Obesity Prejudice

A reader writes:

Regarding obesity prejudice, it is a conundrum. I am convinced there is a gene/heredity aspect to it. I have two sons. One is built like me (or at least like I was when I was 19. I've put on a few pounds myself in the last 30 years), tending to be slender. The other is built like my father in law, thick throughout, from the shoulders, through the chest and hips, right down to his calves. He is overweight, but not obese. Both grew up in the same house eating the same food.

I think the prejudice comes from seeing obese people who appear to not even be trying. You see them at the store driving around in the parking lot waiting for that close-in spot so they don't have walk an extra 50 or 100 feet. You see them in the restaurants eating chicken fried steak with gravy and fries instead of grilled chicken and a salad. You see a lot of them wearing ill-fitting clothes that accentuate their weight. You wonder if they have given up, and many probably have. On the other hand, I know many people who are overweight or bordering on obese. They are active (including walking, running or some other form of exercise). They dress in clothes that fit properly, and have an air of self-confidence. Those people aren't, to my observation, discriminated against.

So, maybe the discrimination is against sloppy, poorly dressed people, who don't seem to care about their appearance. For example, the photo you posted of the very large lady wearing a bikini. When I'm at the beach, I wear a loose fitting swim suit, and know body pays any attention to me. If I wore a Speedo, everyone would be saying "look at that fat guy wearing the Speedo." So, the conundrum is that there are some aspects of obesity that can't be helped, but there are others that can. I think the discrimination is against those who don't seem to care about their appearance or health.