Weight discrimination is a never-ending topic. But this is not surprising since well-known people like president-elect Donald Trump fat shame people on national television.
Trump publicly fat shamed former Miss Universe during a Republican debate on September 27th, by referring to her as “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.”
Fat shaming is not a form of encouragement for people to lose weight, it is bullying.
Telling overweight people to exercise in order to lose weight is not positive advice; in fact it can have a negative impact. Taunting or making fun of people’s weight can lead to depression and other health issues.
Just because a person is overweight, it does not give anyone the right to interpret how and why a body is the way it is.
Statistics Canada reports 54 per cent of the Canadian population has self-reported as overweight and obese. Obesity is a complicated issue, which cannot be resolved with some type of weight loss pill or temporary fix with surgery.
Steven Nissen, MD, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says simplified methods of weight loss, such as the weight loss pill, may not be safe since the elements used to make the pill are unknown. According to PLOS One journal on Perceived Weight Discrimination and Obesity, fat shaming actually leads to people withdrawing from social and physical activities, and engaging in behaviours that encourage obesity.
According to the PLOS One journal, fat shaming leads to both psychological and physical harm. Depression, eating disorders, reduced self-esteem, and other chronic diseases are effects that go beyond weight gain.
A research journal on obesity found people who are discriminated against because of their weight are 2.7 times likely to go into depression. An outcome of depression is suicide. An analysis done by the Centre for Advancing Health reveals fat shaming is a leading cause to attempted suicides.
Prison Break star Wentworth Miller was a target for a fat shaming meme, which featured an image of him when he was in the lowest point of his adult life. Miller later went on Facebook to announce he was suicidal and suffered from depression.
Another common misinterpretation about people who are overweight is that they eat whatever they want. Although unusual dietary habits are a factor, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) says health conditions such as underactive thyroid, hormone problems, and Cushing’s syndrome lead to obesity. Other causes include gene/family history, environment, inactive lifestyle, lack of energy balance, medicine, smoking, age, pregnancy, lack of sleep, and emotional factors such as eating when bored.
Fat shaming needs to come to end, but until high profiled people like Trump filter their thoughts, the end seems to be far into the distan