Yesterday, I got an email yesterday sharing that the lovely Mia Amber Davis was to be on CNN, repping for Plus Model Magazine and the plus size woman. She went head to head with Miss Meme Roth, the lovely woman who is part of the National Action against Obesity.
Now, if you know Miss Mia, you know she is passionate about those who do their darndest to put down those who are deemed unhealthy and are to blame for obesity in America. So with that, you know this was an interesting read- as I could not find the video, but once I do, you will get the video! In the meantime, please read on as I share with you the official transcripts from CNN.com.
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: So a new study that was just put out by the CDC finds that nearly 10 percent of what the country spends on health care is attributable to obesity. $147 billion a year, double what it was a decade ago. In grief and in dollars, that is a heck of a tab. Still, there are those who say we may be scapegoating overweight people for the nation’s health care crisis. And joining us right now to talk about this, MeMe Roth of the National Action Against Obesity, and actress Mia Amber Davis who is creative editor-at-large for “Plus Model” magazine.
Welcome to both of you. Good to have you here.
MIA AMBER DAVIS, CREATIVE EDITOR-IN-LARGE, “PLUS MODEL” MAGAZINE: Thank you.
MEME ROTH, PRES., NATIONAL ACTION AGAINST OBESITY: Thank you.
BROWN: So, MeMe, let me start with you on this first. And just what do you make of the numbers? $147 billion is a lot of dough.
ROTH: Yes, you know, look, if you wanted to make a nation fat, we have set our culture up to do exactly that. It’s like we’re living in a brothel and no one’s allowed to have sex. Everywhere you go there’s one temptation after another. I’m surprised there’s anyone left in this country who isn’t overweight.
BROWN: So get to the heart of the problem in terms of what you think we ought to do.
ROTH: Well, we need to make good food, real food produce available, cheap, accessible to everyone. We’re not doing that. We need to have recreation places that are safe and easy to access for everyone. We’re not doing that.
We’ve got junk food in the school. We’ve got marketing junk food to children. We’re not doing what it takes to correct the problem.
But the economy, the economics of it are shifting. Big pharma has made a bundle on obesity. The weight loss industry has made a bundle. Beverage and food have made a bundle. Now we’re seeing it. We’re picking up the tab and we’re pushing back.
BROWN: So, Mia, is there to you a sense of blame the victim, of scapegoating people who are overweight and when you see a study like this?
DAVIS: Definitely, 100 percent. It’s that sizism is the last acceptable prejudice. If you see someone who’s overweight, automatically they’re the reason for America’s problems in the health care industry? That’s absolutely not true. And there are plenty of people who are normal size, who are straight sizes as opposed to plus size who have health issues. I don’t know anyone in my circle of friends, in my family, in the millions of women that I reached out to being a plus-sized advocate that has health issues related to being overweight.
ROTH: Well, the truth is if you’re obese, you are unhealthy. You’re awash in extra estrogen. People don’t realize this, if you’re man, woman, or child, you have extra estrogen coursing through your body because of the obesity. You have orthopedic problems. BROWN: But MeMe —
ROTH: You’re inflamed.
BROWN: I know a lot of skinny people who are really unhealthy too.
ROTH: That’s true. But you know what? But I think tonight we’re talking about obesity. But you’re absolutely right. Starvation or improper eating is a problem on either side.
BROWN: But, I mean the point you’re making is that obesity is a large part of the problem —
ROTH: Absolutely. Here’s what the numbers are.
We only have — Reuters recently reported that only eight percent of us don’t smoke, drink moderately, eat the fruits and vegetables we’re supposed to eat and exercise regularly. So really fat or thin only eight percent of us are even trying in this country, but we’re eating ourselves into obesity, which means we’re eating ourselves into diabetes, dementia, heart disease, cancer. Did you know that a third of all cancer is obesity-related?
DAVIS: But overweight does not mean unhealthy. I’ve been off the chart since I was 12 years old and I’m perfectly healthy.
ROTH: There’s a higher incidence of infertility, pregnancy complications, low sperm count.
DAVIS: I have none of those issues. None.
ROTH: And there’s even a higher incidence of birth defects when it comes to obesity, so don’t argue with me. Argue with Darwin.
BROWN: But, again, go ahead. Mia, make your point.
DAVIS: I’m not arguing with you, I’m just saying that we are the last acceptable prejudice. If you are — if you have —
ROTH: Normally with smoking, it’s a choice.
DAVIS: It’s not a choice to be overweight. I think that that’s insulting, actually.
ROTH: Well, it’s what the numbers show — nine times of ten —
DAVIS: Well, no one asked me. There was no poll. I never participated in any poll. I’ve never had a health issue, so I’m not included in that study, as far as anyone that I know.
