Consider this: from the perspective of a profit-maximising medical and pharmaceutical industry, the ideal disease would be one that never killed those who suffered from it, that could not be treated effectively, and that doctors and their patients would nevertheless insist on treating anyway. Luckily for it, the American health care industry has discovered (or rather invented) just such a disease. It is called “obesity”. Basically, obesity research in America is funded by the diet and drug industry — that is, the economic actors who have the most to gain from the conclusion that being fat is a disease that requires aggressive treatment. Many researchers have direct financial relationships with the companies whose products they are evaluating.
As The Handbook Of Obesity Studies notes, “In heterogeneous and affluent societies such as the United States, there is a strong inverse correlation of social class and obesity, particularly for females.” In other words, on average, poor people in America are fat and rich people are thin. The disgust the thin upper classes feel for the fat lower classes has nothing to do with mortality statistics and everything to do with feelings of moral superiority. Precisely because Americans are so repressed about class issues, the disgust the (relatively) poor engender in the (relatively) rich must be projected on to some other distinguishing characteristic.
Extract from The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession With Weight Is Hazardous To Your Health by Paul Campos. I want this book!