Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I work in dialysis. The 2 leading causes of kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. So I shouldn't probably be suprised when the "obesity epidemic" comes up as a topic, but as a social worker I find it hard for it to be discussed without its attendant issues of system of discrimination.

We had a social work meeting for the social workers in our region yesterday, and a woman began talking about it as a cause. It was so frustrating. There was no space in the meeting to be able to challenge the idea of the "epidemic" or discuss with more nuance some of the social and cultural issues that go into size and the medical industry.

It was dropped so casually, as though we would all understand and accept that large bodies = unhealthy bodies. I'm all for keeping track of your health. I'm going to more doctors lately than I care to. But I have excellent insurance and a job to pay for medication and co-pays. I have no fear of the medical establishment. I have had doctors who reflected what I looked like, what I sound like and what my lifestyle is for most of my life. I trust them.

This to me - this lack of access, and lack of trust of the medical community for people of color is huge and needs to be addressed more urgently than does the so-called epidemic that is so hyped....then perhaps we can tackle lack of access to fresh, affordable foods and exercise facilities/resources.

1 comment:

Alice said...

This comment isn't really related to this post. I just wanted to tell you that I've started reading a lot of fat acceptance blogs in the last couple months... and yours is, without a doubt, one of the most compassionate and honest. Please keep writing, because I'll keep reading.