Okay, you really must read this BBC article apricotmuffins just linked to in comments: Short people rate worse on health.
Check this out:
The results predicted that increasing height could help boost feelings of wellbeing.
If men could add just 7cm (2.7in) to their height and women 6cm (2.3in), their health-related quality of life could improved by 6.1%.
No, it’s not April 1, and that’s not from The Onion. That is the BBC reporting on actual doctors saying that if short people would just grow, their health would improve. An extra two inches would take away those grubby little fingers and dirty little minds, evidently.
And it gets better.
Professor Gary Butler, a professor of paediatrics and growth at the University of Reading, said that there was biological evidence that taller people enjoyed better health and lived longer.
“We do know there is an association between being healthier and being taller. This relates to many types of diseases, but particularly heart disease.
“As people get healthier with better nutrition and disease prevention, their growth is better. The two factors go along in parallel.”
Gosh, I had no idea nutrition was responsible for the fact that I’m not growing anymore! I thought it was, you know, because I’m 32 years old. SILLY ME.
Oh wait, you mean he’s talking about the population as a whole, not individuals? Well, then it’s a little funny he didn’t mention what else “goes along in parallel” with improved nutrition, disease prevention, and a population getting taller: the same population getting fatter.
Seriously, you guys, you all need to bookmark this article for perspective when reporting on THE OBESITY CRISIS gets you down. Because the language? Is exactly the same. The article even helpfully compares that imaginary addition of 2.wev inches to an imaginary loss of 10-15 kg. in an obese person. No mention of whether that’s an obese person built like Sharn or Kell or Heidi, of course. But losing 10-15 kg. would totally help any obese person! Just like growing two inches!
Hell, if I grew 4 inches, I wouldn’t be obese anymore, and if I grew 11 inches, I’d be “normal.” MAYBE THEY’RE ON TO SOMETHING!
One more thing to pay attention to in this article. Did you notice how it said “health-related quality of life” would be improved by additional height, not plain old health? That’s because of this:
[T]he study did not ascertain how healthy the individuals actually were.
Lead researcher Dr Torsten Christensen, senior health economist at Novo Nordisk, said: “We know that people who are short experience more difficulties in areas of their life such as education, employment and relationships than people of normal height.
“Although our study does not show that short height directly causes a reduction in physical health, it does indicate that short people are more likely to feel that they experience a lower health-related quality of life.”
So what they’re saying is, short people are discriminated against, which causes stress, which causes a “lower health-related quality of life,” even if being short doesn’t directly affect physical health.
I don’t suppose the same could possibly be true of fat people, do you? Naaaaaah.
Also, get a load of this:
“This work reinforces a message that being taller is better. But we should not make judgements on people if they are tall or short within the normal range. It makes short people feel less adequate or well off which should not be the case.”
Apparently it’s still okay to judge people who are tall or short outside the normal range, though. Whew. LITTLE PEOPLE AND PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYERS ARE TOTALLY UNHEALTHY AND SHOULD TAKE BETTER CARE OF THEMSELVES!
On that note, I was going to go for a different conclusion, but I just ran into barely-awake Al (always a party) on my way to the coffeepot. And I’ve had several requests for more Al convos recently, so let’s kill two birds with one stone.
Al [hugging me]: Hi. You blinded me with science.
(Yes, that’s a fairly typical morning greeting around here.)
Me: Thank you. Speaking of science, I just found a BBC article saying that if short people would just grow two inches, their health would improve.
Al: So… are you gonna do it?
Me: I’m posting right now about how people need to remember this article when they get bummed out by obesity crisis reporting, because the template for the article is exactly the fucking same.
Al: But, um… Sorry if I’m being dumb, but how are people supposed to get taller?
Me: Yeah, they never say that in the article. Just like they never say how fat people are supposed to lose weight permanently.
Update: Spaced Cowgirl cleverly noticed that one of the lead researchers quoted in the article is employed by Norvo Nordisk, and Fillyjonk cleverly discovered that that company is indeed working on growth hormone therapy.
So, yeah, there’s now officially no difference whatsoever between this and an article on the obesity crisis. Charming.