Monday, November 27, 2023

Fighting 'Fatphobia' - America Has the Highest Obesity Rate of Any Developed County

What is "Fatphobia?"

It's best described as discriminating against those who are overweight.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development the United States has by far and away the highest obesity rate of any developed country. 

If you're an obese person you have to deal with a lot of societal challenges that makes life harder. 

When prospective employers see how big you are it's doubtful that they'll hire you for numerous reasons from health/insurance concerns to they would have to accommodate your workplace with special arrangements.

To my surprise there's one state, Michigan, that has had a "fatphobia law" since 1976, banning employers and housing providers from discriminating against those who are overweight. 

There are several other states that have cities who have banned discrimination based on weight and physical appearance: San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Madison Wisconsin.

The most obese state in America is West Virginia, boasting a rate of 71%, closely followed by Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

None of the most obese states in the US have laws preventing discrimination against overweight people. 

In an interesting dynamic five of the 10 least obese states are proposing "Fatphobia Laws" in a trend towards restoring obese people's rights.

In New York, some business leaders expressed opposition to the legislation when it was brought up before the council, arguing that compliance could be an onerous burden.

Despite that New York city adopted a new ordinance last week that bans weight discrimination that Tigress Osborn, the chair of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, praised as a "model for the world."

There's a growing awareness across the country as personified by the state of Colorado which is considered to be the healthiest state in the union. 

The Rocky Mountain State's obesity rate is only 25% making it the skinniest state in the United States. Colorado is seeking to pass new laws in 2024.

Obviously, America has a weight problem that needs to be addressed by the medical community and lawmakers by providing more community education programs to deal with the physical and mental challenges overweight people have.

As it stands, meanwhile overweight citizens should not be discriminated against in our democratic society.

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