I was recently at a comedy show in Whistler and was disappointed to hear fat jokes being made. Even worse than the jokes was the fact that so many people think they are funny. Behind this discriminatory behaviour is a strong cultural belief that obese people choose to be obese, and all they need to do is eat less and exercise more and their weight problem will be solved. So long as people think fat jokes are funny, obese patients will not get the help they need in order to be healthier. Not to mention, its just mean spirited to tell jokes that could lead people to feel bad about themselves (in my opinion).
It turns out Dr. Sharma has recently blogged about research on this topic (Dr. Sharma is one of Canada's leading Obesity 'gurus'). In it he states:
"the widespread use of weight-related humor is nothing else than a direct reflection of the widespread misconceptions and stereotypic beliefs about obesity that feed weight bias and discrimination"
Dr Sharma is currently doing a show about weight bias and discrimination as part of the Fringe festival in Edmonton, Ab. I think what he is doing is great and I encourage anyone interested in the topics of overweight and obesity to check out his you tube clips about weight bias and discrimination.