Gordofobia: What is behind the hatred of the curves?

History has been repeated many times in recent years: a large-sized model is the cover of a magazine and unleashes a storm of reproaches to the publication for idealizing obesity. Only a few readers, on the other hand, commend the mannequin's trust for being happy with itself. Experts have a name for the dominant attitude: Gordofobia, a bias by which people perceived as plump are discriminated and underestimated, consciously orunconsciously. "Gordofobia could be defined as a feeling of repulsion towards those who are overweight and deviate from the established aesthetic patterns," stresses Dr. Néstor Benítez, dietitian-nutritionist specializing in treating eating disorders and Professor of the degree in human nutrition and dietetics of the Isabel I University (Burgos).

To know the status of the issue simply type in Google "jokes about fat", click and wait for the result: 19.1 million entries in Castilian and 118 million if done in English (jokes about fat). "He was such a fat guy, that his guardian angel had to sleep in another bed," says one of the jokes. "She was such a fat lady that when she got on the scales, she got an error message: ' Please, go up one at a time, ' ' proposes another. Also films and series of success are full of Gordofóbicos tics . And the same goes for popular language. "Just look at the expression ' this person I Fall fat," exemplifies Maria Soto, dietitian-nutritionist and specialized in dealing with eating disorders. But it is still more serious what happens in the work environment. A few years ago, a sociologist at the Sorbonne University (Paris) unveiled the New York Times The results of a study, according to which, in France, a fat man is three times less likely to find employment than another with his Same curriculum that's in your weight.

The experts who have analyzed the phenomenon point out that the society in which we live teaches that the valuable and healthy is the agile, the fast, the dynamic. Therefore, everything that is associated with slow, heavy, and bulky is perceived as inferior. And this explains the social harassment suffered by people with excess weight, who dynamite the ideal of thinness that stimulates contemporary society. However, it is absolutely true that since 1980 the rates of overweight and obesity have grown more than at any time in history, so, as an appetizer, it is worth asking: why have we gained so much weight?

The reasons for the size increase are confusing

There are many experts looking for the answer. To date, the "nutritionally correct" form of answering the question consisted in indicating that obesity is a "multicomponent" pathology. But, being true, there are some things that seem to have influenced more than others. For example, nor it is argued that we have grown so wide by gobbling up more food than our parents and grandparents, while the amount of calories they would then ingest — as they recollect some research — were Superior to the one we take now.

In Spain, for example, according to the study the Spanish diet: An update, prepared by Professor Gregorio Varela-Moreiras, professor of nutrition and bromatology of the Universidad CEU San Pablo (Madrid), the average energy intake has gone from 3,008 Kilocalories per person and day in the year 1964 to 2,609 calories in 2012. Too much has been written about the guilt that we are now doing less exercise. However, more and more voices point out that physical activity, being crucial to maintaining good health, is much less important than the diet when it comes to regulating weight.

Terms like Fofisano have made a hole in Spanish: an adaptation of dad bod (father's body) Anglo-Saxon. The reading is clear: it is good that they look tripita, but they are required the perfect body

So, what happened? The British daily The Guardian ventured to suggest an answer on August 17, 2018: The main reason we have gained so much weight is the kind of food we have been consuming since the last quarter of the last century. As noted in the article, the English currently buy half of fresh milk per person in 1976, but five times more yogurt, three times more ice cream and (attention) 39 times more dairy desserts (custard, flans, mousses, etc.). They also acquire half of the eggs that at the end of the twentieth century (data are extrapolated to many other European countries, such as Spain), but one third more breakfast cereals and double snacks; Half of the total potatoes, but three times more of their variety fried in the bag (snacks).

Also, although direct sugar purchases have declined dramatically, it is very likely that the one that is hidden and that we take with sugary drinks and through precooked Foods has skyrocketed in recent years. Thus, any woman or man worried about having gained more than the account recently, in addition to supervising the amount of food and physical activity performed, should also worry "about the nutritional quality of the foods that are part of their Day by day, "suggests Maria Soto.

