We may now safely add obesity to the ever-growing list of endangered words.
That’s right, registered dietician Amanda Montgomery of the University of Illinois, Chicago argues that “Public Health’s focus on ‘obesity’ prevention has increased exponentially within the last few decades, and with it an increase in weight stigma and negative attitudes towards people in larger bodies.” Never mind that obesity itself has increased exponentially in America in that time as well, which perhaps explains the focus on prevention.
Montgomery further continues that when “Charles Darwin and other race scientists created a hierarchy of civilization,” “[f]atness and differing body characteristics were used to justify lack of civilization: fatness used as a marker of ‘uncivilized behavior’ while thinness was ‘more evolved.'”
In short, Montgomery believes that Darwin and other 19th century white people wanted to classify other racial and ethnic groups as “uncivilized” and used body mass as an excuse to do so.
OK, let me see if I’ve got this right. Once upon a time, some people were racist and treated black, Hispanic, and Native Americans badly. Oftentimes even horrifically. Therefore, we must eradicate the word obesity from our current lexicon.
Wait, what? Montgomery has distracted herself with language and missed the plot entirely. A “registered dietician” like Montgomery ought to consider the health of her patients, regardless of skin color, rather than the so-called “social justice issue” of “weight stigma.”
But looking people in the eye and telling them to eat right and exercise is hard, while railing about racist practices from centuries ago is easy. So she continues:
“As presented by Soul Fire Farm, the U.S. food system is built on stolen land using stolen labor from Black and Latinx indigenous people. Not only has this created a large scale food apartheid and trauma for people indigenous to this land, it has caused a disconnection of indigenous people from their cultural practices and identities.”
No one can argue with the idea that crops and other goods were indeed once harvested “using stolen labor from Black” people and that other racial minorities were enslaved as well. However, if I’m reading Montgomery and the Soul Fire Farm correctly, white America stole the land and labor of “Black and Latinx indigenous people” and then…what? Made future generations eat all the proceeds?
I can’t quite figure out why oppression from two hundred years ago means that medical professionals ought to ignore the health risks of “Black and Latinx indigenous people” today.
But unfortunately, Montgomery is not the only supposed expert to privilege woke activism over the health and wellness of the people she claims to represent. University of California, Irvine associate professor Sabrina Strings agrees:
“While many believe that fatphobia is a relatively recent invention, I will underscore the centrality of slavery and race science in its perpetuation throughout the western world,” Strings says.
Fatphobia? With all due respect, Professor Strings, no one is afraid of fat people. And any doctors, nurses, physician assistants and other medical experts who worry more about the stigma associated with the word obesity than the rates of obesity among their patients are not doing their job.
The obese — or “people in larger bodies,” as Montgomery prefers we call them — are at increased risk for many preventable health conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
But leave it to woke registered dieticians and associate professors to risk the health of “Black and Latinx indigenous people” to score points with Leftists whose appetite for racism is never, ever satisfied.