Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the average American male in 1960 was 5 feet, 8 inches, 168 pounds. By 2002, he had grown up and out to 5 feet, 9 ½ inches and 191 pounds. Women added 1 inch and 24 pounds during the same period.
But guess what? While nearly every story written about obesity says that 1980 was the moment when America began getting fatter, the average American male in 1960 was overweight according to the BMI. He just didn't know it.
We just didn't know we were fat 48 years ago? Or it just wasn't as big a deal back then? And were we any less healthy at those OMG TEH FATZ weights? I don't know how big a business the weight loss industry was back in 1960, I was only 7 years old at the time, but I'm betting it wasn't nearly the behemoth then that it is now (and I do mean behemoth, the weight loss industry could stand to lose some of its lying, thieving, hysterical verbiage when it comes to fat and health).
Pushing back are people such as Sandy Szwarc, a registered nurse and food writer, whose blog Junkfood Science attacks the mainstream view that obesity is a looming health crisis. Critics of Szwarc, and others such as Paul Campos and Jon Robison, an adjunct professor at Michigan State, point to ties to the food industry and the restaurant lobby. But they also have data supporting some of their claims that BMI standards have no medical validity and are arbitrarily assigned.
They were quick to pounce on the methodology of a highly publicized CDC report in 2004 that blamed more than 400,000 deaths each year on obesity, which meant that weight rivaled smoking as a killer.
*edited to add that the above claim that Sandy Szwarc, Paul Campos, and Jon Robison have ties to the food industry and restaurant lobby is a claim from the quoted article and does not reflect my beliefs at all, neither is proof of these supposed ties given. When no proof is given, I assume it's a smear campaign to impugn someone's reputation (since the article is saying that those 3 people do have data supporting the fact that BMI standards have no medical validity and are arbitrarily assigned, and heaven forbid that anyone promoting OMGOBESITYEPIDEMIC hysteria should be proved wrong, the world might come to an end if BMI is proved to be a big fat fallacy).
Oh yeah, that statistic of 400,000 deaths a year from obesity is still quoted, even though it's been retracted and corrected to less than 30,000 a year. But if TEHFATZ isn't killing us off in those huge numbers, then people may not buy into the THIN-AT-ANY-PRICE mentality, and the diet industry/pharmaceutical industry/medical establishment would lose tons of money (and that couldn't happen to anyone better, IMHO).
More recently, the CDC issued a report suggesting those with BMIs between 25-30, that is to say overweight people, had lower mortality rates than people in the normal weight category. People who were classified as overweight had lower risk of a variety of diseases including Parkinson's and lung disease that counteracted their increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
The CDC is saying this, and MSM is ignoring it. Could it be that those types of headlines don't create enough hysteria to sell enough papers/advertising? Gee, follow the fucking money, and it seems pretty damned obvious to me that this whole OBESITY EPIDIMIC is nothing more than a scare tactic to get money out of our pockets and into the pockets of liars and thieves who could care less about our health.
Despite the bitter battle lines between the two groups, they agree on one thing: If you are out there, feeling remorse for the egg nog binge you went on in December, do not go to the Internet, find a BMI calculator and begin a crash diet that will, both sides agree, lead to an inexorable binge and eventual weight gain.
"Yo-yo dieting doesn't work," Brownell says. "At the individual level the only thing that works is to eat less and exercise more."
Ummm, Kelly, eat less/exercise more doesn't work either if you are a naturally fat person. If it worked, there would be a lot of formerly fat people who are now thin because they have eaten less and exercised more. You really need to pull your head out of your ass and get a fucking clue. Perpetuating myths like calories in/calories out makes most fat people fatter than if they had just not dieted at all (and I'm sorry, eat less/exercise more is a fucking diet, just like Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, and all the other liars out there). Not to mention all the doctors pushing WLS as a panacea. WLS should have to have "RESULTS NOT TYPICAL" branded across every ad for it in 1000 point type, because I can vouch for the fact that the very little bit of good it may possibly do is vastly out-weighed by the all of the complications it gives patients who are browbeaten/brainwashed into having it.