June 29, 2009

Cynic's Party: BBC Says Fat Stars Are Making Obesity Normal

I don't even know about this one. I mean, the headline is dead wrong so you'd imagine the article itself can't be too far off the mark right? Yeeeah.

Fat stars 'make obesity normal'

Overweight celebrities such as Gavin and Stacey star James Corden are making dangerous weight gain appear normal, a medical expert is warning.

Professor Michael McMahon of Nuffield Health says fat stars are seen as role models, helping to make being overweight acceptable.

He says it is akin to the dangers of skinny media images and anorexia.

A survey for the healthcare provider found many obese people are apathetic about their weight gain.

Researchers found many obese people refused to take any action about their situation with almost one in five not contemplating doing anything to lose weight.

The survey of over 2,000 individuals also revealed many obese people fail to recognise they have a problem at all.

Professor McMahon, a expert on keyhole surgery, said: "The increasing profile of larger celebrities, for example James Corden, Eamonn Holmes, Ruth Jones and Beth Ditto, means that being overweight is now perceived as being 'normal' in the eyes of the public.

"We talk about the dangers of skinny media images, but the problem actually swings both ways."

This article kind of took my job away. I make the jokes, not them. Damn it if I got paid I'd be so mad right now.

Well for starters, I can only comment from my barbaric American perspective. For instance, there are few if any overweight or obese role models here except for the ones that are encouraging (healthy) weight loss, which is fine. But they're hardly making being fat normal or even acceptable. We can't even do good to make body acceptance...acceptable. In conclusion, we don't see fat people as role models on the whole.

Also, look at the end of the article:

She told the BBC's Five Live: "There are very few role models in our society that are overweight.

"The problem you have got is a body of people who are overweight who feel ostracised and completely shut out from the community, therefore they eat more.

"It's actually quite refreshing to see people who are in the public eye. It shows that fat people can be successful, build self-esteem and then people eventually get the motivation to do something about it."

I think this is also fine. You can't get excited about weight loss if you're hating yourself and you're probably just bound to do something even more destructive to yourself whether it's more overeating or eating disorders. Why shouldn't bigger folks get a role model to encourage them that they're more than just fatty fat? I'd love to see more people that look like me doing the damn thing, not being shamed for being overweight.

I'm a little concerned about this too:

The survey of over 2,000 individuals also revealed many obese people fail to recognise they have a problem at all.

Since...what if they actually don't have a problem?

In any case this is weird for me since I don't know if anyone's going to be hanging out at the Golden Corral to look like they're favorite obese stars, and again they're hardly making it look normal. They're more like the exceptions to the anorexic rule. I do agree that it goes both ways but not exactly the way this article is saying.

Official cynic's party starts now!

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