Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Over-Eating Equals Rape???

Instead of linking to the original Guardian piece interviewing MeMe Roth, I'm recommending reading Jezebel's take-down of the interview/Roth's radical views.

Roth apparently thinks that she's an anti-obesity advocate rather than a disordered eating advocate, but the evidence she provides for the former moniker rather than the latter is dubious at best.

Here's her exchange with the reporter regarding lunch:

"When Wood asks what she actually ate for lunch, this exchange ensues:

She squirms visibly. "You're taking me where I don't want to go ... What works for me doesn't work for a lot of people."

Well, you've said that, I insist, so taking that into account: lunch? Roth hesitates. "I discovered when I was in college that I work best when I get a workout in and eat after that. Sometimes I'll delay when I eat until I get a workout in. But I don't let a whole day go by without running four miles."

OK, I go on, but supposing you couldn't work out until four o'clock in the afternoon - would you not eat until after that?

"I might."

I look at my watch. It's 3.30pm. Alarm bells start to ring in my head. How about today, I ask. Have you eaten at all today?

Roth is a little quiet.

"No," she says.

There is a pause.

"But I feel great!"

"Roth may not be anorexic, and she may not think of what she does as dieting, but if "what works for her" is not eating anything until after 3:30, she's right that it's not going to work for most people. Nor should it."

Oh, also check out this gem where she compares over-eating to rape:

"The defense has been made in the case of sex criminals that there is pleasure on the part of the victim. The same is true with what we're doing with food. We may abuse our bodies with food, but it's incredibly pleasurable. From a food marketer's point of view, when your quote unquote victim is so willing and enjoying of the process, who's fighting back?"

The fact that a disordered eating advocate gets this amount of press and that HAES advocates (like Kate Harding of Shapely Prose who just came out with a new book) get 90 second spots on the later hours of the Today Show is disconnected to say the least. This lady does not advocate for health at all, but for fat-hatred/shaming and unhealthy relationships with food--not allowing yourself to eat lunch until you've run 4 miles on a daily basis is not healthy and giving her the print-space only reinforces the unreality of "health" reporting when the main focus is weight, not actual health.

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