The “Healthy at Every Size” Movement Is Complete Garbage


Thursday, May 11, 2017

In a study released by Gallup in April of this year, researchers skewered the lie promulgated by the “Healthy at Every Size” movement that weight and health are not directly correlated with one another. The study, which was based on nearly half a million interviews conducted between 2014 through 2016, confirmed what common medical knowledge has known for years: the more weight an individual carries around, the more likely they are to develop diabetes. The study found that “obese adults between the ages of 25 and 64 are at least four times more likely to have been diagnosed with diabetes than those who are normal weight…”

The study went on further to explain the implications of this number, stating that the “costs of obesity are substantial.” According to Gallup’s research, obesity (and the numerous conditions that are associated with it) cost the U.S. economy $153 billion on an annual basis. If Gallup’s projection remains true, the number of obese individuals and their detrimental impact on the United States’ economy will only increase over time.

Gallup found that as of 2016, “28.4% of all U.S. adults were classified as obese, and 11.6% reported having been diagnosed with diabetes.” The number of individuals set to contract diabetes, as estimated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s, is projected to double from its current number by 2050.

The “Healthy at Every Size” aims to prove that obese individuals can maintain a healthy lifestyle despite their increased weight. According to a “Healthy at Every Size” website, the HAES movement “supports people of all sizes in addressing health behaviors by adopting healthy behavior.” The website claims that “We’ve lost the war on obesity” and that the “war on obesity” has resulted in “body preoccupation, self-hatred, eating disorders, discrimination, poor health, etc.”

Missing from these assertions, however, are studies like the Gallup research that show the exact opposite; being overweight is an issue, and denying that fact will make people unhealthier as a result. The HAES movement has become a mainstay in modern feminism, used as a way to fight perceived injustices as a result of discrimination against obese women. W. Charisse Goodman encapsulates this idea in her book The Invisible Woman, in which the author suggests that “weight prejudice” is analogous to racism or anti-Semitism: “…Weight prejudice is a true form of bigotry in every sense of the word. Like racism, it is based on visible cues…Like anti-Semitism, it defines an entire group of people numbering in the millions within a narrow range of negative characteristics and behaviors.”

The assertion that “weight prejudice” is anywhere near the same thing as anti-Semitism and racism are a completely asinine thought. Conflating emotional hardship in dealing with obesity with the deaths of millions of Jews in WWII, or the persecution of blacks in the Jim Crow South is perhaps the worst form of self-victimization that I have ever seen.

Despite the repulsive nature of the victim-hood status that authors like Goodman attribute to obese individuals, real lives, especially women’s lives, are made far worse by their lies. Gallup research suggests that women tend to fare worse than their male peers when women are obese as they are “slightly more likely than men” to be diagnosed with diabetes and that “the increased diabetes risk is considerably higher for obese women than for obese men across most age groups.” The poll found that this trend was consistent across all ages groups until the age of 60, at which point the split between the two groups shrank.

Despite the promulgation of the lie that the “Healthy at Every Size” movement advocates, the facts are straightforward: the more obese a person is, the more likely they are to be an unhealthy individual.

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About Henry Rymer

University of Minnesota

Henry attends the University of Minnesota Law School, and hopes to use his Conservative values to help shape and advocate for improvements in the field of law. When not busy reading for his next class, Henry enjoys promoting the benefits of free speech and the open exchange of ideas.

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