Archive for the 'Fat Activism' Category

Weight Watchers cops a serve for their ‘Plate of our Nation’ campaign

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.



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:


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.

‘Obesity’ costs skewed for shock value? Duh!

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.)

Toxic Messages

I discarded a very toxic message recently, one that had been rattling around my brain for upwards of 25 years. It was so deeply embedded, I didn’t even realise I was still carrying it around, despite my years of fat acceptance and fat activism.

It came – as many of the toxic messages in my life have – courtesy of my step-father. He who gave me the demoralising puffy-lettered “I try to lose weight, but it keeps finding me” shirt. He of the undermining “You’ll never be Twiggy” sideswipe. He whom I no longer let into my life because of his continued toxic actions and toxic words in very many arenas.

So you’d think I’d have discarded this message along with his other bullshit.

But no.

Want to hear it? This thing I’ve unconsciously been allowing to guide my thoughts and fashion choices since I was 14 or 15?

“You can’t wear belts. You look like a sack tied around the middle.”

Hey, arsehole. Fuck you!

I limited myself with my buy-in to this bullshit rule, despite priding myself on not following the accepted fashion rules for fatties. I wear stripes. I wear patterns. I have no fear of bare arms. I wear my sexy bikini on the beach with pride.

But I steered clear of belts.

Because of an offhand comment 25 years ago from a proven dickhead who probably forgot he’d ever said it two minutes later.

But there’s an upside.

I’ve recently rediscovered belts and, therefore, a whole range of fashion looks that were previously (in my head) off limits.

I’m wearing a belt today with a cute little dress. And I look hot.

Fuck the toxic messages.

Extreme fat hate in “Fat and Fatter”

UPDATE: As stated in my Comments Policy, “A range of views expressed in civil discussion are welcome – providing commenters adhere to the other guidelines.” However, as per the Comments Policy, please ensure your comments do not verge into the territory of Intolerance or Hate Speech or Concern Trolling.

I have just written the following feedback to the ABC in response to last night’s screening of “Fat and Fatter”, a tabloid program masquerading as a public health notice in which 2 young British girls are flown to Missisippi (“the fattest state”) to be terrified into losing weight by seeing fat black women (OMG!). It’s as bad as it sounds. No, actually, it’s worse. It’s exteme fat hatred with a side-serve of racism, and I for one will not take the ABC’s screening of it lying down.

If you truly want to see the carnage for yourself, “Fat and Fatter” can be seen on ABC’s iview replay. Two notes: 1. only plays in Australia and 2. Exteme fat-hate. As they say, sanity points required.

If you can’t view that due to your location, here’s a review of “Fat and Fatter” from The Age.

Here’s the body of my (somewhat hastily written) feedback to the ABC:

“Fat and Fatter” is the most offensively fat-hating program I have ever seen – and worse, it masqueraded as ‘helping’ two young girls, when in reality it was just a freak show with scare tactics thrown in. No doubt this was someone’s misguided attempt at a ‘public health notice’, but that’s not an excuse. Fat nd Fatter is just not up to ABC’s normally high broadcast standards, and I am appalled that the ABC even considered obtaining screening rights to this exploitative tabloid show, let alone actually going so far as to screen it.

Without even discussing whether or not the “you are fat, you are going to die” message in the show is accurate (ha!), exagerated or flat-out false, the ‘information’ shown in the program was presented in an extremely biased way. For example, just in the first 30 seconds we have some incredibly judgemental body shots – and it gets worse from there. Fish-eye camera shots of fat people eating. Cameras that pan up and down people’s bodies.

But there is also deliberate misinformation. An example is the scene with the woman on dialysis, where the necessities of hemodialysis are presented as being due to her weight and size. She tells the girls about the canula that was put in her chest and also gets the girls to feel the (possibly collapsed) fistula in her upper left arm (She doesn’t call it that, but it is when she says “can you feel the blood swirling in there”). The woman’s flesh around her upper arm is scarred and bumpy, which is at least partly due to the fact that a fistula has surgically been created for dialysis purposes. The girls’ disgust is visible when they have to touch it.

My layperson’s understanding of a dialysis fistula – based on my experience with my partner’s dialysis – is that it is a surgical procedure which splits an atery and a vein and rejoins them together to create a larger, stronger blood vessel which can withstand the dialysis needles and blood flow. Sometimes, over time, the fistula fails and alternate means of dialysing needs to be found – for example the chest canula or a new fistula created in another place (in this case, in the woman’s right arm which was attached to the dialysis machine.

What a fistula is NOT is – as it was presented on the show – something that has happened to this woman because she is fat.

By not giving an adequate explanation, that is, through ‘judicious’ (or convenient) cutting and editing, the show gave the impression that the paplable blood flow in the fistula and the raised flesh was the result of the woman being fat – or at the very least a ‘consequence’ of her ‘eating herself’ into diabetes and thus kidney disease.

There are so many other things wrong with this program, I don’t know where to start, but how about here:

  • Fat does not equal diabetes
  • Diabetes does not equal kidney disease and dialysis
  • Fat does not equal death
  • Fat does not equal glutton
  • Fat does not equal ignorant or stupid
  • Genetics plays a HUGE part in diabetes
  • Sneering at fat black women simply because they are fat black women is racist, no matter how you try to dice it.
  • Shame does not motivate weight loss
  • Fat people have not lost their right to be resepected simply because they are fat.
  • Terrifying young women into believing they will drop dead at any moment because they are size 16 is unethical – and inaccurate.
  • Terror does not motivate weight loss.
  • 95% of diets (aka lifestyle changes) result in a regain of the same weight or more within 5 years.

And I can’t go on any more.

Simply put, I strongly raise my objections to ABC showing this program, and I would like you to assure me that no further episodes of this tabloid program will be shown on any of ABC’s channels and that it will be pulled from iView.




March 2019
« Jul    


Click to view my Personality Profile page

RSS FA Links Feed

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Notes from the Fatosphere

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Fat Liberation

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.


All content on this site is Copyright
© 2002 - 2010
by Fatadelic.
All rights reserved.

Site Meter

%d bloggers like this: