Health of Fat Women…the Real Problem (1974)

Title (as given to the record by the creator): Health of Fat Women…the Real Problem
Date(s) of creation:  1974
Creator / author / publisher:  Fat Underground
Location: Venice, CA USA
Physical description:
 two typed pages
Reference #: FU-HealthFatWomen-1974
 Largesse Fat Liberation Archive
Links:  [ PDF ]



The Fat Underground accuses the medical/psychiatric professions of gynocidal malpractice on fat women’s bodies and minds. After decades of believing that doctors want us to be healthy, we have come to the furious realization that they value chiefly our looks, in the way of all sexist males.

Over 99% of all weight loss programs fail. Yet doctors continue to hand out diets with no apparent concern for the effect of repeated failure on the self-esteem and health of the dieter. Almost every issue of almost every women’s magazine has an article about how to lose weight. These methods, even when labeled “safe”, are in fact as dangerous as they are useless; yet doctors make only distant murmurs of caution and do not take responsibility for the results. This is part of the medical tradition of treating women’s health problems as “trivial” matters of fashion.

We are enraged at atrocities women put themselves through to get slim or stay slim – ranging from the extreme to the commonplace: we have doctors cut up our intestines (jejuno-ileal bypass); we have doctors wire or cement our mouths shut; we risk pregnancy rather than take birth control pills; we refuse to take hormones after hysterectomy; we go on reducing diets while pregnant; we get addicted to speed (diet pills); we choose not to stop smoking cigarettes; we try a new and dangerous diet every six months; we live on the edge of starvation year in and year out; we despair over every mouthful as if eating were an unnatural act.

Psychiatrists, with their theories about “over-eating” have ignored the findings of nutritionists that most fat people don’t eat any more than most thin people. Their persecution turns some of us into secret compulsive eaters who “need their help”.

The weight loss foods, drugs and plans are a ten billion dollar industry with a failure record greater than 99%. Their advertisements are pitched almost entirely to women.

Fat is a women’s problem. Whereas both men and women are oppressed concerning their weight, woman’s body is the limit of her social esteem under sexism. Few men can imagine the despair of an average sized woman over ten unwanted pounds.

Being fat and being healthy are not antithetical. Fat people are subject to the same diseases which victimize other biological minorities. Blacks, Native Americans, Puerto Ricans and Chicanos also suffer in far higher percentages than the majority population from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, atherosclerosis and mental “disorders” like depression and extreme passivity. We are all subject in varying degrees to the same social, moral and political oppressions. We are also subject to educational, vocational, economic and legal persecutions. Fat people die of the social disease of oppression, not the medical “disease” called obesity.

All studies claimed as proof that fat is unhealthy were done on people who were dieters and diet failures. There is conclusive proof through published research that most fat people who don’t diet and don’t hate themselves are as healthy as anyone else.

There is conclusive proof through published research that reducing diets wreck one’s health–not to mention the body/mind damage that comes to over 99% of all dieters when they regain lost weight.

Therefore medical “proof” that fat is unhealthy is at best the result of sloppy research and reasoning and at worst the result of prejudice and greed. Doctors profit from the same market that has fat women coming back over and over again, paying billions of dollars for a “cure” that doesn’t work for a disease that doesn’t exist.

Copyright  1974 by the FAT UNDERGROUND [Redacted]

A Fat Liberation Collective

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