As the journalist Jacques Peretti argued in his day in the miniseries The Men who made us fat (the men who made us fatten), food companies have invested a lot of money since 1975 in the design of products that elude our Natural appetite control mechanisms, in order to get us to eat more than we need from adding sugar, salt and fats to many products to make them more palatable and tasty. Not all experts agree, but the reality is merciless: between 1988 and 2011, the average weight of men in the United States has jumped from 82 to 89 kilos, although the stature has remained stable (1.75 meters). Another so much has happened to the women, passing from the 69 kilos that weighed on average at the end of the last century to the almost 77 of now, with an average height immutable of 1.62 meters. "As I have observed in my clinical practice, many patients with obesity recognize a certain dependence on certain foods," says Benítez, who coordinates the group of specialization in Clinical nutrition and dietetics of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In the face of insults, fat pride

The difference between ' gordofobia ' and ' Obesofobia '

If Obesofobia is the terror to fatten and suffer obesity, the gordofobia could be defined as a certain repulsion towards the people with excess weight. "Those who hate and reject people who suffer from obesity, usually have in the background fear of fattening," explains Néstor Benítez and Maria Soto, dietitians-nutritionists specialized in treating eating disorders. Both advise to be careful with the language and use the term "person with obesity" to not blame the patient. "When a person suffers from a serious illness, such as cancer, he is not judged or insinuated that it is his fault. Instead, obesity does happen. That is why it is important to remark that this is also a disease, "says Benítez.

There are many people who, at least in public, do not seem to be at all worried about having gained weight, but they are delighted to the extent of being photographed on social networks devouring double cheeseburgers. In this line stands the strong activism for the diversity of weight that runs through the United States, with Marilyn Wann to the head. This writer, which weighs 129 kilos, stresses that the bad image of the fat in America is comparable to racism and homophobia. In his book Fat! So? (fat! And what?), vindicates openly: "For me ' fat ' is a neutral word. To say ' overweight ' already denotes negative connotations and prejudices. And obesity is a clinical term, to treat you as sick. I want to be called fat. I'm fat. "

In Spain, the actor Brays Efe (Paquita Salas) recently regretted in his speech in the fierce prizes that the fat actors only receive offers to play fat by directors and producers, as if there was nothing else to define them. in this context of mockery and discrimination, the fat Pride (Fat Pride) is born, a movement to eradicate the idea that the curves are wrong. And at the end, a new concept of eating disorder called Megarexia, which leads some to find it nice to be obese.

The debate is not new, and reminds other similar people who populate Facebook and other social networks where some groups also claim the right to smoke tobacco, drink alcohol and consume other drugs not so well accepted socially, with the argument of That what is at stake is his own life, although, in reality, all this compels to finance with public funds the diseases that originate their habits. The question is: Is there any intermediate point between the chances and pullas that throw some to the people with excess weight and the undisguised pride with which others manage their extra kilos?

"It's great that people with obesity feel very good about themselves. In fact, it should be so, but they must also be aware, without altering their happiness, that they have a pathological problem that in the short, medium or long term can affect their health. You have to differentiate both things, "the expert Benítez clarifies. And what signs warn that obesity, beyond aesthetics, may be passing bill to health? "It can be something as simple as starting to have a hard time tying your shoes," he adds. "The red line is not being able to live a normal life and notice, for example, that you get tired a lot more," adds the dietitian-nutritionist Soto. From that moment on, "What was a respectable option happens to become a health problem," he warns.

The ideal weight is a entelechy

Is it better to be ajamonado than Amojamado?

Correct answer: No. Although an old saying so dictates, scientific literature does not confirm this belief. However, a study published in 2013 in the Journal of the American Medical Association helped to sow many doubts, stating that people who are overweight were less likely to die than subjects with normal weight. Shortly after the aforementioned investigation was released, the most sensationalist press mistakenly published that having an extra amount of body fat was healthy. For this reason, in the photos selected by some media to illustrate the news was observed to gentlemen something entered in very smiling meats, or to women pellizcándose the michelins of the same guise.

Here is the small print of the study: in fact, it is not that being overweight reports any advantage to the general population, but, in any case, to elderly people. The main reason is that these, aware of their situation, visit before and more to the doctor than the rest, "which allows them to advance a treatment and have better prognosis," says dietitian-nutritionist Maria Soto.

Soto clarifies: "It is more important the composition of weight than the weight itself", to mean that you have to stop giving so much importance to what marks the line of the scale when it moves to the right and think more in terms of health. What we have to idealize is the quality of life, says this expert, and not some aesthetic patterns imposed by the fashion industry or by certain sectors interested in taking economic performance to overweight and obesity.

it touches to prioritize fresh food, flee from the ultraprocessed without falling into extremism (remember that cheese, bread, olive oil, tofu, gazpacho and salads of the fourth range, ie, in stock and ready to eat, are processed products) and Be aware that we live in a obesogenic environment that, paradoxically, glorifies thinness. But also, to control the language to avoid stigmatizing with insults and jokes of bad taste to people who are overweight to exorcise by thick words the fear of fattening that we grips (almost) all.