Women Press Room
- Palo Alto California
THEM EAT CHEESESTEAK!
Size Acceptance Activist Offers New Battle Cry for
are you sick and tired of hearing the mayor tell you what
you can and can't eat? Have you had enough of people
trying to sign you up for citywide dieting? Are you weary
of publicity stunts that fan the flames of hostility
toward overweight people?
acceptance activist Bonnie Bernell will be in
Philadelphia Aug. 16-19 for the National Association for
the Advancement of Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) convention held
in neighboring Cherry Hill, N.J. She states that
Philadelphia is being unduly singled out as "the
flabbiest city in America,"* and the famed Philly
Cheesesteak sandwich wrongly maligned. Bernell will be
discussing the following weight-related
Diets don't work. Would you buy a car that had only a
two percent chance of starting? Ninety-eight percent of
the time diets fail, with people returning either to
their former weight or higher. Yet corporate giants rake
in $56 billion dollars annually in the profitable diet
industry, as they continue to sell products offering
false hope at best and dangerous health conditions at
worst to millions of Americans.
Movement does work. If you want to be healthy, move.
You don't have to go to a gym or exercise class-walking,
dancing, gardening-even just a little every day-can help
lower blood pressure and cholesterol, increase physical
stamina and strength, and enhance flexibility and
alertness-even if you don't lose weight. And a large
person who is physically active is healthier than a thin
person who is not.
Why doctors can be harmful to fat people's health.
When doctors meet with overweight patients, they tend to
get fixated on the weight, seeing the fat instead of a
whole person. Physicians often refuse to examine these
patients or perform standard tests, instead sending them
home to lose weight before treating them, and insisting
that any illness or symptom must be due to weight. This
hostile attitude towards weight, so pervasive in the
medical community, can cause its members to withhold
necessary treatments and intimidate large people to delay
or avoid medical care appointments-thus increasing risk
to their health.
it's good that Philadelphians are thinking about their
health, the bad news is the mayor and the media are
barking up the wrong tree," Bernell says. "The
public--both in Philadelphia and throughout our
nation--is being deceived by a $56 billion diet industry
with a two percent success rate, and media continues to
support this hype!" she adds.
Bernell is the featured speaker for NAAFA's farewell
brunch on Sunday, Aug. 19 (to be held at the Cherry Hill
Hilton, 2349 West Marlton Pike, Cherry Hill, NJ), and
author of the recently published award-winning book
BOUNTIFUL WOMEN: Large Women's Secrets for Living the
Life They Desire (www.BountifulWomen.com). Bernell grew
up in the Philadelphia area; she is currently a Silicon
Valley psychologist specializing in large people's
is available for media interviews to defend both the
Philly Cheesesteak as "a great American meal" and the
city's populace as "wonderful at any size," and to
clarify misconceptions/distortions that you must lose
weight to have good health.
on a 1999 survey by Men's Health magazine For more
information or to arrange an interview, contact Patsy
Barich at 510/704-3774, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.