Patterico's Pontifications

5/13/2014

A New Protected Class?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:17 pm

[guest post by Dana]

There is a move afoot to seek federal protection for yet another group. It’s difficult to keep up with the expanding list and at some point in time, one wonders what won’t be added.

New research shows that most Americans support policies that address weight discrimination. In fact, approximately 3 out of 4 individuals support efforts to add body weight as a protected class under Civil Rights laws, and the majority of those surveyed (at least 60%) are supportive of other policy efforts to address weight discrimination across the nation.

The study, led by researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and published in the research journal Obesity, the official journal of The Obesity Society (TOS), is the first to document a positive change in public attitudes toward legal measures to address weight discrimination.

“More than two-thirds of adults in the United States are affected by overweight or obesity, meaning they are also vulnerable to the stigma and discrimination that these proposed policies and laws would help prevent,” said study author Rebecca Puhl, PhD, Rudd Center deputy director and co-author of the study. “Rates of weight discrimination are comparable with rates of racial discrimination, especially for women, and are seen across multiple domains, from healthcare and employment to media and personal relationships. We’re hopeful that identifying these trends in support of action to end weight discrimination can provide backing for current and future policy efforts.”

According to the paper, from 2011 — 2013 researchers observed a 7% increase in support for disability protections for those affected by obesity or overweight (61% in 2011 to 69% in 2013) and a 6% increase for adding body weight as a protected class in Civil Rights statutes (70% in 2011 to 76% in 2013).

As for reasons behind the observed increase in support for action, Dr. Puhl points to the American Medical Association designation of obesity as a disease in 2013 — and the resulting national media attention — as a possible force in moving the needle, but adds: “We still have a long way to go. Reducing weight discrimination requires shifting societal attitudes and challenging stigma in multiple settings.”

It’s interesting to note Dr. Puhl discusses reducing weight discrimination, but not reducing weight. If, as some believe, the stigma of obesity/overweight is so damaging and debilitating that we need federal protection laws, perhaps someone should inform Charles Barkley of this. Because a public figure fat shaming is clearly unacceptable!

When taken to the woodshed by viewers, Barkley dug in. The only option? Obviously, intensive sensitivity training and federal protection for the offended.

And while we’re at it, I am a left-handed conservative with a Morton’s toe – where’s my protection??

–Dana

27 Responses to “A New Protected Class?”

  1. Let’s just add FUCKING IDIOTS as a protected class, and then the left can finally rest, mission accomplished.

    Kevin Stafford (9d942e)

  2. fascists HATE fatties

    this train ain’t going nowheres

    not in Barack and Hillary’s America it ain’t

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. I made a mistake
    “does this make my ass look big?”
    truth won’t set you free

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. Hillary Special
    two plump thighs and two left wings
    say Colonel sentcha

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  5. Eventually there will be a protected class of those who are members of at most one protected classes. (That is, they belonged to no protected class until they became a member of this protected class.)

    There’s a part of me that wants to claim the way to end discrimination by class is to have everyone be a member of several classes; if everyone is special, then no one is special.

    htom (412a17)

  6. So, if I am really fat, female and white, gay and go to college and live north of the Mason-Dixon line, do I get protection from the PC police?

    Is there a flow-chart somewhere that diagrams this?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  7. Female and black would be better, surely? Oh, and handicapped.

    Gazzer (c2c196)

  8. But, what to do with a transgender child and a challenged immigrant girlfriend who has national socialist tendencies while considering converting to Islam as the family rejects Mormonism and is trying to decide if being a Hebrew is better than Presbyterianism while sadomasochism is the family tradition?

    Living in America is tough.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  9. As an obese American, I am devastated that people like me are not represented better in professional sports. We are a statistically significant presence in the United States, but how often do you see someone who is obese playing in the NBA (for example).

    Professional sports are a very visible part of American culture, and obese Americans deserve to be represented.

    And while we’re at it, the US military should stop its discriminatory practices with things like weight and P.T. standards. The military has long been racially integrated, women and gays have made strides in the past few years towards open acceptance in all aspects of the military, and there is even talk of how to integrate transgendered individuals in the service. Yet, obese Americans continue to be shamed and even ejected from the military.

    We are not asking for any rights greater than what anyone else has. All we want is equality and justice, and in order to meet those ends we will… ooh, is that pie?

    malclave (1db6c5)

  10. Compassion for compassion’s sake.

    A form of big-heartedness and do-gooderness that’s cheap, lazy and knuckle-headed. But that’s America — and the Western World in general — in 2014.

