Talk:Fat acceptance movement/Archive1

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'Shurely shome miskteak' - is not 'fat activism' an oxymoron?

Include hon. ment. of [1] (talk) 15:53, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

"Fat fetishists typically find fondling of an overweight person's adipose tissue arousing." There are moments when I love Wikipedia's dry tone. — Unsigned, by: Vulpius / talk / contribs 04:58, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Here's a song about fat fetishism. Fishbone - Cholly.  :-D  Civic Cat (talk) 22:25, 15 June 2011 (UTC)


Only thing of real content in the article is the external link. Kill it with flames. ThunderkatzHo! 20:46, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Agree 'katz. Тyrannis 20:47, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Strong disagree. There are lots of "fat activists" out there promoting ideas that are horrible for peoples' health. It's a kind of woo that feeds on a whole mess of conflicting ideas our society has a about bodies. Gimme a couple of days (Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals is tonight, so right now is not an option) and I'll turn it into a real article. P-Foster (talk) 21:03, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. ThunderkatzHo! 21:04, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Alright then. ТyYAUA 22:04, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • keep on mission with our goals, number 2, documenting the full range of crank ideas. RatMaster háblame 21:02, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Cept it's not really a crank idea. The fact is, healthy or not; biological, medial or personal habbits - fat people exist and they are categorically discriminated against. Especially women. (gee, Tanya isn't fat or anything, am I? grins). if you keep it, you can make it mostly crank, but you do have to address the part that is truth. EnAttendantGodot2 (talk) 22:06, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
no one's saying that fat people aren't discriminated against. but you must concede that fat activists often take things too far and try and claim that they're healthy. Think Afrocentrism v. Civil rights--User:Brxbrx/sig 22:30, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • keep, because there is much BS to expand on, and it would be perfectly on-mission--User:Brxbrx/sig 22:30, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

I think we have to bring this back up for consideration. I see all sorts of claims that fat is inherently unhealthy, but not a single link to a study demonstrating that weight alone can be used as a predictor of health. Almost every real study on it that hasn't be funded by a weight-loss company has came to the conclusion that regularity of exercise, not weight, predicts health. The only link they've discovered between fat and health is generally fat people tend to not exercise as much (possibly because of it being generally more strenuous). This leads to a correlation between weight and health, but certainly not causation. --ShadowofLords (talk) 20:58, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

I think we should also make a distinction between those that feel "being fat is fine" from those that argue "this is my body and it's beautiful" (thus separating the obese from the simply large-framed) from those that claim some sort of body-type discrimination (currently not a protected status in the United States, and occurs as there are stigma, e.g. "fat == lazy", etc.). It'd be bad to just lump all pro-fat/anti-skinny people together. Each of the different concepts these groups address (respectively: denialism, genetic diversity/popularized misconceptions, discrimination) are all, I believe, on mission. -- Seth Peck (talk) 21:09, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Try this as a start--User:Brxbrx/sig 02:09, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
"Correlation does not equal causation" only says something about the causation, not the validity of the correlation as a predictive measure. Weight measurements are only ever supposed to be a population level proxy for health. Scarlet A.pngsshole 10:21, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
This article needs a serious cleanup; this is a pretty intense social issue. On one hand, some of it dismisses external factors for obesity, such as poverty limiting access to good diet and exercise, and on the other hand some of it raises awareness of social factors like this. On one hand some of it uses the 'born this way' to throw out behavioral causes and health risks linked to obesity, and on the other hand some of it raises awareness that not every person who weighs X amount may even be or look fat, and that body type is not 'too fat' if one is actually healthy. In addition, this article needs a sister article: 'thinspiration,' a popular code word among some women (and alarmingly, many teenage girls) for anorexia, and an 'empowering rebranding' of destructive eating disorders. Which is basically the opposite: dismissing the dangers of being very very thin or trying to become so. "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," etc.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRcritical thinking is the key to success! 12:37, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Pro-ana exists, and probably both need worked on simultaneously or perhaps merged so they can be tackled together. Both advertise unhealthy body-weights as lifestyle choices and dismiss ill health effects - while at the same time criticism of these states ignores, as you point out, external factors. The only difference is the direction on the weighing scales. I can't think of a name of the top of my head to combine them under, but merging both concepts may work best from an RW perspective. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 12:45, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Trying to think of a good name now. One big thing in these social conflicts is that it's not actually about weight; the issue is actually body image. Fat acceptance (at its best) tries to fight back against the never-ending wave of photoshopped-perfect women in media and advertising by trying to provide more normal and healthy role models at every weight. This is the key; the best of it (though not all of it!) does not try and push unhealthy weight as a lifestyle, merely acceptance of multiple body types and social struggles concerning them. The point being that it's very difficult to develop a sense of self esteem, which is often needed to become healthy in the first place, when one feels they're invisible, disgusting, or outside society's acceptable circle because of how one looks. Pro-ana, and its 'PR campaign' thinspiration basically turn around and say that it is possible to conform to society's expectations and all one has to do is not eat in order to change how one looks, and that it's okay to... which it's really really not. A big difference between them is that fat acceptance doesn't really advocate becoming fatter, where pro-ana demands one become thinner for the sake of image. Hmmm... ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgarrulous en guerre 12:59, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
When fat activists talk about "fat" - how fat do they mean? Do the mean a few pounds above recommended weight? A few tens of pounds or can't get out of bed fat? Presumably they draw the line somewhere? Or do they argue that clinical obesity carries no risks?--Weirdstuff (talk) 14:04, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It's more about body image than actual weight. Mostly on whole they want society to stop displaying what it doesn't consider optimal body size (have you ever seen a magazine that talks about how so and so GAINED SO MUCH WEIGHT and it's really not much at all, or an unflattering photo?) as stupid, lazy, ugly, or worthless. I doubt many of them would ever say that being morbidly obese is healthy. This isn't all of them, but they're more concerned with stuff like this: all of these women weigh 150 pounds. Society considers 120 pounds (the last I checked a cosmo) and a very specific body type to be optimal. Yet many of these women would be immediately cast in society as lazier, unhealthier, or all-round less valuable: clothing stores will not carry their sizes, movies may portray them as acceptable targets, etc. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRcritical thinking is the key to success! 15:25, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Though still stubby, i broke this article into two groups; those advocating that we should look at body image and be more realistic in what is "normal", and those actually advocating that obese is ok. I think if we were to expand both of those sections, we'd have a great article. Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 15:50, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
OK , but in the first case I'd argue that it's not really "fat" activism then. More like "anti skinny imposition activism" or something catchy of that nature.
The second one sounds more like real "fat activism" in the same way as the "anorexia is a (healthy) lifestyle choice" movement.--Weirdstuff (talk) 16:05, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I guess for me, the point is, when you google "fat activism", you get both sides of this. the sane people saying "I'm fat, i'm healthy, it's all good", and the insane ones saying "I'm obese, i'm healthy it's all good". you have to address both in the article, cause the world at large makes one movement out of two very different movements, and labels them (or they self label) the same.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 16:13, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Merger with Pro-ana[edit]

