The woke love to cancel things they find offensive. Words, statutes, celebrities, you name it, they will cancel it.
Now, the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health has decided that the word “obesity” should be cancelled because it has its roots in racism.
One very clever response: “Hold up: the University of Illinois Chicago says obesity is racist: BUT, didn’t Chicagoan Michelle Obama champion the fight against obesity? How does this quandary not fracture the space/time continuum?”
In a brief titled ‘Addressing weight stigma and fatphobia in public health’ the School of Public Health took a look at ‘the association between racism, weight, and health.’ According to its author, “Amanda Montgomery, RD, LDN, Public Health’s focus on “obesity” prevention has increased exponentially within the last few decades, and with it an increase in weight stigma and negative attitudes towards people in larger bodies. In the past decade, weight discrimination has increased by 66 percent, and is one of the only forms of discrimination actively condoned by society. Decades of research have shown that experiencing weight stigma increases one’s risk for diabetes, heart disease, discrimination, bullying, eating disorders, sedentariness, lifelong discomfort in one’s body and even early death.”
She goes on: “Additionally, “obesity” related public health approaches can be harmful because they are based on limited or poor quality evidence, they focus on preventing one outcome at the expense of another outcome, they lack community engagement and they ignore the root cause of problems. However, the public health field has not taken a critical look at this research, focusing on the narrative that weight is controllable and a personal responsibility. If the goal is to find the most ethical and effective strategies to achieve optimal public health, there needs to be an alternative to “obesity” and weight-focused approaches and a shift in understanding of weight stigma as a social justice issue.”
In discussing obesity and racism, Montgomery says: “Around 81 percent of societies historically have favored people in larger bodies. Larger bodies signified wealth and prosperity while thinness signified poverty and weakness. However, this began to change due to racism and eugenics. Charles Darwin and other race scientists created a hierarchy of civilization, placing white men on top and people of color, specifically black people, at the bottom, considering them to be “less civilized.” Fatness and differing body characteristics were used to justify lack of civilization: fatness used as a marker of “uncivilized behavior” while thinness was “more evolved”. This idea was maintained throughout the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, as a way to justify slavery, racism and classism, and control women through “temperance”. This ideology has perpetuated Desirability Politics- where thinness and whiteness are given more access to social, political and cultural capital.”
Most medical doctors will tell their patients that obesity is unhealthy and they should lose weight to improve their health. They typically prescribe both lower calories and more exercise.
Montgomery gives a nod to the importance of proper nutrition and exercise, but says “racism within the food environment is also a cause of obesity among minorities,” reports the Daily Mail.
According to Montgomery, “[a]s presented by Soul Fire Farm, the U.S. food system is built on stolen land using stolen labor from Black and Latinx indigenous people. Not only has this created a large scale food apartheid and trauma for people indigenous to this land, it has caused a disconnection of indigenous people from their cultural practices and identities.”
That sounds like a lot of big words and excuses. We can just look around to see that many Americans, regardless of skin color, lead unhealthy lifestyles. We eat too much and move too little. Most people believe their medical doctors when they tell them to lose weight and exercise to improve their health. What do you think of the idea of canceling the word “obesity” because it is allegedly racist?