Petitions

Obesity Activists Rally to Ban Apps That Make Your Face Look Fat

"You would never see an app target other diseases such as cancer, anorexia or HIV."
On second thought, maybe not so funny. (Screengrab: iTunes)

On second thought, maybe not so funny? (Screengrab: iTunes)

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nonprofit “dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity,” today launched a campaign to remove fat-shaming apps from Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft’s online stores, and to block this similar apps from appearing there in the future.

Supposedly ~fun~ apps like Fatbooth and Fatify “are teaching children that the disease of obesity is a funny cosmetic issue, which we know is not true,” Joe Nadglowski, OAC’s president and CEO, said in a release. “You would never see an app target other diseases such as cancer, anorexia or HIV; therefore, obesity should be treated with the same consideration.”

The OAC also contends that, as the apps’ primary users are children, they “have the potential to further exacerbate weight-based bullying and fat-shaming.”

As part of the campaign, the OAC has sent letters to the leaders of the four tech giants mentioned above. They also launched an online petition, wherein ordinary plebes can sign their names to support the cause.

While we can’t imagine Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook are immediately going to drop everything and address the matter, the OAC does have a point. We’ve always been uncomfortable with apps like Fatbooth, that try to show how funny and crazy it would be if your face was actually as fat as people with obesity. Using them seems fun at first — until you realize there are people who really do look like the digitally-altered photo you were just laughing at.

“More than 93 million individuals in the United States are affected and impacted by obesity,” OAC chairman Ted Kyle said in the release. “The disease carries with it more than 40 related conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. There is nothing funny about obesity – period.”

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com