An article published lately in the Public Library of Science on attitudes of medical students towards overweight and obesity analyzed the ind of prejudice that obese people are subjected to. Discrimination against overweight and obese people is not a new thing, but when it is noticed in a health-care environment where it shouldn’t be (not that it should be elsewhere) and when a number of scholars take the time and effort to write about it, then it is just a matter of time before things get serious.
Yesterday I stumbled upon a blog article discussing this very same issue, and boy, was I surprised when it turned out that it was an airline company that fired the first bullet. Was it expected? Of course! We all have a skinny friend pointing out the issue every time he or she takes the plane.
The fact is obesity costs money, and not only in air travel; a study showed that the total direct costs attributable to overweight and obesity were $6.0 billion in 2006 in Canada, another one estimated that the total health-care costs attributable to obesity/overweight would double every decade to 860.7–956.9 billion US dollars by 2030. And with the lawsuits raining over the Fast-food companies, it is just a matter of time before someone takes the first step into making obesity illegal. When you think about it, this isn’t a new concept, Hollywood has been preparing us for this day by illustrating obesity being illegal; I can particularly recall an episode of Sliders (Sci-Fi TV show) and another movie of which I can’t remember the title.
With a little perspective, this turn of events was inevitable. However, I can’t help but wonder, what does this mean for those for whom obesity is not an inevitable outcome, but rather a personal choice.