Weighing in on “The Weight of the Nation”

For those who haven’t heard, HBO is airing a two-part documentary on May 14 and 15, called “The Weight of the Nation.”  It’s getting a tremendous amount of press, and is being promoted by The Center for Disease Control and National Institute of Health, who were partners in making it.

Unfortunately, it looks like it’s going to be the same old “Obesity Epidemic BOOGA BOOGA” OMG FAT IS LITERALLY CHOKING US TO DEATH scare-mongering designed to shame people about their bodies, terrify and blame parents of fat kids, reinforce negative stereotypes about fat people, and funnel mountains of cash into the pockets of the bariatric and diet industries.

There’s going to be no avoiding this documentary, even though I don’t plan on watching it.  In just the past week, I’ve been exposed to radio, magazine, and news stories about it five times, and I don’t have cable TV so I only watch stuff from Netflix (and since I work from home, I no longer listen to NPR on a commute every day).  People are going to watch this show, and then “helpfully” try and “educate” fat people on how dangerous our fat is [sic].  Parents are going to forward stuff to their adult children in email, people next to you at the gym or the nail salon are going to be jawing about it, coworkers are going to try to suck you into body-shaming conversations at the water cooler (and HR is going to start mulling over yet another “wellness plan” that would charge fat people more for our health insurance.)

So to live in the world without going nuts, you need these two blog posts:

1) “The Top 10 Reasons to be Concerned About ‘The Weight of the Nation’ Documentary”

2) “Debate the Weight:  Deconstructing HBO’s ‘The Weight of the Nation'”

Don’t get blindsided by weight stigma and fear-mongering paid for by weight-loss industries (or as some activists rightly point out we should call them, the weight-cycling industries).



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