The Contradictory And Disingenuous Media Messages About Obesity

I recently noticed some contradictory and, as I see it, dishonest messages in a few BBC articles about weight gain and weight loss.

This first article, from September 2014, makes the by-now boilerplated argument that “fat shaming” doesn’t work.  We should, instead, “be supportive and understanding” to obese people who are unable to lose weight.  The article’s thesis is:

The researchers say this suggests that blaming and shaming people for being overweight is counterproductive.

Instead they say it is better to be supportive and encouraging.

Dr Sarah Jackson, lead study author from the department of epidemiology and public health at UCL, said: “There is no justification for discriminating against people because of their weight.

I don’t agree with the conclusions that the author draws from this premise.  As I see it, it’s a veiled attempt to coddle and comfort people whose lack of self-discipline and willpower are costing our healthcare system uncounted sums annually.

I also believe that the passive acceptance of obesity contributes to a culture of slovenliness, sloth, and laziness.  Obesity in society causes, then, both tangible financial harm, and moral harm.

So I don’t agree with it.  But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that its thesis is valid.  Let’s suppose that society should be “supportive and encouraging” to fat people, and just cross our fingers and hope they lose weight.

What, then, are we to make of another BBC article that announces contradictory news?  Here is the crux of the argument, according to the author:

The chance of returning to a normal weight after becoming obese is only one in 210 for men and one in 124 for women over a year, research suggests.

For severe obesity, shedding excess weight in a year is even more unlikely, a study of UK health records concluded.

Researchers say current strategies for helping obese patients are failing.

A team from King’s College London is calling for “wider-reaching public health policies” to prevent people becoming obese in the first place.

These conclusions are startling.  Basically, they say that once a person becomes obese, he or she will stay that way.  Only 1 in 210 men will go back to normal.

Only 1 in 124 women will go back to normal.

But the article at least dared to state the obvious:

“The greatest opportunity for fighting the obesity epidemic might be in public health policies to prevent it in the first place at a population level.”

To prevent it in the first place.  Gee, imagine that.  What a revelation.

And how, pray tell, are we to “prevent it in the first place” unless we have a culture that promotes beauty and demotes fatness?

Doesn’t this article, in a roundabout, politically correct way, state what clear-thinking people have been saying all along about this issue:  if you want to stop the obesity epidemic, you need to create a culture and a society where fatness is looked down on. 

So the second article contradicts the first one.  You can’t create a culture that discourages obesity if you are constantly excusing, molly-coddling, and celebrating obesity.  Which is what our culture is doing right now.  The cowardice of our leaders (in this as in so many other things) is obvious.

It must become socially unacceptable, just as smoking is.  I will say that obese people are not the only culprits.  I would even say that they have been conditioned from birth to accept food garbage as normal.  I’m not relieving them of total responsibility, but it is true that they were walked down the road to perdition by some very sinister comrades:  corporations, a government that doesn’t care, a media that doesn’t care.

So how do you create a culture where obesity is frowned on?  Very simple:

Corporations must be shamed and penalized for selling food garbage.

Schools must be shamed and penalized for serving food garbage to children, thus conditioning them to love junk.

The media must be shamed for pandering to and molly-coddling obese people.

That means that we should be promoting the ideals of beauty, strength, and physical fitness in both men and women.

If these polices are pursued with sufficient energy over enough time, they will reap rewards.  The same zeal and enthusiasm with which the media currently promotes degenerate lifestyles, must be directed to the promotion of health and vitality.

The difficulty lies not in knowing what to do.  Everyone knows what needs to be done.  The problem lies in implementing the solutions in spite of all the cowardly screaming and shouting that will be let loose.

The quality of a society can be measured by the quality of its people.

Read More:  Beauty Seeks Beauty, And Ugly Seeks Ugly

 

3 thoughts on “The Contradictory And Disingenuous Media Messages About Obesity

  1. Shaming really does help. When you’re surrounded by people who are fat, and nobody’s telling you that it’s wrong, you just think it’s normal. At my highest weight I was around 315 pounds, or something horrendous like that, and nobody ever said anything about it. It was through reading people on the internet who were giving fat people hell (I remember Bronan the Barbarian specifically, though it was probably Roosh and Heartiste) that I said, “Hey wait, this isn’t okay. Why don’t I do something to try and change it?” Ended up losing literally a hundred pounds.

    Before you can change, you not only need to know that change is possible, you need to know that it’s something you should be doing. There are rare, self-motivated individuals out there who can make the effort to get and stay fit on their own, but for the rest of us, hearing “Hey fatso, put down the fries and go pick up a dumbbell” can have real health benefits.

    Like

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