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public access to academic writing and anti-obesity messages

It’s been a rather disheartening week in fat acceptance circles. Frances from Corpulent and Dr. Samantha Thomas from The Discourse were recently on Today Tonight for a story about weight loss surgery for children. It was presented to them in a positive light, but obviously the producers changed the way the segment was handled, as it was very anti-fat and hurtful. That happens of course, but, really, it just proves the feelings and distrust that the general public have towards the mainstream media. The segment prompted a blog post from Sam about the obesity rates in Australia. It’s an interesting read and refutes many of the widely-held notions and scare mongering about the statistics.

She put forward a point that journals and journal articles should be publicly accessible and I agree entirely – I think the general public should have access to academic writings, without being part of the academic world and without having to pay large fees. Sam’s blog post shows the pitfalls of relying on mainstream media rather than actual evidence and information, but this has typically been restricted to a rather select few. I think learning should be for everyone, not just those privileged enough to attend academic institutions and be a part of the academic world.

This is why I will be attending Sam’s talk at Griffith University in Brisbane on the 29th of July at 2pm and encouraging those who are able to attend to do so. Her talk is titled: “Are anti-obesity messaging strategies missing the mark?” and it will be at the Nathan Campus, (N63) Room 1.12.

I realise that the time and place might not suit those that are in Brisbane and are at work, at home or otherwise unable to attend, so I do hope that there can be access made to the talk through other resources. I think critically looking at these strategies from the marketing perspective is something that is slowly gaining more popularity and hopefully will help change viewpoints on the way advertising represents fat people.

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