Fitness Expert Derek Beres: ‘Fat Acceptance’ Movement Causes Obese Americans to Give Up on Life-Saving Exercise

"If you don't want to exercise or be a part of the company culture, you have to go," says Bjorn Borg boss Henrik Bunge
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Fitness expert Derek Beres argued in a column this week that the “fat acceptance” movement is causing some Americans to give up on life-saving exercise.

Writing for Big Think, fitness expert Derek Beres analyzed the “fat acceptance” movement and what it means for Americans who are overweight. Beres highlighted an alarming trend of Americans who have simply decided to give up when it comes to weight loss.

Attitude is of primary importance, which is critical in a media dominated by fad diets and workouts. Genes matter—some of us really have to work harder than others—yet body image begins with your mindset. While no one-size diet or fitness protocol is for everyone (as much as many holistic opportunists would like you to believe), your attitude about your body is important. And one disturbing trend is on the rise: giving up.

Beres was referencing a study conducted by researchers at Georgia Southern University. The study, which was conducted between 1988 and 2014, revealed that of the nearly 30,000 participants analyzed, six percent fewer overweight or obese participants were actively trying to lose weight in 2014 than in 1988.

Beres quoted a report from the New York Times which cautioned against the “fat acceptance” trend. “Public health experts fear that this trend toward ‘fat acceptance’ bodes ill for future well-being and the soaring costs of chronic weight-related ailments like heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and more than a dozen kinds of cancer,” the report read.

While stigmatizing overweight people is counterproductive, recognizing the health risks that are associated with excess fat is important, Beres argues.

The “fat acceptance” movement has consistently grown over the past several years. It has found a comfortable home on college campuses. On March 1, “fat sex therapist” Sonalee Rashatwar gave a lecture about “fat acceptance” at the University of Vermont. She told students to “throw [their] scales in the trash.”

Last week, a guest speaker at Johns Hopkins University argued that humans can be healthy at any body weight.

On social media last week, Danish comedian Sofie Hagen accused a cancer research organization of “fat-shaming” after they published an advertisement that highlighted the link between obesity and cancer.

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