Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Fat phobia makes us sick

Fat phobia makes us sick

2005-02-23 / Knight Ridder / By Kathleen LeBesco

During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 27 to March 5), we hear a lot about the devastation that anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating can wreak on the lives of our citizens. However, in the midst of our everyday media messages, what we often miss is a sense of how our hostile attitudes toward fatness and fat people fuel disordered eating.

Today's media, for instance, point to the values of our culture, and make examples out of those who conform and those who transgress. A host of programs centered around bodily transformations - from "The Biggest Loser" to "The Swan" to "Extreme Makeover" - remind us that fat folks, those icons of the obesity epidemic, should not exist as anything but the ghosts of "before" pictures.

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