Overweight people denounce that their problem "is not fatness, but the social fatphobia" they suffer, a stigmatization that includes medical professionals, who are asked to look beyond the kilos and "photocopy" diets and accompany in mental health and self-esteem.
It is the approach in which two women with non-normative bodies agree and who fight against fatphobia from their different platforms: the professor of the subject of Aesthetic Violence at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) Sandra Gonfaus and the writer and podcaster Beatriz Cepeda .
A fatphobia that is still very present – they say – in the doctor's office, where there is “a lot of work to do and a lot of specific training” to implement, explains Gonfaus. “Ending fatphobia in the doctor is essential. The fact that a doctor uses a parameter to measure your health like the body mass index, which was created 100 years ago, does not make sense. Health has evolved, but they continue to prescribe diets without seeing further or understanding the causes of being overweight”, adds Cepeda.
The two activists point out that the still widespread approach to being overweight by doctors, who "blame kilos for any other health problem, as if they were the only measure of health", often causes people to exacerbate their eating disorders. eating behaviors, worsen their anxiety, or even stop going to the doctor.
“Fat people often have late diagnoses because professionals only see a fat body to put on a diet, which they believe is the obvious cause of everything, and they take time to see something else. And also because many prefer not to go directly to the consultation because it will make them feel bad”, says the UAB professor.
Gonfaus assures that above all women are the victims of the stigma for having a body that does not conform to the canon, women who feel “very lonely” and have to walk the road to self-acceptance alone and without social or professional support.
“The key feeling from the beginning is guilt. Fat people have always been blamed for having the body we have and for not making enough effort to change it”, he points out.
Along the same lines, Cepeda points out that "fat-phobic society rejects everything related to fatness because it identifies it with negative values such as being sick, being lazy, being neglected and unpleasant."