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A Plus-Sized Woman Just Shamed A Cancer Research Company, And This Is What They Said

A Plus-Sized Woman Just Shamed A Cancer Research Company, And This Is What They Said
3 months ago

The topic of obesity and how it does or does not affect a person's overall health is a bit of a touchy one. Doctors are moving away from using the old height/weight charts because they've been proven inaccurate, but obesity does come with some health risks. Research is pretty divided about what, or how high, those risks are. 

Science is still arguing about what contributes to obesity itself, but we know it's far more than just over-eating. There are plenty of obese people who actually under eat, but still do not lose weight. Does that mean we shouldn't be warned about health risks associated with obesity? At what point does that warning become shaming? 

Honestly, we're not sure. 

Comedian Sofie Hagen is pretty sure she knows, though. At least when it comes to ads recently put up around the UK. In her eyes, they are absolutely too far and fat shaming as opposed to helpful or educational. Cancer Research UK, the organization responsible for the ads, disagrees. The public is pretty divided. 

Sofie shared her thoughts on Twitter (language warning):

Cancer Research UK spoke up to defend the ad. 

Seems pretty cut and dry, doesn't it? It's not. The research showed a correlation - but the organization keeps saying "cause". Why does that one little word matter?  

Well, let's change the wording. Instead of saying "obesity causes cancer and we know this because there's a correlation" let's say "coughing causes lung cancer and we know this because there's a correlation." The first thing most people would ask was why were these people coughing in the first place.  

We've already talked about how lots of obese people under eat, but Cancer Research UK is pushing diets and reduced calories as the answer to helping prevent cancer. Dieting and reducing calories will absolutely help some people control their obesity, but not everyone. Why are these people who aren't over-eating obese to begin with? To say obesity causes cancer seemed to be a stretch to a lot of people who want information, not shame and fear. 

Sofie responded directly:

People spoke up almost immediately, and you might be surprised where certain people fell in this debate. Take a look.

Even medical professionals chimed in - and they were divided, too!

While their discourse was aimed at seeking a resolution, others who spoke up were less helpful. In fact, much of the comments section was downright abusive. 

Molly had a pretty solid idea about the ads aims.

We'd like your thoughts. Did Cancer Research go too far with the ad? Is saying obesity causes cancer a lie that encourages shaming and abuse like what we saw above? Or do you think it's okay and they're just relaying public health risk information in a way the public will understand easily?

Sound off!

H/T: Twitter, Bored Panda