Friday, 4 April 2014

Fatty Got a Jobby, or Not

Image © Getty Images | Recently I asked on Twitter if anyone had any ideas of fat politics/issues I could write about on the blog. Leah (of Leah XL) sent me a Tweet, saying: "I heard someone genuinely say that they lost weight so they could be taken seriously as a Director! She went through three lots of surgery to get to a happy size. She is successful, but is that right?" Interesting topic, I thought, but I'd need some material to reference, so I started off with a quick Google search ('lose weight to get a job 2014')...

Queue jaw drop. The first result was 'Top diets review for 2014' on the NHS Choices website. Granted the list gives semi-useful pros and cons from the British Dietic Association (BDA), but what on earth is the NHS doing promoting diet/weight loss plans?!

I already know that the NHS practically endorses some plans as, for example, you can get a certain number of weeks and the membership fee for Slimming World via your GP...don't get me wrong, I'm not 'anti' (all of) these things and if it works for you then go for it, but I would expect the NHS to be promoting healthy eating/a healthy lifestyle, not (what are, in my opinion, mostly fad) diets.

Next on my reading list is an article that's making me think that next time someone makes a comment about my weight, I'm going to tell them it's because of my job and see what they say; the article I'm referring to is on the US version of Women's Health magazine's website and is entitled 'The Jobs That Make You Most Likely to be Overweight'. Because, of course, the worst possible thing you could be is overweight; ignoring the fact that you actually have a job in the current economic climate, when many people don't. What's worse is that the article claims that this information comes from a new study in Preventing Chronic Disease...err, pardon?! I am fat, obese, overweight, whatever you want to call it, but I do not have a disease. Obesity is not a disease. Weight is not 'a disorder or structure of function' (that is the Oxford Dictionary definition of disease). Oh wait, don't worry, exercise and diet play a part, too...no ****, Sherlock.

Anyway, I digress. I could go through a million links and pull them to pieces. At the end of the day it's not going to change the fact that society places a great deal of importance on aesthetics. I don't think that someone should have to change their appearance (with the exception of looking 'smart', obviously) to get a job, progress in their career or, well, basically for any other reason than that they want to. But, if I'm being honest, I'm not convinced that people's perceptions will change any time soon. Personally, on the job front, I think being fat is the least of my concerns; being young, female and having pink hair are more likely to go against me than the size of my backside (unless I can't fit in the chair).

1 comment:

  1. Two problems with this article IMO - the first is that being obese is not a disease in itself, but it is the single highest risk factor for type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, most cancers, secondary hypertension (high blood pressure) and a series of complications of these high rate killer diseases. You may not have a disease now but your at a far higher risk being obese than even those who smoke or drink alcohol regularly. Secondly, less than 0.05% of obesity is due to "glandular" reasons (the majority being excessive production of glucocorticoids by tumors and other diseases of the adrenal glands as well as a few inherited disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome) with the remainder being simply caused by consuming more calories than you expend.

    If someone said to me as a health practitioner that they were obese because of their job, I would ask them simply if they get paid to eat and not make time for adequate exercise - because reducing calories by as little as 10% and increasing exercise by as little as 10 minutes per day is enough to slow the progression of obesity as well as begin to reverse it.

    What people do not realise is that for every extra kilo of fat the body is required to produce 650km of additional blood vessels - thats an extra 650 km of space that the heart has to push blood through which puts great strain upon it. Ok when you're young but not so great as you get older an develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (that's a pathologically enlarged heart people) which can lead to congestive heart failure and death very quickly before you hit your mid 40's.

    The definition of disease may not apply to obesity in the strictest sense however the World Health Organisation defines health as:

    “a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

    This means being in a high risk group for the number one killer of human beings on this planet (coronary heart disease) does not fit into the category and definition of healthy.