As bad and self-destructive as this is, however, Health At Every Size is even more pernicious for a different reason: its pushing of scientific fraud on needy, emotionally unstable people (usually women) and their children, the latter of which have little choice in matters of food and well-being. This is because, instead of merely focusing on legitimate instances of fat bigotry and/or medical fraud — such as a doctor prescribing weight loss for pneumonia, or whatever else — they have decided to push their own quack advice as a kind of over-compensation for their own powerlessness. In this way, obesity is said to be alright; aching knees and sore backs are best addressed with a scooter, so you could get even less of the exercise that might reverse the damage; there’s no bad food — all food needs to be respected as ‘nourishing’ — and it is in fact guilt and personal shame, NOT heart attacks, cancer, and the chronic, endocrine-sapping stress of chronic pain, that are the real killers of fat people. In short, the thinking is: if the science don’t work, then fuck science! At least we’ve got each other , wherein feelings are supreme, and can stay immutable.
You’re out for a meal and you kindly ask that your companion pass you the water/a napkin/the olives on the table, etc. They hand it to you and you outstretch your arm, but it’s bent because your elbow is now so swollen that you can no longer straighten your arm. So there you sit, with your bent arm, looking like a princess who simply refuses to stretch far enough to accept the item being passed to you. Your companion looks at you as if you’re being lazy and unappreciative, and you have to quickly come up with a reason for not reaching far enough. Not wanting to explain your personal health situation, especially if this is a business meal, you not-so-quickly try and rise from your seat to leverage your entire body over the table in order to reach for the water, and you do so with both hands because your wrists hurt so much that there’s no way you can simply hold the item.