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More fat-hatred from CNN

17th July 2007

More fat-hatred from CNN

CNN.com has just released its special section on health and weight, Healthy Bodies: You are what you eat.

The subtitle of the site aptly sums up the approach CNN has taken, utilizing the simple calories in, calories out methodology to weight loss, which has been shown to be problematic and not always consistent. The site, too equates good health with thinness, ignoring the fact that fitness, not fatness, is a more accurate measure of good health. For more on this, read up on the Health at Every Size movement.

For a larger dose of self-loathing, viewers can calculate their weight to see just how fat they really are, learn about “fads in fighting flab,” and watch obesity ads geared at kids. Because you know, it isn’t as if fat kids aren’t already stigmatized and ostracized enough for their burgeoning bodies.

Wait. Still don’t hate yourself? Then, go take a look at weight-loss success stories like that of Matt McKenna who lost a whopping 264 pounds. If he can do it, you can too! Unless, of course, you’re a lesbian, in which case you’re bound to be fatter.

And if you still have any semblance of self-esteem left, go here to learn about how CNN’s very own fat-fighter Dr. Sanjay Gupta is taking on the nation’s fatties and the “obesity epidemic.”

It’s not that I don’t think losing weight is contradictory to fat acceptance – a position which has been adopted by some other fat-acceptance blogs. For some people, losing weight can be beneficial to their health, while for others it would be literally a fight against one’s own genetic make-up. Regardless, one’s own body is our own business and should not be held up for public scrutiny or display.

Rather, it’s this in-your-face, erroneous equation of health with thinness that is so very wrong and offensive on so many levels. If CNN was truly concerned about “good health,” they’d leave the fat-hatred out and include more articles on ways all people – fat and thin – can improve their health.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2007 at 1:34 pm and is filed under Fat Bias, Fitness/Exercise, Health, Nutrition & Fitness, Pop Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 7 responses to “More fat-hatred from CNN”

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  1. 1 On July 17th, 2007, Sparkle Pants said:

    Yikes. Stupid CNN. It makes me angry that CNN is like, the only place I can get my Anderson Cooper fix. Sigh.

    Speaking of the media thoroughly ignoring the *real* issues involved with “weight problems”, I saw a thing on TLC or Discovery last night about the Brookhaven Obesity Clinic. The show followed several people as they struggled with their weight, two of which had health problems that required surgery that in turn, required quite a great deal of weight loss first. One of the patients was a trouble though! Boy, was he ever. He kept cheating on his diets! Always the temptation to binge and eat BAD FOODS was just too much and he’d lose weight only to gain it all back. Shame on him!

    They never *once* addressed why he was unable to stop binging. They never once treated him as a person with an eating disorder. Instead, they (they being both the people writing the script for the narrator and the staff at the clinic [as far as I could tell]) treated him like a bad seed who just couldn’t stop eating already for Christ’s sake.

    The program never showed these people getting help for their obvious disorders but instead showed them exercising or eating food they shouldn’t be eating or other incredibly misleading and damning things.

    Anger! Outrage! Sadness.

  2. 2 On July 17th, 2007, Rachel said:

    I’m with you on Anderson Cooper Sparkle Pants. I remember him from Channel 1 in high school – he just gets better with age.

    Is the show you’re referring to the Big Medicine show? I was actually looking forward to watching it when it came out. But I made Brandon turn the channel before the first show was even finished – I was just so disgusted by the approach the center took to obesity.

  3. 3 On July 17th, 2007, Sparkle Pants said:

    Rachel, this is the show – it’s strictly on the Brookhaven clinic. The “administrator” of the clinic really strikes me as a heartless bastard. He just looks really…cold. I could be wrong; he did go 12 rounds with one person’s insurance company (don’t even get me started on THAT).

    AC = v. hot. :D

  4. 4 On July 17th, 2007, James said:

    I’m visiting from Shakesville, and I’ve read all the entries on the page, and the one thing most of the entries have in common is television. My fiance and I haven’t ever watched television in the nearly two years we’ve been together, and we’ve found that the tube was a major factor in our weight gain prior to meeting. We’ve done some research, and it’s clear that television creates the passive “trance” state which allows unconscious eating, horrible body-image input, and no exercise.

    We both were much heavier when we met, and our doctor bitched mightily about it. We did some research and realized that the high blood pressure and high blood sugar and high cholesterol she wanted to medicate us for was related to obesity, so we stopped eating refined sugar, refined flour, or any chemical sweeteners like Equal or Splenda. We’ve lost 60 lbs together so far, and our doctor is now pleased as punch, but it’s weird: she can’t figure out how kicking these substances helped us lose weight.

    I’m still fat, but I don’t give a shit about what I look like, or what you think I look like. I’m interested in the way my heart and lungs and brain works. Our closeness due to less of us between us is exciting and erotic at the same time: it’s like being with a different partner, who is just as exciting and loving as we were before.

    I’m saying that everyone should kick television, refined (and chemical) sweeteners and refined flour, not just fat people. I’m saying that ignoring the health risks of poor nutrition doesn’t require a scale. I’m saying that I’m loved, and love in return, by the honesty of my heart, not the numbers.

  5. 5 On July 17th, 2007, Rachel said:

    I’m with you James. I didn’t have cable for more than 5 years and only used the TV to watch history and social science documentaries from the library. Read an editorial I wrote that was later published in The Enquirer here

    When I met the boy, his satellite dish was broken and we spent most of our time (me) reading and (him) playing video games and both listened to music. Then, he got the satellite fixed and I find myself once again lured back to the TV. We’ve tried to turn it off unless its a show we want to really watch (Ace of Cakes, Top Chef) but I still think its way too much TV watching.

    I’m insulin resistant so I try to eat only whole grains and since we’re vegetarian, we don’t eat a lot of processed food and especially food with high fructose corn syrup. And guess what? I’m still fat and he’s got a cute little belly. I’ve just come to accept this as who I am.

  6. 6 On July 20th, 2007, Meowser said:

    Funny, but I was a lot thinner when I watched a lot more television than I do now. I also hadn’t taken any Zoloft yet. Hmmm…

  7. 7 On June 13th, 2008, How can we protest the Thin Quo? » The-F-Word.org said:

    [...] think Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a tool, but I appreciate his recent article in my latest edition of Time magazine, “Taking on the [...]

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