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Obesity Acceptance and Fat Acceptance: Different Labels; Same Dangerous Message

Obesity acceptance, also known as fat acceptance, has a simple, appealing message... It's also a potentially lethal one.

There's nothing wrong with being obese, argue advocates of this proudly pro-fat gospel. Led by the the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), they accuse Western medicine of manufacturing the disease of obesity out of thin air (no pun intended!).

This "propaganda", says NAAFA, fuels discrimination and prejudice against people with obesity. This in turns produces millions of desperate customers for the peddlers of prescription weightloss pills and surgical solutions, like liposuction and gastric bypass.

It's easy to sympathise with obesity acceptance supporters, especially if you share some of their reservations about many mainstream obesity solutions.

But does that make them right when they say there are no medical problems associated with obesity? Are they right to encourage overweight people to embrace their condition with pride?

No. No. NO!

Sorry to shout, but I feel very strongly about this. The above message is not only wrong, it's downright dangerous. I believe it's already causing harm. If it grows more popular it threatens to bring misery, illness and even early death to many thousands of people who could otherwise have led longer, healthier lives.

In fact, it's crystal clear to anyone who has done even a little research that obesity is a global public health crisis. Each year, taxpayers in countries around the world cough up billions of dollars to treat obesity related ailments. Tragically, hundreds of thousands of people die.

These are unpleasant facts. I can understand if someone would rather put on a blindfold than stare them in the face. But I refuse to stand idly by while they encourage others to follow their short-sighted example. In so doing, they condemn them to ignorance. They cut them off from solutions that could enhance their quality of life, possibly even save it.

And I'm not talking about prescription diet pills or surgery. There are many less extreme solutions, many proven natural obesity cures. I'm also not saying we should aspire to look like models on the covers of Vogue or Men's Health.

There is a promised land that lies between the the wasteland of obesity and its ills, and the unscalable mountains of unrealistic beauty ideals.

It's a land where people live balanced, healthy lives, having achieved realistic, personalised weight loss goals. This land is attainable with some expenditure of time and effort. Nothing worthwhile comes without some sacrifice.

I urge those who hold out the beguiling, but deadly blindfold of obesity acceptance to think long and hard before they deny others even the choice of whether they want to set off on the road to this promised land.

Obesity acceptance is a controversial topic. Maybe you agree with my views. Or perhaps you strongly disagree. Either way, I'd love to hear your opinion.

Have your say by visiting

Alan Cooper is a journalist with 20 year's experience and the publisher of, a site with the ambitious aim of being a "one-stop-shop" for impartial information on obesity and weight loss solutions - including fad diets, prescription weightloss pills and natural weightloss aids.


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