Gijs Goossens on L1 Radio


Gijs Goossens was a guest on the radio programme De Stemming on L1 on Sunday 14 January with Fons Geraets and Frank Ruber to talk about obesity. This was following the presentation of the book "Dikke huid", written by Irmgard Tummers, at Dominicanen bookshop in Maastricht later that day during which he was interviewed by Emile Hollman. In this book, Irmgard takes the reader through short stories about her daily life as an overweight woman, giving her opinion on conflicting policy choices, fat-representation and (un)conscious exclusion mechanisms in social and professional life.

Gijs: "The sadness and stigma surrounding obesity are clearly evident in this book. This involves the views people in society have about obese people. For example, that all obese people are lazy, have no discipline or willpower, are less competent, are always on the couch with a bag of chips, eat lots of hamburgers and don't exercise, and so on. Unhealthy diet and little exercise play a major role in weight gain. But obesity cannot simply be reduced to just the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. Hereditary predisposition, stress due to work or financial problems, too little or poor sleep, and the use of certain drugs that contribute to weight gain also influence the regulation of body weight.

Today's obesogenic environment makes it difficult for many people to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is the result of a complex interaction between biological, psychological, socio-economic and environmental factors."

"We know that the stigma surrounding obesity can have several negative consequences, such as chronic stress, decrease in self-confidence, increase in hopelessness, loss of trust in other people, feeling 'not to belong', less likely to seek help. Stigmatisation of obese people is a major problem, and is often associated with a lot of hidden suffering and lower quality of life. It is therefore important that this issue gets attention, that we make and keep it discussable," Gijs said.

You can listen to the interview at this link (1:00:00 to 1:20:00)