If you haven’t noticed, fat-shaming is in the news.
Just within the past week, a performer on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” apologized for fat-shaming jokes during a stand-up routine.
Cosmopolitan featured a piece about Sydney Bell, who is described as a “curve influencer,” was praised for the “perfect clap back” video to an online troll who encouraged her to go on a diet.
NBC News, in a column about Krispy Kreme offering free donuts to people who get COVID-19 vaccines, complained about critics of the sweet-treat promotion, saying, “What is a public health crisis is that these sort of blanket statements from doctors and public health advocates shaming people’s food choices and any amount of weight gain — especially during an ongoing pandemic in which people’s normal routines and lives have been severely disrupted — is exactly the kind of thinly veiled fatphobia that prevents fat folks from going to the doctor at all.”
Well, the conservative Washington Examiner offered a counterpoint to those who shame fat-shamers.
During the pandemic, being fat is getting us killed.
As the Examiner’s Brad Polumbo noted, “Out-of-control obesity rates and the ‘body positivity’ movement predating the pandemic have left the U.S. population disproportionately vulnerable to COVID-19 compared to other countries. … One study found that 90% of worldwide COVID-19 deaths occurred in countries with high obesity rates. COVID-19 is much more deadly for the elderly and those with preexisting conditions that weaken the immune system. One of those conditions is obesity.”
The correlation, according to Polumbo, is evident: The U.S. ranks 12th worldwide in terms of most obese populations, and number 13 in COVID deaths.
Polumbo also cited a recent study that found, “Severely obese COVID-19 patients were 61% more likely to die and 33% more likely to face hospitalization than their peers at healthy weights.”
“Unfortunately, this key factor driving high U.S. death rates has been quietly reported and largely overlooked. In woke culture, it’s considered too politically incorrect to point out that being fat is unhealthy, even as a pandemic is raging across the country and tragically claiming the lives of overweight people.”
Continuing, Polumbo noted, “This alarming pre-pandemic crisis and recent acceleration should be setting off enormous alarm bells. But instead, liberal-leaning media outlets and cultural influencers have glorified obesity and downplayed its health risks.”
“Body shaming is wrong and unproductive. No one should be belittled for their body, and making people feel bad about themselves often only pushes them into unhealthier habits,” Polumbo allowed.
“However, we must not glorify unhealthiness or mislead people about the gravity of obesity’s health consequences. It’s no exaggeration to say that doing so has deadly consequences.”
Rick Moran, a columnist for PJ Media, noted, ”Actually promoting the idea that it’s perfectly OK to be unhealthy and to promote the idea that morbidly obese people aren’t at any greater risk to sicken and die from Covid-19 is idiotic — even if it’s woke to do so. … And not being able to talk about the link between obesity and death from Covid probably cost tens of thousands of lives.”
That seems to be the real shame of anti-fat-shaming.
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