Fat Shaming Is the Only Way to Curb Obesity, Bioethicist Says

Making overweight people feel bad about themselves might convince them to go on a diet

By on January 25th, 2013 09:59 GMT

Given the fact that obesity rates in the United States seem to be only going up, regardless of whatever strategies the country's high officials are trying to employ in order to convince people to lead a healthier lifestyle, it need not come as a surprise that some are quite convinced that drastic measures are in order.

Thus, a bioethicist named Daniel Callahan has recently wrote a paper whose main thesis is that shaming fat people and making them feel bad about their food choices might actually help convince them to go on a diet and lose some weight.

Interestingly enough, Daniel Callahan maintains that he only got this idea after coming to realize that, courtesy of some very aggressive anti-smoking campaigns, several of the country's residents had come to understand that staying clear of cigarettes was one of the best decisions they could make as far as looking after their health was concerned.

In other words, stigmatization worked wonders in terms of convincing people to quit smoking, and it might also prove quite efficient in curbing obesity rates.

Thus, as Inquisitr reports, it is Daniel Callahan’s belief that messages such as “If you are overweight or obese, are you pleased with the way that you look?” are likely to force people's hand into letting go of pizza and other similar culinary delights, and grabbing fruits and vegetables instead.

Needless to say, this bioethicist's proposal sparked quite a controversy, and many were quick in drawing attention to the fact that overweight people were already stigmatized as it was, and up until then such “shaming sessions” had failed to change their food-related behaviors.

“Fat shaming can have destructive results. It is not a motivator for change. Instead, it is paralytic,” argued Chicago Pediatric Dietitian Cassandra Bjork.

“No amount of teasing, probing questions about what they wish they could do, or medications seem to help. So if one is proposing to help them by more stigmatization, that would seem at once both antithetical and unethical,” Dr. Tom Inge of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center went on to add.

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Bioethicist says making people feel bad about their weight might help bring down obesity rates in the United States
   Bioethicist says making people feel bad about their weight might help bring down obesity rates in the United States