The philosopher says the fear of obesity must end, and instead the size of hospital beds, airplane seats and clothes must increase

The philosopher says the fear of obesity must end, and instead the size of hospital beds, airplane seats and clothes must increase



A philosopher who believes there is “nothing really wrong” with obesity says society must expand to make room for those who are overweight.

Kate Mann, a professor at Cornell University in the US, advocates “radical bodily autonomy” – a view that some take to mean that hospital beds, airplane seats and clothes should be larger to fit those who have to “deal with fatphobia”. world’.

The 40-year-old, who has argued in the past that “obesity is not inherently unhealthy” despite obesity being at least partly responsible for more than a million hospital admissions in Britain last year, says overweight people “are not “They have nothing to be ashamed of.” ‘.

Speaking to The Times ahead of the release of her new book, Unshrinking: How to Fight Fatphobia, Mann said higher rates of death and illness in overweight people could be “just a correlation”.

In the novel, which was released in the UK on Tuesday, the professor says those who are overweight “must confront the violence of the fight against obesity, where fat bodies are disposed of, chopped up and chopped up, all for no good reason”. ‘.

Kate Mann, a professor of philosophy at Cornell University in the US, says there is “nothing really wrong” with being overweight
Mann claims overweight people are forced to ‘navigate a fatphobic world’ (archive photo)

Mani, who describes herself as a “feminist” – who has written two books about misogyny – said her views were drawn from her experiences with her own weight.

Dr. Mann’s new book, Unshrinking: How to Face Fatphobia, was released in Britain in January

The Australian-born academic revealed she had tried multiple diets, including the use of diet pills, in an attempt to lose weight, with one attempt getting the results she wanted using the drug Adderall, which left her “briefly, suicidal”.

After oscillating between being overweight and “morbidly obese,” the author now describes herself as “low-fat,” with her BMI placing her as “overweight.”

Speaking to The Times, Mann said she had come to the conclusion that “concerns about ‘health’ are being weaponised as a form of fatphobia” and that obesity should instead be “viewed as a healthy and valuable part of human diversity”.

She added that there was “something a bit sad” about the rise of slimming drugs such as Ozempic, which have become hugely popular among celebrities, adding: “I hope we feel more comfortable with people who are naturally different sizes and shapes.” Embrace it.

“We are who we are,” Mann wrote in her book. We have nothing to be ashamed of.

Read more here: Cornell professor attacks ‘fatphobia’ and ‘moral harm’ of dieting hunger

She adds that people should be “free to take up space” and that diets in their current form are “not human or feasible” and should be abolished.

Mani told The Times that she has problems with the prevailing idea that being overweight leads to health problems.

“While it is still possible for heavy weight to cause health problems, it is also possible that it is just an association,” she said.

“There are other factors that will increase someone’s risk: such as the possibility that they may not be treated appropriately for the problems they have (because the focus is on obesity), or that they may experience independent health damage from weight cycling (severe weight loss followed by excessive weight loss). ‘He wins.’

The academy has previously been criticized for its views on weight and health.

In 2022, in an apparent effort to combat stereotypes and negative perceptions about being overweight, Mann wrote on Twitter: “The evidence strongly suggests that obesity is not inherently unhealthy.”

She added: ‘But even if that were the case, at least in some respects, it is clear that fat people are entitled to compassion, dignity, material justice such as, uh, good health care and non-discrimination. Sadly this needs saying.

In January of that year, she wrote an op-ed in The New York Times discussing “fatphobia” and “the grave moral damage caused by temporal hunger.”

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Doctors and medical experts say that overweight and obesity have been shown to increase the risk of other health conditions including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some cancers such as breast and bowel cancer, and strokes.

The release of Mann’s book comes months after NHS figures showed 1.2 million people were admitted to hospital last year for obesity-related conditions, including 9,000 who were the primary cause.

Read more here: Huge demand for weight loss injection ‘driven by women going through menopause and perimenopause’

For several hundred thousand admissions, obesity was attributed to the patient’s hospital stay or treatment complication.

Nearly 8,300 children under 16 were admitted to hospital due to obesity, more than double the figure of 4,062 in 2016/17.

People living in poorer areas were twice as likely to be hospitalized for obesity-related problems than those living in wealthier areas. In the ten most deprived areas of England, there were nearly 3,400 admissions per 100,000 people due to obesity, more than double the 1,430 in the ten richest areas.

Pregnant women had the highest likelihood of obesity being a complicating factor, with 147,143 maternity admissions where obesity was a problem for mothers or children.

Last year, it was revealed that Britain’s obesity crisis now costs the country almost £100 billion a year, according to a shock analysis that sparked calls for ministers to tackle the fast food scourge with the same aggressiveness as smoking.

Two-thirds of adults are now obese, compared to only half in the mid-1990s. Of these, a quarter of them suffer from obesity.

Until now, this fixable problem was thought to have cost Britain around £60 billion.

This figure includes the cost of the indirect effects of obesity and its impact on the NHS, as well as secondary costs such as lost earnings from taking time off work due to illness and premature deaths.

  • Unshrinking: How to Fight Fatphobia by Kate Mann (Allen Lane, £20) is published on Tuesday

(tags for translation) Kate

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