September 18, 2019
Jane Moore wrote a piece for The Sun looking at the obesity problem in both the United Kingdom and America, claiming that fat shaming isn’t the solution.
She’s right. Fat shaming isn’t the solution.
IN his fascinating book Unnatural Causes, forensic pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd observes how, over the years, the dead bodies he examines have changed.
One of the most noticeable is the rapid increase in body fat.
He says: “Unless a patient is homeless or has died of cancer or is so old or poor they could not eat, few are the same shape as the dead of the 1980s when I started practising.
“Looking back at forensic photos from that era I am astonished at how thinness was then the norm.”
Thinness was always the norm. Obesity is a hallmark of modernity. Junk food, fast food, slow food, whole foods — people have access to quick, cheap and addictive calories anywhere, at anytime, to masturbate their palates and get an immediate but short-lived feel-good relief.
Just like sex has been separated from reproduction, eating has been separated from nourishment. People have sex with the sole purpose of obtaining pleasure and they eat with the sole purpose of experiencing even more pleasures in the form of flavors and textures.
Crooked behavior results in a crooked appearance.
Fast-forward just three decades and obesity levels are now rising at such a rate that one expert says the “timebomb has exploded” for our health services.
Consequently, the NHS is reportedly bracing itself for soaring levels of cancer, Type 2 diabetes and heart and liver disease.
For a taster of what’s potentially to come, let’s cross the Pond to America, where talk-show host Bill Maher had this to say: “In August, 53 Americans died from mass shootings. Terrible, right? Do you know how many died from obesity? Forty-thousand.”
A shocking statistic indeed and it’s indisputable that it should be highlighted and widely debated.
But he then said this: “Fat shaming doesn’t need to end. It needs to make a comeback. Some amount of shame is good.
“We shamed people out of smoking and into wearing seat belts . . . shame is the first step in reform.”
Fat shaming isn’t the solution, although in the 2015 case of a mother ordering takeaways for her hospitalised 13-year-old, I could possibly make an exception.
The Manchester-based mother, whose child later died from “a heart condition . . . exacerbated by their morbid obesity”, had persistently ignored healthy eating advice and failed to bring the child to various health appointments.
Shame on her.
But in the majority of cases, finger- pointing and name-calling gets us nowhere.
Fat shaming is not the solution, but name-calling and finger-pointing are the first steps towards fixing the problem.
The solution, obviously, is common sense calorie control. We’re going to go door to door and confiscate everyone’s calories — no exceptions. People will have to pass psychological exams, present their ID and face the utmost scrutiny in order to buy a calorie.
People are dying out there. We have to do this to save lives.
Those in positions of authority — teachers, doctors etc — must be allowed to tackle it with impunity and, hopefully, support the child’s family to implement a change in lifestyle that will benefit all concerned.
Because it’s not just about what people eat, it’s about why they overeat.
So support and encouragement has to be the answer, together with a collective, open and ongoing conversation about how society as a whole can help.
Yes, have obese and overweight fat creatures in positions of authority support and encourage other obese and overweight fat creatures in their journey to lose weight.
That will help. Fat people are known to be experts in losing weight.
If we want to save these fat monsters we have to remove everyone who’s overweight from positions of authority and put fit-healthy-smart people in their place.
In addition, we could develop some sort of fat-to-electricity adapter to plug into the obese so they can recharge the batteries of Tesla cars.
We’d be saving both the environment and the deformed monsters.