While there has been much concern about the increasing—and increasingly increasing—numbers of overweight and obese Americans, a new study sponsored by The Society for a Fat America emphasizes an often overlooked positive effect of this trend towards heavier weight: fewer Americans are now underweight. In fact, the study reports, incidence of underweightedness in this country may now be as low as 2%.
Michael M. Finnie, president and founder of The Society for a Fat America, describes this study as “a turning point in our understanding of size and weight.”
Julia Adopise, a researcher at the New England Center for Inclusion, Tolerance, and Diversity, praised the study for its courage and sensitivity:
Too often, we are willing to accept people for what they are except when we aren’t. And too often, those who are heavier than the norm are those whom we aren’t, if you see what I mean. By emphasizing the positive aspects of our increasing national girth, this study will help shift our attitudes towards a large group of people who are too often deamened, disregarded, and marginalized, too often without our even being aware that we are demeaning, disregarding, or marginalizing them.
Detail of anonymous poster produced by J. Morgan & Co. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.