Express micro-news!

You guys, it’s such a total paranoid conspiracy theory that diet and pharmaceutical companies have ANYTHING to do with the obesity hysteria.

I mean, if that were true, wouldn’t they be bringing in just TONS more money these days?

(Via Unapologetically Fat.)

Also, the Duh Truck has visited again for another shipment. Turns out the moral panic about obesity is actually not improving our general well-being, and may actually be doing a lot more harm than good. OH MY GOD MY MIND IS BLOWN.

(My fave part is the doctor saying “It has long been recognized that ‘fat’ does not necessarily equal unhealthy.” My god, what are we even doing here? Everybody already knows that fat isn’t the same as unhealthy! I wonder when all these trolls I’ve been deleting and commenters on the articles we link to and contributors on news shows and pharma-funded researchers and op-ed writers and our friends and family and the rest of the doctors are going to catch up.)

(Via Big Fat Delicious.)

38 thoughts on “Express micro-news!

  1. Duh-truck… LOL!

    Yes, it would seem that since the world knows that fat doesn’t equal unhealthy, we do seem to be nazel-gazing. However, I like the sight of my navel, and have every intention of continuing to gaze.

  2. FatChick what’s a nazel? I sounds awesome ;)

    So that’s definitely a Duh-Truck… but I like that duh-truck. The article kind of made me smile.

  3. lexy: A nazel is my way of spelling “navel.” You see, I like the letter “z” much more than “v,” and thus try to incorporate it into my writing at ezery opportunity.

  4. clearly “z” is superior to “v”

    ezeryone knows that “v” is a lazy baby-donut eating glutton just by looking at it anyway.

    (is baby-donut hyphenated? or is it baby donut?)

  5. does anyone know if there’s a “clearing house” of studies and reports like this out in blogland somewhere?

    (and before we get too excited, everyone repeat: *correlation is not causation*)

  6. (and before we get too excited, everyone repeat: *correlation is not causation*)

    Well right, and it’s a flawed study — the whole self-reported health thing is a little silly. But the point I’m always trying to make when people accuse us of cherry-picking is that we don’t HAVE to cherry-pick — there are studies coming down on both sides of the issue all the time. We point out the ones that show that health is healthy, other people point out the ones that show that thin is healthy; none of the studies themselves are perfect, but the literature is far from monolithic on this issue. And in many cases, like the Flegal study and Kate’s fave HAES study, the well-designed ones come down on the “health is healthy” side. (In fact I would say that most of the well-designed, non-sponsored studies come down on that side.)

    I don’t know of a clearinghouse, though hopefully the FAQ will have a lot of links.

  7. What’s also great is that people on psychiatric drugs generally gain weight because of it, antipsychotics in particular. Zyprexa’s manufacturers are being sued by the patients.

    I’ve gained 40lbs on Seroquel and Depakote. My doctor’s advice to the bulimic me who eats fuck all? “Eat less”. Great, thanks.

  8. I’d love to see the results of a more scientifically vigorous study of this sort. Self-reporting, as Fillyjonk rightly points out, is not a very reliable source…but self-reporting followed by a more stringent form of research might give an interesting and more reliable window into the relationship between self-perception and actual health.

    The mind is a powerful thing. I know for my part, my mind was a huge part of my previous disordered relationship with food. I was depressed, so I comfort ate, whereupon I felt bad and didn’t move for hours, which made me feel depressed and unworthy, so I overate for more comfort…and I kept spiralling downward. I didn’t start developing a positive relationship with food and my body again until the day I saw myself as beautiful and worth taking care of.

    I don’t know where my body will wind up in terms of how much I’ll weigh when my body decides it’s done losing weight. The great thing is, I don’t care. I know I’m beautiful now. I know I’m getting healthy. I know I can eat what I want when I want it…and I have a much better idea of what it’s asking for when.

    And now I have a much more upbeat attitude toward life, the universe, and everything, which is helping me keep on track for making my body healthy. The spiral points up now, and I’m loving it.

    But that’s flawed self-reporting, and it would be nice to have more solid numbers and more stringent scientific data to point to.

    Guess I’d better go check out the links in the FAQ.

  9. The mind is a powerful thing.

    And so is comparison and societal pressure. As Kate and SM have both pointed out, fat people often pathologize perfectly normal feelings and behavior because they assume that since they’re fat, they must be unhealthy. So they might have an “unhealthy day” because they ate three pieces of pizza, which MUST be a binge because they are fat, whereas a thin person might do the same without comment (or might even end up just feeling happy and sated).

  10. “What’s also great is that people on psychiatric drugs generally gain weight because of it, antipsychotics in particular.”

    Speaking of correlations. . . am I the only one who’s noticed that the so-called obesity epidemic parallels the lets turn everyone into happy campers by prescribing mood-altering drugs by the wheelbarrow load epidemic?

  11. Speaking of correlations. . . am I the only one who’s noticed that the so-called obesity epidemic parallels the lets turn everyone into happy campers by prescribing mood-altering drugs by the wheelbarrow load epidemic?

    Hells no. As one of the lucky psychotropic gainers, I’ve been telling people for the last 10 years that these drugs make people fat. Especially people who use them long-term and aren’t naturally thin. Maybe finally they’re starting to believe me?

  12. fillyjonk, i in no way meant to restart the cherry-picking argument. this study is no less rigorous than a lot of the crap used to beat on fatties. i’ve been reading a lot of science (medicine, psychology, sociology) related to fat since summer and have accumulated a good 8″ of printouts that range from neutral (“there’s no difference between fat and thin” [i'm oversimplifying]) to positive (“fat has some benefits”).

    i was thinking of starting an archive of this mountain of stuff online and calling it … “cherry pickings”.

