Fat acceptance movement

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Obesity is primarily based on dietary and exercise habits.[1]

The fat acceptance movement is a social movement that seeks to remove the social stigma caused by various negative attitudes/beliefs related to obesity and/or excess overweight. Fat acceptance movement activists have various initiatives to influence the legal, political and medical communities. The fat acceptance movement is a subculture and more women than men are involved in the movement.[2]

Two of the major risk factors for becoming obese according to the Mayo Clinic are poor dietary choices and inactivity.[3] Most individuals are overweight due to their dietary and exercise habits.[1] See also: Bariatric science

Fat acceptance movement and the denial that being overweight can be a choice

The 20% of overweight people who are able to achieve permanent weight loss typically report doing it through engaging in high levels of physical activity, eating a low-calorie diet, eating breakfast regularly, self-monitoring weight, and maintaining a consistent eating pattern across weekdays and weekends.[4]

Deborah Lupton in her book Fat wrote:

One dominant argument in the fat activist literature concerns the issue of personal responsibility for fatness. Many fat activist writers contend that fat embodiment is not a 'lifestyle choice', as is generally presented by the anti-obesity perspective, but rather a product of a combination of genetic and other physiological factors which work together to ensure that their bodies are very efficient at storing fat tissue. Fatness is therefore represented as an inherent physical attribute, like gender, skin colour, race or sexual orientation. These writers assert that fat people are not fat because they eat more than others or exercise less, or in any other way behave in a self-indulgent, greedy or lazy manner (Burgard et al. 2009; Wann 2009). Thus, for example, Wann contends that 'Plenty of people think that I choose to be fat' and goes on to seek to prove that her fat embodiment is not her choice at all. She asserts that the current dominant belief that body weight is a product of personal choice about lifestyle is 'a big, fat lie'.[5]

Genetics of an individual generally plays a small role in obesity

Although many people attempt to excuse away their overweight condition on their genetic makeup rather than exercise self-discipline when it comes to their diet and exercise habits, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health, most people can maintain a healthy weight through the establishment of healthy habits and maintaining an environment conducive to good health (emptying their refrigerator and cupboards of junk foods, etc.).[6]

The Harvard University School of Public Health declares in their article Genes are not destiny:

...it’s important to remember that overall, the contribution of genes to obesity risk is small, while the contribution of our toxic food and activity environment is huge. As one scientist wrote, “Genes may co-determine who becomes obese, but our environment determines how many become obese.” That’s why obesity prevention efforts must focus on changing our environment to make healthy choices easier choices, for all.[6]

Ex-overweight individuals and ostracism by fat acceptance movement adherents

Ex-overweight people are often subjected to ostracism by fat movement acceptance adherents.

For example, for years the atheist, feminist and lesbian Greta Christina was overweight and very much agreed with the fat acceptance movement and largely dismissed the abundant medical science data indicating the negative health effects of being overweight. Her fat acceptance beliefs were altered though when she had a serious knee problem which prompted her to lose her excess weight.[7]

Today, Christina has a more limited agreement with the fat acceptance movement, but still considers herself apart of it.[7]

Greta Christina wrote in 2010:

And while I have huge disagreements with the fat acceptance movement -- especially with its more extreme denialist edges -- I still think many of its ideas are important, and perceptive, and entirely fair. I have serious disagreements with FA, but I am still very much shaped by it, and I would like to think of myself as an ally of the movement, and even as a member of it.

It's just that they don't feel the same way about me.[8]

The lesbian population in the Western World has a significantly higher rate of obesity (see: Lesbianism and obesity). For example, In 2013, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that 75% of American lesbians are obese[9][10] In April 2007, the American Journal of Public Health analyzed data from 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and the data suggested that American lesbian women were 2.69 times more likely to be overweight and 2.47 times more likely to be obese than all other female sexual orientation groups. [11] The abstract for this study indicated that "lesbians are at greater risk for morbidity and mortality linked to overweight and obesity." [11]

See also: Atheism and the fat acceptance movement and Atheism and obesity

Ostracism of ex-overweight people by fat acceptance adherents similar to antipathy shown to ex-homosexuals by homosexuals and liberals

Ex-Homosexual and ex-"gay rights" leader Michael Glatze speaking to the mother of Matthew Shepard.

