Anti-Diet Day: The state also discriminates against fat

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Many overweight people feel discriminated against in Germany

An "anti-diet day" will take place next Monday. On this day, overweight people want to protest against everyday discrimination against fat people. Diets harm people because the weight cannot be maintained after a successful weight loss program. "The state also discriminates against overweight people" is the accusation of the initiative "Fat people e.V.".

Many overweight people are discriminated against in Germany. This reports the association "Fat people e.V." and accuses the federal government of "massive discrimination against overweight people". In almost every medical publication, obesity is called an illness-causing condition. For example, it is said that being overweight massively increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases. Obese people seem to feel this in their everyday work. In an interview, the chairwoman of the association Gisela Enders reports from “Dicke Menschen e.V.” that the state assumes that slim people have an increased risk of illness. For this reason, they are often not taken on as officials, as Enders reports in Berlin. It even happens that official doctors recommend that those affected first lose weight "with a radical diet". The very same diets are considered harmful to health.

Diets harm health
Such diets are more dangerous to health than being overweight itself, according to the chairwoman of the association. Such dietary radical cures are not of any help to the state, which then, so to speak, have buried a hidden fat person, and certainly not to the person himself, "as Enders said before the 20th International Anti-Diet Day on May 6th This day, fat and non-fat want to demonstrate against "bodyism" and "slimming craze" and denounce the unequal treatment in society.

Public health risk profile
The federal chairman of the medical association of the public health service, Thomas Menn, justified the practice to the news agency "dapd". The medical officers only want to help those affected. In addition, the decision about the official position is not made solely on the basis of health data. Personal discussions are also crucial, says Meen. "If a person loses ten kilos in a month, I naturally worry," said the doctor.

It is the duty of medical officers to rule out as many risky factors as possible. According to popular opinion, people who have a BMI higher than 35 show an increased cardiovascular risk or high blood pressure. These factors play a role in considering an official's approval.

Social stigma
According to the Vice President of the German Obesity Society, Martina de Zwaan, people with weight problems are not only discriminated against, but socially stigmatized. The victims are "whispered" and accused of being overweight as a result of insufficient willpower. As a result, overweight people blame themselves for their suffering. The consequences: depression, hopelessness and resignation.

Disadvantages also in the job center
Enders reports that prejudice and disadvantage also prevail in the job centers and employment agencies. If the unemployed person is fat, he is immediately put in the drawer "Difficult to place". In the offices it was "decided on the appearance and not on the qualification". Many employers decide against thickness during job interviews. In this context, Enders called for body weight to be included in the EU anti-discrimination guidelines. “We call on European and national politicians to include discrimination based on body shape in the respective anti-discrimination laws. And first of all to perceive that this form of discrimination is ongoing and has not yet been sanctioned by society, ”says a resolution of the association.

More weight than before
Many of those affected move from one diet to the next. Nutritionists assume that diets that promise a supposedly fast weight loss will increase around 80 to 90 percent afterwards. "It is not unusual for them to weigh more afterwards due to the yo-yo effect," reports social worker Gritli Bertram. Zwaan also advises against dieting. "It is hardly possible to reduce weight in the long term," she says. In advertisements, people are promised to lose 16 kilos in just a few weeks. This is indeed possible, but hardly anyone can keep the weight long-term afterwards. For this reason, it is important to take action on the anti-diet day. The problem is that there is a huge industry behind it ".

The association chairman therefore advises overweight people to fundamentally change their lifestyle. Anyone who is overweight on average has a good chance of maintaining weight in the long term. Step by step, old habits should be thrown overboard and the composition of the food restructured. Gastric surgery can only help those who suffer from obesity with massive overweight. However, diets do not make any sense in the long term and also damage health.

The International Anti Diet Day was first held in England in 1992. Since then, the 6th of May has been an annual day of action, which points out the dangers of dieting, provides information about food addictions and their serious consequences and is committed to a healthy life, regardless of how much weight. Actions are carried out in many places around the world on this day. (sb)

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