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Fat Stigma written about in the New York Times

The letter I sent to the N.Y. Times in response to the article by Tara Parker Pope about Fat Stigma

KUDOS for Tara Parker-Pope for screaming out, “The Emperor Has No Clothes!” What a relief to finally read an article that unveils the damage inflicted on people under the auspices of a “HEALTH CAMPAIGN.” It would be wonderful for Ms Parker-Pope to feature an article on this topic at least once a week to remind people that there is more than one point of view in the world about fat and health and body image.  Along with Marianne Kirby, who is mentioned in the article, there are numerous others blogging on how to decrease the fat stigma:  Dances with Fat, Free Thinking Fatties, and my blog, Tasty Morsels. There are also doctors, nutritionists and registered dietitians working tirelessly to educate the public that diets don’t work and people can be Healthy at Every Size (HAES sm): Linda Bacon, Joanne Ikeda, Deb Lemire and the Association of Size Divesity and Health (ASDAH), Bill Fabrey at NAAFA and so many others.

Of course the sexier story is usually about watching the humiliation of people on the Big Loser TV Shows or Madonna’s new gym.  What Madonna is doing is cruel, ineffective and unnecessary.  It is similar to the gym poster I wrote about recently that reminds people that summer is coming and would they rather be a whale or a mermaid? http://www.leftoverstogo.com/2011/03/06/fish-tales/

Look, if these anti-obesity campaigns are really about health then the people behind them should also care about the MENTAL health of our citizens.  Shame and humiliation never made a human being healthier in any way SHAPE or form.  It only adds on layers and layers of self-hate and self-destructive behavior. Let’s see Madonna come up with a program that fixes that!!

Warmly,

Dr. Deah Schwartz, www.leftoverstogo.com