The Future Is Fatter: Brazil Battles Gordofobia
02/28/2022
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From the New York Times news section:

Brazil, Land of the Thong, Embraces Its Heavier Self

A country known for beach bodies is confronting soaring obesity rates with new laws that enshrine protections for people who are overweight.

In other words, Brazil is not confronting soaring obesity rates during the covid epidemic, it’s condoning obesity.

By Jack Nicas Photographs by Dado Galdieri
Feb. 27, 2022

RECIFE, Brazil — In this oceanside metropolis in Brazil’s northeast, the schools are buying bigger desks, the hospitals are purchasing larger beds and M.R.I. machines and the historic theater downtown is offering wider seats.

Recife is one of the fattest cities in Brazil. It is also quickly becoming one of the world’s most accommodating places for people with obesity.

That is because Recife is part of an accelerating movement across Latin America’s largest country that, according to experts, has quickly made Brazil the world leader in enshrining protections for the overweight. …

Here in Recife, population 1.6 million, a law passed last year requires schools to purchase larger desks and educate teachers about weight-based discrimination so they can include it in their lessons. Another law created an annual day to promote overweight people’s rights.

“There’s a lot more we can do at the national level and, God willing, one day we can go international,” said Karla Rezende, an activist in Recife who started pushing for the new laws after realizing that typical airplane seatbelts didn’t fit her. “There are fat people everywhere, and they all suffer.” …

“Gordofobia,” or the term for weight-based discrimination in Portuguese, has become a buzzword in Brazil. …

Ms. Puhl said that since Michigan passed a law in 1976 that formally protected people from weight discrimination, there have been few meaningful or related policies in the United States. …

In Brazilian courts, rulings began mentioning “gordofobia” in 2014 and have steadily increased since, according to a review of available judgments by Gorda na Lei, or Fat in the Law, a Brazilian activist group. In October, a judge ordered a comedian to pay a $1,000 fine for making jokes about an obese Brazilian dancer’s weight. “The defendant exuded unequivocal gordofobia,” the judge said in the ruling. Freedom of speech is allowed, the judge added, “but it’s the state’s duty to protect minorities.”

Still, enforcement is still often lacking in Brazil. Rayane Souza, a founder of Gorda na Lei, said that many modes of public transportation remained inaccessible despite the 2015 law. She pointed to a recent incident in the coastal city of Guarapari, where an overweight woman got stuck in the turnstile on a city bus. Firefighters freed the woman as other passengers laughed, according to the Brazilian news outlet G1. “I cry at night just thinking of what the people said,” Rosângela Pereira told G1 days later.

In 2020, nearly 29 percent of Brazilians older than 20 were obese, up from roughly 15 percent in 2000, one of the largest increases of any country over that period, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Among the 10 most populous nations, only Mexico, the United States and Russia had higher obesity rates, ranging between 31 percent and 37 percent, according to the data.

Maybe some Russian spetsnaz paratroopers are slowing airdrops by not quite fitting through the door?

[Comment at Unz.com]

 

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