Please Consider Joining NAAFA
jikeda at socrates.Berkeley.EDU
jikeda at socrates.Berkeley.EDU
Wed Aug 9 11:38:48 PDT 2000
I just return from the NAAFA Annual Meeting in San Diego, and
although I had a great time and learned a lot, I was disheartened by the
fact that I appeared to be the only Nutritionist/Registered Dietitian in
attendance. I know there are thousands of dietitians/nutritionists who
believe in the non-dieting, health-at-every-size approach to health
promotion, and I asked myself, Why arent they here, supporting the oldest
human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for
fat people? Then I thought, Perhaps they dont know about NAAFA. Maybe
theyve never heard about the many ways NAAFA fights size-related
discrimination and bias. So I decided to send this message to you in the
hopes that next year when I attend NAAFA, I will see many of you there.
NAAFA stands for the National Association to Advance Fat
Acceptance. The purpose of NAAFA is to:
· Work towards providing equal opportunity for fat people whenever
obstacles and/or discrimination exists.
· Disseminate information about the sociological, psychological,
legal, medical, and physiological aspects of being fat.
· Advocate and sponsor responsible research about the various aspects
of being fat.
· Empower the large number of people regarded by the medical
professional as obese to accept themselves, to live more fulfilling
lives, and to promote acceptance of fat people within society.
· Serve as a forum where issues affecting fat people can be discussed
in an unbiased setting.
It doesnt cost much to join NAAFA. Regular membership is only $40.00
per year and you can even join online! Just go to the NAAFA website at
http://www.naafa.org and click on Join NAAFA. NAAFA has chapters all
over the U.S. as well as facilitators in Canada and Europe. You can find
out if there is a chapter in your area at the NAAFA website. NAAFA has
lots of resources you will find helpful including informative brochures and
a book service. Some of you may be interested in reading NAAFAs official
documents such as their Policy on Obesity Research or their Policy on
Physical Fitness. Both documents are very enlightening.
What can you do for NAAFA? NAAFA needs dietitians and
nutritionists to provide sound, accurate nutrition information to their
members. NAAFA members have nutrition questions. They want advice about
nourishing their bodies. Needless to say, most NAAFA members have been on
more diets than they care to remember, so if you still adhere to the
traditional fat people have to lose weight to be healthy paradigm, this
is not the forum for you. But, if you truly want to help fat people become
healthier, opportunity knocks. And if you want to fight discrimination
based on body size, this is the organization for you.
Finally, some of you will ask why NAAFA uses the word fat in
NAAFAs response is, Fat is not a four-letter word. It is an adjective,
like short, tall, thin, or blonde. While society has given it a derogatory
meaning, we find that identifying ourselves as fat is an important step
in casting off the shame we been taught to feel about our bodies. Three
cheers for NAAFA! And hopefully many more dietitians and nutritionists as
Joanne P. Ikeda, MA,RD
Cooperative Extension Nutrition Education Specialist
Department of Nutritional Sciences
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3104
E Mail: jikeda at socrates.berkeley.edu
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