Inspired by Marilyn Wann's recent opinion piece on CNN, this morning Dr. Deb Burgard, Marilyn Wann, Golda Poretsky, some random fatphobic urban planning PhD, and I gathered on Huffington Post Live to discuss the American Medical Association's recent decision to classify obesity as a disease.
Among many points that were made, I voiced my concern for the disproportionate impact that this decision has and will have for many of the nation's most marginalized communities. Read the original blog I published the week the decision was made to get a more thorough rendering of my critique.
Take a look at the video. I say it's a victory for Team Fat.
Fatphobic medical industry and public health polemicists continuously invoke buzzwords like "choice," to obscure the reality of racism and classism. In fact, during this morning's interview Dr. Fatphobe posited that where you live is a choice in the United States in response to my pointing out that one can fairly accurately gauge a person's BMI if you know their zip code. This brazen instance of racism and classism truly characterize the flimsy arguments that create a culture of fatphobia.
I was asked if I believed that the AMA decision was creating a war against US poor. My answer: ABSOLUTELY.
Virgie Tovar, MA is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp (a 4 week online course focused on helping people break up with diet culture) and the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012). She writes about the intersections of size, identity, sexuality and politics. See more updates on Facebook.