Medical Research: Normalization of ‘Plus-Size’ Bodies Increases Obesity Risk

The rate of obesity in the US has reached a new high, at 39.6% of adults, according to the government data

Medical research from the University of East Anglia in the UK suggests that the normalization of “plus-size” bodies has led to an increased risk of obesity.

Breitbart News has been covering the modern fat acceptance movement since it found it’s home on college campuses throughout the United States. Take “fat sex therapist” Sonalee Rashatwar, who spoke at the University of Vermont this March. Rashatwar encouraged students to “throw” their “scales in the trash.” Earlier that month, the prestigious Johns Hopkins University hosted Linda Bacon, who pioneered a movement entitled “Health at Every Size,” which encourages women to believe that they can be healthy at literally any body size. This semester, Yale University hosted “fat acceptance” activist Virgie Tovar, who argues that being fat is a revolutionary political act because society shuns the overweight.

In January 2017, I penned a column in response to a feminist magazine article that argued that “weight loss doesn’t actually improve health.” The column received an overwhelming 19,900 Facebook shares.

The fat acceptance movement was born out of nothing more than a desire to spare the feelings of the obese in a 21st-century society that places significance on health and body image. The path to happiness for obese individuals is not radical self-love but rather accepting that obesity poses legitimate health risks and then taking the necessary steps towards obtaining a healthier body.

Now, research from the United Kingdom suggests that normalizing “plus-size” bodies only leads to an increase in the levels of obesity.

The study concluded that both men and women are increasingly misperceiving their actual body weight. This means that as society normalizes larger bodies more people are underestimating their actual. While acceptance of obese body types has increased, the weight levels at which fat poses health risks has not.

The results, published today in the journal Obesity, show that the number of overweight individuals who are misperceiving their weight has increased over time, from 48.4% to 57.9% in men and 24.5% to 30.6% in women between 1997 and 2015. Similarly, among individuals classified as obese, the proportion of men misperceiving their weight in 2015 was almost double that of 1997 (12% vs 6.6%).

The study’s author, Dr. Raya Muttarak, says that the plus-size fashion industry has likely contributed to the new normalization of unhealthy body types.

“Seeing the huge potential of the fuller-sized fashion market, retailers may have contributed to the normalisation of being overweight and obese,” Dr. Muttarak explained. “While this type of body positive movement helps reduce stigmatisation of larger-sized bodies, it can potentially undermine the recognition of being overweight and its health consequences. The increase in weight misperception in England is alarming and possibly a result of this normalisation.

The research skyrocketed to the top of Reddit on Friday morning, earning over 36,000 up-votes in about five hours. “As a heavy set girl do I feel beautiful? Yes because my hubby makes me feel beautiful,” one commenter wrote. “Do I feel healthy at 260+? F*ck no.”


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