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Thu Jan 24, 2013, 08:37 PM

Fat-shaming may curb obesity, bioethicist says [View all]

Unhappy with the slow pace of public health efforts to curb America’s stubborn obesity epidemic, a prominent bioethicist is proposing a new push for what he says is an “edgier strategy” to promote weight loss: ginning up social stigma.

Daniel Callahan, a senior research scholar and president emeritus of The Hastings Center, put out a new paper this week calling for a renewed emphasis on social pressure against heavy people -- what some may call fat-shaming -- including public posters that would pose questions like this:

“If you are overweight or obese, are you pleased with the way that you look?”

Callahan, a former smoker, argued that public shunning of those who lit up led to plunging rates of cigarette use. People were asked to smoke outside and told directly or indirectly that their “nasty” habit was socially unacceptable.

http://todayhealth.today.com/_news/2013/01/24/16664866-fat-shaming-may-curb-obesity-bioethicist-says?lite


Callahan is wrong about this. Fat people already face a lot of shaming, and losing weight is not easy nor is it cheap. Is Callahan willing to start an inexpensive line of organic low fat foods, offer cheap workout equipment, free gym memberships, counseling, and the other tools that help people lose weight?

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