Monday, July 1, 2013

Love Song of the Headless Fatty

So, I got a paper published today, one I'm quite proud of. It's a viewpoint in JAMA Pediatrics, and is accompanied by a contrasting viewpoint from Daniel Callahan.

My basic premise is that we must stop stigmatizing children, even in small ways, because the thing that can be seen--the fat--is not what we should hope to change. Callahan, on the other hand, argues that "the main and simple message is that obesity is bad, not to be accepted or delicately evaded or minimized".

I would never argue that we should minimize the health effects of obesity, but we can not shame anyone into thinness. And we should never view obesity as solely the result of individual decisions, an (unstated) assumption that we know is faulty. 

I'll let everyone read them and make a decision for themselves. If you are at an academic institution, you likely have full access. If you are not (and are not on a mobile device), you will get to see a first-page preview, which is the majority of both articles. Shoot me an email at, and I can share a full PDF if you like.

(The titles below link to the JAMA Pediatrics page.)

The Love Song of the Headless Fatty and Other Observations

Children, Stigma, and Obesity