Did you know weight loss may be more dangerous than obesity? Experts from Auckland say that obesity is healthier than over-focusing on BMI (body mass index) and that most anti-obesity efforts don't work and may be fat-shaming. What obese people need is very general health support with no mention of being overweight. So basically healthy living initiatives like the Michelle Obama "Let's Move" campaign or Jamie Oliver "Food Revolution" or TLC "The Biggest Loser" and "My 600-lb Life" fail because they target fat as the problem.

Fat is safer than being told you're fat

A researcher from New Zealand looked primarily at obese pregnant women but extrapolated findings to include all overweight people.

Some moms-to-be reported being fat-shamed by maternity doctors and then avoiding maternity care so as not to be advised to lose weight. Scientists said that diet suggestions may be more detrimental to patients than lowered self-esteem from being told they were obese.

There's more to health than BMI

Patients often complain that doctors don't look beyond obesity to other non-weight related issues. The study agreed that patients' overall health should be the focus, not their weight. But are there any health issues that aren't related to obesity? Certainly, many conditions are not caused by weight, but many are exacerbated by it. None are improved by being obese. Science has linked Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, heart disease, heart attack, cholesterol and circulation problems, liver trouble, sleep apnea, impaired cognition, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, chronic pain and some cancers to obesity.

Morbid obesity is a disability. The question is--which came first the obesity or the other health problems?

Too much emphasis on lifestyle choices

The professor said that doctors discuss patient responsibility for weight gain more than they should. When patients feel it's their fault, they're overweight they feel shame.

Then they don't tend to be motivated to change eating habits. In fact, say the scientists, obesity isn't even about lifestyle choices, but how people feel. Yet Jamie Oliver found on "Food Revolution" that kids who were taught to eat healthily could and did lose weight and felt better for having done so.

There's more to obesity than appearance

The Auckland University scientist faulted diet, exercise and weight lossefforts for being too looks-oriented as if the only thing obesity impacts is appearance. They did not address the many known associated lifestyle diseases.Scientists didn't explain how anti-obesity initiatives should separate weight from general health.

Fat-shaming or anti-obesity awareness?

Is it bullying to advise weight loss? Doctors are paid to help patients get healthy, and if that means telling them to lose weight, they're just doing their jobs. Should smokers not be told of cigarette dangers for fear of hurting their feelings? Perhaps doctors drunk-shame when the tell people how alcohol is killing them?

Unfortunately blurring the lines between fat-shaming and advising has enabled people to stay overweight and have an excuse to do so.

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