Friday, December 14, 2007

Don't fall for the big fat lie

Reading this article made me stop and think about the obesity epidemic in the United States. When every article you read about it is accompanied by a picture of a morbidly obese person, it's no wonder that people are hysterical about fat. They are being told (whether it's directly or just inferred) that every overweight person looks just like that anonymous fattie in the picture. If people would just stop to think about how many people that size they actually see on a daily basis, they would know that the 60% of the population that is overweight/obese don't all look like that. The majority of the overweight/obese people you see on a daily basis can't be told from the so-called "normal" weight population.
There are three main points to be made about fat. First, it is not nearly as extensive as claimed. Second, being a bit overweight is not as bad as most people believe. And third, there's not much you can do about it anyway.

This is quoted for Australia, but I don't see why it isn't true for the good old USA as well.
The first step in this is to separate the terms "overweight" and "obese", which are hugely different but are always lumped together to increase the size of the alleged problem. When we do this we will find that the weight of the general population has not increased dramatically in recent decades.

Well, duh, fat activists knew that all along. Are they the only ones with any critical thinking skills left? I sure hope not.
Basham says 1 or 2 per cent of the population of a country such as Australia has a real obesity problem and needs to be helped. But pretending everyone is at risk of obesity and should be monitored and even assisted is a misuse of resources.

Hey, hasn't this been said before? By fat activists?
But it is important to note that worrying about being overweight is rarely useful. Dale Atrens, a reader emeritus in psychobiology at the University of Sydney, has made an extensive study of scientific literature in this area. He says, "The injunction to lose a little weight is probably the most common medical prescription. It is given to untold millions each day through both official and unofficial channels. Globally, the weight loss industry is approaching a trillion-dollar turnover. This is astonishing in light of the fact that there is no systematic evidence that any of the weight loss schemes (except surgery) have any more than transient effects."

The next time someone, even a health minister, tries to make you feel guilty about carrying a few extra kilos, just say no.

Yep, I've decided to just say not only No, but Hell No!
And Dale, not even surgery is guaranteed to keep that weight off forever for everyone who has it (if they survive it, that is).

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