So yesterday the FDA recommended approval of a new weight loss drug, Contrave. They did so even though it may actually raise blood pressure. And does anyone remember Meridia? The FDA pulled it off the market in September because it feared the potential increase in heart attacks. Oh, and long term studies showed that folks lost, on average, five whole pounds. Don’t know about you, but the opportunity to lose five whole pounds is definitely worth risking a heart attack for me. /sarcasm. But hey, if taking a pill every day isn’t your cup of tea, you can always get bariatric surgery, which recently became available for more folks, thanks to the FDA’s (again! so helpful!) decision to expand the availability of the lap-band surgery to patients who are less obese. For folks with a BMI of 35, they don’t even need to have any health complications!
I’m not denying that some people would like to lose weight. I’m not even denying that some people perhaps should lose weight for health reasons (true health reasons, not “oh you’re fat therefore you must be completely and totally unhealthy” reasons). I am also a firm believer in personal autonomy about one’s health – if you want to lose weight, and if you want to lose it using a pill or lap-band surgery, I will not question your decision. This statement is somewhat controversial in the FA movement. Some people in the movement believe that ANY medical intervention (pills, surgery) designed to help you lose weight is not within the true framework of Fat Acceptance. I disagree. If those medical aids help you, then who am I to jump in with my opinion on the matter? But, weight loss surgery and pills don’t get even get CLOSE to solving the underlying issue. I wish that instead of spending 30 billion dollars on the weight loss industry, we focus instead on being Healthy At Every Size and we recognize and celebrate beauty in all shapes and sizes. Sounds hippie, I know. Doesn’t mean we don’t strive for it.
And while I’m at it, the BMI sucks also. Check out this fantastic slideshow designed to demonstrate its absurdity.