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.