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Facebook now censors individuals promoting weight loss and good health

Posted: January 13, 2014 |   Comments

( Obesity has become a major public health concern in the United States, as the CDC reports that more than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese. Obesity puts people at an increased risk of developing many potentially serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, several types of cancer, sleep apnea, depression, gallbladder disease, gynecologic problems, erectile dysfunction and sexual health issues, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis and skin problems.

Marilyn McKenna, the wife of former Washing State Attorney General Rob McKenna, once wore size 20 pairs of pants and weighed 265 pounds. Then, in 2007, she decided to take control of her health and her life and began a journey to lose weight. Now, after years of perseverance, she weighs only 145 pounds and runs a website, writes blogs and makes videos to help inspire others on their personal health journeys. Naturally, she's proud of her accomplishments, as many should be proud of what she's done, and she decided to post a picture of herself to Facebook to show how one can take control of their life and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

Facebook evidently isn't as proud of her weight-loss achievement. McKenna's picture, which depicts her standing inside one leg of her old size 20 pants, was banned by the social media site, because it promotes an "idealized body image," according to an email she received.

"I'm certainly not about idealizing any kind of body image," McKenna said. "I write about weight loss. I write about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles."

And even if she were to idealize a body image, wouldn't it be better for her to idealize a healthy one, rather than complacently reinforcing the idea that the trend in obesity is "okay" as long as people's feelings don't get hurt? Sometimes, people need to be shown that they can take control, they can manage their weight, they don't have to be a diseased statistic. People like McKenna should be congratulated for the strides they make in personal health and providing a role model to inspire others.

McKenna apparently used the Facbook Promote feature for her picture, so Facebook considers it be an advertisement, saying that their "terms require advertisers of weight loss and other adult products to limit the audience of their ads to people aged 18 and over," despite the fact that she isn't selling anything and offers all of the information from her website, blogs and videos free of charge. McKenna said that she will meet with Facebook officials this week to resolve the problem.

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