For some time, self-described “fat acceptance activists” have been trying to tell people that fat should be accepted. In addition to arguing that women don’t need to be svelte to be attractive, they also argue that you can be overweight and still be perfectly healthy. Now, this sounds bizarre since so much of the health advice we hear from doctors is about how obesity can lead to numerous health problems, but the activists aren’t having any. They tend to tell you how they’re perfectly healthy despite the extra pounds.
It turns out, though, that “fat but healthy” is not really healthy.
Most recently, Camille Lassale, a professor at the University College London, published the results of a study of 520,000 people in the European Heart Journal—the largest study to date on the impact of obesity on heart health.
“Even if you are classified as metabolically healthy, (excess weight) was associated with an increased risk of heart disease,” Lassale told CNN. “It’s another brick in the wall of evidence that being healthy overweight is not true.”
“This reinforces the fact that obesity in itself is a risk factor,” Lassale reiterated later in the interview. “Every effort should be made by health professionals to advise on lifestyle changes regardless of these metabolic factors.”
The study disproves the widespread notion in the fat-acceptance community that one can be “fat but fit,” as the study found that overweight and obese people had a significantly higher “hazard” risk than those in the normal weight range.
When you think about it, this makes sense. After all, we know that there is a very high correlation between obesity and numerous health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. While some may argue they are currently healthy despite the weight, that’s not really the point. The issue is that being obese will drastically increase your health problems.
Think of it as a smoker who insists they’re healthy despite smoking. Oh, they may not be having any issues just now, but they probably will.
With obesity, it’s the same thing. Just because you’re fine now, it doesn’t mean you’re actually fine.
I get where many in the fat acceptance community are coming from. I really do. They’ve probably been mocked, ridiculed by their peers growing up. They may have had problems attracting romantic partners because those they were attracted to didn’t return the favor. They may have been turned down for some jobs and they can’t help but feel like their weight played a factor, and maybe it did.
But trying to campaign that the medical community is wrong on something there was already scads of data to support isn’t just wrong. It’s dangerous. It becomes an easy path for someone to take rather than being proactive about their health. They’re going to kill people.
Don’t get me wrong, losing weight is tough. I know, I’m doing that right now, and it’s slow going. The thing is, anything worth having requires work, and that includes becoming healthier.