Since both of these are stubby but quite important issues, merging the content into a larger re-worked page would be a good start to creating a better article on body image issues generally. perhaps Body dysmorphia? I'm happy to put in some time on this but before I start pulling together ideas in sandbox, I just wanted to know if the mob is behind it or not. --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 21:32, 17 February 2013 (UTC)


I've been dicking around Reddit recently, and ran into something or another called Health at Every Size, or HAES for short.

Quoth /r/BodyAcceptance:

It was set up by a former psychologist into eating disorders, Linda Bacon, and utilised intuitive eating to ideally create a healthier attitude to food. It's mostly about removing the shame, guilt, emotional eating and binge/purge cycles through intuitive eating. I.e. being very aware of what you eat and your bodies needs. As part of this she also encourages exercise.

What is so controversial about this is she says that regardless of your weight, you can be very healthy, including the morbidly obese, even those who can't stand because of their weight. She's not saying those people are healthy (but she's saying they definitely can be), but she is trying to divorce the idea of weight and health being a central connection.

It does not pass the smell test in the slightest. Leaving whatever politics that applies here aside, the notion that weight is not a factor in health is preposterous—apparently, the extra toll on the heart and joints, for example, doesn't real. Its methodology reads like a laundry list of pseudoscience tactics: vagueness, anecdotal evidence, claims of vague conspiracies by the medical establishment, manufactroversies, 's all good.

Now back to the politics. It's useless feel-good, empty words to replace hard sounding things like "diet" and "exercise", even though what it advocates is essentially diet and exercise. It's light, fluffy, euphemistic language for people who can't handle big, bad words. But do you really think calling it "health at every size" rather than "diet and exercise" will convince the overweight to lose weight? Doubt it.

I'd add a section on this, but giving my heavy views on the matter, I'd like to discuss it first. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Never got enough hugs as a kid 15:14, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

I see your point and share it at almost every level, but I see one way where HAES could have an advantage: when people, for whatever reason, don't feel like weight loss is attainable. In that case, a person is likely to stay overweight so it makes sense to do things to optimize their health at that weight. Sure, they'd be better off being healthier and lighter, but healthy and heavy is better than unhealthy and heavy. I think some of what you see as feel-good and empty is just the spoonful of sugar (you know, to aid in the onset of diabetes) to help the weaker-than-desired medicine go down. MarmotHead (talk) 16:02, 21 May 2014 (UTC)


