Fatphobic or Pro-Science? Why I Reject “Healthy at Any Size” Marketing


Obesity has never been more popular. Today, it’s not only Sports Illustrated that uses plus-size swimsuit models to advertise their products; practically every company that uses internet marketing now uses huge and overweight people to sell their products. And anyone who does not participate in the trend is publicly accused of being fataphobic (is that even a real fear?) and are pressured to join in the celebration of “fat is beautiful”, as is now required custom in our contemporary culture.



If you want to know if that’s a winning strategy, ask Old Navy how well it worked out financially when they went all-in on “clothing inclusivity” (spoiler alert: not good).



And yet, the trend continues, even at medical offices. As Wall Street Journal points out, “doctors ask patients whether they are comfortable getting their weight taken at annual wellness visits … If patients do consent to be weighed, doctors give them the option of not seeing or hearing the actual number. Patients may choose to hide their weight when accessing their post-visit summary.”


How is that healthy? You may believe that fat is beautiful, and that’s your right, no judgement here, but as The Federalist puts it, “whether you think ‘fat is beautiful,’ it’s not healthy.”



All of this seemingly insane labelling of fat as “beautiful” and “healthy at any size” may be more of a spiritual and political game, than a shifting of how we measure such things. As CP reports:


Political leaders and their media lapdogs also routinely redefine “healthy” when it comes to our national well-being. Although our economy currently looks like the aftermath of a Category 5 hurricane, our energy independence is in the dumpster, crime is out of control in many cities, our border is a wreck, and foreign heads of state openly laugh at our leadership, we’re told things just couldn’t be “healthier.”

Ditto on the sex front, which at times, borders on the ridiculous. You know things have gone too far when Bill Maher is one of the voices of reason speaking out. Commenting on the impossible-reported surge in LGBT numbers, Maher opined: “Which means if we follow this trajectory, we will all be gay in 2054. When things change this much, this fast, people are allowed to ask, ‘What’s up with that?’ All the babies are in the wrong bodies?”

Disagree? Well, woe be unto you and anyone else who attempts to call attention to such farces. The command from those foisting these absurd reformulations on society is you see no evil, hear no evil, and you certainly don’t speak any evil, which of course, is defined as saying anything that challenges their position.  



I refuse to support is the notion that you can be ‘healthy at every size’–because you can’t. In fact a recent study found:

Out of the 3.5 million participants, who were initially free from cardiovascular disease, about 15% were classified as metabolically healthy obese. During an average follow-up period of five years, of the people who were initially metabolically healthy obese, about 6% developed diabetes, 12% had abnormal blood fats and 11% developed high blood pressure.
Compared with normal weight people with no metabolic abnormalities, people who were metabolically healthy obese had a 50% increased risk of coronary heart disease, a 7% increased risk of stroke and a double risk of heart failure. These results couldn’t be explained by age, sex, smoking or socioeconomic status as we took these factors into account in our calculations.


(Also see this and this from Nature magazine)


But the science hasn’t stopped corporations from trying to make the obese feel great about their immense size. After all, those plus size pants aren’t going to wear themselves.


Here I Am: Why Size Shouldn't Define Us | JCPenney


Obesity is, without a doubt, unhealthy. In fact, many things that are vigorously promoted and backed by the media and our government are not healthy. 


Maybe we need some qualifiers. You can be healthy at any weight without increasing your risk of disease or death. At any size, you may be healthy without sacrificing the quality or quantity of your life. But, no, you can’t be healthy at any size simply because you’ve determined to be. That isn’t the case, and it is not backed up by the Science™.



Don’t be a Science™ denier! Take care of yourself!

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Karina Smitt

I'm not as much of a "CoMiCs NeEd MoAr DiVeRsItY & iNcLuSiOn" advocate as my girlfriend often is, but we both love funny books, crispy bacon, straight bourbon and hip hop. Add yet, we never vote the same, so we cancel each other out... and that works perfectly in my book!