A powerful lobby group claiming to represent over 31% of American voters has organised rallies in Washington this week to formally ask Congress to recognise non-obese people as a minority group in America.
40,000 people gathered in Washington, 20,000 in Los Angeles and 15,000 in New York to voice their support of the Alliance to Make US Healthiest organisation in granting rights for non-overweight Americans.
The Alliance is officially launching its nationwide campaign of action called “Thin Lives Matter”, mobilizing its supporters for what is described as “the next great battle of the Civil Rights Movement”.
“Healthy Americans suffer more and more every year,” said the Vice-president of the Alliance, Joseph McCain. “Every time we go to the restaurant, we have to pay for a portion which is clearly oversized. We often have to do all the physical work, because we’re the only ones fit enough to do it. Even worst than that, in some professional groups like truck drivers or police officers, non-overweight people don’t even count for 20% of the work force, and they find themselves marginalized and discriminated because of their weight. It’s time for Congress to act, and stop this injustice.”
Non-overweight people want to be formally added to the list of visible minorities recognized by the federal government, making them available for affirmative action policies.
Some already existing policies adopted as affirmative action, such as racial quotas or gender quotas for collegiate admission, specifically grant special consideration to racial minorities, Native Americans, and women.
According to federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the described aim of such policies is “to promote the full realization of equal employment opportunity through a positive, continuing program”.
The Alliance to Make US Healthiest wants similar quotas to be established for non-overweight people, whom they consider to be “a forgotten minority”.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, and obesity continues to be a leading public health problem in the U.S.
According to a survey from 2014, 71.3% of men and 65,8% of women are overweight in the United States, for a national average of 68.5%. The same study showed that 30.8% of Americans feel like they have suffered from weight related discrimination.
The Alliance to Make US Healthiest considers that there is a direct correlation between those numbers, and it hopes to make its civil rights case, one of the main issues in the next presidential and congressional campaigns.