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What do you think of the "Fat Acceptance" Movement?

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
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Default What do you think of the "Fat Acceptance" Movement?

I didn't even realize there was a "movement" until a few months ago, so I guess I was hiding under a rock. I feel mixed about it. I don't accept my fat, but I do love myself...and yes I think that is possible lol I don't think anyone should be treated badly because of their weight and I think overweight people should have the same human rights and be treated with decency and kindness, of course!

At the same time, a movement toward accepting obesity as a lifestyle choice sort of appalls me as much as the Ana/Mia movement does (accepting anorexia/bulimia as a choice).

I wrote a post about it on my blog expanding on my thoughts if anyone is interested.

What do you think the 'movement'? Do you know anyone who is part of this movement? Are you, even though you are trying to lose weight?
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
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I am obese. I am also perfectly healthy and quite physically fit. Obesity does not equate to disease or unhealth; if I decide to stay at this weight, that does not pose a risk to my health.

It is very important not to conflate obesity with disease. BMI is not a predictor of health, and that's one of the big messages of the FA movement.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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We will just have to agree to disagree, as per policy!

I don't believe a obese person is at optimum health. I believe one can be obese and striving toward being physically fit, and I don't believe just because one is a 'normal' weight they are automatically healthy (lots of slim people are unhealthy!)... but it is hard for me to believe that one can be at optimum health and be carrying around 100lbs of extra fat.

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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But there's a difference between being not being at optimal health and being unhealthy, no? I don't know many people, obese or not, that are at optimal health.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:29 PM   #5
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I agree with this to an extent. There are numbers more indcative of overall health than the one on the scale...like cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. But there does come a point where the number on the scale is so high that those other numbers are affected. Carrying extra weight can put a strain on lots of organs and muscles causing different health problems.

If I'm eating healthfully and excercising and weigh 200 lbs, I'm a lot better off than a sedentary person that eats greasy fast food every other day and weighs 130 lbs. Its about what you do, not really what you look like.

I also think it really, really, really sucks that overweight and obese people get picked on, made fun of, and just generally treated like poop because of their outward appearance. Whatever reason a person is overweight, they still deserve kindness and consideration. People that think we are not entitled to those things don't deserve those common courtesies themselves.

Getting off soapbox now.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:32 PM   #6
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I saw a Fat Acceptance demonstration in Philly awhile back and was quite pleased to see people I know at it. It was very fun. People dressed up in disco gear and danced up the Art Museum steps. People of every size was represented at the demo. I see the movement as accepting ourselves for who we are, no matter our size is.

I've been an activist in many different causes including disability rights so I appreciate how damaging stigma is. I think a lot of people would be surprised how much discrimination is out there against anybody who is "different." And one way to fight stigma is to reclaim the power and define the issue. Activists tend to be more loud and out front about things and do it on purpose because a lot of people aren't able or ready to speak out for themselves.

Fat acceptance is combating size discrimination openly and without hatred and judgement. It's not the answer for everybody, but I think they have something valuable to say.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBestYear View Post
I don't think anyone should be treated badly because of their weight and I think overweight people should have the same human rights and be treated with decency and kindness, of course!
Repeating that lest anyone think I said differently
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:35 PM   #8
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My blood pressure is 104/62. That is low-normal.

My total cholesterol is 148 (normal). My HDL is 45 (borderline low-normal, but 2 years ago it was 25 so that's a vast improvement). My triglycerides are 69 (low end of normal). My LDL is 89 (normal). My cholesterol/HDL ratio is 3.3 (normal).

My nitrogen, creatinine, EGFR, and calcium are all normal.

My fasting glucose is 81--totally normal.

My protein, albumin, globulin, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, AST, ALT are all normal.

My sodium, potassium, and chloride are all normal.

My resting pulse is in the range of 60.

I can bike hard for an hour at a time. I can hike and climb. I can stand for 4 to 6 hours at a stretch. I can do hours of hard housework. I can lift weights (and do). I can do "real" push-ups.

