Published Monday, 26 November 2012
Fatadelic , Rants
Ajay Rochester, former host of Australia’s version of the Biggest Loser has let loose about some of the dodgy and unsafe practices on the show. All emphasis is mine:
I also remember how you [Adro Sarnelli, winner Biggest Loser's first series] presented yourself at your final weigh in (behind closed doors and a few days before filming so contestants had time to recover and look healthy)…..you were starving, pale, had shallow breathing, low blood pressure, cracked lips and you were unable to stand on your own two feet – hardly a great advertisement for healthy weight loss….. all the contestants begged me to ask the producers to have you drug tested. I took that request to the producers and was told they didn’t want to know the truth, they just wanted a good winner and told me to shut up and go away. This was one of the many problems I faced in the job I became known for being difficult in…….because I spoke up when I felt it was wrong or that we were being deceitful. I refused to be the face of their online diet club, I refused to sell their shakes and diet bars, I complained when someone who went on to win was living off 200 calories a week, I complained when I had to participate in a cover up for the contestant (who also went on to win) who drank bottles and bottles of tea tree oil (and whose relative was caught smuggling more in) to lose gross amounts of weight and more…..it made me NO friends, but I refused to drink or even sell the Kool Aid. When I joined Biggest Loser I truly believed I would be able to help people learn to love and care for themselves and hoped my message of loving yourself first was more important than chasing a number on a scale. I quickly learned I was never going to be able to do that. And I am grateful for the good that came from that job but I am sick and tired of people like you who forget how hard the struggle can be and the arrogance and judgement you wield while making us feel inferior, forgetting that fat people have feelings too and deserve just as much love and RESPECT as anyone else.
Whether Ajay’s specific allegations are true or not, I don’t think anyone doubts for one instant that unsafe and unhealthy practices take place on the show and are tacitly condoned by the producers and the staff.
Kasey Edwards takes Weight Watchers to task in the normally fat-phobic SMH:
[...I]f WeightWatchers has just cottoned on to researching ”real solutions” for people to lose weight, then what has it been doing with its customers for the past 50 years?
Oh yes, that’s right, running a highly successful business – one that profits from repeat business.
This is a company that, by its own admission, trades in failure.
But the Plate of Our Nation campaign is not focused on health. It’s focused on WeightWatchers core business – the promise of weight loss. And as any health professional should know, weight loss and health are not necessarily the same thing.
Lydia Jade Turner, the managing director and psychotherapist at BodyMatters Australasia, condemns WeightWatchers for its fat shaming imagery and messages.
”WeightWatchers is morphing itself to appear as a benevolent public health institution when in fact it is grooming customers for profit,” Turner says. ”The Plate of Our Nation website provides many healthy tips – essentially piggy-backing off already existing public health campaigns – but the problem lies in the ultimate promise of weight loss.”
Turner says ”WeightWatchers has no research to show that it is any more effective than any other diet on the market over the long term”. This makes WeightWatchers’ new aim ”to reverse this country’s obesity epidemic” at best naive and at worst highly cynical.
Published Thursday, 5 April 2012
Blogging , Body Acceptance , Body Image , Fat , Fat Acceptance , Fat Activism , Fatadelic , Observations , Rants , Size Acceptance
It seems ‘Fat and Fatter’ has screened somewhere in the world. I’m getting a stream of commenters who are all so very concerned that my review of the show is being unfair and that it’s perfectly reasonable to scare people onto the diet treadmill, because don’tcha know that ‘Fat and Fatter’s fat shaming through lurid camera close-ups on bodies merely serves as a public service announcement.
I’m NOT going to publish the comments for two reasons.
Firstly, every single one of the comments fails to meet the criteria of ‘Constructive Debate’, ‘Respectfulness’ and ‘Open Mindedness’ as defined in my Comments Policy, which on this blog is required reading before anyone comments. It’s clearly listed at the top of the page, so there’s no excuse.
Secondly, all the comments basically boil down to the below and add nothing of intelligence to the discussion:
ALL FATTYBOOMSTICKS ARE GONNA DIE. FROM SUGAR AND FAT AND THE LAZY. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS, FATTY. STUPID FATTY. BAD FATTY. GET OFF THE COUCH, FATTY.
So, ‘Fat and Fatter’ viewers, if you want your comment to appear on this blog, read the Comments Policy and don’t spout fat hate.
Published Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Tags: breast cancer
1. Self-check your breasts or have a mammogram if you are in the free screening age group. (http://www.bsnsw.org.au)
2. Volunteer to help women with breast cancer or donate to an organisation that does. (http://www.bcna.org.au).
3. Donate to reputable organisations that fund breast cancer research. (http://www.breastcanceraustralia.org or http://cancercouncil.com.au).
NB: Wearing pink, buying pink products and posting cryptic memes to your facebook status are not listed above. I’d say sorry for being a grumpy bitch, but I’m not really.
NB2: Links are Australia-centric because that’s where I am. But I am sure similar organisations exist in the US and other countries.
Published Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Fat , Fat Activism , Fatadelic , Go Read This Now
The fatosphere is always talking about how the ‘costs of obesity’ are inflated for shock value and to influence public policy and spending – and at last we have a leading actuary who has confirmed that the costs of Australia have been vastly over-estimated. Instead of $58 billion, he states the actual costs are only $8.8 billion – but I guess that just doesn’t have the same ZING!
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
A leading actuary has lampooned health lobby figures on the costs of smoking and obesity as being extravagantly inflated and based on suspect methodology.
“The numbers are all over the place,” writes Geoff Dunsford in the September edition of Actuary Australia. And they are “big numbers” – the implication being that they are too big.
The sheer size of the numbers, argues the Sydney actuary, perverts government policy. It can lead to poor spending decisions. The credibility of the numbers from the health lobby is therefore critical to government policy.
The press and the public have been led to believe that the costs to the system are higher than they really are so the government can “justify use of taxpayers’ money on measures to reduce its prevalence and prevention”.
Access Economics estimated the cost of obesity to Australia at $58.2 billion. And sure enough, this enormous headline number promptly bobbed in the press.
On Dunsford’s analysis, however, the figures are flawed, skewed by the “non-financial” estimates to make obesity seem a lot more costly to the taxpayer than it really is.
The costs break down as $3.9 billion for the health care system, $4.4 billion in “other” costs relating to lost work days, taxes forgone and other productivity losses.
More detailcan be found in the article (Be warned: the comments are full of fat-hate.)