A Third of Fat Teens Think They’re Normal – Has The Fat Acceptance Movement Won?

File / Reuters
File / Reuters

Over a third of obese teenagers don’t consider themselves as out of shape and think their weight is “about right”, a new study has revealed. The lead author partially blames media representation of fat people and the normalisation of obesity in western society.

Researchers asked 5,000 adolescents, aged 13 to 15, if they thought they were too heavy, about right or too light. 20 per cent had a BMI in the overweight category and seven per cent were classed as obese. However, 40 per cent of those mistakenly thought their weight was normal.

Sarah Jackson, lead author of the study, published today in the International Journal of Obesity, said: “Programmes about overweight people tend to show very obese people. Some teenagers who see these images probably think that that is what an overweight person looks like, so they might not realise if they are slightly overweight,” she told The Times.

In other words, commonly portraying very, very fat people in the media has made slightly fat people seem more acceptable. She also sighted growing levels of obesity in the general population leading teenagers to increasingly consider overweight as “normal” and apathetic parents dismissing it as “puppy fat”.

Part of this modern trend is the “fat acceptance movement.”

It was born out of the left-wing identity politics of the 1960s, and has been campaigning in various ways to convince the western world that obesity is acceptable, beautiful and even healthy. Campaigners often call on the overweight to be “body positive” rather than lose weight, and against labeling people “fat.”

The liberal media is in thrall to the narrative as it allows them to demonstrate their boundless compassion to yet another “marginalised” group and to attack favoured targets such as Katie Hopkins. For example, “20 Photos That Highlight The Beautiful Diversity Of Plus-Size Bodies” reported The Huffington Post just last week, above photos of morbidly obese women posing in bikinis.

Cancer Research UK, who conducted the research, wishes to highlight that an estimated 18,000 cases of cancer are thought to be caused by excess weight every year in the UK. Julie Sharp, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said:

“Overweight teenagers are more likely to become overweight adults at higher risk of cancer. So it’s important that young people who are too heavy have support to be more active and make healthy changes to their diet – being aware that they are above a healthy weight could be a first step. Making these changes as teenagers could help protect them from cancer as adults.”