    (i just always get euphoric when i see stuff like this and, my pessimistic self always insists that i brace for a backlash even when citing stuff. hence my above parenthetical comment)

  13. Oh, I know you weren’t, problematic! I was just acknowledging that this study is in a lot of ways no better than the crap used to beat on fatties either, but you’re right, it’s certainly no worse.

    The “Cherry Pickings” archive gets a huge thumbs up from me. Hilarious.

  14. As to the racial aspect, they’re hard at work on it: ““In tandem, the online Challenge community and the church can be the ultimate support group,” said Dr. Smith. The African-American community is especially hard hit by ‘weight-related’ health risks, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other health related problems, he said. His church tour and 50 Million Pound Challenge rallies and gatherings have added to his celebrity.

    This Challenge is said to be the largest and most far-reaching national “health” initiative ever directed to the African American community.”

    http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2008/01/tv-diet-doctor-spreading-gospel-of.html

  15. Is anyone watching the CNN debates? Barack Obama just
    proposed that we can save on healthcare by sending
    fat people to dieticians and helping them lose weight!!!!

    Well this fat black woman doesn’t want to vote for anyone
    that thinks like that. Hillary wants everyone to be insured
    but Barack thinks that putting everyone on diets will solve
    the problem. As someone who has been on everything
    from Weight Watchers to my own diet, lost the weight and
    gained it back, I was really saddened to hear this.

    I was lucky that I didn’t gain back even more weight but
    I’m sure that the diet companies were sitting somewhere
    gleefully thanking him for his ignorance. I’m sure
    that Oprah’s happy too.

    All I can say is . . .

    GO HILARY ’08!!!!!

  16. This is so off-topic, but has anyone seen the new Jenny Craig commercials with Queen Latifah in them? I wanted to cry : ( She keeps calling it “getting healthy” while the announcer goes on about “losing 20lbs for $20″, as if you can ascribe some sort of monetary worth to it. Ugh ugh : ( : (

  17. Thank goodness for Shapely Prose. The rest of the world is going crazy, but this website keeps me sane.

    What on earth did I do before I became Kate Harding?

    Grin.

  18. @mari

    I kind of doubt Hilary really feels differently….

    She hasnt said anything one way or the other yet, just a hunch

  19. Is there a news article or some soundbite somewhere of the Obama thing? It’s not that I don’t believe it. I’d just like to see/hear it for myself and refer to it in my own political ramblings on LJ.

    Also, I agree with you Hannah. I was SO disappointed in Queen Latifah being in a Jenny Craig ad. :( It often seems like all of the beautiful “big” celebrities are shrinking away… or at least, trying to. And the weight loss companies LOVE it. What better than a STAR advertising for them. I mean, it works for L’Oreal, right?

  20. SDS, there is a transcript here.

    What Obama said was not “we will send all fat people to dietitians,” but “We are actually paying for a dietician for people to lose weight, as opposed to paying for the $30,000 foot amputation.” That’s an incredible simplification of the link between weight loss and diabetes, but the idea — that nutritional counseling can help people avoid complications of diabetes down the road, and that preventive care is a worthwhile use of health funding — seems pretty sound.

  21. That’s an incredible simplification of the link between weight loss and diabetes, but the idea — that nutritional counseling can help people avoid complications of diabetes down the road, and that preventive care is a worthwhile use of health funding — seems pretty sound.

    Meh. I don’t read it that way . To me it sounds like he wants to “fix” fat people (which is so easy) to prevent us all from clogging up the health care system with Teh Diabetes.

  22. I think he’s just been encouraged to use a shitty example of preventive medicine. I get to see some of where the candidates get their talking points on health care, and there’s some blatantly biased and misrepresented facts in there — like the “save 1 trillion by reducing obesity levels” thing.

    The thing is, both of them are hanging a lot of their health care savings on preventive care, and probably neither of them has a complete idea of what that will entail. So they’re relying on people telling them “oh, we save x money when we make someone lose weight!” That’s going to be a problem if we end up with a health plan that defines preventive care as including weight loss, which is a possibility though I doubt anything too prescriptive would go through. It won’t be a problem if “losing weight so you don’t have an amputation” is just being used as a metonymy for “funding preventive care so people’s care isn’t always catastrophic.” But they’re both on board that boat either way.

  23. Given my boundless optimism, I’m pretty sure that any preventative care program will amount to either “stop getting sick” or “lose weight and all your problems will disappear!” Not coincidentally, this pretty much describes our employee preventative health care program.

  24. I guess now we should feel lucky that we’re allowed to dine out at all, according to some Mississippi legislators.

    Apparently bill 282 was introduced in the Mississippi legislature preventing restaurants to serve food to any person who is obese.

  25. Ah, yes. After reading that, I would have to agree with you Fillyjonk. It does read as a poor example of the benefits of preventative care.

    I, for one, would love to see more preventative care covered in health insurance. It’s always irked me that that wasn’t the case.

  26. “There needs to be a realization among public health officials and medical professionals that the messages we are giving the public could be doing more harm than good,” Muennig said.

    This goes way beyond a “duh” factor — it’s a message that needs to be broadcast far and wide. I’ve been thinking about this for the past two days (and I hadn’t even seen this post!)

    I think that we need to talk with Obama’s people and let them know he needs to be mindful of the “fat vote.”

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