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Posts Tagged ‘pop culture’

Nightline is a Tomato

I sometimes like to watch random news clips on Hulu as I’m having my morning coffee.  That’s how I stumbled upon Tuesday night’s Nightline Face-Off, “Is it OK to be fat?” yesterday morning.  What a way to start the day!

I can’t tell you how frustrating it was not to be able to jump in the discussion and ask everyone to try to contextualize their very broadly stated views.  I whole heartedly agree with Denise Sharp over at d.Sharp Journal:

“It was certainly interesting – the two women with the most extreme and polar opposite views, the crusader and the fat acceptance author, seem on a personal level to be the most unhealthy {mind/body}. One refuses to understand and acknowledge all of the different factors regarding obesity, embraces stigmatizing fat folks and just comes off as a shrill Ann Coulterish type spouting ‘facts’ – especially nice was one factoid about fat people having smaller brains.

The other author is, understandably, speaking out against this type of stigmatization and ‘cultural’ hostility, but in the interest of defending personal freedom and the right to not be unfairly judged, she is loathe to acknowledge that obesity is at odds with optimal health. ”

While the two women seem to stand on opposite ends of the spectrum,  both of them have very valid, factual points that shouldn’t be up for debate in any sensible, informed setting.  Overweight/obese people, especially women, are discriminated against and that’s just wrong and hypocritical.  Obesity has also risen to the level of an epidemic and causes a variety of health problems that’s a burden for our societies and the individuals who have to live with these chronic/short-term conditions.

So why did we watch such a strange and heated argument on TV?  Because the premise of the show was that obese individuals are the cause of the problem, not the symptom.  And the title of the debate, “Is it OK to be Fat?” makes it clear that, instead of discussing obesity in the context of the food industry, US farming policies, poverty and lack of correct nutritional education, ABC decided to take the “Fat” issue back to grade school.  Next up on Nightline; “Is it OK to be a Sissy?” and “Is it OK to wear last season’s shoes?”

(photo from Bunnyhop’s flickr)

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