B1 Intermediate US 20090 Folder Collection
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In my hands I hold a scale.
And when I step on to this scale,
the numbers spin around and around,
and give me a number.
And in my case,
But what does this number really mean?
According to weight classification tables,
in relation to my height,
I am normal,
or ideal weight for my height.
But my body has been subjected to much more
than just these medicalised terms, according to these weight tables.
I've been questioned as being anorexic
or sick looking.
And predominantly, I am the skinny bitch.

And in my personal encounter with this skinny bitch phenomena,
it comes pretty much in a one generalized form.
It's either I am on a diet, and everybody wants to know what it is,
and they are just waiting for me to give them this magic pill
and they will be skinny like me.
And when I tell them actually I am not everything in moderation,
I get this, "Uh," snotty look – as if I am lying.
So I'm a liar.
Or it comes in a different form.
Or, if they don't believe me, they think,
"Oh! you're one of those girls who can eat everything she wants
and doesn't gain a pound."
And there's a sense of hamminess between me and this person –
this resentment.
I don't feel good about that.
And what was once just a number from a scale
has now characterized myself as a person and my health.
Critical theorists call this: "Weight-based discrimination".
And while weight-based discrimination is seen at all shapes and sizes,
one particular group of individuals,
those who are tip over the normal category,
have been particular subjects of this form of discrimination.
Yeah, I am talking about — the fat people.
And according to the literature, not only does the general population,
but professionals working to help these individuals,
whether it be: dietitians,
physicians, physiotherapist,
they have preconceived notions of them, based completely on their body.
For instance:
fat people are gluttonous,
fat people are lazy,
fat people are inactive.
A fat child is a child abuse
and a fat parent is a poor role model.
And again and again, I don't know how many times I've read this,
but a fat citizen is a burden to our straining health care system.
And while what I am presenting to you may not shock you,
what shocks me is how do we go from being raised
to not judge a book by its cover, but as mature adults
and health care professionals,
we do it on a daily basis.
And why?
Because of fear.
And what feed this fear is the overstated and misrepresentation
of the scientific claims underlying weight as a health indicator.
And so when we see claims like: "Risk of death increases with weight,"
or in other words,
the fatter you are – the more likely you are to die,
it feeds onto this fear,
and we somehow attach certainty to whatever we are reading.
But the evidence behind these scientific claims are actually quite conflicting.
Let's take a look at this study for one moment.
If we assessed the redline as a barometer of health,
so anybody below this redline has a lower risk of death,
compared to normal weight people — the ideal,
and anybody above has an increased risk of death.
I bring your attention to the lower part of the graph.
Our overweight and obese individuals actually have a reduced risk of death
than those who are normal weight.
But as citizens we want to not only live long, we want live healthy.
And so this may not intrigue us.
The second claim, that " fat people are unhealthy ",
that grabs our attention.
Well, they could live long but they're not healthy.
And one way that science objectifies health is by looking at some key indicators
that tell us something about your risk of death.
Key indicators such as: blood pressure,
your cholesterol level,
triglycerides, inflammation,
I am sounding like a textbook, I know,
insulin and your glucose level.
And all of these indicators packaged into one
give us a sort of indication of our risk of "heart disease" and "diabetes" —
the burdens of our health care system.
And so, what this study wanted to look at and see
is to see whether or not these package of indicators
are different in those who are fat and those who are not.
And this is what they saw: So normal weight individuals —
Yes, most of them had a healthy profile.
So their blood glucose and all that stuff I talked about, that was kind of boring
actually was fine.
But, actually almost 25% of the normal weight individuals
actually had abnormal indicators.
Meaning that they would be in an increased risk of disease.
And this is about, according to the most recent
BMI prevalence of normal weight people,
this is about 1.5 million individuals
that are abnormal.
And so they looked at overweight.
Over 50% of the overweight individuals had metabolic health.
And what about obese — the really fat people?
One third are metabolically healthy.
That's 2.5 million people.
And while we can't ignore
that there's more of these abnormal metabolic individuals
at a higher weight,
we tend to ignore the fact that at every size we can see health.
And it's this ignorance that brings fire
and acceptably to weight-based discrimination.
And the consequences of this are not small —
they're very severe:
body dissatisfaction, lower self-esteem,
impaired nutrition intake.
Looks like this —
We will do anything to get to this thin ideal:
eating less, vomiting,
smoking more cigarettes.
Is this health promotion?
And so, we need to wake up.
As a society, we need to wake up
and see weight-based discrimination as a legitimate concern.
We need to think forward and critically analyze
the information we're getting regarding weight as an indicator of health.
And most importantly, as a society, we need to shift the focus away from
striving for this thin ideal, this "normality".
No one's normal.
But this health ideal,
and this health ideal looks and feels
different for each and every one of us.
And so,
what does this number really mean on this scale?
With scientific certainty in light,
it's gravity's pull on your body.

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【TEDx】TEDxRyersonU - Julie Rochefort - Shift the Focus

20090 Folder Collection
阿多賓 published on January 11, 2016    Silvia W. translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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