I just added some for what I know about. However, I have never been exposed to the second type of fat-activism, but I'm thin so probably less knowlegeable/more privileged... Anyway, I think it would be good to have some references for the claims of crankery, like in every other article, so it's all clear what kind of stuff they say to people who have less experience. ·Femilisk 10:16, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Agree with Femilisk, im heavily involved in intersectional activism and the "second type" seems an awful lot like a strawman and I personally have never seen it in any serious manner, though i have seen frustrated fat activists get quite sarcastic, perhaps the folks who wrote that part couldnt tell the difference? --Laurelai (talk) 10:22, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Check up the blog This is Thin Privilege; they advocate almost all of the stuff listed. Ditto for the blog Fierce Fatties. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Masturbation masturbation pies pies Brian Cox 13:22, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
As an addendum to the above, I'd also like to point out that the fat activism movement has been criticized by the medical community for the less-than-satisfactory medicine that goes around in those circles. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg A single piece of bread is just an open-face universe sandwich 13:32, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Short answer: not good enough. TITP is a troll blog or least trolled constantly by people on reddit's various pro-fat-shaming subreddits. If we are only talking about two websites, obscure and on Tumblr, (which get trolled) then the onus is on you to provide some substancial references as to how that constitues a movement! And on "fat activism movement has been criticized by the medical community for the less-than-satisfactory medicine that goes around in those circles", so give me references! That's all I am asking for! ·Femilisk 13:43, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
For a general view, check out its section at Wikipedia. Here's Arya Sharma's criticism of the movement, for a more detailed view. (I'd conjure up more sources, but I have some classes to attend). |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg "Ritsuko, the truth is[...]" "Huh. You liar" 14:02, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Plus if you actually look at the blog its fairly innocuous at least on the front page. --Laurelai (talk) 13:46, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if people here are aware that most fat activism is actually strongly anti-woo and anti-pseudoscience-- the entire diet industry and every woo-scam, diet fad, "superfood" and other hunk of trash operates that being fat is also being inherently unhealthy (yeah, no, go check out how many fat athletes there are) and inherently ugly-- especially for women. It's also against doctors using coercively anti-science methods (prescribing weight loss instead of actually treating patients, for example) and image-based media culture for the long-term psychological damage and disorders associated with the belief that "one who is fat is bad, is ugly, unworthy of love, can't wear clothes, is weak-willed and lazy, etc." Including deadly eating disorders. We need to be more critical on this page of the assumption that defending fat people is bad and that being overweight is inherently unhealthy... or that even if it IS unhealthy it doesn't make one a lesser person. There's enormous classist undertones in "thinspiration" and "fitosphere" and "anti-fat" communities that ignore that not everybody (especially in the USA!) has access to, the money to afford, the time to make, or the facilities to prepare healthy food. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRsufficiently advanced argument still distinguishable from magic 13:57, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Or get enough exercise too, I add- tying into the culture of lengthening hours, unreasonable shifts, unpaid overtime, unfairly-compensated minimum wage jobs, and the unsafe nature of many neighborhoods and expense of going to the gym or finding a safe place and free time to exercise... these are all reasons that fatness is institutionally encouraged in the working and lower classes in the USA and destigmatizing it is the first step into actually changing anything or GETTING this stuff. The answer now to "We don't have the resources we need to be healthier, regardless of size!" is "You're all fat and lazy and you don't deserve anything until you get skinny and more "fit." ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRyeah, well you fight like a cow! 14:03, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Raysenn, the Wikipedia article is mostly neutral though with a section on criticism, our article is the opposite. Another reason this article is biased. The "doctor" I can reject out of hand immediately because it's not peer-reviwed. When you work in science, you know that blogging is a great way to get around actual research and just spout ideas without any checks (it's also a great way to communicate science, but it's not science in and of itself). Seriously, bring me something tangible, e.g., a journal article or reputatble website (e.g., NIH). I cannot take your criticism seriously as it stands. ·Femilisk 14:09, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
PS: I read his various posts and he does seem to agree quite a lot with KnightOfTL;DR... Citing some good studies we should probably read and then, if useful, link to in this article: and ·Femilisk 14:20, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
PPS: He calls them "obesity deniers", it's almost as if he doesn't want to use the term body-acceptance. That makes me think he either doesn't know enough about the movement this article is about, or is talking about some fringe cases. Which leads us back to: this should be included but only as a very small section. ·Femilisk 14:23, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Knight - I was *just* talking with a coworker about this. Both of us are large - medically unhealthy large, vs., "big" or socially large. Anyhow, both of us have gone into doctors (usually male, by the way) who use fat as the source of all medical evil. "My knees hurt" "Lose weight" (ok, probably valid, though it doesn't help me deal with my hurt knees). "My sinues are acting up" "lose weight!" huh??? "I have lots more headaches now, than I did ten years ago". "clearly, it's cause you've put on weight in 10 years. lose weigth". it's the strangest thing. And it gets old, fast. Cause while weight might impact many parts of our lives, including noses and headaches and body cramps, it's not the only reason or even best reason those things are happening, and "lose weight" is a 2-3 YEAR plan, **if** you can do it, and it doesn't fix the headaches, the bad knees, the heavy periods, etc. I don't comment on "fat activism" cause I'm torn. I really did get myself this way, in many ways. and there really is a fix. But at the same time, few people who toss out "lose weight" get how hard that fix is, or how easy it is to slip into being over weight, and from there, obese. So it's not like rape-shaming, but at the same time, it's not totally benign, either.One tin soldier (talk) 15:30, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
People do it to me too: put on weight and you will be healthy. Depends on the culture roughly, but the whole health-body direct pseudo-intuition pump is there. I added it to the article a few hours ago for that reason. ·Femilisk 15:43, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
So I wonder if someone can help me out here. I'm not jumping in with an aim to criticize or anything; I'm just legitimately curious. I'm thin now, but I wasn't always that way. Over the past six months or so I've managed to shed about 55 pounds the healthy way (exercising and eating right while being sure to get the right nutrients and enough food to live). I started losing weight because of a scare involving my heart, and I'm undoubtedly healthier now than I was before. Reading the article, I'm confused as to what the underlying claim of "fat activism" is.
From my perspective, the correlation between body fat percentage and health isn't linear, but it's also fairly obvious that crossing the line into overweight and/or obese carries health issues with it. On the other hand, I also know that folks who are overweight are still people deserving of respect and proper treatment by society. I also know that excessively low body fat is bad, and that's why body builders can only maintain their gigantic muscles for brief periods of time during competition season. In a similar vein, eating disorders and diet woo are obviously also serious issues, as is the stereotyping against women in terms of the "right" body shape. Is this in line with what fat activism is, or is there more to this? - Grant (talk) 15:48, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
