Why say NO! to weight loss?

NO WEIGH! supports individuals and organisations to say no to being weighed and pursuing weight loss. But perhaps you're wondering if that's a good idea in the first place. 

An introduction to

NO WEIGH!

The weight loss cycle

Initial weight loss consist primarily of water and lean mass. Fat loss requires a significantly larger energy deficit, which is why weight loss plateaus and eventually reaches its peak (nadir). Weight restoration usually begins within the first year, and up to two thirds end up heavier than when they first started. This is a natural, unavoidable process.

The problem with BMI

BMI is a poor indicator of health and it’s use within the medical and scientific community causes more harm than it does good. It has its roots in eugenics, was only intended to be used at a population rather than individual level, and is now used to gatekeep treatment and penalise Fat people.

Weight stigma

Weight stigma arises from a complex interplay of cultural, social, and individual factors that influence how weight is perceived and judged in society. Society prioritises thinness and equate it with beauty, success, and health. Additionally, misconceptions about weight, such as attributing it solely to personal responsibility or lack of willpower, can lead to stigmatizing beliefs and attitudes. Economic factors, access to healthcare, and environmental influences also shape perceptions of health and body size.

"The Committee concluded that BMI actually contributes to health issues such as eating disorders and people's mental health by disrupting body image and inviting social stigmas. Instead, the Committee calls for the use of BMI to be stopped and for the adoption of a 'Health at Every Size' approach which prioritises health lifestyle choices over correcting weight."

You can't control your weight

There are hundreds of factors that control our weight, including genetics, early childhood experiences, medical conditions, medications, social factors, chronic stress, and ironically, a history of intentional weight loss.

You can't tell anything about a person's health from their weight

Approximately 30% of people in the "healthy weight" category are metabolically "unhealthy", and 50% of "higher weight" individuals are metabolically "healthy".

Being Fat does not CAUSE poor health or shave years off your life

Whilst there is a negative association between higher weight and health outcomes, there are several potential reasons for this, including weight stigma and weight cycling (caused by dieting).
"The AMA recognizes issues with using BMI as a measurement due to its historical harm, its use for racist exclusion, and because BMI is based primarily on data collected from previous generations of non-Hispanic white populations."

Weight-centric healthcare is harmful

Weight-centric care focuses on weight loss to prevent and treat a number of health problems. At it’s core is the belief that individuals are responsible for making “healthy lifestyle choices” and maintaining a “healthy weight”.

Weight stigma causes poorer health outcomes, irrespective of size

Weight stigma is an independent risk factor for shorter life expectancy and higher levels of disease. It also leads to weight cycling and weight gain, creating a vicious cycle that is hard to escape.

"Weight management" or "weight loss" programs don't work

There isn’t any real evidence that weight management programs are effective in the long term. In fact, the only people who appear to benefit from weight loss are those who are financially profiting from it.
"A majority of [medical] students exhibited implicit (74%) and explicit (67%) weight bias. Implicit weight bias scores were comparable to reported bias against racial minorities. Explicit attitudes were more negative toward ob*se people than toward racial minorities, gays, lesbians, and poor people."

The heavier you are, the worse you are treated

Weight stigma (the negative attitudes and discrimination towards individuals based on their body weight or size) causes more harm the larger you are. Those at the higher end of the spectrum are often excluded from key areas of society, including healthcare.

Weight stigma is more pronounced in those already isolated and oppressed

Weight stigma intersects with other forms of stigma (such as racial, gender or disability stigma). Weight stigma is a form of oppression. The more oppressed identities a person holds, the worse their healthcare experience and the poorer their overall health outcomes.

You didn't fail the diet - the diet failed you

Weight loss sends the body into a state of panic, leading to a cascade of events aimed at weight restoration. It is unreasonable to expect your body to overcome thousands of years of evolution. Weight restoration is a natural consequence of intentional weight loss.

A Note About Language

The term "Fat" is used as a neutral descriptor, which has been co-opted by the Fat community and does not carry any negative connotations. It is used interchangeably with the term "higher weight individual". 

The words “ov*rweight” and “ob*se” are always censored because they are harmful and stigmatizing terms that incorrectly pathologize and medicalize bodies based solely on their size.

Weight Stigma Is Harmful

Find out more about how it impacts people in a medical setting, and why it is essential that we all take steps to address and prevent it. 

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