Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

The other side of weight discrimination


20130609-133533.jpgSomething that’s been percolating in my mind over the last little while is the concept of weight discrimination.

There were two things that got me to thinking about this topic. The first was a survey I completed for the Yale Rudd Centre. They were looking for people’s opinions and experiences pertaining to weight and discrimination. There was a question about whether or not you’d experienced bullying (or something to that effect) as a result of your weight as a child. I said yes. The survey implicitly assumed that it was due to my being overweight. There was no opportunity to clarify that I was sometimes picked-on because I was underweight.

The second thing that got me thinking about the subject was the cartoon shown above. Someone had posted it on Facebook. I found it offensive. I would never post anything (cartoon or otherwise) that stated being thin was superior to being large. I’m sure that many people would be outraged. So, why on earth do some people think that it’s okay to insult people for being skinny??

We all have naturally different body shapes and sizes. Please consider the impact of your words and actions on others. Weight discrimination can go both ways. Whether you’re fat or thin it can still hurt.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

9 thoughts on “The other side of weight discrimination

  1. So true Diana. I get extremely irritated by rude comments made about skinny girls. I find that a lot of posts about embracing health at larger sizes and being supportive of larger women tend to take a turn towards picking on skinny women. The comment that makes me the most upset is when it is implied that traditional sized models or thin women are “not real”. You tend to hear comments made like… “this is what a REAL” women looks like in terms of supporting large, curvy women. I tend to jump in and say, “excuse me…who the heck isn’t REAL here?”. The issue should be health and acceptance across a spectrum of sizes, which includes thin women without curves as well as more endowed and larger women.

    Good post and I hope this stimulates a respectful discussion in the comment section!


  2. I have the same problem with some measures of eating disorder pathology. The questions pertaining to eating behaviour tend to be all about abstinence and restriction, while the body-related questions fail to specify the “direction” in which people are uncomfortable with their bodies :/


  3. The problem wit that image is that it not only shames thin girls, but it implies that women’s bodies are “for men”. This is a huge problem. Too often the discussion on body image includes the idea of “what men want”. Every man I know is a “real man” and every single one of them has different preferences. That is ok. But their ideas and preferences are their own, not a commentary on what I, as a woman, should strive to be. Nor should it be that way for anyone other woman.


  4. Great post, Di. So true!


  5. Pingback: Is having abs incompatible with having a good personality? |

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