Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Am Not A Disease

I woke up this morning to learn I have a disease. Or, rather, that I AM a disease.

No, I did not receive a phone call from a doctor with some upsetting test results. I am exactly the same as I was yesterday, except the American Medical Association has decided to classify the body I have been living in for 29 years as diseased. Why? Simply because I am fat.

"Obesity" (which I put in quotes because, since it's calculated using the outdated BMI system, I consider it to be an abstract, arbitrary, and fake classification), they say, should be called a disease so we can have better "treatment options." In case you weren't aware, "treatment options" means "weight loss." Or "ew, fatty, stop being so fat."

Except, you know, the diet industry literally makes billions of dollars every year. The medical establishment already treats fat people horribly, many doctors are downright abusive and act like we are non-compliant, insolent children if we stick up for ourselves. They ignore the fact that practically no one keeps weight off (there's a 95 percent long-term failure rate), even after resorting to extremes like surgery.

Let's take this headline, from Forbes, into account:

That says it all to me. This is a way for drug companies to claim legitimacy as they waste time and resources to develop more diet pills that ultimately will have no more long term "success" (if you consider thinness a success) than anything already out there. They will divert scientists and efforts from researching things that actually plague us, like cancer, AIDS, and other diseases, or actual nutritional woes like world hunger.

On Twitter, there is a hashtag gaining some speed: #IAmNotADisease. It really shouldn't be necessary to start a social media campaign to point out that fat people are human beings, not walking illnesses, and that we deserve to be treated as such. But there are a few great tweets being sent:

The medical establishment needs to stop pathologizing body types and start promoting health at every size and basic human dignity. Let's focus on actual diseases instead of creating new ones where none exist.

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