Should the word "obese" be banned...

Avatar for cmkarla
Registered: 01-03-2001
Should the word "obese" be banned...
Wed, 04-21-2010 - 2:06pm
when talking to/about children? According to this iVillage Health article:

"...there’s a movement afoot in the UK to drop the words "obese" and "obesity" from all public health strategies aimed at improving children’s diets and health. The Liverpool City Council "believes the expression could stigmatize youngsters and wants to replace it with the phrase 'unhealthy weight,'" according to the Telegraph...." READ MORE:Should We Ban the Word "Obesity" To Protect Heavy Kids’ Feelings?

What do you


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Wed, 04-21-2010 - 9:02pm

When I read the title I was thinking 'what would you use instead -fat? chunky? heavy? husky?

But I actually lke 'unhealthy weight' because it includes the reason to change in the description.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2007
Thu, 04-22-2010 - 3:54pm

Interesting question!

IMHO, no. I do not think the term 'obese' should be changed to 'unhealthy weight'. There should be some distinction between between being 20 lbs overweight and being 120 lbs overweight. Both of these examples are an 'unhealthy weight', but it's important to speak to the DEGREE of unhealthiness.

- As someone who has been overweight my whole life, I believe sometimes we JUST DON'T GET IT. We know we're getting bigger and bigger, but we keep eating the potato chips. Sometimes hearing the word 'obese' is enough to say "That's it! Enough is enough! It's time to get healthy!" Sometimes we need that jolt of reality to GET IT!

More and more children are being diagnosed with type II diabetes, which used to be only seen in adults. Diabetes is dangerous. Changing the vocabulary to skirt-around the issue is not going to make it better... Just in my humble opinion.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2008
Sat, 04-24-2010 - 7:46pm
I don't think that we should. As another poster mentioned there is a difference between being twenty pounds overweight which I would consider to be an unhealthy weight and being obese. I think it puts it into a new category and might make people pay more attention rather than unhealthy weight or overweight. I don't know if we would be helping children by banning that word for them. There is a lot worse things that they could be called when they are obese than the word itself.