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AIBU?

Fatshaming

647 replies

travelinterest · 12/10/2018 08:59

After a conversation with friends, and with obesity (especially in young people) becoming a bigger crisis than smoking in our society, am I unreasonable to think that as we villanise smoking and drinking, should we fat shame more to encourage people to change their lifestyles. It's certainly worked with reducing smoking rates. Don't attack me (I've lost 2 stone). Just wondering why we target smoking more than fast food?

OP posts:
ShotsFired · 12/10/2018 09:03
  1. Have you not heard of the sugar tax?
  2. Are you under the impression that overweight people don't know they are overweight; and your oh so helpful fatshaming will suddenly spring them into action?
CherryPavlova · 12/10/2018 09:03

We made smoking inside public places illegal and put the price up. You can hardly make eating illegal. Shaming isn’t the answer and is unkind.
Anorexia actually carries a much higher mortality rate - should we skinny shame too?

Nasty, attitude to want to shame anyone.

Butterflycookie · 12/10/2018 09:05

Fat shaming makes people feel worse about themselves so then eat more. So it wouldn’t work imo

sonjadog · 12/10/2018 09:07

Do you imagine that fat people don't know they are fat and you pointing it out will suddenly bring them to that realization, and that then they'll hurry off to sort themselves out so that you approve of them?

BrightLightsAndSound · 12/10/2018 09:09

They fat shame in France and it seems to work.

Maryberryjam · 12/10/2018 09:09

Surely whatevers someone shape or size they deserve to be treated with kindness .

Aventurine · 12/10/2018 09:09

People often eat too much for emotional reasons. Unhappiness, stress, loneliness. Dd overate a bit after her dad died, although it's ok now. Don't think fat shaming would help

Riversleep · 12/10/2018 09:10

I think they should put VAT all on convenience foods, not just have a sugar tax on fizzy drinks. I don't think young people stopped smoking because they were shamed. I think it's the insta generation where you have to look ultra fit all the time. Smoking is just seen as old hat when you can vape.

Eliza9917 · 12/10/2018 09:12

I don't think we should fat-shame but there should be more emphasis on being a healthy weight and following a healthy lifestyle.

I know people will say 'Oh I'm 25st and I'm healthy, I have no health issues' Yeah, but for how long? How long until their heart gives up or diabetes springs up on them?

I'm not one to talk as I need to lose a few stone but I am trying to do that, not accepting that I'm obese and that's ok because all bodies must be accepted now. They should, but health should be being pushed mostly. I think the way its going atm is very dangerous. People like Tess Holiday et al should not be being pushed as acceptable and something to aspire to imo.

WhichSchoolForDS · 12/10/2018 09:13

YABU. Making people anxious and ashamed of their weight has been shown to lead to increase weight gain on average. Yes obesity is a big problem and we need to tackle it but shaming doesn't work.

GreatDuckCookery6211 · 12/10/2018 09:15

No chance. Fat shaming doesn't stop people over eating just makes people feel even worse about themselves.

thedevilinablackdress · 12/10/2018 09:16

How exactly do you propose we fat shame OP? Put overweight people in the stocks in the town square to laugh at??
What works in public health tends to be regulatory changes - seat belt laws, ban on smoking in public places, minimum unit pricing for alcohol (hopefully).

MyCatIsBonkers · 12/10/2018 09:16

It would definately reduce the number of people with obesity. I've come close to suicide after being fat shamed in public. I doubt I'm the only one.

Prettysureitsnotok · 12/10/2018 09:18

I’ve never really understood how being spiteful about strangers is supposed to benefit their health.

Fat people know they are fat. And it’s a lot healthier to be motivated to look/feel better than to be motivated by feeling like you’re worthless.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat · 12/10/2018 09:19
  1. My overeating doesn’t have an impact on anyone else’s health, only mine.


  1. You can give up smoking for good, you can’t give up eating.
Gwenhwyfar · 12/10/2018 09:19

"Are you under the impression that overweight people don't know they are overweight"

Lots are in denial. Have a look at another open thread in AIBU at the moment where loads of people are saying that BMI is useless or doesn't apply to them.
It can creep up on you sometimes as well. If you put on weight gradually and your friends are also getting bigger I think some people just think it's a normal part of getting older.

Aventurine · 12/10/2018 09:20

What form would your proposed fat shaming take op?

DSHathawayGivesMeFannyGallops · 12/10/2018 09:21

I can see your point but no. You are suggesting an inch but you are giving bullies a mile. You also have no idea what people are going through. One of my loveliest teachers was very overweight due to thyroid issues. It wasn't her fault and having to explain herself wouldn't help.

Fwiw, I am trying to lose my spare tyre. My mother is my most vocal critic. I am losing weight but it isn't coming immediately off my tummy. No matter how much encouragement or support I get from others or see change, it's worth nothing until she tells me I am passable in her eyes. and I've lost the "right" weight. I know it's silly but validating her and those like her wouldn't help anyone. The mental mind games are hell.

Birdsgottafly · 12/10/2018 09:21

""They fat shame in France and it seems to work""

Well it isn't because in poorer parts of France, Italy etc they are as fat as the UK. Poorer people are the common factors.

Should we shame people with cars, who could walk/use public transport? Inactivity is killing people.

I've just said this on another thread, the factors of obesity is what is damaging.

If you are inactive and thin, you are in danger.

If you eat the wrong foods and are thin, you are in danger.

QuizzlyBear · 12/10/2018 09:21

Shaming someone is unkind and just leaves them needing comfort - probably in the form of food.

IMO every overweight person should be 'prescribed' a rescue dog. Dog walking is an excellent form of regular exercise, you're doing it for 'someone else', your endorphins will shoot up just from the doggy company and emotional reasons for overeating will reduce.

Plus you've saved a dog from a shelter!!

Gwenhwyfar · 12/10/2018 09:22

"1. My overeating doesn’t have an impact on anyone else’s health, only mine. "

Not true. People who spend lots of time with overweight people are more likely to become overweight. We tend to start to see that size and those portions as normal. I'm not saying that's your fault by the way, but we don't live in isolation.

RickOShay · 12/10/2018 09:22

Fatshaming is never ok. Perhaps a more supportive society would take away many of the reasons some people overeat.

NotUmbongoUnchained · 12/10/2018 09:22

All the countries I’ve lived in where fat shaming is a thing, it’s worked. Very low obesity.

Gwenhwyfar · 12/10/2018 09:23

" in poorer parts of France, Italy etc they are as fat as the UK. Poorer people are the common factors."

Are the poorer people in France as fat as the poorer people here though? If you're saying poorer people in France are as fat as the average in the UK, that still shows that we have a much bigger problem.

Lovelygiraffe · 12/10/2018 09:24

I think yabu because obesity and smoking are two different things, they have different causes and need to be dealt with differently.

Obesity is caused by overeating and not exercising enough - fine. But it's the reasons why so many people are overeating that need to be addressed, because it's complex.

How do you go about fat shaming anyway? We're all different shapes and sizes, what do you suggest restaurants weighing people before they agree to serve them?

Supermarkets refusing to sell sweets to fat people?

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