On today’s morning news programme Good Morning Britain, a self proclaimed ‘weight loss expert’ is advocating the wearing of ‘fat badges’ for obese staff in the NHS to wear, to motivate the wearer to shift the weight and presumably reassure the public that the wearer knows they are overweight and is doing something about it.
The presenters of the show are asking – does fat shaming work?
The sofa expert Steve Miller whose website is called ‘Your Weight Loss Master’ advocates a ‘boot camp’ style approach to weight loss and provides a weight loss hypnosis service to his clients. I can see a benefit to people struggling with their weight in being honest with themselves about their struggle, as a way to addressing the factors that have led to the weight gain in the first place. But my belief is that love and kindness to oneself – supporting oneself and no negative self talk, is what we should be practising to lose excess weight, keep it off and have a relaxed and peaceful relationship around food and with our bodies. Steve’s approach is to dish out badges that declare that “I’m fat but I’m doing something about it so be inspired!” whilst kicking your backside into shape.
I’m interested to learn what you think? Does a blatant ‘I’m fat’ declaration sound like a strategy to reduce obesity in our society? Whilst some people will have the confidence and emotional strength to do this and effectively ‘kick their butts’ into shape, others will have a feeling of shame or secrecy around their weight. The food is a comforter or something to hide behind so they don’t have to deal with other more underlying issues. I wrote about my experience on this recently for the BritMums website in a story called The hell of ‘comfort’ eating. Will being given a badge to say “I’m fat” actually be the turning point for overweight staff in the NHS or anyone else to finally address their issues in a productive way? I suspect not but I would love to hear your views.
Do leave a comment below and let me know whether you think ‘fat shaming’ would work?