Bradley University is telling fat people not to lose weight because it could be “dangerous,” according to a project developed by the school’s Women’s Studies Program.
The “Body Project,” created to fight against “fatism” and “weight discrimination,” essentially tells students just that — don’t lose weight because it could be “dangerous” and cause an “increased risk of death.”
In their section on “The Truth about Fat and Health,” feminist professors argue that weight loss methods such as dieting and exercise “pose serious health risks” and that “the cure for obesity [is] worse than the condition itself.”
Without citing any studies on the potentially FATAL consequences of obesity, the feminist profs argue that “the data linking fat with death and the data showing losing weight to be healthy are limited, fragmentary, and often ambiguous” and that weight loss can result in an “increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.”
To dissuade fat people from losing weight, they also argue that “many obesity ‘cures’ have been found to cause harm” and that “significant health problems and fatalities sometimes result from weight loss surgeries.”
Weight loss? Nah, too dangerous, they say.
They also mislead fat people about the potential health problems that could arise from their condition, claiming that “a growing number of scientists agree that weight is not the determining factor for poor health.”
But who are these scientists? Do they know that obesity causes a host of health problems, such as heart disease and cancer? Do they know that obesity increases the risk of early death by 94 percent? Or that being fat reduces your ability to have kids?
We may never know. The women’s studies department did not respond to a request for clarification.
Instead of telling fat people to lose weight, the school preaches “fat acceptance” and “size diversity” instead, as if fatness could be turned into a cool flashy diversity token like race and ethnicity now are. “Humans come in all shapes and sizes,” they boast, adding that they hope that fatness “can be de-stigmatized and embraced in our culture.”
“Fat acceptance means that large people love and accept themselves the way they are.”
Further, they hope that the notion of “ideal” body types is done away with, chalking the conception up to racism and sexism. “Height and weight tables delineating ‘ideal’ body proportions are based on Caucasian body types,” they claim. “The genetically distinct body types of people of color are not considered in the formulation of ‘ideal proportions.’”
It’s understandable that women’s studies professors are sympathetic to overweight people. Losing weight is often very difficult and time-consuming. It can even be expensive, especially for people who live in “food deserts” where healthy food is scarce and supermarkets carry more junk food than fresh produce (if they even carry fresh produce at all).
But it’s unclear why the professors don’t simply encourage healthy weight loss instead. Not only does being fat cause numerous health problems, but it also reduces one’s ability to get a job. The Bradley University “Body Project” website even admits this, noting “that heavy people in general, and heavy women in particular are discriminated against in employment.”
Truth. Fat people are denied jobs, treated as less productive employees, and they even earn less than their skinny peers. Considering this, shouldn’t social justice advocates promote weight loss as a means to secure economic equality, especially for women and people of color?
Telling fat people that losing weight could be “dangerous” is a cruel and disingenuous way for fat-acceptance warriors to make fat people feel better about themselves. Self-esteem is good, of course, but losing weight and leading a healthy life is even better.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen.