A parliamentary report has recommended adding "appearance-based discrimination" to the Equalities Act, thus resulting in calling someone a "fatty" a hate crime.
A report entitled "Reflections on Body Image" produced by an All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image and supported by the charity Central YMCA passed the recommendation to make "appearance-based discrimination" comparable to racism and sexual discrimination, the Telegraph reported.
The findings of the report revealed that a negative body image could result in serious health problems, with the overweight feeling stigmatised as the media bombards the public with images of the ideal body. The Guardian reported Rosi Prescott of Central YMCA said "The findings of the report are shocking – body image has become more important in our culture than health and children are mimicking their parents' concerns about appearance" adding "We all have a responsibility to act now to bring about the attitudinal and behavioural change that's necessary to prevent damage to future generations."
If the amendment is added to the Equalities Act it would "make it a punishable offence to harass someone because of their appearance, for example by drawing attention to their weight."
According to the Daily Mail the report also recommends scrapping NHS weigh-ins for children as some as young as five are worried about their weight and appearance.The weigh-ins were introduced as part of the NHS fight against rising obesity.
The report also recommended compulsory "body image and self-esteem lessons" for those in primary and secondary school."