I want to talk about something Virgie Tovar said.
You know I’m always talking about minority stress (and I’m going to talk about it ah-gain). It is a well-established body of theory in social psychology that convincingly posits that the daily stress of interpersonal discrimination – things like stares, micro-aggressions, as well as the perception or anticipation of these experiences – can lead to cardiovascular problems and shorter lives. If we know that stigma erodes at health and life, and that presumably more stigma causes greater harm, then one must call into question the AMA’s validity and reasoning in this matter.When I first heard about the AMA's decision this is what I was thinking about immediately.
One of the things I've seen some folks who believe that Obesity must be a disease in order for us to solve the supposed crisis saying, that if we fat people are immediately put into the diseased category we will get treated and therefore not be fat anymore.
I find this exhausting.
In America we have the most awful health care industry.
American health care is not the sort of thing that is at all egalitarian. It is ineffective and frankly deadly for a lot of the population.
In a world where American Health care was let's be super generous and say 10% more effective for everybody regardless of class, race, body size etc. The strategy of calling fatness itself (not the correlating disorders etc) without regard for metabolic health a bonafide disease one can be treated for, things might be okay. In that perfect world, you could go to the doctor as a fat person and say, doctor I'm fat and i just gained/lost weight rather suddenly and I am concerned.
In that beautiful perfect world the doctor would then follow the appropriate steps to make sure that you are okay.
Unfortunately that just doesn't happen for most fat people at all.
Beyond the problem that if one does not have good insurance nor money, medical care even for basics such as cancer screenings, pap smears, colonoscopies etc are just out of reach. We have the problems of medical professionals themselves.
Per usual I won't do your research for you but it takes only a short reading and casual search to find hundreds of people who are brave enough to talk about bad things that happen to them routinely at the hands of medical professionals.
Everything from decades of misdiagnosis because they are fat, people being so abused and harassed by doctors they are afraid to go and endure more abuse. Those people often are the ones we hear about who die of perfectly treatable conditions, they are the people we know who might have a slight limp that then turns into lifelong reduced mobility. These things happen at an astonishing rate.
Now right now I'm not talking about the letter or intent of the decision. I would like to believe (though I am skeptical) the AMA thinks they are doing the right thing.
But again the wrong thing is being focused on.
America has bought into the War on Obesity so whole heartedly, no one likes to talk about fat people. People. Not walking buckets of fatty diseases.
America has bought into it so hard that instead of us getting information like if you are fat or thin and sedentary, you are at risk of developing certain diseases.
America has bought into it so hard, many of our children are more afraid to be fat than they are of getting cancer, dying or losing their parents.
America has bought into it so hard that, no one questions the behavior of people when it comes to fat people. Fat people just existing, regardless of what they are doing (walking, wearing clothes, not wearing clothes, learning, etc etc) is basis for death threats, bullying, rape threats and more.
This decision by the AMA is not tackling these problems.
We all know that among the number 1 killers of humans is stress.
Why do none of the warriors against Obesity ever think that maybe the bullying, social stigma, inability to access decent medical care EVEN IF one has insurance/money, the constant barrage of negative messages, etc etc are a large part of why Obesity is even a "problem"?
Why are we not hearing about how many animals across the universe of Earth, can get fatter between generations without large changes in diet or exercise?
Why aren't the people who are so strident about fixing all the fat people, pointing those same angry fingers at the FDA? Or at the surgeons who perform hugely flawed weight loss surgeries?
Why is it that when the fact is that someone can be fat and metabolically healthy has been researched and found to be true (as with all science take with a grain of salt) people STILL cannot accept that a person has a fat body.
Why is it when a fat person says, my health status is personal and none of your business not one of the Anti Obesity patrol has enough decency to say, okay I will leave you alone.
Why is it that when fat people are misdiagnosed. Treated badly or not treated at all for the actual health problems they have, why aren't the Healthists all up in arms? Why are you more angry that I am in your assessment unhealthy rather than the idea that when I am trying to do things that healthy people do (as in seek medical treatment when I need it) I can't get treated?
I feel like this AMA decision was not made for the health care system we have.
This decision and whatever the subsequent fall out will be, this was not the right thing to do.
This is like saying that because many pregnant people have things going on that make their pregnancies high risk, therefore all pregnancies are now high risk.
Obesity itself, just the state of being a fat person is not a disease. It is not a problem.
There are problems correlated with obesity on a wide scale. Like all things that are correlations, these are not causations.
Which is to say that being fat will not cause a body to do X thing.
Some people are not okay being fat.
Whether they are just not okay with it on a personal comfort level or when it comes to their health.
What's more important than deciding that ALL OBESE people are suffering from THE OBESITY and must be medicalized, would be to decide that all people regardless of their size are entitled to good healthcare.
What's happening is not really about health. Again it just isn't.
It's about making money for the medical industrial complex. It's about making up yet another way for medical professionals to deny or mistreat fat patients for simply being fat. Or being fat with an opinion. Or being fat and being fairly healthy. Etc.
This is not okay.
This does not bode well for fat people nor does it bode well for any people.
Remember people who are not fat, you are not safe either.
There is a good possibility that those of you who are in the "safe" zone in the BMI might not be in two years. Not because your body changed but because the BMI changes when somebody farts and decides it should change.
You are not safe because I am not safe.
I urge you folks who are so anti fat to really seriously take a minute to forget the name calling and bullying and think about the kind of health care you would want for yourself or your loved ones.
Would you want care that is appropriate or care just because you are in a certain state?
I am very very worried y'all.