AMA’s Decision To Classify Being Obese As A Disease + Article Critical Of The Decision

This post contains discussion of weight-shaming, weight, and body types. Use your discretion while reading.

So, I don’t know if you all saw, but last week the American Medical Association announced it’s going to classify being obese as an official disease, like diabetes or lupus. Many more eloquent people have written about why that’s a bunch of hooey (and I will be linking to an article about that in a moment) but I wanted to talk about this issue and why it’s bad for people who have eating disorders or disordered eating tendencies. According to, up to 24 MILLION people in the US have an eating disorder and eating disorders have the highest rates of mortality of any mental illness.

As it is, there’s A LOT of pressure to be skinny. It’s all around us from the media, fashion industry, family, friends, an entire industry dedicated to it… And those attitudes definitely contribute to our society’s eating disorder rates. Now add a major medical group telling a third of the population they suddenly have a disease and there’s even MORE pressure to be under that arbitrary pound limit.  As someone with an eating disorder (in recovery) and who’s at the heaviest weight of my life, I find the AMA’s decision terrifying, sickening, negligent, and dangerous.

Now onto the article that I read that reminded me to post about this. I’m just going to directly link to it. It talks about a lot of the stuff I just talked about but with related links and more research. I want to put an additional caution for the article because it discusses weight loss surgery and other weight loss hooey.  Fat People: #IAmNotADisease and here’s the non hyper-linked version:


23 Animated Gifs of Celebrities Before and After Retouching

The article says 24 but the last one is a joke. The “after” images could be triggering so use your own discretion about if you can handle looking at “perfect” airbrushed bodies, also, this post discusses body image and its relation to the fashion industry so use caution.

My friend on Facebook shared this article and I knew I had to share. It shows pictures of celebrities before and after retouching. Some of these “after” images are so different from the “before” images that the people in them don’t look like the same persons and it would be comical if it wasn’t so frightening. It’s frightening because of the completely unrealistic standards of “beauty” it establishes — if these people society tells us are beautiful can’t obtain that standard then how can we?

Anyway, here is the article. Non-hyperlinked version:

(Also, this is apparently my 140th post.)

The Body’s Battle with Weight Loss

CW: talk of weight loss, food, body fat. I posted about this Cracked article but The Fat Chick Sings broke down the links in the article and talks about the mechanics of weight loss and why it’s so hard. Have a look!

slide33.033I recently ran across this little gem on entitled “Fat is Officially Incurable (According to Science)” which offers a surprisingly accurate portrayal about just how likely those “before” and “after” shots in advertisements are to reflect the long-term experience of real, live people.  While proceeding with tongue firmly inserted in cheek, the author offers a nice summary of some of the scientific evidence offered regarding long-term weight loss:

  • Probability of long-term maintenance of very modest weight loss (10-15 pounds)–Very low
  • Probability of a fat person becoming (and staying) a thin person–Practically Non-existant.

One of my favorite things about this article (besides David Wong’s deliciously snarky attitude) is the plethora of links to some other wonderful content that I’ve read, but probably forgotten about.

For example, a lot of the math about Weight Watchers “success stories” (including why you may be 20 times more likely to survive being shot…

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A Sensible Weight/Body Fat Article from

I know, I know., the humour site that borders on offensive and funny, how can they possibly have a good article discussing weight and how it’s impossible to lose large amounts of weight long-term? I don’t know but they do. And it’s really worth a read. However, the link contains screen shots of misleading weight loss ads, discussion of weight, body fat, calories, and related topics, so I caution readers about that.

So the guy or girl you see in the “Before” and “After” photos in weight loss commercials, who completely changed body type with diet and exercise? You know, like Jared from Subway, who lost 230 pounds? Either they’re about to be fat again in a couple of years, or they’re a medical freak occurrence, like the sick guy who was told he had six months to live but miraculously survives 20 years. That guy exists, we all know famous examples. But it’s a rare, freak situation, living in defiance of all of the physical processes at work.

It’s a little funny and a little sad when Cracked gets something like this right and is more sensitive and sensible than mainstream sources.

With that in mind, go check out “Fat Is Officially Incurable (According to Science)”

Here’s the non-hyperlinked version:

Debenhams: Body Positive Fashion

I ran across this on tumblr and it’s truly inspiring! The UK department store Debenhams has decided to use people of over the age of 40 (one who’s almost 70!), People of Colour, amputees, and people who are heavier than you’d usually see be models in their summer 2013 look book. Debenhams also won a Body Confidence Award in 2012 for their on-going body positive projects. The photos are beautiful and I LOVE this quote:

Our customers are not the same shape or size so our latest look book celebrates this diversity.  We would be delighted if others followed our lead.  Hopefully these shots will be a step, albeit a small one, towards more people feeling more comfortable about their bodies,” said Ed Watson, Director of PR, Debenhams.

It’s really great! Have a look!

Non-hyperlinked version:

Sorry Dove, Not Buying It

Thought-provoking critique of Dove’s Real Beauty project.

Disrupting Dinner Parties

As a part of their Campaign for Real Beauty, Dove released this video that quickly went viral. In the video we see several women show up before a forensic sketch artist. The artist draws two portraits of each woman, one based on her description of herself and one based on stranger’s description. Later, women are shown both portraits to show them how much they underestimate their beauty. Inspiring, isn’t it?

Nice try Dove, but I’m not buying it.

Dear well-meaning, gushing internet friends that re-post this video with tag lines like “to all my beautiful friends out there” etc., slow down with the fervent praise.

Before we delve into the message, let’s examine the messenger. Let’s consider Dove – a corporation, the primary purpose of which is profit. Profit, revenue, money, dough is the bottom line here and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. In this case profit is gained…

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Spring Fatshion Guide

Brilliant, hilarious satirical article written by a fabulous body-positive woman. Personally, I ADORE the galaxy dress.

I should put up a caution here, though, for satirical discussion of fat-shaming and related “how to not look fat” advice.

My favourite quote:

Biggify your hair! Or wear something else on your head — something distracting, like a live chicken or a talking animatronic bust of Carl Sagan — to draw attention away from your disgusting body!

Without further ado, here’s the article. Non hyperlink version here: