It’s too facile to call it political correctness, but I noted a strong effort by some speakers at the Binge Eating Disorder Association’s national conference last weekend to say the right thing. Here are some examples:
* ”There’s no such thing as junk food.” I’m not sure whose ox is gored by saying otherwise! My goodness, junk food not only exists, we celebrate it! It’s such an example of shared insanity. We would never eat actual junk, but we eat junk food and consider it a pleasure (guilty or otherwise).
* The word obese was invoked, which is not to say uttered, twice by speakers. One of them referred to the “o” word, daring not to speak its name. And the other let it slip, but followed up with, “I don’t know if we’re using this terminology.” I’ve discussed this before. I feel it is just a what something is called, like “red” or “scooter.” Not a good “red” or a bad “red,” just “red.” But I have grudgingly acknowledged that if someone isn’t going to listen after that word is used, maybe another descriptor of the same condition would work better.
* “I think of myself as a normal eater. [pause.] Am I allowed to say that?”
* After mentioning a weigh-in process at her treatment center: “I’m sorry! They won’t pay us if we don’t do that.”