Monday, April 28, 2008

Me? In the Chicago Tribune?

I was quoted in an article that appeared on the front page of the Chicago Tribune today. The article is about pending legislation regarding obesity discrimination. Here is a link to their online version.

1 comment:

Katnannie2 said...

Dear Sue Ann,
I was so disappointed when I read your quote in the Chicago Tribune. You obviously didn't listen to any of the testimony in Massachussets, nor did you educate yourself about the reason why this bill was proposed.
Do you realize that if Odelia lost her job (and group health insurance) and had to try to find independent health insurance that she probably could NOT? At any price? She would be flat out denied health coverage based on her weight alone. If they did not deny her, she would be paying exorbitantly higher rates than other people of "average" weight. It wouldn't matter if she exercised every day, if she ate healthfully, if she was never sick, if all of her numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) were ideal. The only thing health insurance companies would look at in her case is her height/weight ratio. And it is perfectly legal to deny her coverage based on that alone.
This bill isn't asking for anybody to "condone" being fat. The fact is that people come in a variety of sizes for a variety of reasons. And no matter what the size, or the reasons for that size, everyone deserves basic human rights. Right now it is legal to discriminate against people based on nothing other than body size. People are denied jobs, housing, health care, health insurance, educational opportunities, adoption and other basic human rights every day based soley on body size. I can't believe that you support that!
I wish fervently that you would become more informed on these issues. You are too prominent and important of a person to not be aware of all of the issues that surround the fat civil rights movement.
Please, pick up copies of _Big Fat Lies_ by Glenn Gaesser and _The Obesity Myth_ by Paul Campos. You need that information. Check out NAAFA (the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance) and ASDAH (the Association for Size Diversity and Health). These groups aren't promoting fatness -- they are promoting the concept that people deserve to be treated with compassion and with basic human decency, no matter what size they are. And that we can all benefit from healthful habits at any size. The Health at Every Size movement is worth knowing about!
I know you wouldn't mean to promote prejudice against fat people. But prejudice against fat people is rampant -- and the discrimination that results from that needs to be stopped. If it pushes prejudice underground, so be it. At least you won't be able to be denied health insurance or a job based on your weight.
I remember so clearly when you wrote about the encounter in the elevator with the man who made a comment about your coffee. Remember how hurtful that was? What if he had the right to knock that coffee out of your hand? Or to prevent you from being able to buy that coffee in the first place? Legislation was proposed this year, I believe in Alabama, to do just that -- to deny fat people the right to eat in restaurants. It was summarily dismissed -- but the attacks on the humanity of fat people continue. Legislation protecting people who are discriminated against routinely from discrimination is essential. I think if you looked into it more, you would come to agree.
Finally, body size is NOT about "policing" oneself ... and it is NOT a proxy for health or for character ... and it does not determine how one should be treated.
For more links to books and other information, you can look on my website:
Best wishes ~