Who are you calling fat?!
October 30, 2019

Who's watched it?

What did you think?

It would be really good to hear your responses; I had very different reactions with each episode (there are 2).

If you've got access to iPlayer you can watch 'Who Are You Calling Fat?!' now.  I'm sure it will make it's way to YouTube at some point too.

It raises lots of discussion areas, including...
  • is 'obesity' a choice?
  • do higher weight bodies cause an NHS burden?
  • is fat acceptance / body positivity promoting unhealthy behaviours?


Look forward to hearing what you think of the broadcast... helpful / harming ??

Very best wishes,
Helen
1 comment
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Helen James (Nutriri)

I thought I'd drop in some of the responses that we received on social media (anonymised with return comments)

First I posted the trailer and asked what others thought...

Commenter A: We all watched it , the lad exercising- Jack ? the guy Del (?) who had had the surgery and Sarah were all great oh and Babs ( loved her honesty in the 2nd episode that can’t have been easy for her) and the comedian chap. As for that god awful Victoria woman I sincerely hope she never, ever gets to speak to young people on this matter . Or indeed any people on this matter! She needs help .
Each to their own and all that but you can’t argue with science.
Out of interest what did you think ?

Me: I speak for an understanding of health at every size, that telling anyone their body is wrong is contributing to the problem AND adds to the body image and eating disorder issue. I already work in schools. I think the edit was quite trolling and unsupportive of a societal weight stigma problem and shaped an audience reaction to one of individual pity/support based on whether a persons personality appealed. It’s a very complex issue that isn’t being sorted through sustaining shame. Advocating for compassion and each to their own will help us all raise kids that are body confident and able to not grow up in fear of food. Moralising food and weight is not the answer. Look where that is getting us. I am not a ‘morbid obesity deny’er’ - I’ll end on these couple of facts 40% of ‘obesity illnesses’ occur in non obese bodies, under nutrition costs the NHS triple that of ‘obesity’ - we simply cannot keep judging health based on appearance and decide who is worthy of care based on weight. Weight is often a result of another physical and mental health issue.

I’d like to add that I hope my comments aren’t too harsh, we’ve all been raised in a fat phobic society, and we’re now in changing times x

...interestingly it’s an increase in activity that equalises health risk outcomes - in all sizes - and not (unsustainable) weight reduction. We just can’t judge peoples activity and health by appearance. There’s just as many unhealthy lighter people costing the NHS. Thank you for answering the question, all our views differ and are valid x

Commenter B: Ok, here we go, controversial maybe but... if people hate the way they look or feel due to being obese, how about losing some weight so you feel better about yourself? I hate being over a certain size, it makes me miserable, nothing to do with what anyone else thinks. So i watch what i eat and do more, and loose enough to fit in my clothes and be happy with myself.

Other responder: it is not that simple

Commenter B: Actually, it is that simple. Its not rocket science.

Other responder: no it truly is not that simple, and research supports that. That’s a very ableist point of view.
There are many, many health conditions, physical impairments, mental health issues and medical treatments that cause weight gain
And hinder weight loss attempts.

Commenter B: I accept that medical and mental health issues are a factor for some.

Me: the point is that we have no way of knowing who is who (and neither should we) - weight stigma/judgement is shown in studies, over and over, to be more damaging than the weight itself in most cases. I'm all for personal choice (to change weight or not) but there is an urgent need to wake up to the medicalisation of all weights and the damage this is doing. I understand how dichotomous thinking can conclude that if we are not promoting weight loss we are promoting obesity - it's time to step out of this either/or mindset - and start seeing how individual choice is different from systematic body weight shaming. Diversity measures must include body weight - after all it's the one 'parameter' that intersects with all others.

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