Let’s talk about the lie that fat bodies are inherently unhealthy.
The whole, complex and nuanced truth is: fat bodies can be unhealthy or healthy. Thin bodies will be unhealthy or healthy.
In our current society, however, we will blame poor health on fatness, and good health as a result of thinness.
This is called weight stigma.
Janet Tomiyama’s research showed the uselessness of BMI in determining health status. BMI as a diagnositic tool dramatically over-diagnosed fat people as unhealthy and under-diagnosed thin people as unhealthy. Clearly, using BMI helps no one at the doctor’s office.
Fat bodies are often under attack from childhood. Chronic food restriction, over-exercising, weight cycling and the effects of weight stigma are harmful to health. Studies that correlate illness with fatness rarely consider the effects of chronic dieting and weight stigma. These are confounding factors.
Behaviors (such as exercise) — more than size — have a greater impact on health, and the evidence is clear on this. That means eating well and fitness and taking care of the various other parts of life can support our health. Many people can do this. Many can’t. As always, health is not a measure of anybody’s worthiness.
Let’s remember: Health is complicated and means different things to different people and is not always 100% within our control.
Ignore the lies of diet culture that tell you fatness is inherently unhealthy and cause you to do worse things for your health (like dieting). Do your best with doing healthy things (which do not include restriction) and leave the rest — like size and shape — up to your personal biology.
Wondering where to start with working on “health?” If years of dieting has left you with a chaotic relationship to food, that’s the place to begin. The Peaceful Eating Jumpstart small group coaching program starts September 6 and is filling up fast! Come and join us if your eating needs help! Details here.
Welcome to food freedom! Dare to Not Diet LLC is owned by Glenys Oyston, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Therapist and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. It's time to feel good about eating, your body, and your health.