Modern Etiquette: Do the obese really deserve contempt?

Mon Mar 8, 2010 9:31am EST
 
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By Mary Mitchell

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Disgust. Pity. Contempt.

Obesity is everywhere in our society today -- and this is how it is met by a remarkable number of people.

People who would find slurs against other groups unthinkable still seem to think nothing of correcting, lecturing, and even humiliating complete strangers who are overweight.

Not only is such casual obesity-bashing considered harmless, some people actually seem to believe they are "helping" the overweight person by "giving advice."

And the more overweight the person, the more many people seem to feel entitled either to preach or scorn.

This is not a small issue.

Obesity is fast becoming a worldwide epidemic. More than 25 percent of Americans are obese.

The implications -- higher mortality, greater preventable disease, billions of dollars in often unsuccessful remedies -- are enormous.   Continued...

 
<p>Two audience members watch the 2007 "Farm Aid" concert in New York in this September 9, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files (</p>