(Well, not just fat people. Pretty much everyone who is not effortlessly thin, and maybe even those who are.)
Plenty of people seem to think that every fat person is fat because of some sort of emotional trauma. That we’re eating to “stuff down feelings”. Or that every fat person must really have a binge eating disorder.
Then there are the people who think, “If you think you’re hungry, really you’re probably thirsty/tired/sad (related to the ‘stuff down feelings’ meme). I came across the most ridiculous example (habit #5) of this yesterday:
Nerurkar said she is surprised at how many of her patients don’t drink much water during the day, adding that people don’t often recognize thirst. “Often when we’re craving something sweet or salty, we’re really thirsty instead,” she said.
Really? That’s funny, because when I’m thirsty, sweet and salty things seem kind of unappealing because sweet and salty things make me thirsty. Except for things that also contain a lot of water, like watermelon or grapes or lemonade or lightly sweetened iced tea (because heavily sweetened iced tea just keeps me thirsty, plus I didn’t grow up drinking it so it tastes weird to me).
(Also: “Put a mint leaf… into your H20”? Why would you do that when you could have (iced) mint tea?)
I guess I could see, for someone who’s used to getting most of their water from sweetened beverages, a craving for something sweet to drink being an early signal of thirst. ‘A craving for salty things=thirst’ just seems really out there, though.
I’ve decided that these things are gaslighting. I feel like there must be more examples of gaslighting related to fat people, eating, and/or weight control. Anyone have more? There’s also a much-less-widespread one–the notion that any fat person who says they’re happy at their current size and don’t want to lose weight must be lying, either deliberately or in a “lying to themselves” way. (See comment #11 here.) This one isn’t as widespread in popular culture, though, because fat acceptance/fat liberation still isn’t all that visible in popular culture.