ROTH: Well, I come from a long line of obesity, and I know how hard it is to stay at a healthy weight. It really takes a lot of discipline. It takes a lot of motivation. It’s not easy.
DAVIS: OK, I work out four times a week.
ROTH: Which you’re supposed to be working out every day.
DAVIS: I work out four times a week with a trainer. That is my workout. That does not even include what I do the rest of those three days of the week.
BROWN: Let her finish.
DAVIS: Right. I’m not here to argue with you. I’m here to say that stop blaming overweight people or obese people for America’s problems. It’s not our fault.
BROWN: But, MeMe, let me follow up on the point Mia is making because, I mean, look, there’s — you’re a very thin woman, but there are a lot of people who genetically have a much harder time losing weight.
ROTH: And I’m in that category. It’s actually I’ve always had to watch my weight. I’m very mindful of what I eat. I run at least four miles every single day.
It is a hard choice if your genetics aren’t helping you out. But the truth is genetics does not explain the tripling of obesity in the last three decades. We cannot become obese in the absence of food. It’s not a genetic situation.
BROWN: So where do you draw the line? Are you suggesting that if you are — you know, if you don’t hit a certain weight, if you’re overweight that you should be paying higher health insurance premiums? Or what do you —
ROTH: No, no. I’m a big fan of changing the culture to make it easier for all of us to be healthy. And I’m a big fan of the sweet and soft drink tax. I think we tax things that are ubiquitous and nonessential like that. We can earmark that money for prevention and easy access and cheaper produce. We need to make those kinds of changes.
DAVIS: I’m so tired of people charging people because they’re overweight. I mean because that’s a fact —
ROTH: No, no, no. Anyone who drinks —
DAVIS: And if people are just talking about you’re overweight, you should pay more and it’s your fault. Stop blaming us. It’s not about accessibility, it’s about the blame. It’s like we’re a target but yet we’re invisible everywhere else.
Mainstream media doesn’t showcase overweight people. Overweight women are not seen in Hollywood. It’s like why are we being targets but yet we’re invisible everywhere else?
It’s hard to find clothing. It’s hard to find adequate seating arrangements. It’s hard to find so many things because of we’re a nation of size and we’re not being catered to. So don’t turn around now and blame us for it.
ROTH: Well, you’re the overwhelming majority now.
BROWN: Hold on, Mia. I want to ask Mia this too. Because you mentioned this and the head of the CDC, although it’s not the administration’s policy, they have raised this. This idea of taxing soda, you know. What do you think? I mean, does that sound crazy to you?
DAVIS: It sounds crazy to me because it’s soda. I don’t drink soda personally. So it’s like you’re saying that if I drink soda I will become fat.
ROTH: I’m not talking about who is fat or not.
DAVIS: That is ridiculous for me.
ROTH: We’re talking about anyone who drinks these sweetened drinks, and we know that the single greatest source of our calories in the American diet is sweetened drinks. So again, it’s ubiquitous, it’s nonessential. It’s a great place for us to raise $100 billion or possibly $200 billion in the next decade.
And, again, you’re talking about a one cent tax per ounce. So it’s a great place to get some money to help maybe subsidize fresh produce, not corn, but maybe some broccoli or avocados.
And also, I’m a big fan of Harkin’s (ph) plan to make sure that we have calories posted on all menu boards across the country, not just in — we want to inform consumers.
BROWN: All right. We’re almost out of time. I just want to give Mia the last word on this.
DAVIS: Stop blaming overweight people for America’s problems. If you are gay, you can play straight. If you are a certain religion, you can play another religion. You can’t hide the fact that you’re overweight and nor do we want to.
I’m proud of the way I look. I’m proud of my body. I’m proud of all my friends and the hard work that we do to maintain our curves. So stop blaming us for America’s health care issues because I am not a part of that plan.
ROTH: The studies don’t back you up. And nine times out of ten, obesity is a result of lifestyle choices.
DAVIS: I’m not included in those studies.
BROWN: All right, guys. I wish we could go on. I mean, I think the difference is over whether or not you can be overweight and be healthy.
DAVIS: Yes, and I’m a healthy woman. BROWN: And clearly, Mia believes you can be.
ROTH: The physicians won’t back you up on that.
DAVIS: My physicians will back me up.
BROWN: OK, ladies. We’ve got to end it there. But many thanks for coming on.
ROTH: Thanks, Campbell. Thanks, Mia.
DAVIS: Thank you.
BROWN: Both Mia and MeMe, thank you very much, guys.
DAVIS: Thank you.
All I can say is GO MIA!!! What do you think!?!
Keep it Curvy.Confident.Chic.