So, as you might gather everybody here, except Raysenn pretty much, thinks that body-acceptance is about not fat-shaming and not general-shaming. I added an article that further backs up why fat-shaming is bad. The body-acceptance movement is about accepting (see? not even loving) your body. Which as science shows, see the reference I mentioned, actually helps you to lose weight (or gain it if required!). ·Femilisk 15:50, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I see. So the goal of the movement as a whole (as opposed to what may be representative from some Tumblr blog out there) is in line with encouraging body-acceptance and the adoption of healthier habits in general (as opposed to the perils of weight loss at all cost)? As someone who spends absolutely no time in the blogosphere, I wasn't sure how many of the article's claims were actually prevalent in the movement as a whole. I'm not particularly inclined to take a blogger or two as an example of what an entire movement entails, since in my experience, you can always find people espousing extremist views on any particular subject if you look hard enough. - Grant (talk) 15:57, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
No, not really. "and the adoption of healthier habits"... while that may be good for you (and probably for most of us, certainly myself) the issue isn't about encouraging anything. In fact, it's about telling everyone to sorta, fuck off, if you are not a doctor, and it's not your body. The idea that we "should" be doing something, or anything, is where it gets tricky. Yes, it is unhealthy, especially long term, to be drastically obese. But that's not really your problem, it's mine. And as long as we are telling people how they should look (again, not just fat, but that's the one that is the single driving force for lots of body shaming. if you are too thin, it's probably cause you fear being fat, for example) is where we cross lines. At the same time, I found it odd to read on Jezzi, that "the government even has a war against fat" is something bad. Cause kids need exercise and need to eat well. It's a complex issue, which i think is or should be the heart of our page.One tin soldier (talk) 16:10, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it's a complex issue. You're definitely right that kids need to exercise and eat well. I also know that it's not society's job in general to push for the average adult to change. What's your stance on friends stepping in for a chat about these sorts of things? Someone did that to me six months ago, and that's what prompted me to look into seeing a doctor about my health in the first place. He approached it in much the same way he would approach a friend who decided smoking was a good idea. Society as a whole certainly doesn't have the right to tell people how they should look.
Forgive me if my questions or perceived understanding here are wrong. I've never been one to let societal pressures have any say on what I do, and the friend who prodded me into seeing a doctor did so by referencing scientific papers suggesting that my habits weren't great for my health. Any misunderstandings on my part are borne from ignorance, not malice. In turn, thank you for your clarification. I think it's important that everyone have a broad understanding of social issues, and this is one such issue I didn't know about before seeing this discussion. - Grant (talk) 16:22, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Friends and family almost always get the "exception" pass to anyone. Cause they know you, they know your views on life, your views on healthy, on beauty, etc. I think we are mostly talking media, or those idiots who want to butt into your life when you order a brownie at dinner, even though you are over weight, or the doctors who just routinely say "lose weight" as if it somehow was the be all end all, rather than your specific doctor looking at your recent heart survey, or your lipids tests or whatever things they look at. For example, I'm a pretty casual dresser, and by casual i mean "boy like and without bra". When I went for job interviews, a friend pulled me aside and said "do what you want, of course, but society won't accept that in a paralegal". she was quite right, and for the sake of the interview, i changed.  :P One tin soldier (talk) 19:19, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Fair enough. I happen to pay little attention to the media as well, as I generally get my news through aggregators, and I don't watch television. That said, I know there's an implicit bias within media towards looking a certain way, and it shouldn't be like that. I'm also not one to criticize others (excluding friends and family) for their life decisions unless they personally affect me. I don't care if Joe Blow smokes as long as he doesn't proceed to blow it in my face. Still, this idea that there's an appropriate way to look and everyone should fall into that pattern is certainly a problem, and I'm all for eliminating those stereotypes from the media and society in general. From a purely hypothetical point of view, I wonder to what extent this could be applied elsewhere. There are certainly limits to how healthy one can be while being medically obese (as much as there are many competing definitions for that word). Do you personally think there's a point beyond which the health issues become significant enough to address in the media? That sort of thing exists with smoking, for example. Do you think there's a palpable difference between appropriate media behaviour for health crises in comparison to relatively harmless things (like dressing too casually for job interviews, for example)? - Grant (talk) 19:35, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Somewhere in this discussion there needs to be a distinction made between people badgering you about looks or people badgering you about health. People badgering you about looks don't really help anyone. But people badgering you about health first need to have the necessary expertise in matters of health, and then they may actually be helping you (of course, if they don't have the necessary expertise, they might just harm you by suggesting some unspecific diet that doesn't work on you). As for smoking, that is a bit different, as you are actually becoming a problem for other people through second-hand smoke. (If you shut yourself in somewhere and smoke, then fine, that's your problem.) Nullahnung (talk) 19:43, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Should society educate people about so-called "healthy weights" (as long as it's really healthy, and not just an invention of society or a restatement of society's pre-existing bias), yes. Should programs do news shows on the various effects of obesity (at different levels) on knees and backs, hearts, and lungs - of course as long as it's proven and not assumed (and as someone said above, much of what passes as 'science' in the disease of fat, is not really justified.) And doctors should always say "you need to stop smoking and lose weight" if you do need to. perhaps the difference is tone. "There are important health benefits to exercising daily" vs., "Obesity is bad for your health" and even more than "you shouldn't be fat or obese", or "fat people aren't healthy". One tin soldier (talk) 20:04, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with you on the importance of health education. I also hold the view that regulation of harmful products (e.g. cigarettes, the amount of crap restaurants are allowed to jam into their food, etc.) is a good thing. I also think it would be very beneficial if the folks doing the educating were the doctors and government ministries who actually know what they are talking about as opposed to folks throwing health woo out there like your average media source (or even worse, folks like Dr. Oz and Oprah). I also think I agree with you on the idea of tone, and it makes sense. With some exceptions, the rough ideas of "eating healthy" and "healthy weight" remain the same for most folks, but the details and how best to approach them change from person to person.
Nullahnung, people can (and will) readily take up habits that will kill themselves, and you can say that's fine if these people are shut inside their houses smoking. On the other hand, what if said individual has minor children? The idea that people should be free to do what they want as long as it doesn't hurt others is fine until you consider that there are many ways someone can be hurt by the actions of others, not just physically. - Grant (talk) 20:14, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
You're right. I shall change my statement to: If you're a hermit who has lost all ties to family and friends and lives in and out of society, only smoking where the smoke doesn't reach anyone, then fine. Nullahnung (talk) 20:25, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

