One of the most irresponsible things about the "obesity epidemic" is that weight gain and fat tissue is often treated as a disease instead of as a symptom. As such, fat patients are instructed to lose weight, sometimes by way of surgery, without any exploration as to how or why they are fat, and whether they are actually experiencing health problems as a result of it.
In the next few entries, I will discuss some of the conditions that result in weight gain, including my personal experiences with those conditions, and how medical personnel seem to have a blind spot regarding those conditions. I will also explore some hypotheses regarding why those blind spots exist, and what can be done to get past them.
It is my belief that many of the health problems attributed to fat may actually be the result of overlooked and untreated issues--issues which, as they continue to be untreated, can result in even greater weight gain. As the frustrated patient continues to be told "lose weight" in lieu of actual medical treatment, they may lose confidence in the medical establishment, not only refusing to go to the doctor when they really need to, but becoming depressed as a result of being essentially told that they are not worth the trouble of medical care due to their being fat.
This entrenched, dogmatic system of medical malpractice, seemingly based more on "common knowledge" than science, needs to be attacked, denounced, and demolished. It needs to be relegated to the status of quackery, where it belongs on the same shelf as "humours", phrenology, and hysteria--all obsolete ideas that, when in vogue, caused immense suffering and death, and often justified maltreatment of other people. Humour-balancing, often in the form of bloodletting, caused a great deal of physical damage. Hysteria diagnoses allowed men to treat women as fragile children, resulting in "treatments" that would be viewed today as sexual assault and false imprisonment. Phrenology, though less damaging, was still a quackery used to make value judgements based solely on a person's physical characteristics.
Today, the quackery of the obesity epidemic is resulting in the same abusive, damaging treatments that humour-balancing and hysteria treatment did long ago. We're given dubious medications that kill us (Fen-phen), encouraged to undergo inexcusably dangerous surgery, and treated to verbal abuse and shaming for the "crime" of taking up too much space--verbal abuse that is lauded as necessary and even beneficial. We're told that we deserve to be sick and/or dead because we are fat. We're told that we have ourselves to "blame" for any and all health, emotional, or social difficulties we have, regardless of their cause, because we are fat. Most obscene, however, is that we are promised that, if we stop being fat, all of our problems--health, social, emotional, and otherwise--will go away. We're told that, until we stop being fat, we aren't worthy of medical care, common courtesy, or even a single bite of food.
Fat is NOT the cause of all these problems. Often, a fat person's emotional and social problems are the result of unwarranted maltreatment by others. Often, a fat person's health problems are not the RESULT of their fat, but the CAUSE of it. It's a pretty damn big cultural meme we're fighting against here, but when so many people are so abominably ignorant, it doesn't make their misconceptions true by consensus. So that's what I'm here to do: Tell my stories, and hopefully change a few minds.
Next up: Part Two: Hypothyroidism