables and whole grains, and learn to make good choices, the less you weigh.

About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry," "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" and "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good." All are published by Viking/Penguin.

Comments

  1. Kathleen,
    Great post. You’ve really taken alot of what we know in the medical/science world and distilled it really well. I would also add that with obesity comes a lack of movement. I say that sitting is the new smoking. There is simply nothing good about sitting in front of a screen, any screen, all day long. So, along with weening yourself from fast foods, let’s get up and get moving.
    You may also want to add this moving map from the CDC on the Fattening of America to your argument as well.http://www.wellfedheart.com/2012/03/fattening-of-america/

    • Kathleen Flinn says:

      Thanks Susan. The map is fascinating. I have to remind myself all the time to get up from my desk and go for a walk. I recognize that if you’re busy, it feels hard to do but I actually find I’m more productive when I take breaks, and at my uptmost productive when I get at least moderate exercise. I think my brain works better!

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