An Added Bonus To Avoiding Cancer: Get Skinny!

The basic story is this: Stomach cancer runs in the Bradfield family. Upon learning that they possessed the defective gene that would likely lead to cancer and eventually kill them, eleven cousins decide to undergo surgery to completely remove their stomachs. Stomach removal means that now they have to digest all their food in their small intestine, and so they can only eat small meals, and they have to eat fairly often. Interesting enough, right?

But apparently we can’t have a standard, interesting health article without fat-shaming and beauty-myth-reinstating:

The upside is that Sindt dropped from a size 12 to a 2, since the surgery.

Well, yeah, because living without a stomach is like this:

Initially, she could only eat 800 calories a day and was on a strict bland diet. She gradually added vegetables such as cabbage and lettuce, but still avoids white bread, which she finds tough to digest.

But at least she’s skinny!

What’s going on when we think that it’s a positive thing when someone, because of a medical condition, literally starves themselves down to a size 2?

Thanks to KnifeGhost for the article.


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
This entry was posted in Body image, Fat, Health and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to An Added Bonus To Avoiding Cancer: Get Skinny!

  1. Mark says:

    But… but… but…

    I keep hearing that skinny = healthy!

    Cancer… what? Health Insurance is HIGH because we don’t take care of ourselves! We need to be SKINNY!!!

    Ugh….

  2. not me says:

    This is just messed up.

    I know a woman who is convinced that losing 8 pounds a week due to a medicine she is taking, is healthy and a good thing.

  3. Kat says:

    Damn. Is a size 12 really that big? Is a being a size 2 really that desirable?

    What if the patient had started out as a size 2 and then had to have her stomach removed to avoid cancer? Would the article glamourize the weight loss then?

    Sad that the obsession with being skinny creeps into this family’s struggle with a serious health issue.

  4. firefalluk says:

    What if the patient had started out as a size 2 and then had to have her stomach removed to avoid cancer? Would the article glamourize the weight loss then?

    of course – after all, she’d be dead glamorous … and just plain dead

  5. KnifeGhost says:

    I mean, if it was from 12 to 8, it would make my eye twitch, but losing 4 dress sizes od weight, well, it happens. But 12 to 2? A very average size to a very supermodel size? It happens, and it’s certainly not her fault. But is it really something we need to celebrate?

    Glad you found it interesting (IE: annoying).

  6. JenDave says:

    A few sentences after the “upside” comment, the author of the article mentions that Sindt has had to change her exercise habits, cutting out running and being careful not to work out too hard. Why? Because if she gets too much exercise, her weight starts to plummet again. So she can’t hardly eat, and she can’t hardly exercise, but at least she’s skinny, right?

    This stood out for me, because it so clearly belies the assertion that thinness is valuable because it signfies fitness and health.

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