Food Abuse = Rape?

Obesity is one of the most serious health issues in America today. This is what has prompted anti-obesity activist MeMe Roth to crusade for a lighter, thinner population. Unfortunately, her attacks on obesity not only seem poorly aimed, they are downright offensive.

In an article by Observer journalist Gaby Wood, Roth says she’s never been anorexic or on a diet. She encourages people to avoid obesity by eating more nutritious food. Yet when questioned, she sheepishly admits she doesn’t eat breakfast at all, and may not eat lunch until almost dinner time. These hardly seem to be healthy eating habits. So what exactly is Roth petitioning for – healthiness, as she says, or just anti-fatness? She seems to feel that there is more to be won from shaming “fat” people than to educating people about healthy eating choices. Is this really the route to health we want to take?

In addition to this, she compares obesity to rape:
“The defence has been made in the case of sex criminals that there is pleasure on the part of the victim. The same is true with what we’re doing with food. We may abuse our bodies with food, but it’s incredibly pleasurable. From a food marketer’s point of view, when your quote unquote victim is so willing and enjoying of the process, who’s fighting back?”

I find it appalling that she would actually refer to a defense of “pleasure on the part of the victim” as if it’s valid. Does she really believe that people enjoy being raped? And can you even possibly begin to compare food abuse (which is something we do to ourselves) with a crime as serious as rape (something completely out of the victim’s control)?

Jezebel has also taken offense to Roth’s comparison in a post about this same Observer article.

While I’m certain much of this is meant as a planned Ann Coulter-like publicity attempt, I find her comments and rationalization to be inappropriate, harmful, and downright offensive. Your thoughts?


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