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Fat is a Feminist Topic: Why Everyone Crossed on intuitive nutrition

IN THE LAST TIME, IT IS MUCH more often possible to hear the phrase “intuitive nutrition”, and several heroines of our recent material about diets and breakdowns said that it helped them come to peace with their own body and food. We understand what kind of power system it is, where it came from and what scientists think about it.

The cult of thinness
Oddly enough, they talked about the relationship between human health and what and how much he eats, not so long ago. In the second half of the 20th century, the quality of life of people, especially in countries with developed economies, improved significantly, and they began to live longer – but there were much more chronic ailments; obesity, diabetes, heart and blood vessel diseases, and, of course, cancer. At some point, it became clear that both the composition of the diet and excess weight (excess from the point of view of the medical norm, rather than comparing yourself with the retouched figure of the model in the journal) are factors that contribute to the development of such diseases. And these factors can be influenced to prevent ill health.

One of the first and most popular ways was restrictive diets aimed at reducing body weight. Such dietary regimes come in different types: they can include meticulous calculation of calories, partial or complete rejection of certain types of food (for example, fatty or sweet) and certain foods like bread. Diets can be shorter and stricter or involve a lifelong change in eating habits. By themselves, restrictive diets cannot be considered a clear evil – it all depends on the situation. For example, moderation of nutrition after heavy operations, a requirement to come on an empty stomach before blood donation, or a ban on grapefruit juice when taking certain medications is also a kind of diet. However, in most cases, people prescribe diets for themselves – and this is where the catch lies.

The problem with diets is that their popularity in recent decades is not associated with the recommendations of doctors and the worldwide problem of obesity (in 2016 it was noted in 650 million adults and 41 million children under five years old), but with our insecurity in our body image. The notion of “normal” weight was blurred: in a world where the standards of far-fetched standards rule, the majority of people with ordinary physique and weight, not threatening potential diseases, are still considered “fat”. Mass culture discriminates against anyone who does not fit into a fashionable image that changes from decade to decade and has nothing to do with the recommendations of doctors. By the way, if more and more people are talking about the failure of this approach, then talking about respecting the choice to stay full (like, say, drink alcohol or not play sports) is even less common in pop space. Kindness around the world will kill strangers under the guise of “health care.”

Fat and Feminism

One of the first to address this issue was the psychotherapist Suzy Orbach, who dealt with eating disorders in women in the UK. In 1978, she released the book Fat is a Feminist Issue, which instantly became a bestseller. In it, the therapist discusses the problems associated with the cult, which is surrounded by thinness: in the seventies, the “model” appearance was considered not only an indicator of health, but a synonym for success in a career, love, sexual life, and simply happiness. Orbach was one of the first to say that beauty standards are becoming increasingly inaccessible, and the “ideal figure” is touted as a way to solve all problems. As a result, the specialist opened the Women’s Therapy Center in London, where to this day they treat eating disorders, and all the administration staff there are women. By the way, one of his patients was Princess Diana, who at that time was fighting bulimia.

Forty years ago, when this book was written, women were primarily subjected to such pressure, but gradually the pressure also covered men, as Orbach says in a recent interview. It is not surprising: on the set of advertisements with male models they use favorable lighting, and the pictures themselves retouch, emphasizing the musculature. As a result, it begins to seem that only the same people as in these photos or videos can be happy, people with a fine press, broad shoulders and impeccable skin. According to various researchers, up to 95% of men to one degree or another are not satisfied with their own bodies.

Emotional hunger
The book of Orbach, among others, gave rise to the ideas of the “anti-diet” movement, and subsequently to intuitive and informed nutrition. They are based on a simple thought: it is necessary when the body experiences a feeling of hunger, stopping as soon as saturation occurs.

Proponents of intuitive nutrition share hunger on the physical and emotional. With physical hunger, the body reports that it lacks food – a person has unpleasant sensations or rumbling in the stomach, fatigue and irritability occurs.

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