Tuesday, 5 April 2011

People not "at risk" for being themselves

I clicked on this link from Lara's latest post, between both a couple of things brought me up short. First of all this from the OP;
Fat people due to stigma, victimization and villianized suffer low ecomonic standards of living which means we are more likely to rely on state services.
What stigma though? That of race, gender, class or fatness? The latter seems to be in effect, however its hard to see how that can be isolated from other factors. I think the truth lies in something highlighted;
Those of low income or lower socio-economic status [interesting phraseology] may be at greater risk for overweight and obesity, though the risk varies depending on age, gender, and race-ethnicity.
Presumably "lower socio-economic status" is some kind of euphemism for things over and above income. It is certainly arresting to see the suggestion that you can have a societal status that is the equivalent of having an actual low income whether you do or not so blatantly stated.

The claim is if you have a low income, or the status of someone with a low income, then you are more likely to be fatter, or not;

The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, revealed that children from families with an income between £22,000 and £33,000 were 10 per cent more likely to be overweight or obese than those from families with an income of less than £11,000.
Seems poorer=fatter as a hard and fast rule is still open to doubt (though there may be a difference between the US and other countries) as my observations tell a slightly more complex story. Ethnic variance is also interesting as black women are significantly fatter than black men in both the US and UK.

Recognizing my doubts falls mainly under anecdotia as it is based on observation, I wouldn't say that's definitive without corroboration. Unfortunately the standard set by obesity hype is so low that one has to fall back on talents somewhat overshadowed by the age of 'evidence base', so it's not all bad then. I've always found it odd that so many people in FA seem so keen to go unquestioningly with that line.

This makes it seem a little too convenient for all concerned, possibly for divergent reasons.

Either way if the proposition is x people are more likely to be fatter then I'd advise "well meaning" (paid) wonks to state that plainly rather than convey any message of the lower orders as disease.

An "overweight" is a person,  an "obese" is a person yes seen from the perspective of their body, but until anyone can show me what part of the self is not contained within that very body, then we can leave that supernaturalist hogwash of one's body separate from one's self  aside.

A person cannot be "at risk" for being themselves, that is NONSENSE ok?
Because as we FA people keep saying, the human body cannot be characterized as a disease, if those who have the privilege of working stuff out have to come to that conclusion to get their point across, that is where they know they've got it wrong. If those on lower incomes seem human to them, of course.

The current urge to turn every aspect of human existence into the disease model as if it is some kind of quasi spiritual validation of us, is an unwise route to go down. Apart from it having an air of the occult, it gives an unbalanced and ultimately unbalancing view of human nature.

Whether you're a fat phobe or not, if they advance it with fat people, is anyone really dull brained enough to think that is where it will end?

It is too extreme a power play not to become a tightening noose around all our necks.

This isn't so much about whether people agree or disagree on the various weight prognosis  bandied around it's as much about what you are really seeking to convey with your definitions. The vainglorious idea, real or imagined, that the sort who write this kind of thing are the standard by which all humankind should measure themselves by is something they should not seek to validate by inveigling it into 'science'.

Luckily no-one would be silly enough to insist higher incomes/status are at greater risk of thin or underweight.


  1. Yeah, I don't know. This rubs me way wrong. I grew up very poor, but wasn't fat until much later in life. And I have been on opposing ends of the income spectrum. I make zero income now, but when I was making $55k and buying and cooking all organic/vegetarian/etc it honestly didn't change my weight/size. I call shenanigans on this. =0)
    The stigmas are everywhere, no matter your income. Just being visibly fat is enough to attract the haters.

  2. I make zero income now, but when I was making $55k and buying and cooking all organic/vegetarian/etc it honestly didn't change my weight/size. I call shenanigans on this. =0)

    Me too!:-)

    Isn't it funny the way people treat healthy eating as if its for the 'unhealthy' but the 'healthy' i.e. the thin can eat anything because they are already 'healthy'?

    Yet, it doesn't make you thin so how healthy can it or being thin be?

    I've never quite got to the bottom of that one.