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The elimination of fat

Fats are valued as a symbol of life, wealth, well-being, fertility and festivity, depending on social context. They are, however, viewed rather negatively in Western societies today because of the risks they may present for our health, such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases. The message is, therefore, to consume fats in moderation.
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Symbols and standards

Nowadays, fat is closely linked to the image we have of our bodies. Related to the image of obesity/the obese body, it is associated with weight gain and loss of attractiveness. These depictions result from social norms which define dietary practices. Until the 19th century, societies ate what they managed to produce based on the vagaries of the weather. Due to periods of limited food and famine, fats and their energy contribution were in high demand. Only occasionally consumed, they symbolised life, fertility, health, light and wealth. However, in some countries only, these depictions have become less significant since food is now plentiful and the number of overweight people is on the rise. Today, scientific reasoning condemns excess fat in the diet and, above all, saturated fat and trans fatty acids particularly found in industrially manufactured foodstuffs, as excess of such fat increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity. Medical discourse endorses consuming less fat and practising sport. Unlike saturated fats, unsaturated fats, cis fatty acids or omega 3 and 6 are highly valued, as they play a protective role against cardiovascular diseases and could ensure proper cognitive brain function.