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Opinion

‘Fat Pride’ Is The New Battleground In America’s Culture War

via Tamron Hall Show

Colorado is set to become the first US state in 50 years to ban “fat phobia” by law, with other states like New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Jersey considering similar legislation.

Several cities have already passed laws aimed at preventing discrimination against overweight individuals.

The US faces high obesity rates, leading to significant health issues and increased medical costs.
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“In America, some 42 per cent of adults are now technically obese (compared to around 30 per cent or so in Britain). The percentage of US children who are obese has quadrupled since the 1960s and now stands at around one in five,” the report noted.

The fat acceptance movement has a long history, and while the new laws seem compassionate, concerns exist about potential consequences, including increased obesity and a rise in lawsuits against employers and businesses due to weight discrimination.

New York City’s new law banning discrimination against overweight individuals has sparked concerns about potential lawsuits and modifications for businesses.

“I’m overweight, but I’m not a victim. No one should feel bad for me except for my struggling shirt buttons,” said Republican leader Joe Borelli.

There’s a growing trend in other states and cities to consider similar legislation, despite rising obesity-related health issues and associated mortality rates.

The politicization of obesity has led to the belief that criticizing obesity is a form of oppression.

“White people tended to be thin, or at least that was kind of the common perception, and people of colour were larger and therefore less civilised,” Academic Hailey Otis says.

“Fitness-and-health culture is a… coded way of still excluding fat people and enforcing stigma against them.”

However, there are differing opinions, even in liberal states like Colorado, where some locals fear that anti-discrimination laws could discourage efforts to address weight-related health issues.

“Studies have likely underestimated the mortality consequences of living in a country where cheap, unhealthy food has grown increasingly accessible, and sedentary lifestyles are the norm,” said Professor Ryan Masters.

“This study and others are beginning to expose the true toll of this public health crisis.”

“I think we might be doing a disservice to people who are overweight if we’re accommodating them in making poor health choices that are within their control,” Colorado resident Isaac McCarty said.

“My main goal in life is to love people – but there are boundaries to that.”

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