Thursday, November 4, 2010

'Fat' Still a Hot Topic This Week, Only More Taboo

Since last week, and through to this week, people are all worked up over MUFAs - healthy fats that help lower bad cholesterol and improve heart health. This week, however it's a different story - people are still talking about fat, but not the kind you eat. At some point recently, somebody decided it became 'OK' again to blatantly call people 'fat' in the media - well, presumably, because since last week, my count is up to 4.

Gone are the days of tip-toeing around the issue of overweight and obesity, or being PC about it and calling people "heavy-set". Yup, the media seems to have taken their censors off recently.
First, Torontonians were reeling when a reporter slammed our mayor elect Rob Ford as being 'too fat' to be mayor, next, a Marie Claire blogger called the obese stars of the TV show Mike & Molly "fat people" who she found"disgusting" and "uncomfortable to watch" in one of her posts. As if that wasn't enough, renowned fashion designer Tom Ford made headlines when he shunned a customer by saying "I don't want fat guys like you in my shop" which was a big mistake on many accounts, including the fact that the customer was billionaire Jean Pigozzi. And finally, today, I read a headline that asked if Mike "the situation" Sorrentino from the massively successful MTV series Jersey Shore looks "fat" on the cover of Men's Health! Holy cow - to all this, I say "enough already"!

Whatever someone's weight happens to be, it is never OK to outright call people 'fat'. As I mentioned in my post about Rob Ford, there are so many reasons why people are overweight or obese, and it's not just about what they eat or how much they move around. In fact, there are 12 key determinants of health as outlined by the World Health Organization that influence all aspects of everyone's lives. These include income and social status, social support, relationships with family and friends, genetics, health services, culture and education, just to name a few. The way that all 12 of these determinants interact eventually result in the health outcomes that we see in people. You can check out more about this topic here.

So come on people, ignorance not an acceptable excuse when it comes to criticizing others in regards to their appearance. Let's all be a little bit more objective and understanding and keep our judgments to ourselves. And to the media: put those censors back on!