"Rejection of idealized body types."[edit]

Important stuff, and worth writing about. But I'm not sure if it belongs under the rubric of "fat activism," 'cause it seems to me like not just a few of the bodies in question fit no reasonable definition of "fat." Framing everything in terms of fat activism doesn't open up a lot of space for things like telling thin women that they need to eat a sandwich, or men being told they need to bulk up, or, the role of cosmetic surgery in marketing the ideal by putting collagen in lips and silicon in breasts and performing labioplasties so women have an appropriately porn-ready appearance. (I'm only talking about these procedures in terms of them being used to market a particular look, not medically necessary uses....)

Would it be productive to hive off stuff that's about challenging the narrow range of ideal bodies to a more general article on body image, and keep this article for a more narrow examination of the specific arguments/debates re: topics like obesity and health? Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 15:32, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Is age (let's inject away the wrinkles, ladys) and de-greying part of body types, or a different issue?One tin soldier (talk) 15:38, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
It's all the same issue. I'm a thin woman, very thin in fact, although I eat healthily. And I see it as part and parcel of fat activism. Could it be you are not familiar with the body-acceptance movement? E.g., this. Which might be a better title for this whole article in fact, and we can set-up redirects. ·Femilisk 15:39, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I am quite familiar with the concept/movement. And yes, renaming this article something along those lines seems like a good idea, though the obesity-vs-health debate may eventually grow enough to warrant its own article a little later on, I reckon... Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 15:42, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, the whole weight/body woo thing needs addressing as it's just another con. Firstly, we need to make the whole thing way less biased. ·Femilisk 15:44, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

"Straight denialism[edit]

Since this is a major change that I propose, I'm adding it here for comments first. I propose this, instead of the unsourced sillyness currently on the page:

(header title)When body-positive goes to far

Based on what can be found on internet blogs, and posts by individuals, body-positive, like all things, can go too far. While it is important that media be cautious how it phrases health concerns, it remains equally important that news reports on real medical issues associated with having too much fat on your body. Shifting health conversations from "overweight" and "bmi" to body fat percentage begins to address this. When extremists deny [citation needed] that having a high percentage of body fat does not contribute to potential health risks, it is a dangerous message.

Body positive messages for adults have distinctly different consequences from healthy weight and pro activity messages for kids. Lindy West refA writer at Jezebel, who has studied and written extensively on body image ref said in an article on body image, that "The government is literally waging a war on fat people" ref, a nonsensical over reach. The government is trying to instill in kids, the goals of eating healthily and exercising. This has nothing to do with being fat, and everything to do with developing healthy lives.

END OF LINE ;-) One tin soldier (talk) 20:35, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I say go for it! ·Femilisk 22:23, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
PS: Not that I won't edit it, but it's a place to start, as where we are now is poops. ·Femilisk 22:24, 16 June 2014 (UTC)


