Nickey R. sent in a commercial by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota that aims to encouraging people to stop putting off exercising, eating healthy, and quitting smoking. The problem with these ads is a simple one. It represents all unhealthy people as overweight… or smokers. It ends by flashing the phrase “for the health of all.”
But while exercise and eating healthy may correlate with being thin (and to what degree this is true is still very much up for debate), there are, in fact, lots of non-thin people who do exercise and eat right and lots of thin people who do not. Being thin is not the same thing as being healthy (as research and real people demonstrate), but these ads say that it is, justifying anti-fat prejudice and miseducating the public.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.