The Australian federal government is making baby steps in using ‘Web 2.0′ tools for consulting with the public on policy and ideas. One of these projects is yourHealth. They’ve not quite got the full idea of what it’s really about yet, but participation in their first efforts will be encouraging (see AcidLabs for a post on why).
Over at yourHealth, you can comment on blog discussion posts, and submit your suggestions for and stories of health care in Australia. One of the current blog topics is ‘How should governments, industry and community groups work together to help us combat obesity?‘. Unfortunately one fat-shaming response made it through the moderation, which is disappointing. Most of the responses seem to be from people who aren’t fat haters as such, but still do believe obesity is a serious health problem and should be ‘combated’. I think the blog could use some Health at Every Size/FA ideas, so if you’re an Australian citizen or resident, please comment on the blog and make your voice heard. You do need to register and confirm your email address, and your comment is limited to 5,000 characters. But this is an opportunity to let the government know that not everyone thinks that fat bodies are a problem that must be solved, and that there are other ways to improve everyone’s health without singling out fat people or focusing on weight or BMI.
You can also tell your health story or give your suggestion either as text or video – see the Contribute page for the links to all these. How about some stories of how anti-fat bias from doctors negatively impacted your health, or how HAES or FA improved it? Or how anti-fat public health rhetoric is directly implicated in disordered eating? The discussion, especially on obesity, really needs voices from fat-accepting people.
Of course you don’t need to limit your commentary to fat issues, any health issue which is important to you can be discussed!