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Support for Obesity. And I don’t mean a truss.

March 1, 2010

One of the BBC’s lead stories today informs us that obese children are showing signs of heart disease.

Poor kids. Poor parents. And according to another BBC news story they probably are – poor, that is.

Why is it that the press love to jangle our nerves and wring our heart-strings – our possibly inflamed heartstrings – yet offer us very little in the way of solution?

If obesity is a growing concern, why don’t we make radical change that will immediately solve the problem, like making sugar an illegal substance?

Gosh, that’s very, very radical. And every donut lover who has stumbled across my blog will probably stop reading right now. Let me fling after you, just before your eyes glaze over, the claim by Kathleen DesMaisons, author of Potatoes, not Prozac that “If sugar were to be put on the market for the first time today, it would probably be difficult to get it past the FDA.” Think on.

Maybe obese people who find it difficult to feed their children should get the chance to benefit from some of the glamour that surrounds that other eating disorder…now what’s it called….? The name escapes me, just for the minute.

Not.

Why is it that overeating doesn’t have the same status as undereating? Why is obesity still not fully recognised as the result of an eating disorder? It may not get such a grip on the psyche, it may not kill as frequently or as dramatically, or be as visually arresting, but how does that justify its low status in the eyes of the medical profession?

The stories of how obesity leads inexorably to death are legion. So why do Anorexics get all the attention, all the money and all the resources?

What do obese people get? They don’t get Treatment Centres. They don’t get a referral to The Priory. Oh no. They have to pay to go to Fat Camp.

They don’t get poncey names like Anorexia Nervosa either. They get to be called Fatso and Lardy Arse.

And they have embarrassing reality television programmes made about them so they can be laughed at. I would hazard an uninformed guess that most overweight people don’t even watch those programmes, not wanting to be shamed.

Let’s stop the practise of pointing and laughing. Give them a proper name, a bit of respect for their difficulties and some real solutions. We couldn’t stop shaming smokers and we still haven’t, but what we have done is make it very difficult for people to smoke.

Why can’t we do that for Overeaters?

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