Radical awakening or shame on fat? Overweight Overcomes Smoking as a Cause of Four Cancers

According to studies, obesity is the cause of more than 1,900 cases of colon cancer in the UK each year. There are 1,400 new cases of kidney cancer, 460 of ovarian cancer and 180 of liver cancer.

Cancer Research UK launches new media campaign

New statistics from the UK Cancer Research Foundation indicate that there are now twice as many overweight people as smokers in the UK. According to studies, obesity is the cause of more than 1,900 cases of colon cancer in the UK each year. There are 1,400 additional cases of kidney cancer, 460 of ovarian cancer and 180 of liver cancer, while the number of active smokers is steadily decreasing, but the number of overweight people is increasing.

Based on these figures, Cancer Research UK has launched a national media campaign presenting cigarette packets with the following warning: "Obesity is also a cause of cancer". At the bottom of the box is a note stating "Just like smoking, obesity exposes millions of adults to an increased risk of cancer" (just like smoking, obesity increases the risk of cancer for millions of years). adults).

As a riot to show how government policies (in the case of tobacco advertising) can influence consumer behavior and raise public awareness of the risks of obesity, the campaign ran up against Sharp criticism, including accusations of years of anti-aging work. -Fat ashamed to ruin. Especially in social networks has been protested.

Fear and shame

Fears that people with an increased BMI may soon be denied access to cancer treatment, additional stigma charges without simultaneous assistance offer and the creation of additional feelings of guilt, in which women overweight are now responsible for their cancer, have been sufficient for Twitter to respond.

And indeed, this campaign stings into an emotionally charged wasp nest because it acts on people's fears and shame. In accordance with a neoliberal policy, even if it was not planned by Cancer Research UK, the responsibility for one's own health is transferred to the private sphere. As if we had the choice between health and illness, according to the lifestyle chosen.

What is ignored are predispositions, social and cultural antecedents as well as personal living conditions and the fact that eating, unlike smoking, can not stop because the body needs food. Instead, overweight is always associated with a weak will, lack of discipline, and the care of one's own body.

Who smokes, must not be sensitive

On the other hand, it seems justified to make anti-smoking campaigns even more aggressive. These work with explicit images of amputations or tumors, with death threats and feelings of guilt towards relatives and friends. Here, the goal seems to sanctify the means – who still smokes despite knowing the dangers, should not be sensitive and must accept social ostracism. The outcry persists in society and there are no declarations of solidarity. Although nicotine addiction and withdrawal difficulties are known, support services are lacking. The strategy is deterrence – and it's effective, as the numbers show.

So, why is a similar procedure in the case of overweight pushed into the moral mess? Why is it justified to expose smokers to massive social pressure, but not to overweight people? Because more people worry that someday belong to the big circle? Because smoking is a free choice, but no food?

These questions may need to be answered to understand the complex mechanisms involved in challenging the Cancer Research UK campaign. It should also be borne in mind that the media campaign is only one part of a much larger action to protect children and adolescents from the effects of overweight, such as TV advertising for Fast Food and sweets will be forbidden before nine o'clock in the evening.

The criticism that the foundation offers no help can be refuted. A glance at the Cancer Research UK website reveals that there are many publications available to patients, doctors and other health professionals to educate the public about the link between obesity and cancer. Here are many tips for achieving a healthy weight as well as suggestions on how to address those affected in the doctor's office or sensitive pharmacy about weight and awareness. The emphasis here is clearly on taking into account the psychosocial framework conditions and the effort of individual and productive solutions.