The concluding chapter of a book-length study of dieting, written by Hillel Schwartz continuously discusses the issue of the "fat society." This chapter, "Fat & Happy", expresses critical analysis of the effects of dieting on overweight people and how most of those people are unhappy because society does not accept obesity. The author speaks his strong opinion by saying that fat people can not and should not be blamed for their own obesity. Schwartz believes that society is the reason that fat people are depressed and constantly turn to dieting. Society does not socially accept obesity and therefore, fat people constantly deprive themselves of regular meals in order to lose weight so that they will be accepted in "the skinny world." In the attempt to diet most will fail and begin to believe everyone else when they are told they are failures. Schwartz states that the fat itself is not what endangers the body, but the actual dieting itself. All humans will, at one time in their lives, reach a point where they will reach an ideal weight in which their metabolisms will be satisfied and their bodies will be healthy.
The simple fear of dieting is what makes people unhappy, not actual dieting. Fat people are considered to be "emotionally immature" and are constantly ridiculed for their weight. Fat people persistently and subconsciously make themselves feel horrible by telling themselves they don't want to eat or they should not eat something. Fat people are often seen as less intelligent than people who are closer to the ideal weight.
Fat people are so much a part of the past that some businesswomen and scientists would hire an employee that has been in a psychiatric ward or jail instead of a fat person. "They usually do very poorly in school or at work," Schwartz says. They struggle with getting into a good college because they are practically considered to be a minority and can only be accepted into certain schools that don't discriminate. Even meter maids in New York City were fired because they were overweight and a flight attendant was dismissed for being four pounds overweight.
Physicians are also known for not having much sympathy towards fat people because they are difficult to examine and don't usually attempt to cooperate when asked to do certain things to help themselves. Schwartz compares fat people and homeless people by saying that fat people are reminders that medicine has failed to achieve a safe and effective program for reducing weight. Homeless people, in turn, are reminders that the economic system fails. Schwartz states that fat people are lazy, weak, dishonest, and childish and it's not the doctor's fault that they can only get them to cooperate by threatening them with their fears of disease and death.
He says that one is immature if they keep overeating after being threatened because that is a childish act. Many doctors in the 1970's did not even know much about obesity, but when a survey was conducted on them, they frequently found obesity among their patients. Most of the doctors were not in very good shape either, yet that found that many of their patients were overweight or unhealthy. These doctors would prescribe medications that could seriously affect the kidneys and blood pressure. Schwartz believes that society will only be happy when fat people are gone. Society has a view on weight loss that is considered to be like murder to many fat people.
Schwartz believes that things would be completely different if we did live in a fat society because there are societies that exist that are fat and everything is peaceful. He says things would be better because dinners and other meals would be delicious and not loaded with carbohydrates, vitamins, and proteins. Children could be fed well and be satisfied because they received as much as they possibly could. Children would not be forced to eat, nor would they have eating disorders while growing up because fat people and skinny people would be equal. People could dress to express themselves as they truly are without being called "oversize" or "half size" and would have the same choice of fabrics and not have to get the "one size fits all." Full sized models and mannequins could pose among skinny figures so that women would not have to buy their clothes from specialty shops. Scales would not make or break someone's life because they would be confident with their sexuality and would no longer be considered "sexually corrupt" because they were too fat.
Women in particular would be proud of being fat and accept themselves because that is who they are. A fat society would be more caring and more appreciative of slow-cooked meals instead of fast food. People would value their inner selves more than just their reflection. A fat society would be much less competitive, aggressive, or threatening. Schwartz considers dieting to be cannibalism because dieters eat off their own bodies because they must burn their own body fat. If people were hungry, they would just eat instead of holding back for fear of gaining a couple pounds.
In conclusion, fat people are not socially accepted in today's society and probably won't in the future, according to Schwartz. Once a person becomes obese, they have serious struggles to lose that weight because people constantly make fun of them.