Washington Post: Social Attitude Towards Fat

Eat to Live is a scientifically devised system. Dr. Fuhrman's claims about weight loss, nutritional excellence, and protection against disease, are stringently backed up by respected research and studies. But today's obesity epidemic isn't all about logic; there are also social and emotional complications to consider. Dr. Fuhrman explains:

It's not easy to change: eating has emotional and social overtones. It is especially difficult to break an addiction. Our American diet style is addicting, as you will learn, but not as addictive as smoking cigarettes. Stopping smoking is very hard, but many still succeed. I have heard many excuses over the years, from smokers aiming to quit and sometimes even from failed dieters. Making any change is not easy. Obviously, most people know if they change their diet enough and exercise, they can lose weightóbut they still can't do it.

Surely someone who is overweight would prefer not to be, and for good reason. An article in The Washington Post explains negative attitudes about fatness can play a big part in inspiring people to lose weight. Sally Squires reports:

A number of studies have documented a pervasive bias against fat people, who often earn less income than their thinner counterparts. Research points to discrimination against corpulent men and women in a variety of places, including health care. Public opinion polls find that those who weigh too much are routinely stereotyped as lazy, slow and unmotivated compared with people at a healthier weight, who are more likely to be described as smart, competent and attractive.

The surprise? Overweight and obese people share many of the same negative views about their hefty counterparts. "It is another hurdle to weight loss," says Marlene B. Schwartz, associate director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and co-author of a recent study examining the effect of one's own weight on fat bias.

The study, which involved 4,286 people, was one of the first to examine attitudes about obesity in people of all body weights. Like previous research, it found that a large proportion of lean people have negative views about the obese. The lower the body mass index of participants, the more likely they were to hold strong anti-fat opinions.

According to the study the anti-fat sentiment in this country is so strong that 4 percent of the participants would trade blindness for obesity and 5 percent would sacrifice a limb to be thin. In the Washington Post, Yale's Schwartz suggests that ingrained hatred of fat can actually sabotage weight-loss efforts:

"Hating yourself is not a good way to motivate yourself to engage in healthier behaviors," Schwartz says, noting that "if you have been so conditioned to see yourself as lazy, that has to get in your way when you are trying to go outside to take a walk or take the stairs instead of the elevator."

That's why Dr. Fuhrman is careful to describe Eat to Live as a long-term life change, not a quick fix diet (and you don't have to give up an arm and a leg):

Eat to Live will allow everyone who stays on the program to become slimmer, healthier, and younger looking. You will embark on an adventure that will transform your entire life. Not only will you lose weight, you will sleep better, feel better physically, have more energy, and feel better emotionally. And you will lower your chances of developing serious diseases in the future. You will learn why diets haven't worked for you in the past and why so many popular weight-loss plans simply do not meet the scientific criteria for effectiveness and safety.
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Linda - May 10, 2006 4:57 PM

Yes, a way of eating for life; that's the only way.
It can be tough for some at first, but once you get over the initial phase, it's easy.

If you can get addicted to bad foods and into a habit of behaviors, you can get addicted to good foods and into good habits. I know if I eat bread and continue to eat it, I will continue to crave it endlessly; if I go off of it, and get over those several days of abstaining, I'm done with it! That is, until I let it back into my diet. Some foods are like this. For others, my desire to eat copious amounts is non-existence. But white bread is like masochism to me Lol.

I think it's sad that there is fat prejudice based on the aesthetics! We should be prejudiced against the behaviors, foods, corporations related to junk food and not the people. Hate the fat, not the one who is fat. People harm themselves because of this misplaced prejudice. They develop all sorts of depressions; self-hatred; eating disorders; go on dangerous diets; and then they adopt the prejudice toward others too.

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