Marilyn Wann is an author and weight diversity speaker in Northern California who has a message for anyone making judgments about her health based on her large physique. "The only thing anyone can accurately diagnose by looking at a fat person is their own level of stereotype and prejudice about fat," said Ms. Wann, a 43-year-old San Franciscan whose motto in life is also the title of her book: "Fat! So?"
Hers has been an oft-repeated message this summer and fall by members of the "fat pride" community, given that the nation is in the midst of a debate about health care. That debate has, sometimes awkwardly, focused its attention on the growing population of overweight and obese Americans with unambiguous overtones: fat people should lose weight, for the good of us all.