Should body weight be considered a protected class under Civil Rights laws? According to 3 out of 4 people asked in a new study, the answer is yes.
New research from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity shows most Americans support policies addressing weight discrimination. In fact, at least 60 percent of Americans are supportive of policy efforts to address weight discrimination across the country.
According to Rebecca Puhl, PhD, study author and deputy director of the Rudd Center, “More than two-thirds of adults in the United States are affected by overweight or obesity, meaning they are also vulnerable to the stigma and discrimination that these proposed policies and laws would help prevent.”
There is not a specific number that I am shooting for – I’ll stop when I’m healthy.
Kelly Therieau isn’t striving to reach a magical number on the scale, she just wants to be a better, healthier version of herself. After losing 113 pounds, she’s well on her way. Today, Kelly opens up about the “light bulb” moment that created clarity for her “cold turkey” weight loss, and the way she’s using her journey to help others.
At almost 300 pounds, Kelly knew she was headed into dangerous territory. When diabetes, liver issues and heart distress made her a weekly visitor to her doctor’s office, she felt her health spiraling further out of control. Her doctor confirmed this when he sat her down and told her if she didn’t make a huge lifestyle change, she wouldn’t live to see 40. She was only 36.
She had often joked that she was still carrying 19 years worth of baby fat, but sitting in the car after that appointment, she remembers having a, “huge meltdown.” At that moment she knew it was time for the jokes and excuses to end. A lifetime of bad eating habits and inactivity had taken their toll.
Obesity rates are above 15 percent in all but one of the 189 communities surveyed by Gallup and Healthways, despite the goal set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2010 program.
In fact, according to their survey, the U.S. obesity rate as a whole rose to 27.1 percent, which is the highest rate recorded nationwide since Gallup and Healthways began tracking in 2008.
Recently actor Quinton Aaron was asked to give up his seat on a US Airways connecting flight because of his size. The star of the Oscar winning movie, The Blind Side says he didn’t cause a scene or ask the airline to reconsider, he simply grabbed his bag and left as quickly as he could.
In The Blind Side, Aaron played the real life Michael Oher, a homeless teen who is taken in by a local family and raised as their own. Oher would eventually join the NFL as an offensive tackle for the Tennessee Titans. Standing 6 foot 8 and weighing 550 pounds, Aaron’s size was perfect for the role, but after this “humiliating experience,” he’s determined to lose weight.
In the past, Aaron avoided the seat issue by flying first class, but when there were none available on the US Airways flight, he had to buy two economy seats. This solution worked until the the passenger who purchased the third seat arrived on the sold out flight.
He told ABC News, “As I saw the seats, I’m literally hoping that no one had to sit next to me because I knew it wasn’t going to work if they did.” He was asked to leave the plane and was re-booked on a later flight.