I think it could still fit into this category since the second part about being heavily overweight not being a problem is denialism to me. Any better suggestions? Zero (talk - contributions) 16:59, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Here's the thing, and prove me wrong of course, but I see almost no real world people who are fat or who are fat activists actually denying that being overweight can be a health problem. but saying it *IS* a health problem, is itself denialism. more and more studies come out that talk about healthy fat people, and the effect of daily exercise (while being fat) on your health, etc. It is not universally true that being fat or obese is itself a health issue. It increases your RISKS, and that is the issue. Skiing increases a person's risk of tearing a knee, but many skiiers go their entire lives without problems. Being fat increases your chance of minor and major illness. but many fat people are fully healthy, and fat is not the only cause of not being healthy. (there are thin people with the same issues of Type 2 diabetes, heart problems, blocked artiers, bad posture and joint health, etc...) So it's not really denialism. it's more saying "let's look at what the science really says and word things clearly". One tin soldier (talk) 17:09, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Exactly! ·Femilisk 17:36, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Furthermore, people who are overweight or obese are obstructed by medical professionals when they need to get treatment for their medical issues. Many people are told to just lose weight and that their problems are due to what's framed as a poor lifestyle choice-- when really they can have conditions that need treatment, fat-linked or not. Hundreds of woo and pseudo-medical products also use fat people as a pity idol, to give examples of people that are worse off than their customers, or promise weight loss (and social acceptance, beauty, positive body image) as a result of their nonsense. Fat people are thrown under the bus by exercise and diet ads with medical slants and used as "thinspiration" to not be like them, as if fat is the worst thing a person could be. Meanwhile, people who do wish to lose weight are bombarded with images that until they do, and until they make progress, they're worthless. So no, it's not denialism to be critical of people who claim being fat is always unhealthy. Even if someone is unhealthy and fat, this attitude obstructs them from getting effective treatment or even basic self-respect until they look thinner... even if their health problems don't go away post weight-loss.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgarrulous en guerre 17:46, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Knight, you're missing Zero's point. He never implied that that was denialism. One Tin Soldier addressed the topic adequately above. Nullahnung (talk) 18:12, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
I know the above-mentioned obstruction exists and I know, too, that the physicians I work with see it as one of the more obvious things to discuss. That certainly reinforces the in-your-face feeling a patient might feel. I'm positive, too, that some docs say "We won't do anything 'til you lose weight" just like they might say similar things to smokers, regarding smoking. That's wrong, but I think the fact that there is something which meaningfully increases risk of bad health outcome makes it a health problem. It is a causal risk, but in a more complex system of causation (i.e. weight + other factors is causal, more so than weight alone). Weight loss advice should be one, just one, of the considered recommendations and all such advice should be delivered with dignity-for-all (cue sappy music). But, to me, saying weight is not a health problem sounds like denialism. It's one, just one, issue that may result in poor health. As for looking carefully at the science, yup, I agree completely.— Unsigned, by: MarmotHead / talk / contribs
And usually, being fat (overweight is a loaded term. who's definition of weight is 'the right weight' to be over) is indicative of other health issues which cannot easily be isolated from "being fat". Often fat persons do not (or at one time did not) eat well - so if they develop type 2 diabetes, is it cause they are fat, or cause of how they ate, or both? Often fat people do not exercise. So are the issues with their heart because they have excess weight, or because they don't get their heart up? The old studies said "being fat causes heart disease", but now more accurate tests are finding that lack of exercise and sleep play an even more important role. And, fat people often don't exercise of sleep. But it's impossible to say one caused the other. So when we start to pull away from the causality game, and talk risks, we get a more accurate picture of what is healthy. and it's not what BMI, or "overweight/underweight" charts tell you. It's far more complex than that.One tin soldier (talk) 18:33, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
I think we agree, except, perhaps, for labels. It's more complex, yup. As for BMI, it's an excellent research tool to describe populations, but completely inappropriate for clinical practice. It's just too damn easy to compute! MarmotHead (talk) 18:45, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. From my experience in my adventures in weight loss (coming soon to a bookstore near you, but not really), many of the perils associated with being "fat" are not associated directly with body fat percentage, but rather come about from the fact that with the exception of a few disorders, the act of being fat often entails other unhealthy behaviours. I think it's unfortunate that it's often used as a catch-all to make doctors' lives easier, and it leads to serious misconceptions on how one can live a healthy lifestyle. Diet pills and starvation diets come about because people think losing weight at all cost is acceptable, while those who know the science behind it know that reaching some natural weight equilibrium should be a natural byproduct of maintaining a general healthy lifestyle. I had a friend who subjected herself to starvation diets, and it was absolutely heartbreaking when she did, as she was beautiful the way she was and was just proceeding to hurt herself with those diets. :( - Grant (talk) 19:03, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
My reasons for hating BMI is not that its used as a valuable (or not so) tool by trained medical professionals, but that the insurance industry has set it as a cut / dry case for "you will cost us money so you cost more". Oh, there's another reason to back off of teh "fat is unhealthy" as a rule. the insurance industry charges me nearly 300 bucks more than my husband for being fat. (you can't charge more for being a woman in Colorado, since long before obamacare's reforms). And every single test I've ever had for blood, heart, sugers, lipids, etc is in great shape, cause i do yoga each day, and eat quality things. yet I am fat, so I am charged more. a real discussion of and review of the relationship between fat (and other healthy / not healthy factors) and medical costs would be so helpful to people who are fat.One tin soldier (talk) 19:05, 18 June 2014 (UTC) (ec)
I hadn't even considered health insurance, coming from a country where such things are provided for free regardless of pre-existing conditions. I wasn't aware that insurance companies could discriminate on those grounds, and that seems kind of ridiculous. - Grant (talk) 19:08, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
A weight surcharge in this very state? Ugh! If it's based on BMI, that's even worse. As a tall person, BMI has me as obese since the formula adjusts to my height as a 2D person when I'm actually 3D (math babble relating to BMI denominator). Happily, my employer includes no such surcharge. I can see some logical reasons why there'd be a surcharge, but I do NOT like it. MarmotHead (talk) 19:15, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Employer insurances almost never have costs related to pre-existing conditions, since they are group plans. where you see it is in self insurance. Smoking, age, sex (in many states, anyhow), prior conditions can all mean more cost. You have to be at the "right" BMI (not fat %, BMI) for 6 months or they will give you the higher rates. it's pathatic.One tin soldier (talk) 19:27, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Page move from Fat activism to Fat acceptance movement[edit]