    I wonder if this is what practical-minded people in ancient Rome experienced during the many twilight years of their eroding empire?

    BTW, a shout out to Nidal Hasan!

    Mark (99b8fd)

  11. malclave – I agree. Obese people are very underrepresented in sports such as gymnastics and skating. The discrimination needs to stop!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  12. I want a protected class for nerds like me that are awkward with da ladies.

    SPQR (c4e119)

  13. Sit next to a fat person on an airplane and see if you still believe they should be a protected class–or you should be.

    Complain about being crunched and you could be the subject of a law suit.

    PC run amok!

    When 90% of the people are in one protected class or another will that qualify the remaining 10% to be in a minority protected class?

    Jim (145e10)

  14. “. . . how often do you see someone who is obese playing in the NBA (for example).”

    One of my all-time favorite NBA players was Billy “The Whopper” Paultz.

    JVW (feb406)

  15. Patterico: you already have your white privilege, so you aren’t entitled to anything else.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  16. yeah, i weigh a bit more than i should, but not as much as i have in the past, and i’d like to get back to where i was a few injuries & medical issues ago, even if i never get back to wearing 32/32 pants like i did when i was young and had a future.

    however, i’ve never really had much issue with people giving me crap about my weight, for one simple reason:

    You: “you’re fat…” (or similar weightist insult/remark)

    me: “yes i am, but you’re a moron, and i can diet…”” /drops mic

    You: “incoherent spluttering rage”

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  17. So, if someone is worried about being laid off at work, they should bulk up? Gaining weight is rather a lot easier than losing it.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  18. Charles Barkley is what you get when you leave the Pillsbury Doughboy too long in the oven.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. And yeah, Chuckie baby, I do turn off my TV when you’re on.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. This could give an whole new meaning to pork barrel spending, or feeding out of the public trough, not to mention having too much on your plate, or forcing entitlements down your throat.

    ropelight (04fb93)

  21. While it is obvious that there are some places where being fat is inappropriate due to the requirements of the job (like the military, etc), that’s a bit of a canard.

    Let’s face it, weight discrimination is really the last accepted discrimination out there. Look at some of the comments here:

    “This could give an whole new meaning to pork barrel spending, or feeding out of the public trough, not to mention having too much on your plate, or forcing entitlements down your throat.”

    “Sit next to a fat person on an airplane and see if you still believe they should be a protected class–or you should be.”

    “Hillary Special
    two plump thighs and two left wings
    say Colonel sentcha”

    Should fat people be a protected class? That’s moronic. But there definitely should be a greater awareness of how often weight discrimination occurs and how often it’s damaging. As usual, government goes too far, but the problem is real.

    Burnside (8fa39f)

  22. Fat people cause global warming. Leaving aside the additional energy/carbon footprint needed for their food and plus sizes and its trasportation and disposal, along with the transport of their fat behinds, at normal earth gravity each pound of mass is equal to 0.0013 BTU at rest (the energy has to go somewhere and that somewhere is heat). They raise the temperature of the Earth by .0013 of one degree Fahrenheit per pound just by sitting!

    nk (dbc370)

  23. No lie. I have been reduced to watching soccer.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  24. Yet, you see shows like the Biggest Lower where they rip into people for being fat. That you have jokes and memes about folks being fat and not being able to walk away from the donuts. All while there are people who do actively try and loose weight via the right way, but they end up plateauing and doing drastically dangerous stuff like eating disorders or suicide. Since they see thier attempts to be skinny like the Victoria Secret models or like the twits on some reality show as some sort of failure. Add in the almost constant drumbeat from the medical field that any ounce of fat means instant death after 40. There is something to be said that society needs to accept folks of a certain size are just a healthy as those who are skinny rails.

    Charles (130a40)

  25. My mother, the kindest woman one could ever meet, was very fiesty as a girl. One day, circa 1944, she was walking around her little town, wearing some shoes with bells on them. A group of teenage boys a few years older than her passed her.

    One of the boys, who was rather chubby, started making fun of the bells on her shoes. His companions laughed. My mother said, “I can take the bells off my shoes. Can you take the fat off your bones?”

    The chubby boy was speechless, while the other boys laughed even harder as they all walked away.

    norcal (a69259)

  26. We, the BMI-challenged, need to stick together and beat the crap out of the “Size Three’s” of the world.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  27. I think I picked up a SARS or MERS CoV a month back and it has returned for the main show.

    Does wonders for the waistline.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)


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