See also: Ex-homosexuals and Denials that ex-homosexuals exist and Homosexuality and choice

The historical record indicates that there have been ex-homosexuals for thousands of years and ex-homosexuals exist today as well.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. - I Corinthians 6:9-11 (NASB)

Today people still report leaving homosexuality and becoming heterosexual through their Christian faith.[12]

Commonly homosexual activists fallaciously argue that ex-homosexuals “must never have been really gay at all” (see: No true Scotsman fallacy) or is “just deluding himself.” [13] For example, when the alleged homosexual, male penguin "Harry" mated with a female penguin (see: Homosexuality in animals myth), the homosexual activist Wayne Besen angrily exclaimed "“There is no ‘ex-gay’ sexual orientation. Harry is simply in denial. He’s living what I call the ‘big lie.’”[14] In Madison, Wisconsin an ex-homosexual was forced to do 50 hours of community service and undergo "tolerance training" (or face jail time and fines) due to a discussion he had with a homosexual (see: Hate Crime Law Misapplied to Ex-homosexual).

Of course, it is more difficult for fat acceptance adherents to deny that someone was previously overweight so ostracism of ex-overweight people by fact acceptance movement adherents is a more common response.

Rejection of the movement by the medical science community and public policy makers

Given that the fields of nutritional science, exercise science, and the medical science field as a whole has a number of solutions to obesity and/or excess weight and given the multiple health risk of obesity and excess weight, the medical community has not endorsed the fat acceptance movement. In addition, public policy makers in many countries (especially developed countries) and the World Health Organization, actively warn the public about the risks of obesity and have other anti-obesity initiatives.[15]

Fat acceptance movement and the Abrahamic faiths

Two of the major risk factors for becoming obese according to the Mayo Clinic are poor dietary choices and inactivity.[3]

The Bible declares that gluttony and sloth are sins.[16][17] Furthermore, the Bible declares the physical body of Christians to be temples of the Holy Spirit.[18] There have been no prominent Christian leaders in the world advocating the fat acceptance movement

In addition, no Jewish or Islamic leaders have come out in support of the fat acceptance movement. The Old Testament has multiple verses against gluttony and sloth (for example, Proverbs 23:20-21, Proverbs 28:7, Proverbs 23:2 and Amos 4:1).

Atheism and the fat acceptance movement

See also: Atheism and the fat acceptance movement and Atheism and obesity and Atheism and hedonism

While there are many atheists who recognize the vast amount of medical data indicating the harmful effects of being overweight, there have been prominent atheists who have engaged in denialism and have very much agreed with the fat acceptance" movement (See: Atheism and the fat acceptance movement). Furthermore, atheists have been interviewed by major news outlets and have advocated the fat acceptance movement.[19]

Since the majority of atheists are on the left side of the political spectrum (see: Atheism and politics), politically left leaning atheists (such as feminists) who subscribe to fat acceptance movement ideology typically subscribe to the fat acceptance movement's identity politics type complaints of "thin privilege" (see: Atheism and the fat acceptance movement).[20][21][22] Rather than take responsibility for their health choices, they would rather wallow in self-pity and play the victim (As noted above, most individuals are overweight due to their dietary and exercise habits[23]). See: Bariatric science

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 *Causes of obesity - Mayo Clinic
  2. Is the “fat acceptance” movement losing?, Salon, Daniel D'Addario, June 25, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=causes
  4. Long-term weight loss maintenance, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005 July; 82(1 Suppl):222S-225S.
  5. Fat by Deborah Lupton, page 83
  6. 6.0 6.1 Obesity - Genes are not destiny
  7. 7.0 7.1 Caught Between Fat and Thin: When a Fat Acceptance Advocate Takes Off the Pounds by Greta Christina
  8. Caught Between Fat and Thin: When a Fat Acceptance Advocate Takes Off the Pounds by Greta Christina
  9. Feds Spend $1.5 Million to Study Why Lesbians Are Fat - CNS News
  10. Feds Spend $1.5 million to Study Obese Lesbians
  11. 11.0 11.1 Overweight and Obesity in Sexual-Minority Women: Evidence From Population-Based Data, Ulrike Boehmer, Deborah J. Bowen, Greta R. Bauer, American Journal of Public Health, 2007 Jun;97(6):1134-40. E pub 2007 Apr 26.
  12. Ex-Gay Controversy Highlights Extreme Breach in “Gay” Debate
  13. Gay penguin flies straight
  14. World Health Organization
  15. https://www.gotquestions.org/gluttony-sin.html
  16. Sloth - Open Bible
  17. http://carm.org/christianity/sermons/1-corinthians-619-20-your-body-his-temple
  18. Fierce, Freethinking Fatties - Press
  19. Thin Privilege. Yes, It Does Exist, June 3, 2010, Fierce Freethinking Fatties website
  20. Fatphobia and Body Dissatisfaction: Different Conversations - Skepchick website
  21. 20+ Examples of Thin Privilege - Everyday feminism