A roundup of related topics in the news…
Fat activist Jeanne Toombs has passed away due to complications of pneumonia. Am active board member of NAAFA, Toombs also spearheaded efforts to assist in the passing of the bill that would add height and weight to the protected classes in Massachusetts. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to her sister Nancy at ntb180 (at) comcast.net.
Via Shapely Prose: The magazine that’s working on reproducing Kate Harding’s BMI project is still actively looking for more women of color and women in their 40s and 50s to submit photos. If you fall into one or both of those categories, and either the overweight or obese BMI category, and are in good health (by your own definition), they would love to hear from you. Submission info is here.
Daniel Engbar, an associate editor at Slate magazine, wants people to shut up about the cost of obesity. Check out his editorial on the subject in the Dallas News. Calling current obesity scapegoating efforts “misleading” and “misguided,” Engbar argues it is the stigma of being fat – and not being fat in itself – that actually contributes to illnesses attributed to obesity and poor health. He rightfully calls for presidential candidates to pledge support for a federal ban on weight-based discrimination.
Speaking of weight-based discrimination… Anna Kirklund’s new book Fat Rights: Dilemmas of Difference and Personhood has been released. Kirklund, an assistant professor of Women’s Studies and Political Science at the University of Michigan, places the focus of fat rights squarely where it ought to be: civil rights. I’m definitely adding this one to my already growing summer reading list.
I’m featured in the newly released issue 6 of Pulse Zine, along with articles on coping with sizeism and sexism, the gender of group fitness, sexual abuse, a DIY on creating a zine and many more feminist-inspired topics. I received a copy of the previous edition before I agreed to the interview and I found it chockfull of feminist artwork, articles, affirmations and body-positive articles. For ordering information, see here.
Author Leslie Goldman of the blog The Weighting Game appeared on The Today Show last week for a segment on spring break and eating disorders. The story centers on Ashley Fillips, who fought and beat an eating disorder and is now an eating disorders activist. The segment focuses on spring break and eating disorders, but it’s important to note, by Ashely’s own admission, she struggled with disordered thinking and eating at a very young age. I don’t think the segment entirely simplifies eating disorders to spring break syndrome, but it does skate over other factors inherent to eating disorder development. Leslie shared some admissions from women she received during research for her book, Locker Room Diaries, including a woman who admitted that she and her friends were all doing cocaine so that they could fit into their bikinis for spring break. Click here for a video clip of the segment.
Diabulimia makes the news again, this time with an excellent feature in the Boston Globe. The term refers to people with Type 1 diabetes who skip or skimp on insulin doses in a dangerous attempt to lose weight. It’s been estimated that up to one-third of women with the disease engage in these behaviors. The article shares results from a recent Joslin Diabetes Center study of 234 women with type 1 diabetes. They found 10 deaths among women who had restricted insulin, compared to 16 among the larger group who had not. Those who restricted their insulin died on average 13 years younger – at 45, compared to 58.
Many patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy also experience a number of symptoms of eating disorders, according to findings from a Dutch study reported in the journal Sleep. Aside from the main features of excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy, one of the more prominent symptoms of narcolepsy is an increase in body weight, along with some reports of symptoms of eating disorders in these patients. For more information on the study and its results, read here.
Comments? Critiques? Post your comments below.