Monday, November 5, 2007

I'm in health warning fatigue: opinion

You should really go read this. I have to say that I agree with most everything said here.
Frankly, we've given up - the reason we are obese, don't exercise and have descended into slobdom is relatively simple. We are tired of being lectured by weedy nerds and chicks who have had liposuction, that we are eating our way into an early grave.

I don't necessarily agree with the above quote, but as hyperbole, it works.
Besides, we are not dumb. We look at the mortality statistics and they all indicate that this is the longest-lived generation in the history of humanity. That despite the carcinogenics pumped into our food sources, despite the insecticide and pesticide residues, despite the eschewing of exercise in favour of electronic entertainment and McFries, our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents all died younger.

Yes indeedy.
And therein lies the fatal flaw in the obesity epidemic argument. There is no proof that being fat reduces life expectancy. Even if it did, it would only trim years in the nether regions when the quality of life is crap anyway. So if I die at 89 instead of 93 - then wearing adult diapers and dribbling over nursie for another four years is not exactly fulfilment.

Amen! I will take quality of life over quantity any day (and I'm working on the quality now, and demanding better health care from doctors: Look past my weight and treat me the same as a thinner patient or you've lost my business).
As for the list of things I must give up: dear God, what's left? Steak, the booze, bacon and ham, and fizzy drinks are mandatory swerves. But I must match this with a daily regime of exercise, a refusal to gain any kilos over the age of 21, and the breastfeeding of my kids. Male breastfeeding - is the world really ready?
No mention of smoking, though. When a packet of pork becomes more dangerous than a packet of Rothmans, then I know I have reached public health warning fatigue. Besides, the last scientific study into cancer- causing compounds identified genetic heritage and stress as the twin stalkers.

Ah, genetics. But don't you know, if you have the genetics that predispose you to any kind of disease, you are supposed to work harder at avoiding that disease? After all, if you are at risk of becoming fat, you have to restrict calories and exercise to a fare-thee-well because everyone knows if you don't, you're unhealthy.
I don't know about anyone else, but until I can be guaranteed that 1) there are no risks in life, 2) all diseases are eradicated, 3) quality of life is not going to go down the shitter as we age, and 4) everyone is treated with respect, I don't want to live forever. You're born, you live the life you're handed as best you can, and then you die. The age at which you die is not something you can control, the risks you face can be controlled to a certain extent, but hell, just living is a risk. You spin the wheel and you take your chances and try to enjoy as much of the journey as you can.


  1. It was rather funny, wasn't it. A sense of humor works every time.

  2. You've got a point there.

    I for one do believe that exercise can help quality of long as you find a form of exercise that doesn't suck. But I don't see it as part of the "path of thin." I see it as the "path of keep walking."

    I was stuck in a wheelchair for awhile in my mid 20s, so now I'm pretty determined to stay healthy enough never to need one again - but I've already found that my weight is not connected to that, although my activity level is.

  3. Exactly. I think the more active one is, the longer one can stay active. My grandmother was in her late 70's and still mowing their yard and gardening. She finally had to slow down when she hit her early 80's, and she passed away at the age of 86 (in spite of having been fat all her life, 5' 8" and a size 22). She did start losing weight around the age of 83, but she was still a large lady at the time of her death (she fell asleep in her chair and didn't wake up). So I know if I can get active, and keep active, I have a good chance of living as long as she did, if not longer.

  4. Vesta, if you end up like your Grandma, more power to ya. My super-weight and health conscious grandma recently passed away at 85. Great grandma (grandma's mom) never dieted or spared the butter, and never thought twice about putting lard into everything she baked, and she died at exactly the same age.

  5. I will take quality of life over quantity any day

    Hear hear!!

    What good is a long life when, once you finally get to the end of it, your only thought is "thank god it's over"? I want to be able to say "I've had a good life, I enjoyed it." (So long and thanks for all the fish, so to speak.)

    That's actually one of the reasons I decided to STOP dieting. I realized I was making myself AND my family miserable. If the kids dared to touch my "diet" food, they caught hell for it. My husband was becoming very exasperated with my fixation on my weight. And I was just miserable, period.

    Now we're all happier (well, most of the time). And you know what? My health hasn't been affected one way or the other.


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