Having been an obese child, I know first hand the shame and marginalization that it sometimes entails. As painful as that experience sometimes was, I do not think that social stigmas surrounding food and body image are necessarily negative things. Many cultures have much more accepted and overt cultural taboos around food and body image, Japan and France for example, that have helped them to preserve healthy populations for longer than the United States has existed. Instead of trying to fight something that serves a necessary social function, we should look to ways to harness these forces so that overweight people have the information and resources to make positive changes and not become despondent or resort to drastic measures.
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