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Think Out Loud

As We Are: Obese People

Pete Springer/OPB

What does it feel like to live inside an obese body?

Prejudice about obesity abounds. A person’s weight can influence how other people view their intelligence, their personal habits and their work ethic. Obesity is a significant issue in Oregon, where some estimates say as much as 25 percent of the population is currently obese, and up to 62 percent of the state’s residents are overweight. The fat acceptance movement, formed to combat discrimination against overweight people, is going strong in the Northwest.

While the national rise in obesity rates has been well-documented in the media, the stories of individuals experiencing obesity have been less prominent. How do people become obese? What does it feel like to live inside an obese body? How does that impact a person’s daily life? The second conversation in our occasional series As We Are will bring together people who are obese and ask them these and other questions.

What about you? Are you — or have you ever been — really overweight? Has it impacted your health, your ability to travel, or your work? Have you lost a lot of weight? Or is weight loss not important to you?

UPDATE: As we’ve been working on this show, we’ve gotten a few comments from people who identify as “fat” who wish that we would not use the word “obese” when broaching this topic. If you are significantly overweight, what words do you use when referring to your own body? What words make you most comfortable?


Photo credit: Darren Hester / Flickr / Creative Commons

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