Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong – With a Spin

An absolutely incredible article was presented yesterday in The Huffington Post about obesity. My eyes couldn’t scan the words fast enough as my inner voice screamed, “Yes! Finally! So freakin’ spot on!’

Everything this writer outlined was powerful and real.

I just have one issue with the entire article that I feel is too important to overlook, but not diminish from his brilliant words that I stand behind.

The point of disagreement came from this one paragraph:

“The problem is that in America, like everywhere else, our institutions of public health have become so obsessed with body weight that they have overlooked what is really killing us: our food supply. Diet is the leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for more than five times the fatalities of gun violence and car accidents combined. But it’s not how much we’re eating—Americans actually consume fewer calories now than we did in 2003. It’s what we’re eating.”

First of all, yes, we are OBSESSED with body weight and that is a major issue.

However, while the food supply is a big problem, I do not agree that WHAT we’re eating is the main problem.

See the problem is that looking at this issue from the perspective of what we’re eating presents one major assumption…

That the people who are struggling… the ones that are being shamed by doctors, ridiculed by peers and devoted to being thin, are being rational around food.

If the people struggling were in a rational state of mind, presenting them with better food would work. It would be as simple as saying,

“Hey, I know you like hamburgers, so here is a better, higher quality option of a hamburger that will support your body”


“Hey, I know you like hamburgers, so here is a salad. It’s better for you”

While the first option may appear to be a viable option we are overlooking one extremely important piece of information.. when weight and food have been your life… being rational is not happening.

So why I may have gone for the healthier, higher-quality food option for my meal, I was still digging through the pantry later when deprivation hit and the rational, sane person who can make clear decisions left the building.

If they went for the second option, a salad over a hamburger, it’s almost a guaranteed binge. Not because they don’t enjoy salads, but because they were denied a hamburger.

At the end of the day, every person on the planet deserves free choice and free will. I don’t care what you weigh.

When we remove a persons’ autonomy and tell them that they can’t eat something, or they have to live a certain way because of their circumstances, we simultaneously remove their human right of free choice and thrust them into irrationality.

So you could provide better food all day long, but until we begin treating these people as if they can be trusted around food, and move them into a place of rationality by allowing them to live free of deprivation, they will continue to make decisions that boggle their own minds. And the “experts” reminding them of their poor choices certainly isn’t helping.

If someone wants to make it their mission to improve our food supply, I am in full support. I want better food for myself and for everyone around me.

But I will never stop advocating for the people struggling with weight to have autonomy.

I will continue to be the person that knows with certainty that they can be trusted to make rational, good choices around food and weight.

But they aren’t going to get there if people keep telling them they HAVE to eat a certain way. They need to be deprogrammed from all the garbage this society has fed them about not being trustworthy.

They need to stop being told that they are addicted to food or powerless around it.

That they are unable to be rational ever.

They are fully capable of being rational around food.

But not if we keep doing what we’re doing.

It will never work.

And so I will continue to be their voice when they don’t even trust it in themselves.

I will continue to fight for their free choice and free will even in their current body that society says doesn’t get to have that freedom until it looks a certain way.

Most of all, I will continue my path of changing the perspective of how weight loss works so that I, someone who went from binge eating, body obsessing and struggling with weight to no longer having any issues with it whatsoever, am no longer a minority.


About The Author

Michelle Hastie

Michelle Hastie Thompson is a recovered binge eater who turned her binge eating around and even got featured in Shape Magazine helping a woman lose weight in “My Weight Loss Diaries". She helps women end the battle of binge and overeating, fall in love with movement, and finally lose the weight permanently. A veteran weight loss coach for almost ten years, she is a Ph.D. student in Health Psychology and has three published books, the most recent titled, "Have Your Cake and Be Happy Too: A Joyful Approach to Weight Loss”.