16 thoughts on “Obesity Epidemic Over!”

  1. If Sandy’s right (and I know she’s read this more carefully than me, since I’m SUPPOSED to be working. On DEADLINE), the headline could even be “Obesity Epidemic Never Really Started!”

  2. I love the part where they say that before 1980 people with a BMI over 40 were non-existent, and now it’s “several percent.”

    Now I never ran around asking people there BMI when I was a child, but I could swear there were very fat people back then who actually existed in the world. Maybe back the it was “few percent” instead of “several percent” like now!

  3. Or maybe “a couple percent.”

    Yeah, since I believe “several percent” actually means about 3 percent, in this case, it couldn’t have been more than that.

  4. Rose beat me to it. That statement is utter rubbish.

    Is this researcher on crack? Hasn’t she ever heard of the fat lady at the circus? (I’m not advocating the freakification of the margins, just acknowledging that it exists.) Hasn’t she ever seen any movies filmed before 1960? The leads may not have been over 40BMI, but you can’t make me believe that Orson Welles, or Alfred Hitchcock, Mae West, W.C. Fields, or Hattie McDaniels (or a whole host of others) weren’t. Hasn’t she ever looked at historical portraits? Henry Tudor, Queen Victoria, Teddy Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland, most of the early 20th century robber barons, (and a whole host of others) definitely had BMIs of over 40.

    It took me maybe 30 seconds to compile that list. Surely if she bothered to actually use her head for something other than a hat rack, she could see how ludicrous that statement is.

  5. Did they USE the BMI meme before 1980? If not, that might explain why no one had a BMI of 40. If you don’t use that measurement, than people with that measurement don’t exist.

  6. I’m at a professional conference (I work in health care) and I decided to attend a session titled (wait for it…) The Obesity Epidemic! OMG – really?

    So in the midst of all the blathering about everything you already know and have smacked down (and I’m just sitting there stewing, because I can hear Kate on my shoulder the whole session – a session that would have had me feeling as guilty a sin just a few months ago) the doc admits that the best longitudnal study out there about weight loss shows that only 10% of folks who have lost a significant amount of weight have kept it off for any significant amount of time.

    At this point, I perk up and say, “Soooo… if we’re in an “epidemic”, as you call it, but there’s no long term cure for the majority of those affected and everyone involved is losing money and time and self-esteem, have researchers thought that there might be anything else at work here?”

    *Chirp chirp chirp*

    More blathering about how people who exercise have the best results (duh, exercise is good for everyone) and then quick change the subject. Ahem.

    Bogus. As least the doc had the good grace to admit that a 1,000-1,200 calorie diet (what was recommended for weight loss for women) would make anyone batshit insane and calorie counting was counter productive.

    Le sigh.

  7. Javamama, rooooool. I mean, yeah, the whole thing is beyond silly. So let me see if I grok. “Obesity” is a “disease” that is not communicable in any scientific sense of the word — i.e. you can be in the same room as, talk to, kiss, fuck, blow, breathe the same air as a fat person and not “catch” it — right? We’ve established the fact that millions of thin people have, er, interacted with us repeatedly for decades on end and not “caught” it — right? And there’s also no such thing as building up immunity by “catching” it and then getting over it like the chicken pox, right? Therefore, isolation protocols for “containing” the “disease” will not work.

    And there is no known cure that works, either — that is, gets the disease into permanent remission or even any kind of meaningful temporary remission (temporary remission = you don’t even have to fucking think about your “disease” for at least a couple of years) — for the vast majority of people who have it. We’ve established that, too, have we not, once we’ve ruled out the idea that Don’t Eat At All Ever Again Except For A Few Twigs is only a cure in the same sense that getting yourself sawed in half by a buzzsaw is a “cure” for chronic pancreatitis? And that those few who do manage to “cure” their “obesity” permanently don’t need a whole cadre of Scientific Types to make it happen, because those chosen few are not programmed to permanently store that much fat and thus can make it all go away with relatively minimal effort? We know all this, don’t we?

    So what’s this silly-ass seminar for again, now?

  8. I was surprised that this was on the front page of today’s paper – with the headline above the fold, no less. I guess I’ve been reading here so long that I forgot that this would be big news to most people who have been bombarded with the “Americans are all becoming obese and gonna die” message. The overall message that I got was that we have little understanding of why some people become obese, and the significance of the demographic data is completely unclear.

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