Fat, Media

Quick Outrage: “Obesity ‘as bad as climate risk'”

So says the BBC.

A British government study has predicted that 25 years from now, half the population will be obese, and in 15 years, the vast majority will be overweight.

The horror.

According to UK Health Secretary Alan Johnson, that’s a “potential health crisis on the scale of climate change.”

For real. He said that.


The article ends, of course, with the hoary old, “This generation of kids won’t outlive their parents!” panic. Um, is someone eventually going to tip the anti-obesity crusaders off to the fact that we’re actually living longer than ever before? ‘Cause that one’s getting pretty fucking tired.

And so am I. Obesity is as big a public health crisis as climate change, y’all.

At least they’re not blaming us for it this week. That’s something, I guess.

(Thanks to Eleanor for the tip.)

25 thoughts on “Quick Outrage: “Obesity ‘as bad as climate risk'””

  1. If you can save someone from their doom, then you’re hero.

    If you can save an entire nation from their doom, you’re a national hero.

    All you need is a national crisis.

    And if you can put “, Researcher” or “, Scientist” after your name, all you have to do is release a “Study” or “Report” to get the crisis and portray yourself as trying to save everyone.

    It’s a sweet, sweet deal.

  2. I remember there being this thing…this thing that makes global warming more of an issue than the obesity epidemic…wait, let me think…

    Oh yeah. That’s right. Global Warming is real.

    And there’s, like, science and actual facts and everything to say so!

    What kind of screwed up world do we live in where the real problem of global warming gets chalked up to being a myth, and the pduedo-science socially invented and imaginary problem of obesity then becomes the cause?

    And how much do you want to bet the same people who are arguing that global warming is a hoax would also use the “obesity leads to global warming” argument in a different conversation?


  3. It’s like the setup for a bad joke… something about how when a fattie goes swimming the ocean levels rise and drown New York, or something.

  4. We’re getting blamed for so much shit that I feel like I may as well be wearing a cloak, a black top hat, and twirling a mustache Snidely Whiplash-style.

  5. I work in the insurance industry, and at 2006’s end-of-year “What’s going to cost insurance companies the most money?” conference, the “obesity crisis” topped the list, ahead of hurricanes, windstorms, flooding and all other (global warming related) natural disasters. I have yet to figure out exactly *how* that works…

    This tired tripe would bore me if it didn’t result in such fat hatred bullshit.

  6. Given how little power women, much less fat women, have, I think it is pretty hysterical that we supposedly have the power to cause more harm than climate change. SOMEONE hasn’t been paying attention to their cultural paradigm!

  7. You know, I recently spent some time at work looking at a list of frequent causes of death. (I was trying to make a point about cognitive bias; it failed, I did something else, but that’s beside the point). Sure, deaths in America from floods and hurricanes and tornadoes were pretty low last year. But guess what wasn’t even on the list?

    Oh right, because people don’t die from obesity. Granted, they don’t die directly from global warming (yet) either, but something tells me that when the ocean levels start rising, we’re going to have a pretty easy time proving that it’s causation and not just correlation. The “obesity kills!” people still haven’t managed that.

  8. Actually, I can accept that Obesity might be “as bad” as climate risk – just not for the reasons they want you to believe.

    Both have about the same level of credible science behind their respective terror campaigns.

    I’m a little surprised that folks who are dealing with discrimination that is frequently justified by such junk science would buy so easily into the “global warming” issue without exercising a similar level of skepticism.

  9. Tom, way to attempt a threadjacking. This is so, so, so not going to become a thread about global warming skepticism, so don’t even try.

  10. Look, real or not, fat people aren’t the cause of global warming. BUT, at least some poor, unfortunate, soul out there can blame a perfect stranger for a problem they cannot control.

    It’s perfectly OK to hate and be biased against certain human beings, especially when “science” explains they caused all of your problems!

  11. Sweetmachine,

    Sorry – wasn’t my intent to threadjack. I think its important to apply healthy skepticism and critical thinking to any science used by the media or politicians to try and scare the public. I’ll happily leave it at that.

  12. The level of bas reasoning that goes into this is just astounding.

    Even if we assume, for arguement’s sake, that fat is unhealthy and that obesity causes major health problems, who would people be hurting, aside from themselves? The circumfrence of my hips, whether 34″ or 64″ will not affect the ability of someone on the other side of the world to eat.

    The weather problems caused by global warming, though will affect not just me, but the ability of a rice farmer in Thailand to grow enough food to feed him or herself.

  13. But Meg, what if we all go in the ocean at once?

    Sorry, I can’t shake the conviction that this is all just setup for a third-rate comedy act.


    I’m now imagining someone on horseback, a la Paul Rever, yelling, “The fatties are coming, the fatties are coming, run for the mountains!”

  15. /headdesk

    If the vast MAJORITY of people become “overweight,” over whose weight will we be, exactly?

    Maybe the “vast majority” will finally equal the critical mass necessary to overthrow this tyranny of anti-fat oppression….

  16. But Meg, what if we all go in the ocean at once?

    Sadly, being a geek with a bunch of geek friends, I have already done those calculations. If every single person in the world jumped into the Mediterranean and sank, the sea level in the Mediterranean would rise by less than a millimeter. If they floated, it would be by even less than that.

    (I never thought that information would come in handy one day.)

  17. I have a post about this tomorrow. It’s such crap.
    “It’s the end of the world as we know it/and I feel fine…”

Comments are closed.