Any mistake in general health by focusing on weight

on nutrition

When I was doing my master’s degree in public health a decade ago, I noticed a certain level of what would be considered hypocrisy. On the one hand, our eyes were opened to the social determinants of health – which were The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as “conditions in places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of risks and outcomes related to health and quality of life”. On the other hand, we had a lecture on the “obesity epidemic” and how encouraging obese people to eat less and move more can make them thinner and healthier. (I use fat as a neutral descriptor, such as short, tall, or skinny.)

It doesn’t matter that this form of “personal responsibility” rhetoric is questionable at best. for example, In 1992, a panel of experts met by the National Institutes of Health He determined that when people lose weight on purpose, “one-third to two-thirds of the weight is regained within one year, and nearly all of the weight is regained within five years.” 2007 review from UCSD researchers It found that between two-thirds of people who diet regain more weight than they lost, and that “there is little support for the idea that diet leads to permanent weight loss or health benefits.”

I’ve heard more than one public health expert admit all of this, and then say something like, “Well, we still need to encourage people to keep trying.” Perhaps even bleaker is the case of CDC researcher Kathryn Flegal, who found herself on the receiving end of an aggressive smear campaign by a prestigious school of public health after she published research in 2005 concluding that “being overweight” was linked to fewer deaths. She is overweight for “normal weight. She described these attacks in detail in her 2021 article,”The Obesity Wars and Researcher Education: A Personal Account. “

For years, governments and public health departments have created “anti-obesity” task forces and public health campaigns. Unfortunately, these efforts have done more harm than good, as the stigmatizing messages used in many of these campaigns have fueled anti-fat bias – or stigma – in all corners of society.

In their 2018 research, “What’s Wrong With The “War On Obesity”?Public health researchers Lily O’Hara and Jane Taylor write, “In a bitter twist of irony, there is evidence of a direct causal pathway from weight stigma to weight gain, with or without changes in eating behavior as a mediator, demonstrating that … an obesity-averse environment It makes people fat.”

The anti-fat bias increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which contributes to weight gain but is also directly harmful to health. While the ‘war on obesity’ can affect everyone by encouraging shame Universe Fat or fear become Obesity, the biggest damage to obese people, experiences hostility, discrimination, and oppression while navigating a physical environment designed for thin people. If you identify as a woman, low-income, disabled or as a member of any other marginalized group, these influences are amplified, leading to greater disparities in health.

Fortunately, there are signs of change. One is a policy brief entitledPublic health needs to separate weight from healthFrom the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health for Health Equity, which stated, “If the goal is to find the most ethical and effective strategies for achieving optimal public health, there must be an alternative to “obesity” and weight-focused approaches and a shift in understanding Weight stigma as an issue of social justice. “

This is correct. Stigma, or anti-obesity, is an issue of social justice. a point.