Fat vilification & body image

You might not be fully aware of the problems fatties create by their very existence.

You probably don’t know, for instance, that not only are fat people about to drop dead any second, but for the small period we are actually able to draw breath, we will be a burden on society by being unproductive drones. Because we suck up huge resources and – since we are mentally deficient and physically incapable – are clearly unable to create sufficient profit for our corporate masters. All as evidenced prima facie by our fat.

So people like David Ludwig have made it their mission in life to inform you:

“My colleagues and I have predicted that paediatric obesity may shorten life expectancy in the United States by 2 to 5 years by mid-century – an effect equal to that of all cancers combined,” David Ludwig of the Children’s Hospital Boston said in the commentary.

“If we don’t take steps to reverse course, the children of each successive generation seem destined to be fatter and sicker than their parents.

He also warned that “without effective intervention, the costs of obesity might well become catastrophic, arising not only from escalating medical expenses but also from diminished worker productivity caused by physical and psychological disabilities. [all emphasis mine]”

Yes. That’s right. And that delightful little piece of invective is, of course, related to some studies showing that childhood obesity is ‘on the rise’. Seems to be flavour of the month, doesn’t it?

So it’s interesting, although unsurprising, to see a article on ‘top youth worries’ that lists body image as the biggest concern for young Australians. Which is a change from my era, when our biggest concern was nuclear war.

“One in three young Australians rate body image as their number one concern, ranking higher than divorce or school stress, a national survey has found.

Mission Australia’s 2007 survey of more than 29,000 people found that both males and females were more concerned about their bodies than they were in previous surveys.

Concern about weight and shape rated higher than suicide, depression, bullying or sexual abuse. [my emphasis]


“Not only has body image grown in concern since last year’s survey, but among young adults – those aged between 20 and 24 – concern about this issue has doubled. And we ought not see it as a female issue because one in four males said it was of major concern to them,” Ms Hampshire said.

Do you know what concerns me the most?

It’s that fuckers such as David Ludwig probably think that body image issues in young people are a ‘good thing’ because it indicates that all the blaming is succeeding in shaming the fatties.



8 Responses to “Fat vilification & body image”

  1. 1 Rachel Thursday, 6 December 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Another study out today shows that it’s fitness, not fatness, that’s key to increased longevity. So David Ludwig can just suck it.

  2. 2 zezebelle Thursday, 6 December 2007 at 3:14 pm

    I am fed up with the lifespan claptrap, so I have to agree with Rachel. He can suck it.

  3. 3 sestamibi Friday, 7 December 2007 at 2:50 am

    Mr. Ludwig can most certainly s–k it. As to the Australian government and health system, take note. If we underfund our coming national (public, private or mixed) health system as Britain and the British Commonwealth countries have done, and if we force people to see only the doctors that the government wants them to see, there will be such misery here. We will have some sort of national health care plan (public, private or mixed), but we must be careful not to repeat mistakes that others have made.

  4. 4 La di Da Friday, 7 December 2007 at 11:02 am

    sestamibi, in Australia you can see whatever doctor you want, not who the government says you have to see. That’s at the GP (PCP), and specialist level – eg gynaecologist, endocrinologist. If you’re in a public hospital the choice may be limited, but if you are unsatisfied with the doctor you can complain and ask for a different one. It’s not a perfect system by any means (I could go on at length) but the idea that universal/socialised/nationalised/etc health care means you have no choice of doctor? Not true in Australia.

  5. 5 fatadelic Friday, 7 December 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Sestambi, I am not quite sure what that has to do with the discussion at hand.

    Nevertheless, what La di Da says is true. Australia’s health system isn’t perfect, but it does essentially work.

    I actually believe we (Australians) have more choice of GPs – and even specialists – than people in the US do, since I have read a lot about having to find doctors who will take your particular insurance, if you can convince your insurer to cover you for your illness in the first place.

    And as well, in Australia, obtaining quality health care is not dependent on a) having insurance, b) having loads of money , c) running up debt or d) qualifying for welfare. Any Australian, if they choose, can find a doctor who bulk bills. Similarly, any Australian who is hospitalised can choose if they are admitted as a public or private patient.

  6. 6 Deborah Monday, 10 December 2007 at 7:13 am

    You would think that doctors would address the psychological effects of an obsession with body image and be able to deduce that we are creating a generation of young people frustrated with achieving the impossible dream. Unrealistic goals, media and peer pressure will result in yo-yo dieters-a far worse problem than overweight people who maintain their weight.

  7. 7 fatadelic Monday, 10 December 2007 at 7:26 am

    That you would.

  1. 1 Plus Size Linkorama « Fatadelic Trackback on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 10:34 am

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