Is a woman “fat phobic” if she diets to lose weight or makes an effort to avoid junk food?

And just what is the definition of fat phobia, anyways?

Does it mean an irrational fear of overweight people, such that when you see one walking towards you on a sidewalk, you walk across the street to avoid them?

Or does fat phobic mean you’re afraid of developing the life-threatening diseases that obesity raises the risk of getting?

Seems that the best definition of fat phobia is that of a catchy phrase that has caught on like wildfire, created by a social media influencer to refer to anyone who posts to their account that obesity means unhealthy.

Fear of Disease, Not Fat People

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Junk food — heavily processed with a lot of added sugar — is toxic to the body.

Making an effort to avoid or limit such food in one’s diet — in the name of keeping a healthy heart or weight management — does not mean one has an irrational fear of plus size individuals.

Someone posted on another article of mine the following:

If the author saw these foods not as “bad,” but in a neutral fact-based way, like brownies are high sugar, and to allow herself to eat these without moral baggage attached, she would not need to engage in gorging or restricting. She could simply eat a goddamn piece of cake.

With this kind of thinking, I’d end up eating the ENTIRE cake in two days!

Why must there be something wrong with me, or some “moral baggage” or disordered thinking about food, just because I want to restrict junk foods?

This is like saying that a person has moral baggage because they restrict alcohol!

The critic of said post also stated:

I used to label ‘sweets’ as ‘bad’ and would restrict sweets (i.e. tell myself not to eat these; and if I did eat sweets, I’d feel shame and guilt), so I naturally would obsess about these foods.

If I could not control every situation and encountered a food I thought of as ‘bad’ and partake in it, I would usually eat that food very quickly and without control.

Eating a sweet used to induce so much guilt in this critic that she was compelled to get her hands on other “bad things.”

Bu this warped management of food does not apply to someone just because they restrict themselves from sweets or view sweets as “bad.” She overgeneralizes.

You are not fat phobic just because you make efforts stick to a mostly healthful, natural diet that promotes a body weight that your doctor would be pleased with. Certainly, premeditated cheat days are allowed.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.