Opinion: Big deal: You can be fat and fit
An activist at a National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance rally in New York wears a T-shirt to promote self-image.
January 3rd, 2013
12:30 PM ET

Opinion: Big deal: You can be fat and fit

Editor's note: Marilyn Wann is author of "FAT!SO?" and a weight diversity speaker internationally. She is the creator of Yay! Scales, which give compliments instead of numbers.

(CNN) - After a careful review of all relevant research worldwide, the U.S. government's leading analyst of weight data just confirmed what I've long known: Being fat might not be a death sentence.

That this study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association seems at all shocking is a measure of the intensity and pervasiveness of weight prejudice in our society and in our sciences.

I take an interest in the topic because I'm fat and because I don't have a death wish. I'm also interested because, like so many fat people, I've encountered weight discrimination when I seek routine medical care. I was 26 years old when I was denied the right to purchase health insurance. I had no significant history of illness or injury. I was just fat. That day, I became a fat rights activist.

In the intervening years, I've heard from so many people who fear for their lives when they encounter weight discrimination in our health care system.

 As a fat activist, I help as much as I can, but I'm no federal agency.
Read Marilyn Wann's full column
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Filed under: Health • How we live • What we think • Women
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Jade

    Look, I don't think the author is defending those people who are not doing the right thing for themselves. But the people who are trying but get caught up in a label. I've lost 45 lbs working my butt off and adjusting my diet. I know fat makes me unhealthy and I've proven it to myself by changing my lifestyle, but I still face issues with doctors who don't know me. Thankfully I have a doctor is sees I'm doing the right thing, address problems I may have without telling me my problem is weight. There are health issues that are caused by something other than weight. That is all the author is saying. Stop ragging on this being about making fat people happy.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kato Kaelin

    The discrimination and bigotry against over weight people will CEASE!

    January 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gregtraining

    She is not fit. I am a very empathetic person but if we keep publishing articles like this it is going to give fat people more reason to think it is ok to be overweight. It is also about quality of life and I know that people who are 350 do not live the same quality of life. They are out of breath playing with their children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, etc. They can barely tie their shoes and they now have another excuse to go through the fast food drive through again. America needs to start setting examples of healthier lifestyles, eating more fruits and veggies and watching your portion control. We should not now, nor ever, be highlighting in any way how being fat can be a good thing. It is a health risk and it is not a good quality of life. I have many people in my family 350 and over and it is sad. I help and guide with a kind heart in their weight loss and never suggest a quick weight loss. Do it the right way, eat right, eat less than you are, and exercise. You will feel better, have more energy and your body will return to a healthy size. Our bodies are not supposed to support that much excess fat. I am sorry CNN, you should not glorify this article.

    January 4, 2013 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jade

      As I said to others, they are not glorifying fat people. I'm fat and don't feel glorified by this. I feel someone sees that not all the health problems are caused by weight, even skinny people have health issues. That's all this is about.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ollie Oxenfree

    Obesity kills. You are a horrible person for lying about this and possibly "convincing" others of your unwholesome agenda.

    January 4, 2013 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Jade

      So does closed mindedness. RE-READ the article it is not about proping up the fat people it's about getting proper health care!!!!!!

      January 7, 2013 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |