Abigail Saguy intermingles the social and medical aspects of obesity. Certainly, discriminating against someone because of body habitus is inexcusable. However, ignoring the adverse health consequences of obesity is also indefensible. It is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. because of an increased incidence of heart attacks, strokes, 12 types of cancer, liver disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and more.
Obese people should obviously be treated with respect and dignity, but that does not mean we should ignore the benefits of healthful eating and regular exercise.
James L. Hardeman, MD
Despite the studies cited by Saguy, I have never heard or read of any doctor stating that being obese is not necessarily detrimental to one's health.