Weight Bias and Biology

The idea that our bodies know how to function also applies to people who are overweight. They experience overwhelming pressure from society, friends and family to lose weight with the often unspoken message that their weight is a sign of their own weakness and slothfulness. 

The drive for thinness and dieting is usually even more pronounced for those who are overweight. The diet industry plies the public with unsubstantiated miracle fixes for weight loss and happily reaps significant profit on the misery of others. Meanwhile, the government, medical establishment and even close family and friends all support these endeavors as signs of self-care or even self-love. The promulgation of an endless search for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow all to satisfy the misguided idea that weight is both a manipulatable data point and a sign of virtue is abhorrent. 

The accepted messages about food and weight can easily become personal rebukes of those who are overweight and even open the door to widespread, accepted prejudice. If the person is misled into conflating self-worth and weight, they are susceptible to all types of bias and mistreatment. 

Meanwhile, the human body functions solely on biological terms, irrespective of the current societal norms around weight. As I have written extensively in this blog, weight is not commensurate with health, and there are ample data to prove this point which is summarily ignored by the powerful diet industry. 

All the noise around weight and virtue drowns out the facts. Our bodies know how to manage hunger and food. Given the necessary diet, humans can live and thrive. Weight is but one data point of many that the body works to keep within a range commensurate with health, and the range is largely predetermined by our genetics. Our body size and shape are part of our inherent nature, not signs of personal virtue. 

First and foremost, food and weight are not indicators of our worth as a person. The message of biology trumps all other specious explanations of health and weight. This message needs to be trumpeted and spread to counter the overarching and destructive falsehoods spread by the diet, food and exercise industries.

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