The Big Fat Weight Survey
We’ve learnt a lot about people, weight, health and society since starting FLAB in 2013.
As part of our mission to challenge fat phobic narratives we wanted to understand more and turned to the UK Government and their information on the NHS website.
To say we were disappointed in the quality of advice and source of information was an understatement, but more than that, we felt much of it was counter intuitive.
FLAB has built an empowered community, working towards a healthier, happier lifestyle, by coming together, setting achievable objectives and by using the power of positivity - so we know how powerful this can be.
By contrast the NHS guidance seemed to set unachievable goals and was underpinned by a blame culture and an assumption that fat people are always unhealthy and that every fat person must want to lose weight; but fundamentally, the NHS website was using outdated and incorrect information and didn’t seem to take any of the latest scientific research about genetics into consideration.
We wondered why this was and asked some health professionals for their opinion - we leant that fat phobia is systemic within our government and that policy makers are failing to implement new research and drive change.
We asked our community for some feedback, based on the type of thing we had seen on the NHS website, to try to better understand how this advice and information was affecting them.
You can find the link to the results of our Big Fat Weight Survey below, together with a link to some scientifically based advice for those who DO want to lose weight, from some of the worlds leading authorities. To be absolutely clear, FLAB isn't advocating that you or any of our community should lose weight - however when we polled our community 92.8% said that they would like to weigh less. That's a staggering statistic when you consider that the advice available to people is never going to help them to achieve their weight loss goals. Further more we believe that it undermines self esteem, fosters a negative body image and association with food and that it fuels our fat phobic society.
The topic of human weight is a fascinating but deeply complex subject and practically everything we thought we knew about it is wrong. We hope that by talking about these subjects we have an opportunity to come together, as an educated and compassionate people, to change our fat phobic society and help everyone live healthier and happier lives.