This is Thin Privilege

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I’m not sure if this is the sort of thing you would publish, but I found it interesting.

As we all know, thin privilege is living in a world where you are not constantly told that you are unhealthy or that your diet/lifestyle will make you sick. You could work an active job and walk everywhere and be told that you don’t need to go to the gym because your day to day life counts as exercise. You are not constantly told that you are sick, or that you are going to get sick.

The nocebo effect is like a reverse placebo effect. If you are told (and truly believe) that a substance can harm you then you may experience negative side effects even when the substance in question has no active ingredients. This also applies to actions - for example, things hurt more if you are told they are going to hurt. There have been cases (including one in the link earlier) where this effect has emerged after media started reporting that a substance could cause harm.

The placebo effect has been shown to have an effect on the benefits received from exercise, and both placebo and nocebo effects have been studied with regards to food. This means that being constantly told (and believing) that your food will make you sick, that your exercise doesn’t count, and that you should be experiencing certain symptoms has the potential to negate the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise and to potentially cause those symptoms to appear. In other words, the conversations and education campaigns around the “war on obesity” could actually be causing physical harm.

Thin privilege is living in a world where the media does not habitually create moral panic and unfounded health claims that could actually cause you harm if you come to believe them. 


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