The Problem with “Body Positivity”

The new “body positive” movement, and “healthy at any size” mantras may make people feel good about themselves, but it won’t help them live any longer. The people who are angling for fat acceptance may not realize what kind of health problems they will face down the road. As a nurse, a lot of my patients are in their 30s and 40s, overweight, and have all the co-morbidities that go along with it. I don’t think they will make it to 70 or 80, and if they do, it won’t be an easy road.

The healthcare system is already burdened with those morbidly obese patients who drain the precious resources of the staff who must care for them. I remember a remark one of my techs made about an obese patient, stating that “she is literally killing us.” Every time this patient had to be repositioned, or put on the bedpan, or have a dressing changed for her bedsores, it took 4 staff people off the floor. That was time taken away from other patients who may be more critical. Not only that, but imagine how the patient felt that she was totally dependent on others for all of her care.

Most of the adult patients I see in the hospital suffer from chronic diseases that could have been easily prevented with a few lifestyle changes. Among the obvious: don’t drink or eat to excess, don’t smoke, and exercise on a regular basis to maintain a healthy body weight. By all means stay active as long as you can, into your 60s and 70s if possible. A healthy body weight will take stress off of your joints and go a long way toward improving your overall health!