Please tell me which part of all of that indicates to you that I am not optimally healthy. Could I be more athletic? Yes. But we are not talking about being athletic; we are talking about being healthy.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:39 PM   #9
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My numbers were all in that range at 315 and I could do everything you said too... can you explain what you are trying communicate? Having 150 lbs of fat hanging off my body is not healthy, no matter what my numbers indicate or what I can do
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:39 PM   #10
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There are many good things about the FA Movement that I appreciate...the idea that overweight or obese people should not face discrimination, for example, or the idea that BMI is an overrated measure of an individual's health (although it does tend to represent group trends, it isn't indicative for all people and is overused, IMO, in guiding goal weights set by the medical community), as well as the idea that people can eat well and be physically active and still be overweight or obese by BMI. These are all good points to get out there, as is the idea that the medical community needs to consider obese or overweight people in general, not just their weight status, when determining treatment plans or making diagnoses...I had severe knee problems blown off as "due to weight" when, in reality, they were due to a congenital defect and eventually required surgery. All of these messages are important to get out there, and I feel like the FA Movement is the only real movement doing so right now.

That said, links between obesity and poor health outcomes, in general, are pretty well established (of course, this is the same as BMI in a lot of respects, the trend may exist across a population but might not apply to individuals, who can maintain a higher weight without negative health impact, so whether obesity is contributing to health problems in any individual can't be determined based on that statistic alone...it's just a trend). And I have read some pretty worrisome things about members of FA Movements being discouraged, ridiculed, etc for deciding to attempt to lose weight (even by adopting healthy habits and exercise), especially given that for MOST people (not all, again, because its just a trend), losing weight into a lower BMI range will lead to better long-term health. So there are negatives as well.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:44 PM   #11
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Interesting.

I'm 110% FOR the FA movement. Fact is, everyBODY deserves respect, and "fat hate" is the last acceptable discrimination. I'm fat, but I still want to look nice. I still want to be able to purchase clothing that fits my body, and I deserve to be treated kindly and with respect when out in public. I (speaking for all fat people, not just myself) deserve to find a good paying job without being discriminated against because I'm not a size 6. I could go on and on, but I doubt I need to, considering the audience.

Having said all that- yes, I am losing weight because I want to be the best ME I can be. I am more comfortable when I weigh 170-180 range, which is still "fat" for my height. I prefer the look and feel of what I consider to be a womanly body, and that body has more weight on it than most think is acceptable.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBestYear View Post
I don't think anyone should be treated badly because of their weight and I think overweight people should have the same human rights and be treated with decency and kindness, of course!
Annnnd gotta quote myself again just for clarity's sake...
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBestYear View Post
Having 150 lbs of fat hanging off my body is not healthy
While it's your choice to decide whether or not that is what works for you, it's not your choice to decide for another person. That is the message of the FA movement. There are, to my knowledge, absolutely no scientific studies that have been done on completely healthy obese people--of longevity or health outcomes. We do not know whether or not there are actually health risks. The statement that "it is not healthy" is dogma, not fact.

Heck, a lot of doctors will still tell you that eating cholesterol will raise your cholesterol, when we know that is just not true at all now. Dogma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown
At best, excess weight still puts stress on your organs and joints.
Also dogma. My joints are fine. So are my organs--as my numbers show.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:55 PM   #14
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I believe that we shouldn't judge people on their weight, I believe we shouldn't make fun of people for being overweight. But I don't believe when someone (like myself) has over 50+ lbs of excess fat on them that they are perfectly healthy.

All my numbers are AWESOME. Everything falls within ranges, and I can even go for a run or cycle now- but I know deep down I'm not as healthy as I could be.

I think if people were accepting of overweight individuals and didn't go around making fun of them or putting them on diets from the time they are able to walk, then people would have less issues with food. How many of us have said we'd eat when we were sad or upset because we were told we were fat or because our parents put us on diets?
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBestYear View Post
Annnnd gotta quote myself again just for clarity's sake...
Yes, but it's counter productive. The FA's goal is to stop discrimination.

Quote:
Founded in 1969, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to ending size discrimination in all of its forms. NAAFA's goal is to help build a society in which people of every size are accepted with dignity and equality in all aspects of life. NAAFA will pursue this goal through advocacy, public education, and support.
(not to imply that naafa is the only FA group, just the one I chose to quote)

So saying how do you feel about the FA movement, and then making it about something other than acceptance is confusing.
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