Obesity is often framed by public health officials as an epidemic, leading to a virtually unequivocal understanding of fat as “bad.” What this framing does not take into account, however, are the increasingly negative consequences of categorizing people – particularly women – as overweight. For instance, do “overweight” women experience higher incidences of disease because of their obesity – or because they are too embarrassed by their weight to seek preventative care from medical professionals? Moreover, what are the real health effects of fat, contrary to what dominant obesity narratives suggest? Abigail Saguy, author of What’s Wrong With Fat?, emphasizes how our popular understanding of obesity as a public health crisis is literally making us sick.
On scientific “uncertainty” toward obesity-related health risks:
Abigail C. Saguy, PhD is Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Sociology at UCLA and author of What’s Wrong with Fat? (Oxford, 2013).