Hey I'm glad I found your blog! Its nice to see healthy views of health and fitness. But I wanted to know what is your opinion on obesity? I've been learning more accurate and healthy views when it comes to weight (and because of my past with an eating disorder it's been difficult). But I've seen people in the fat acceptance community claim that there's nothing wrong with being obese. Clearly people like that shouldn't be belittled but aren't there legitimate health concerns?
Yes, there are correlations between being fat and having certain health problems. But really, nearly everything is a health risk: Being single poses a legitimate health concern. Getting a tattoo exposes you to legitimate health concerns. Having red hair, living in Nevada, being a farmer, owning a cat - All of these things have the potential to seriously and negatively impact your health. Yet when we see a redhead on the street with a rockin’ cat tattoo, most people aren’t about to stop her and lecture her about making responsible life choices. Instead, we save that sort of personal criticism for fat people. Hmm…
In terms of how obesity is related to health, please remember that correlation is different than causation. Just because various health problems are associated with being fat does not mean that they are caused by being fat. Not all health issues (related to body fat percentage) can be directly solved by weight loss.
After all, obesity isn’t a homogeneous condition: There will never be a case where every single fat person is un/healthy, or has good/bad blood pressure, or has high/low cholesterol. Our bodies are incredibly complex instruments and weight is just one element out of many.
And honestly, I’m not even comfortable setting up “good health” as a moral necessity in life. The truth is that no one is under any obligation to be healthy or to behave in what the public deems a “healthy” manner. Health is an incredibly personal concept. Everyone has their own concerns in life and their own standards of acceptability. It isn’t our place to point fingers at another person’s body and say “You need to change that, you need to care more.” We all may want people to make good choices, to be happy and to live long lives, but these are complicated and unique decisions that we each have to make for ourselves.
In the end, people have the right to look and behave in the manner that they feel is best for them. Whether or not someone else is healthy should not be the basis for their value as a person, or for the amount of respect that you give them. Nor should their health determine whether or not they retain the right to bodily autonomy. No one is obligated to live by “healthy” standards. You only get to control your own body, no one else’s.
Because there isn’t anything wrong with being fat.