Links: Gross and Not-Gross

So: this is gross. How to buy an engagement ring – don’t communicate directly with your partner! Make sure you spend a shitton of money (because we all know being able to pay your rent and buy food are totally unromantic), steal her jewelry, talk with her friends about what she likes (instead of, you know, talking to your partner)…yuck.

This is not gross: (TW) What if our healthcare system kept us healthy? – a TED talk by Rebecca Onie. It’s excellent, and I think Health Leads is doing excellent and extremely important work, which will hopefully be expanded and improved upon until we truly have a system that promotes individual health on a more pervasive and fundamental level than it does now. The Trigger Warning is there because in the middle, she makes some comments about using technology to flag fat people for special intervention.

I’m not surprised, it’s really popular right now to openly discriminate against people of size (thanks Michelle Obama!). Rebecca Onie talks about programming medical records to automatically flag people with larger BMIs for Health Leads counseling – to talk to them about where to find healthy food and safe movement options. Isn’t that something that people of all sizes need access to? (HINT: YES) Is the automatic flag taking into account any other health indicators? Probably not. So without having spoken to a fat person about hir diet and exercise habits, mobility limitations or other medical factors, Health Leads wants them to be singled out and discriminated against based on a number that is notoriously unreliable and is DEFINITELY not a measure of health?

That made me angry, as you might be able to tell. Overall, however, I agree with the approach Health Leads is taking, and I wish I had been able to volunteer with them when I was in college.



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