Anna Hush, July 2015

Karen Hitchcock (June) locates the problem of obesity in the entirely wrong place. Fat-positivity bloggers are not to blame for rising rates of obesity, because feeling comfortable in your body and wanting to improve your health are not mutually exclusive. Under a biopsychosocial model of health, we need to treat obesity holistically – this means firstly identifying the social and structural, rather than individual, causes of obesity, and secondly acknowledging the real psychological impacts of having obesity in a society that is extremely discriminatory towards fat people. I suggest that the radical act of loving one’s own body is perhaps the first step to improving overall wellbeing – self-hatred surely cannot be a productive starting point for any improvement of health. Hitchcock tells us we need to “tackle the epidemic without moralising”, but berating individuals who practise fat positivity for “stacking the odds against their future wellbeing” sounds a lot like taking the higher moral ground to me.