Mainstream health science has let you down. Weight loss is not the key to health, diet and exercise are not effective weight-loss strategies, and fatness is not a death sentence.
You've heard it before: there's a global health crisis, and, unless we make some changes, we're in trouble. That much is true—but the epidemic is NOT obesity. The real crisis lies in the toxic stigma placed on certain bodies and the impact of living with inequality—not the numbers on a scale. In a mad dash to shrink our bodies, many of us get so caught up in searching for the perfect diet, exercise program, or surgical technique that we lose sight of our original goal: improved health and well-being. Popular methods for weight loss don't get us there and lead many people to feel like failures when they can't match unattainable body standards. It's time for a cease-fire in the war against obesity.
Dr. Linda Bacon and Dr. Lucy Aphramor's Body Respect debunks common myths about weight, including the misconceptions that BMI can accurately measure health, that fatness necessarily leads to disease, and that dieting will improve health. They also help make sense of how poverty and oppression—such as racism, homophobia, and classism—affect life opportunity, self-worth, and even influence metabolism.
Body insecurity is rampant, and it doesn't have to be. It's time to overcome our culture's shame and distress about weight, to get real about inequalities and health, and to show every body respect.
Celeste Oliva is an accomplished actor of both stage and screen. She credits her longevity in the acting field to her early years in radio. It was her voice that allowed her to start doing radio shows and branch into acting and land gigs almost out of college. Now she regularly appears on stage and screen. Some of her favorite projects include Olive Kitteridge, November Criminals, Gone Baby Gone, 21, and The Women. On stage Celeste has received nominations and awards for Grounded, Chinglish, Stage Kiss, and Arcadia. She has been a cast member of America's longest continuous running hit show Shear Madness in Boston, and reprised her role in the off-Broadway production last summer. She is also a writer, director, and voice-over artist.