Weight discrimination is so damaging that many of us search, understandably, for "quick fixes". Solutions such as weight-loss surgery and medication often treat only the symptom (excess weight) and fail to consider other issues that might be at play.
The dominant model of obesity is based on a calorie-in/calorie-out paradigm. It teaches us that obesity is simply a result of eating too much and exercising too little. The solution, then, is simply to eat less and move more. This opens the door for rampant discrimination and stigmatisation of obese individuals which feeds in to additional health problems and makes an exit from poor mental or physical health virtually impossible.
Medical research has shown us time and time again that this simplistic perspective is both ineffective and inappropriate. The effectiveness of restricted diet + exercise as an intervention in long term obesity studies ranges from only 5% - 17%. Unfortunately, society has been slow to catch on and calorie-in/calorie-out still reigns supreme in the public arena.
Weight discrimination is real and dangerous. "Fatism" plays out in many social spheres, driven by those who believe obesity is an indicator of moral failure. Weight stigma is a human rights issue and MUST be combatted.
Television, news, celebrity, and fashion reflect social perspectives on beauty and health ideals. Pop culture feeds in to weight stigma and teaches us that obesity is undesirable and punishable.
Exercise is an important part of both physical and mental well-being. However, common perspectives on exercise for obesity fail to consider both mobility issues and fatism in public spaces and can hurt more than help.
Restrictive diets have been shown time and again to be unsuccessful measures for obtaining long term health. But, somehow, many (including health professionals) continue to research and perscribe this as a "solution" for obesity.
BMI? Waist-to-height ratios? What measure defines who is obese? What measure defines what "ideal" is? Check out the existing measurements and decide for yourself if they are proper indicators of health and well being.