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Daniel Bartlett Headshot

The Battle Against Obesity? - Prejudice Dressed as Care

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Lets get this straight - judging a person for what they look like is wrong.

Therefore, telling a person they need to/should lose weight or even that they would be happier and healthier if they lost weight is showing prejudice in its rawest form. It is making an assumption without the facts.

The overpowering weight loss message enforces a belief that a person is not good enough today if they do not meet a social ideal- I profoundly disagree with this sentiment.

I dislike the term overweight - it suggests there is an ideal weight we should all live at. I know people who have a BMI of way in excess of 30 with excellent health profiles and who are living happy, productive, healthy lives. I know just as many with BMI's of under 25 who have unproductive lives and dreadful health profiles.

I am not suggesting there is no link between weight and health - there is of course, but it is not absolute and it is not actually relevant.

I suggest instead, that healthy behaviours are the cause of good health and unhealthy behaviours are the cause of bad health - regardless of weight - people need to make better health decisions.

Health choices should be held up, not physiques. Only by doing healthy things can we improve our health profile.

The choices a person makes to embrace life and cherish the body they have by showing it appropriate care with good foods and active lifestyles are central to health excellence- not whether they fit into a size 8 dress.

If people were more encouraged to show themselves care by living healthy lifestyles, rather than being arbitrarily told they need to lose weight, we would be fighting a worthy fight indeed.

If people are to show themselves this level of care, perhaps they need to feel worthy of giving it. In a world that tells them they aren't good enough, this is unlikely to happen.

Health should be the goal, doing healthy things should be the goal. Not weight loss.

The "Battle against obesity" has to stop and the "Fight for healthy behaviour" needs to begin.

In other words, we need to start empowering people. Not shaming them.