Thursday, May 21, 2015


A recent study and couple of conversations led me to this.

We fret over the idea that millions of people have diabetes or hypertension and are unaware. We don’t blame them for not knowing, we blame a health care system that does not provide adequate preventive care.

But we insult parents whose children fall into a BMI percentile that defines obesity, and do so using terms like “oblivobesity”. (That actually made me a little nauseated.) This is all based on the presumption that we can “see” this horrid affliction, and the blame for that affliction lies at the feet of the parents.

Let’s take a look at what David Katz had to say: ( )

[W]e are thus obligated to ensure that the ... enlightenment of families to trouble under their roof, does not invite such unintended consequences. If we are to eradicate oblivobesity, it will not be with objective measures alone, but also with compassion, guidance, and empowerment in the mix.

I hope everyone will still respect me after this, but you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. To use “oblivobesity” and “compassion” in the same sentence is the exact attitude that has given us this world of “appropriate stigma” and that confirms, for me, that Ivory Tower folk have no clue what they are talking about. “Trouble under their roof?” What about trouble from a world that doesn’t make it safe for children to play, or ensures them equal concern in the health care system if they are fat, or even makes it safe to exist with obesity?

There is a whole world of parenting beyond obesity. Parents of children with obesity aren’t oblivious. There are completely aware of the trouble under their roof—the one that leaks and the one that may not have electricity on if they don’t work a double shift. These families don’t need “enlightenment”. 

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