Connect to share and comment

New Zealand hosts first 'Fat Pride' conference

It is the only Fat Studies conference taking place in the world this year.

nz fat studies conf 120712Enlarge
Organizers of the 'New Zealand Fat Studies: Reflective Intersection' conference say discrimination against fat people is a social justice issue (AFP/Getty/AFP/Getty Images)

Organizers of a 'Fat Pride' conference being held in New Zealand's capital Wellington have called for the country to become the first to outlaw discrimination against fat people.

Stuff.co.nz says the conference, entitled 'New Zealand Fat Studies: Reflective Intersection' is aimed at challenging assumptions about fat people.  It will discuss obesity panic, unfixing body size and shape, and teaching children about fitness and fatness.

New Zealand is the world's third-fattest nation with more than a quarter of the population classed as obese, according to TVNZ.

More from GlobalPost: Weight loss surgery increases risk of alcoholism

"Fat people deserve the same rights and dignity as non-fat people, which we currently don't have,'' one of the participants, Dr Cat Pause from Massey University, is quoted as saying. "Obesity is not a big health problem. If you really look at the science, that is what comes through."

Activists attending the conference argue that the obesity epidemic is more of a panic; that people can be healthy at any size; and that discrimination against fat people is a social justice issue, News.com.au explains.

Fairfax NZ reports that the conference will last two days and is this year's only Fat Studies conference in the world.

More from GlobalPost: Global Health - Healing the World

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120711/new-zealand-hosts-first-fat-pride-conference