how NOT to be sick and fat – 5 shocking health tips


“Health” is a cultural fact in the broadest sense of the word, a fact that is political, economic, and social as well, a fact that is tied to a certain state of individual and collective consciousness.
-Michel Foucalt

Let’s pause here for a moment.

Health as a cultural act…

The human body, YOUR body is the very embodiment of culture. We are what we eat. We are also what we do, what we say, where we work, where we live, how much we move and on, and on. All the variables that impact our body shape and size.

Research by Bourdieu discusses how “the social class is reflected in the different health behaviours of the working class compared to the wealthy”. The wealthy smoke less, move more and live longer. Health cannot be reduced to the reality of the physical body.

Want to be healthier?

1. Don’t be poor. If you can, stop. If you can’t, try not to be poor for long.
2. Practise not losing your job, and don’t become unemployed.
3. Don’t live in a neighbourhood with high rates of crime and low rates of civic participation.
4. Don’t belong to a visible minority that makes you a target of discrimination and social exclusion.
5. Don’t live in a society characterized by social inequality, or, if you must, be rich and powerful. [Source below]

We have less control over our bodies than we think. Yet, living in North America, the ideology is all about personal control. If you are fat, sick, poor, it is your fault. It’s because you have not worked hard enough. Work harder, try harder, pursue your dreams. Make it happen.

If you have recently hashtagged an inspirational quote with something along the lines of:
#NoExcuses, #GetWhatYouWant #LivingTheDream #OvercomeAnything #HealthyLiving #FitLife #GetIt or the like, check yourself.


Are you:

  • White?
  • Male?
  • Young?
  • Straight?
  • Able-bodied?
  • Middle to upper class?
  • Living in North America?

In other words, are you carrying an invisible knapsack bulging with privilege?

Don’t be too fast to preach to others. Your good health is almost entirely NOT your fault – you’ve started the climb two thirds up the mountain.

Carrying the knapsack,

Pursuing Health And Wellness. Healthy Societies, Healthy People.
Alexander Segall / Christopher J. Fries

Posted January 25, 2015

2 responses to “how NOT to be sick and fat – 5 shocking health tips”

  1. Donald Mundo says:

    Weston A. Price would disagree with this. As a dentist he studied primitive hunter/gatherer tribes around the world (mostly black) and found they had abundant health, yet they were the poorest. It seems that living primal in today’s modern world is the best practice.

    • SOLO says:

      Thanks, Donald! Primal, perhaps. But notice the argument here is for those who are poor compared to the world around them. E.g. working class in US, rather than hunter/gatherer tribes.

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