I'm much more familiar with the latter term myself but thought I'd ask for others opinions before moving. Obviously we could set up a redirect and such. Thoughts? --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 10:31, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Please do. All the people over at Project SJ want this to happen. ·Femilisk 10:53, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I support this move, especially because the opening sentence also refers to "Fat Activism" as "Fat acceptance Movement" Can you say Gulag time? (talk) 10:55, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree as well, fat acceptance is I think the proper terminology. ---Dgener8 (talk) 10:57, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Yeah I saw the suggestion there and thought I should post something about it. I'll have a go at it now --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 11:23, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll tick off list! ·Femilisk 11:25, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
It's okay, while you're here I'd like to say that you're doing good work with these articles. I'll try to contribute more substantially when I have more time for it --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 11:27, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I am after all a gender scientist. ·Femilisk 11:32, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

One piece of rejected edit[edit]

I added back a mere piece of a reverted edit: the fact-tag for the claim that overweight-plus-exercise can be just as healthy. I believe that claim is true, but it would be stronger if supported by a reference. MarmotHead (talk) 15:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

'Kay That's fine. I was being a a lazy jerk. Ikanreed (talk) 16:45, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I was in the middle of being the same until the edit conflict thing (you were quicker on the draw) made me take a second look. MarmotHead (talk) 16:54, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

2015 Clean Up[edit]

It is my goal for my first task on this wiki to clean up this article a bit. My first concern is that the "When body-positive turns negative" section has some entries I would argue are strawmen, or poorly sourced. For example, the claim that "Spreading medical myths, such as the long-debunked "95% of all diets fail" truism[17]" links to "Which comes from a poorly done study from the '50s" which is a New York Times article that quotes a psychiatrist (not exactly a subject matter expert) and declares one study from the '50s was bad. Linking to one newspaper article that claims something isn't true does not qualify as "long-debunked". Especially when there are a number of studies which support the assertion to be true: (97% failure rate), (meta analysis of 31 studies on weight loss from dieting), and (meta analysis of 46 studies) as a few examples.

