Health

Woke researchers call for ‘morbidly obese’ to be banned because it’s offensive

Calling the fattest category of people “morbidly obese” is offensive, as is saying that their weight loss attempt was a “failure”.
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Calling the fattest category of people morbidly obese is offensive, woke researchers said today.

And they urged doctors and scientists to stop calling failed weight loss attempts “failures”.

Future terms should include “ineffective” or “insufficient” weight loss, or even “secondary weight regain”.

No specific suggestion has been given to replace the phrase “morbid”, but severe is often used instead.

Today critics slammed the recommendation, published in a leading obesity journal, saying it was ‘odd’ given that morbid obesity is a clinical term.

But industry experts agreed that “less stigmatizing” language was crucial in the battle against the bulge, saying “words really matter”.

Joe Nadglowski, chair of the Obesity Action Coalition, said: ‘The old phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ does not apply to people with obesity .”

It comes after a separate team of researchers claimed the word obesity is racist and should be dropped in favor of ‘people in bigger bodies’.

Calling the fattest category of people “morbidly obese” is offensive, as is saying that their weight loss attempt was a “failure”.

More than 42 million adults in the UK will be overweight or obese by 2040, according to new projections from Cancer Research UK

More than 42 million adults in the UK will be overweight or obese by 2040, according to new projections from Cancer Research UK

The proposed change to the language of obesity was made by a group of British experts writing in the journal Obesity, which describes itself as “the number one source of information…for obese people”.

The researchers analyzed 3,000 academic papers on bariatric surgery, which includes gastric banding and bypass surgery.

They wanted to see “how often negative terminology was used”.

Some 2.4% of the selected articles contained the word “failure”, while 16.8% used “morbid”.

Sixteen patients trying to lose weight were also interviewed over the phone about how language made them feel.

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR BODY MASS INDEX – AND WHAT IT MEANS

Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height.

Standard formula:

  • BMI = (weight in pounds / (height in inches x height in inches)) x 703

Metric formula:

  • BMI = (weight in kilograms / (height in meters x height in meters))

Measurements:

  • Less than 18.5: Underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9: In good health
  • 25 – 29.9: Overweight
  • 30 – 39.9: Obese
  • 40+: Morbid obesity

Some said it left them in “tears” and avoided seeking medical help for 20 years.

They pointed out how the word “failure” implied personal responsibility for the lack of weight loss, suggesting that a lack of willpower or self-control was to blame.

Meanwhile, the team claimed that “morbid” can mean “unhealthy”. One participant called it a “chilling” sentence.

Lead author Richard Welbourn, a bariatric surgeon working at Musgrove Park Hospital in Somerset, said: “All healthcare professionals should be aware of this research and consider their use of language when discussing obesity with colleagues and patients.

“Standardized, non-judgmental terminology can help patients feel safe to engage in conversation about weight and potential treatment options.”

Mr Nadglowski, who was not involved in the research, said: ‘Our words really matter.

“Poor or outdated language harms the provider/patient relationship and ultimately prevents people with obesity from seeking or receiving care.

“It’s time we prioritized better language around obesity.”

Christopher Snowdon, of the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank, said: ‘Morbid obesity is a clinical term, so it seems strange to tell clinicians and academics not to use it.

“It’s called morbid obesity because a BMI over 35 is associated with a higher risk of death, unlike overweight and mild obesity.”

Analysis by Cancer Research UK shows that 71% of people could be overweight or obese by 2040. Of these, almost 36% of adults (21 million) are likely to be obese (blue dotted line).  The graph shows: Projections of the proportion of adults who are healthy weight (grey), overweight (pink) and obese (blue) in the UK from 2010 to 2040

Analysis by Cancer Research UK shows that 71% of people could be overweight or obese by 2040. Of these, almost 36% of adults (21 million) are likely to be obese (blue dotted line). The graph shows: Projections of the proportion of adults who are healthy weight (grey), overweight (pink) and obese (blue) in the UK from 2010 to 2040

The graph shows: projections of the proportion of men (purple) and women (pink) who will be obese in the UK from 2010 to 2040

The graph shows: projections of the proportion of men (purple) and women (pink) who will be obese in the UK from 2010 to 2040

The graph shows: projections of the proportion of men (purple) and women (pink) who will be overweight in the UK from 2010 to 2040

The graph shows: projections of the proportion of men (purple) and women (pink) who will be overweight in the UK from 2010 to 2040

“It is unclear why an organization called the Obesity Society, writing in a journal called Obesity, thinks people will be unnecessarily distressed at being described as morbidly obese, but are happy to be called obese.

“Maybe we should start calling people fat again?” »

The NHS advice pages on obesity do not mention the words ‘morbid’ or ‘morbid’, but rather state that a BMI over 40 is ‘severely obese’.

The term is however still used on some parts of the health service site.

Writing in the New Journal, the team said the “conscious effort” to change the language has been “incremental at best”.

Britain and the United States are currently battling an obesity crisis, with nearly two-thirds of adults considered overweight.

Experts have warned that unless the spiraling trend is reversed, obesity will eclipse smoking as the leading cause of cancer.

In a bid to tackle the outbreak, No10 earlier this year introduced mandatory calorie labeling for restaurants, cafes and takeaways in England with more than 250 staff.

However, the government simultaneously postponed a ban on ‘buy one, get one free’ offers on unhealthy foods due to the cost of living crisis.

WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET RESULT IN?

Meals should be potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS

Meals should be potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count

• Meals based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starches, ideally whole grains

• 30 grams of fiber per day: This is equivalent to eating all of the following foods: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole-grain crackers, 2 thick slices of whole-grain bread, and a large baked potato with the skin on.

• Have dairy products or dairy alternatives (like soy beverages) choosing low fat and low sugar options

• Eat beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish per week, one of which should be fatty)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume them in small amounts

• Drink 6 to 8 cups/glasses of water per day

• Adults should consume less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide

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