Monday, February 22, 2010

BBC Health News Fail

The BBC's health page today has two articles today 'relevent' to my blog..

Article 1.

Media is Fuelling Eating Disorders

The basic gist being that magazines should not be promoting an unhealthy (ie. emaciated) 'aspirational' body image, that there should be laws about using models who are blatently unwell and/or showing manipulated images showing an exaggerated, severely edited or just plain impossible body image with no indication that they have been altered.

In general, I'd have to say I agree with this, and think that the media has a responsibility not to encourage it's readers into desperate, damaging behaviours to fit into a tiny, perfect mould that not even the people in the photographs will fit into.  With photoshop, I think that images manipulated should have some kind of label, preferably a line of small-print detailing exactly what has been done to the original image.

Particularly in adverts.

I'm particularly impressed with them wanting to extend this warning system to articles promoting diets.

This bit, however, we could do without "...Dr Ian Campbell, a Nottingham GP and spokesman for the charity Weight Concern, said the way the media glamorised thinness made it harder for obese patients to lose weight."

The media's obession with thinness does not make it "more difficult for [us fat fat fatty fatties] to lose weight" (words in brackets my artistic licence) - it's disorting almost every woman's (and an increasingly high proportion of men's) body image and relationship with food.  It's increasingly difficult to find anyone without the millstone of disordered eating dragging their heads towards the ground, let's face it, Cosmo isn't exactly helping matters much.

"Article" 2 (quotations mine there, of course)

Obesity Rise on Death Certificates

In which the BBC confuse "obesity being blamed for more deaths" with "obesity to blame for more deaths", undoing in one, lazy-arsed attempt at serious journalism, all the respect for them the previous article had gleaned....

Proof if proof be needed to remind us all that we've got a hell of a long way to go before the media take notice of us, and that we still need to KEEP SHOUTING!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In response to Momgrind - in which one blogger over-reacts to the shocking spectacle of a fatty eating ice-cream...

Dear Vered,

Think about this:

You don’t know this girl. You have no idea what may have caused her to become fat. It could be any number of reasons from emotional problems, to physical problems, to side-effects of medication, to yo-yo dieting. You don’t know anything about her, and yet you assume because you’ve witnessed her eating ONE ice cream that she’s fat because she’s stuffing her face with junk food 24/7.

Seeing one fat person having the balls to eat a foodstuff other than salad or raw vegetables in public does not provide proof that fat acceptance is flawed. Fat acceptance can actually help people recover from life-long struggles with eating disorders and prejudice and to lead them to live happier, healthier lives.

And it’s exactly the response that you’ve had to seeing one fat person eat just one ice-cream that makes it so vital to us to have the fat acceptance movement, to have allies against the prejudice that we experience every day. The fat acceptance movement gives us the support we need to break from the starve-binge cycle we’re trapped in, to get out into the world and live our lives, to take up healthy pursuits involving exercise (even when people are falling over themselves to shout “run fatty run” when you’re trying to enjoy a morning jog). It’s what makes us realise that we don’t have to eat everything in the fridge because tomorrow is a ‘no food day’.

And it’s this kind of prejudice which makes people equate thin with healthy. Which encourages the thin and averaged size to believe that important messages about healthy balanced diets and exercise don’t apply to them because they don’t need to lose weight. When a thin person sits on their arse all day eating cake then that’s just fine by society’s standards but in reality poor diet (lack of variety, lack of nutrients) and lack of exercise will cause you health problems whatever your size, just as a good diet (lots of variety, listening to what your body wants, plenty of nutrients) and increased exercise (even a small amount of gentle exercise will improve your health) will keep you healthy no whether you’re 7 stone or 17.

Fat people are not the enemy. Ice cream is also not the enemy – you shouldn’t live on it, but you shouldn’t live on peas either. Making snap judgments on other people without even speaking to them is a problem, but it’s not just your problem, it’s society’s problem. And quite contrary to popular belief, it’s not going to make any of us lose weight. If telling people they’re fat (as if they haven’t noticed) made people magically thin, trust me you’d have not one fat person in western society.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Best January Ever

The month just past was the first January that I can EVER remember not being on a diet or 'healthy eating kick' (which is, of course, a euphemism for diet.)  My Mum, like most British women, sees January as a kind of penance for the naughtiness of the festive season, and therefore puts herself (and by extension my Dad, and me when I lived at home) on a diet skinless chicken and soup for the first month of each year.

This year, with me having finally jumped off the dieting bandwagon and headed for the hills, I was able to enjoy the post Christmas period with more appropriate food for the bitter winter weather, and as such have found a lessening in the traditional January blues, a vast reduction in chocolate cravings and far less impact on the wallet from the January sales (although that might come from my increasing resistance to advertising and my newfound refusal to buy clothes that just don't fit).

I also nearly fainted on discovery that I can now fit comfortably into a pair of trousers that I couldn't get done up before Christmas, handily disproving any nagging demons in the back of my head urging me to run after that bandwagon, while I'm still nimble enough to manage it, because don't I know that this way leads to ugliness, not being able to fit through standard sized doorways and DEATH.

I'm sensibly holing up until the snow goes away and the days warm up nice; and when that happens I'm actually looking forward to emerging from my burrow and engaging in some nice, healthy swimming and walking to shake the sleep and  aches out of my joints.  Roll on springtime!