Tuesday, 23 February 2016 06:02

Why We Need To Stop Fat Shaming

The assumption that having a larger body type also means being unhealthy is very misguided. In fact it is this misjudgment that often fuels the vicious cycle of yoyo dieting. A person of a normal weight may eat poorly and live a very sedentary lifestyle but will not receive the same judgement and ridicule as those who are overweight. The assumption of today’s society is that if you are carrying extra weight you are lazy and lack knowledge, self control and will power, however in manSelf_worth-weight1.jpgy instances this is not the case. You cannot judge a persons dietary intake and overall status of health on their body size. Many individuals with a larger body type eat a healthful diet and in some cases may be eating a more adequate diet than those of a smaller body type. Healthy eating is defined as eating a variety of foods that provide you with the nutrients you need to maintain health and feel energized, so why does being “skinny” mean being healthy? In some cases those of a smaller body weight may be lacking in the nutrients essential to maintain optimal health.

Studies indicate that 40-70% of the difference between individuals with respect to body fatness can be attributed to genetics. Some people are simply not meant to be a size 8-12 and if they were they would probably look/feel unwell and may be restricting some of the foods and nutrients vital for health. It is important to remember this before we start making judgements on people or “fat shaming” them. Some people will just be bigger naturally and some will be smaller naturally. Of course there are those that will be overweight due to poor eating habits but it is important to remember it is not as simple as big=unhealthy.

Poor eating behaviors and lack of motivation to exercise can be exacerbated if an overweight person feels judged or shamed. These feelings of embarrassment or shame can trigger emotional/comfort eating and discourage physical activity, hence the vicious cycle continues and these individuals are unable to break the habit to form new behaviors and look after their health. Shaming and restriction will not promote change or healthy habits! AEP prides itself on understanding that health is more than just your weight.

 

Written by Lauren, APD.