A Shout Out For A Shout Back
A very pleasant surprise awaited me on the editorial pages of the April 18th issue of the Akron Beacon Journal in the form of a letter to the editor from none other than esteemed Fat activist Deb Lemire.
Deb’s well written counter-argument to a story on a local hospital’s bariatric surgery center, framed as a human interest/health story offering gastrointestinal mutilation as the modern ‘cure’ for ‘obesity,’ contained many facts from many main-stream sources that are typically cited by alarmists and haters, such as the CDC, the Mayo Clinic, and the FDA. By using the same sources as those who advocate the surgical elimination of the stomach, she effectively calls into question their use of these sources, shedding light on their career-boosting and profit-driven biases.
Not stopping there, Deb goes on to challenge the paper itself for placing the story on the front page of the April 2nd issue, calling them on why an article about the local bariatric center took precedent over issues like war, poverty, or education, stating, “… the placement of the article tells the community that the most important thing going on in the world is the opportunity to lose weight.”
I will watch the letters to the editor in the next few weeks to see if anyone challenges or supports Deb’s statements.
The Madness Of His Method
Then came the disturbing surprise on the next page, an op-ed piece picked up from the New York Times by Frank Bruni, “Why are we so overweight? It all comes naturally.” While he does acknowledge the evolutionary/genetic role in size and that the majority of our population is large, thereby making larger size the norm, Bruni portrays this simple reality as something to be afraid of and avoided at all costs.
His solution to the perceived problem? The old trope of strict diet control: “Every meal is … a feat of calibration.”
This Is Where The Crazy Starts
Bruni’s call to action starts with stopping the blame and shame, which is good, but then veers right off into nightmare land with, “…we need to rethink and remake our environment much more …The kind of … prodding being done by Michelle Obama …won’t be nearly enough. Neither will the extra green space for exercise … or New York City officials’ admirable exile of sugary sodas… These important steps … are just the start.”
What is he proposing beyond strict caloric monitoring for everyone? Food rationing? State control of what we are allowed to eat, when and how much? Mandatory exercise progroms? Penal codes against poundage? These possibilities are terrifying on many levels.
What scares you about the supposed remedies for ‘obesity’ and how do you push back against Size Bias done in the name of individual health and the greater good of society?
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio with her BA and MA from the University of Akron, Mary has 20 years experience in the corporate sector working for local companies and Fortune 500s in customer service, PR, sales, advertising, and broadcast media. She currently teaches English Composition at Stark State College and UA. Her passion is living and teaching tolerance while pushing for Size Acceptance. She hopes to inform as many everyday Americans that the issue of Size is not an issue at all but merely a distraction from the real issues, such as the decline in public education, our infrastructure, economy and healthcare system. Mary loves irritating people by speaking her mind and presenting them with annoying facts, contrary opinions, and life's little ironies; when not doing that, she loves being with her family.