Anyway, I plan to clean it up, but since this is my first time at this rodeo, I figured I would say something about my plan first, so everybody has a chance to chime in on the subject. Let me know if you have any feedback about this. Guardian (talk) 01:19, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Hello, person that made most of those changes here. Well, admittedly, I was rushing through putting in sources as the previous edit had largely left the section blank and one-sided, so they may not be the best. Stuff happening IRL's been cramping my online time here, so I hadn't had a chance to clean it up myself.
Yyyyyyyeah, that line is actually one that I intended to remove/drastically change (but never got around to, on account of forgetting about it). The key point to it was that authors promoting fat acceptance generally dismiss dietary restriction as completely ineffective, usually with the line "95% of diets don't work", which is why I added the "(usu. followed with/implying "and thus you shouldn't try")". The main caveat to this is that nearly all such studies look at temporary diets/interventions, and studies following that are generally more poorly controlled the further out you get.
Several key behavior changes that occurred over the year of follow-up also distinguished maintainers from regainers. Not surprisingly, those who regained weight reported significant decreases in their physical activity, increases in their percentage of calories from fat, and decreases in their dietary restraint. Thus, a large part of weight regain may be attributable to an inability to maintain healthy eating and exercise behaviors over time. The findings also underscore the importance of maintaining behavior changes in the long-term maintenance of weight loss.
In [2013] alone, 4 meta-analyses of diet comparison studies have been published, each summarizing 13 to 24 trials. The only consistent finding among the trials is that adherence—the degree to which participants continued in the program or met program goals for diet and physical activity—was most strongly associated with weight loss and improvement in disease-related outcomes.
And as for the papers you posted:
  • - While the full paper is not available for public reading, an evidence review of the paper shows that the author expounds in the conclusion that the impetus for weight regain can still be overridden this way under the right circumstances, and longer-term obesity management or ongoing interventions may be needed.
  • - A lot of studies, yes. But only 7 of which randomized controlled long-term studies. The author discusses the numerous methodological issues/follow-up issues/confounding factors of the other studies in the paper, including subject behavior after the study has ended. (Side note: this actually puzzled me. You say that a psychiatrist -- essentially an MD with a specialization in psychiatry -- is "not exactly a subject matter expert" on dieting and weight, but a psychologist -- no medical education needed -- is?)
  • - It says right there in the limitations, "Studies were generally of moderate to poor methodological quality. They had high rates of missing data and failed to explain these losses. The meta-analytic techniques could not fully account for these limitations."
So, yes, most diets don't work, when "diet" constitutes a brief or temporary intervention. I can fully agree to removing that line as it is, but I'd like to replace it rather than just erase it. Noir LeSable (talk) 05:17, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Sorry I wandered off for a bit as well. I am going to try to respond to a couple of your specific points, but in general I think a discussion of the goal of this page is the best course. If we can establish an agreement in purpose, we will much better be able to discuss details of specific items, yes?
Just to not get too muddled, I will start with my responses, and then talk about the big picture.
So in reference to the two quotes talking about subjects failure to adhere to protocol being a potential cause for failure to maintain results. It seems to me that you are presenting that as a counter-argument to the claim that diets in general fail, but those quotes are essentially offering one potential reason why they do fail. If the argument being vetted is "dieting for weight loss doesn't result in long term weight loss to any statistical significance in a population" then saying "well it is because people aren't sticking with the diet" rather reinforces the point that the diets do in fact fail, it doesn't counter it.
As to the psychiatry/psychology question. I don't know your familiarity with how medical training works in the US, but my wife is an MD/MPH so I have a fairly close up view on the process. I would say that it is not at all accurate to say that psychiatrists just are normal doctors with a specialization. All doctors get basic science and anatomy education in their 1st and 2nd years of medical school, and an exposure to all the various forms of medicine in their 3rd and 4th year to enable them to choose a direction. They don't actually practice medicine and learn how to be doctors until they are in residency. The 1st year of residency (the internship) is roughly the same for all doctors with the exception of about 25% of their time being devoted to their specialty while the remainder is indeed learning a general understanding of medicine. However, after that first year doctors of psychiatry get basically no further training that isn't directly related to their specialty. So it is not accurate to suggest that they are subject matter experts in general medicine or the treatment of non-psychiatric illness (such as maintenance of weight and general health, diabetes care, or the like). In this particular case, my argument was that the doctor being a psychiatrist suggests that his claim that the origin of "95% of diets fail" is one specific study from the '50s says more about his lack of familiarity with the full body of work on the subject then anything else. So basically, a New York Times health writer asking some random doctor to validate a claim outside his field doesn't seem to me to be a strong basis for that claim. While on the other hand, a group of psychologists are not being asked their expert opinions, they are performing original research doing a meta-analysis. So in their case, their knowledge of the medicine involved (and their lack of medical training) is not really important, only their skills at research and statistics are important. So I say in the case of that study, critique of the methodology is important, but the authors training isn't if they are doing their math correctly.
I am not sure I need to offer counter arguments to your responses to the other studies I linked, as at the end you agree with the point I was trying to back up with them: "most diets don't work". Honestly, I think the broader argument that diets don't work to achieve their goal long term is that you can't find any studies showing that they do. People will obviously debate how much effort is required in searching for such evidence before we can say "it doesn't exist"; but in my case, my wife's MPH thesis was on the causes and treatment of obesity in a primary care setting, and we spent nine months trying to find that evidence without turning up anything. So unless the citation is "I looked for evidence and couldn't find any." I am not sure how we go about proving it outside of the sorts of studies I linked.
Really the strongest argument I can offer for proof that diets don't work long term at a population level is that the US effort to "fight obesity" over the past 70 years has been a resounding failure, and calorie restriction of every sort has been the primary method used that whole time, to little effect. I think that is a strong argument, but it makes for a lousy citation.
With that behind me, I want to discuss the goal here.
It seems to me that the purpose of this page should be to present what the FA movement is and what its arguments are. Those arguments should be vetted for rationality and rigor. The first part of that is that we need to present their arguments not only accurate to what the movement actually argues, but that we must use the strongest forms of those arguments we can find. Otherwise, we run the risk of setting up strawmen. It is possible to find blog posts that advocate for FA in completely absurd and unrealistic terms that misunderstand the laws of physics, and perhaps it is worthwhile to include a section talking about how some adherents are full of failure. But I don't think it is fair to frame the entire movement "turning negative" with what seems like a lot of links to people poorly presenting the issue.
What I want to do is try to greatly expand the top half of the article to more thoroughly and comprehensively present the positions of the FA movement, and include the critiques of those positions along with them as they come up. Currently, we have the heading that describes a single facet of the movement (Rejection of idealized body types) which then attempts to cover the entire movement in one fell swoop. This is then followed by a longer section attacking the movement then is even spent explaining it. I just don't feel like we are currently giving it a very fair shake at all.
My concern is, if I just launch into a full fledged rewrite of the entire article the conversation will quickly devolve into an argument about the merits of the movement itself, rather than a discussion of how to best present the actual aims and evidence the movement has. So before I make all that effort, I want those of us who are inclined to make that decision to get through it here first. We need a common vision of what the page is attempting to do, so we can then work on executing that.
Thoughts? Guardian (talk) 17:43, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. Compliance is the problem, not physics, but compliance is due to factors not under full control of the patients, either. As pointed out in the article, a lifestyle as recommended isn't as simple as people make it out to be, especially for poorer obese people.
Preparing your own food requires time, money, knowledge and skill, and the patience to acquire those skills if you haven't acquired them in your youth already. Poor people who work a lot to make ends meet may not have the energy left for acquiring the skills and for preparing food, and those who do not work may not either (possibly also due to mental health issues like depression). In former times, women were generally taught the needed skills and quite a few men had some of these skills too, but this is becoming less and less normal, especially in the US, but also in Europe; alternatively, even middle-class people had domestic servants and housekeepers. What you'd need nowadays is basically private housekeepers preparing healthy meals for a number of people (everyone getting their own chef is obviously unrealistic, and fancy eating out is not an option, either). "Fat people are simply lazy and deserve bullying" is "simply lazy" thinking, classist and victim-blaming. -- (talk) 06:50, 9 February 2016 (UTC)