I have mentioned before that soda bans and taxes don’t affect me, since except for the rare root beer, I don't drink soda, diet or regular, large or small. I pretty much drink only water and tea. The only time I buy soda is the two parties I give every year. (And yes, because I love my friends, I even buy diet soda if they want it.)
You wouldn't know that from some of the comments on my blog. According to the trolls, I don't exercise and I eat only chips, pizza and burgers.
The issue is this. I often hear the statement "Fight fat, not fat people" by “well meaning” people who think that by saying hate the sin, not the sinner it absolves them from the pressure they put on fat people to become thin. However, since fat is genetic and losing it in the long run is near impossible for most people, how do you think fat people feel when they change habits, improve health outcomes and don't get thin? Do you still want to fight their fat?
A recent study done by Harvard shows that while the majority of people want interventions in childhood “obesity”, they don't believe fat people should pay a surcharge for health insurance (that's a relief. That makes only food the villain and not health care.)
Respondents were much more likely to support less-intrusive measures to curb obesity: 80 percent of those surveyed said the government should require calorie counts to be posted, 75 percent said they'd like the government to prevent the use of food stamps for soda and other sugary beverages, and 88 percent said they'd support requiring public school students to get at least 45 minutes of exercise daily.
By contrast, more drastic measures were less widely supported: Nearly two-thirds said they'd oppose a $50 annual surcharge on health insurance premiums for obese people, 80 percent opposed making soda or junk food possession a punishable offense in schools...
The issue here isn't healthy eating, the issue is that this is done solely because people are fat. It's our fault that you can't get a pitcher of soda with lunch; or your kids can't have pizza at school, or cupcakes for someones birthday party. Even if the whole world benefits in the long run, it's done because of us. It's our fault.
The problem is now that the meme of fatness equaling anti-health has been repeated so universally and so often, it might be impossible to separate them.
That's not actually the case, though. While "the obesity epidemic" may be a convenient catch-all for the illnesses and health problems related to our food chain, it's a lazy term and an inaccurate one. Are we actually worried about public health? Or are we offended by fat bodies that don't meet our thin ideals?
If the issue was that people in this country had horrendous eating and exercise habits but no one was fat, you wouldn’t see this. This is has nothing to do with ill health and everything to do with people being fat.
This is why we need to stop associating health with thinness. We need to stop fighting fat and accept that people come in all sizes and that when they eat healthy and exercise they may not become thin.