Nicole Arbour hasn't actually said anything wrong
Debate Rounds (3)
We should not be "celebrating" obesity; it is a medical condition, a strain on your body and your country's health budget. And its totally preventable. There is no "obesity disease", and the one everyone goes on about is "thyroid problems". My dad has this. He is no bigger than anyone else because he eats an average diet and does as his doctor tells him to. And before I'm hit with the sob stories about why people over eat let me tell you his.
He was diagnosed with depression 12 years ago after my mother was diagnosed with post natal depression after one of my little sisters was born. He then had a mental breakdown and had to take leave from work. Then he broke his arm on his first few weeks back at work, and was re diagnosed with depression. He and mum then tried for another kid, and mum suffered 3 miscarriages before nearly dying in labour with my little brother Leo. They were both in intensive care, and my dad was told his wife wouldn't see the next morning. She saw the next, and still lives to see each one.
A few years later he suffered another breakdown, and was also diagnosed with osteoporosis. Eventually, he and mum divorced and, for the third time in his life, he was diagnosed with depression, only this time, bipolar disorder was tagged along with it.
That's a pretty big "sob story". I was there, I would know. But neither he, my mum or me are overweight. I've got a little something 'round back, dad's got a bit of a tum, and mum's got some killer thighs, but none of us are anywhere near obese. So what's everyone else's excuse? And why are we mad at Arbour because people can't control their eating habits? Because she tells the truth? Or because people can't handle it?
1. It is inherently a classist argument.
People who are of a lower socioeconomic status (SES) tend to weigh more because they have limited access to and funds for lower calorie foods. There is a reason why Whole Foods and Trader Joe's rarely exist in low-income neighborhoods; the residents can't afford over priced organic food. If you live in an area where you don't have access to anything except for the wholly unhealthy foods in the discount supermarkets and you're a student or your child is a student at a public school in a Low-income district, then the school lunches that are repeatedly handed out to students are also not the healthiest. There is no logical reason to shame someone for being fat when they probably cannot afford to eat healthier.
2. A person's size is not an indication of their health.
A person's size/weight does not mean that they are unhealthy. There are skinny people (and I'm sure we all know some) who never exercise, who gorge themselves on french fries and fattening foods and they never gain a pound. That does not mean that they can't develop diabetes or die of a heart attack, it means that they have a different body type. The same thing goes for fat people. Just because they are fat doesn't mean that they don't exercise regularly or eat salad for 2/3 meals a day. Look at major athletes for example, especially major league baseball players and football players, these men are by no means thin people, and half the time they are not the ones with the ideal six pack washboard stomach, does that mean they are unhealthy? No. These men work out regularly and are most likely healthy as a band of horses.
3. Fat shaming does not work.
Studies have shown that, unsurprisingly, shaming people in the hopes that they'll feel bad about that weight and lost it, does not work. In fact, constant weight-based attacks make people gain weight. Stress due to discrimination can make people eat more and feel less motivated to work out. It is like when you call someone ugly every day for their entire life, very rarely is there a point in which they wake up and think "wow I'm pretty now," they just begin to believe that they're ugly. Furthermore, when you make someone feel ashamed of their weight, chances are they are not going to feel comfortable enough to go to a gym to work out.
In closing, Nicole Arbour is wrong because she doesn't know what she is talking about. Speaking from personal experiences are not enough to form a logical debate let alone a logical understanding. Just because your family is not what you would classify as overweight does not mean that that is right or correct for other people. Your family may be your standard but it is not THE standard, facts don't lie and the facts in this case are that regardless of your personal experiences, statistically speaking Nicole Arbour is not correct. She is just a bully. We wouldn't make these arguments against people who society deems are ugly because the ways others perceive them is out of their control, the same can be said for most fat people.
1. The idea that healthier foods are affordable than foods that are fattening.
This is true to an extent. But you do not need to be of any class status to eat a basic diet; there are perfectly cheap meals available from supermarkets that, when eaten in moderation aren't harmful. School lunches that are handed out have legal restrictions on them so they have to be healthy to a certain degree. On this topic, if your child is given free school lunches, they are usually paired with free or discount fruit and veg vouchers, and child tax credits as part of the government initiative to fight obesity. The government isn't "fat shaming" by trying to better people's health. Eating three regular meals a day and getting an average amount of walking is a perfectly suitable diet. Admittedly cheaper food will never come with the health benefits of more expensive meals, but a brisk walk to work usually does the trick. The reason the government provides low income benefits and increased child tax credits for low income families is to help families eat well.
2. This I wholly disagree with.
A person's shape may not be an indication of their health, but if you are clinically diagnosed as obese you are, by definition "above what is considered a healthy weight". I.e your weight is unhealthy. In 2007, obesity contributed 4.2 billion pounds to the NHS bill. This means diseases that are a direct result of obesity are a risk to people's health. If you are obese, you are negatively affecting your own health, otherwise we wouldn't diagnose anyone as anything else above "normal".
3. I never said I was an advocate of "fat shaming", because I don't think it has any place in a discussion referring to clinically obesity. Fat shaming young and vulnerable people who are still within a healthy range is detrimental as you say. But if someone gets to the point of clinical obesity, I don't think we should be pandering to them, or sugar coating things, because the simple fact of it is; they are MEDICALLY too fat. And that's not something we should be celebrating.
Arbour's statements, though vicious, are her opinion on a matter that she is clearly sick of people dancing around. My personal experience was to highlight my anger at the use of "sob stories" that people use to explain their size, or blame their obesity on. My family IS the standard because we are considered a normal body weight. Yes, we wouldn't say the same for "ugly" people because they were born with their imperfections. Fat people weren't born fat. They are as in control of their own weight as everyone else. I refuse to accept that obesity is out of people's control.
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