01 09 10 Tweet Dietitians Eat Chocolate Too: "Fat Acceptance Movement"

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Fat Acceptance Movement"

"The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) is a non-profit
civil rights organization dedicated to ending size discrimination in all of its
forms. NAAFA's goal is to help build a society in which people of every size are
accepted with dignity and equality in all aspects of life. NAAFA will pursue
this goal through advocacy, public education, and support."
In a recent CNN article detailing the fat acceptance movement and the science behind the multiple co-morbidities associated with being overweight or obese (high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, etc.) it really came to my attention our growing emphasis on size in America.

All we do is stigmatize those Americans who don't fit into our "image" of what size is acceptable. Granted, we do the same thing with people who are "too thin" labeling them with some eating disorder rather than genes passed down through the generations.

"Michelle May, M.D., the author of 'Eat What You Love; Love What You Eat: How To Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle,' says, 'We use obesity as a marker of
whether someone is practicing a healthy lifestyle, but that is not a way of
determining if they are making healthy eating choices, are physically active, or
have economic, emotional, and social stability, which is important to

May, who is a member of the Association for Size Diversity and Health, says, 'It is easy to use a BMI and place everyone in the same box, but it is too simplistic and is
not always an accurate description of someone's health.'"

Physicians are continuing to have growing concerns about the size acceptance movement. Type II Diabetes, which rarely struck down middle-age adults or young adults is now becoming an accepted disease with little education on dietary management for the disease.

"I don't want to take on any specific organization...but a social movement that
would suggest healthy at any size in many respects can be misleading," Franklin
says. "We can't say that every overweight person is healthy."

Is body
image as important as health

But for Lemire and others, it is important
to balance a healthy body image with a healthy body.

"Health at any size
is helping people be as healthy as they choose to be, want to be, need to be --
as healthy as they are," Lemire says. "Everyone at any size can take care of the
body they have and support their well-being."

Body image and health are a symbiotic union feeding off each other. To make real change in yourself you need to be more accepting of who you are and make small strides to become who you want to be.