In February 2004, HTV Wales made a discussion programme about obesity. They hosted a dozen people with many different perspectives on the topic to have a studio debate. I had just had a book published called “Why do you overeat? When all you want is to be slim” and I was invited. I was asked if I knew anyone who was obese and happy to be so, as they wanted that viewpoint represented. I didn’t. When I arrived for the recording, I discovered that they had found a woman to fulfil this role. They hadn’t found anyone in Wales, so they had chauffeured X from the south east of England. It turned out that X didn’t want to be obese. If there were a magic pill that she could take to be slim now and for life, she would take it in an instant. She felt that she had failed so often at dieting that she couldn’t put herself through that again and had thus made some peace with her size; but she didn’t want to be obese.
I’ve still never met anyone who wants to be obese.
This week’s post was inspired by what has become known as “Doughnut-gate” – or “Donut-gate” for our north American friends – but it’s about much more than that. It’s about obesity. It’s about healthcare workers. It’s about what is emerging to be one of the biggest risk factors for COVID-19. It’s about what fat shaming is and what it isn’t. It’s about public health and whether the silencing of discussions about obesity could be risking lives…
On April 21st, the London Royal Free hospital tweeted the following (Ref 1):