Some stuff people have sent in recently…

1) My friend Spillah asks, “Will you please blog or rant or something?” about the name of City Harvest’s fundraising initiative, “Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger.” How ’bout I just put that out there and let the Shapelings break down all the wrong?

2) A couple of Shapelings have sent this one in: Exercise-heart study casts doubt on fit but fat theory. Short version: women who were fat and exercised still had a greater heart disease risk than women who were thin and exercised. Problem #1: As Steven Blair points out in the article, the data was self-reported, so who knows if the women in the “active” category were actually meeting the requirements for that designation. Problem #2: Even if it’s true, HOW DO YOU PROPOSE TO GET THOSE WOMEN PERMANENTLY THINNER? For fuck’s sake, I am so sick of study after study telling me teh fatz is gonna kill me, without acknowledging that there is still no safe way to get rid of large amounts of weight permanently that’s proven to work for more than a tiny percentage of the population.

3) Speaking of ways that don’t work permanently, Shapeling Lauren wants to talk about Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp, in which former ANTM “plus-size” model Toccara Jones is participating. Lauren writes:

She used to be really into loving her body the way it was, believing she was beautiful, and being a great role model. However, after her two seasons on Fit Club and being pummeled by the message that losing weight=making her more healthy, she’s converted. But the thing that was most disturbing about the finale, aside from the fact that one entire team ate only chicken, black coffee, and water for a week in order to win, was that she and the nutritionist freaked out and made a HUGE deal of the fact that she now has a healthy BMI. There was jumping, and screaming, and applause.

Barf. Anybody else watching this? Rant away in the comments.

4) Tari wants Chicagoans to know they can see a free screening of the documentary America the Beautiful on May 6. Says Tari:

For those that don’t know, this flick covers the beauty industry, the ad industry, the modeling industry, dieting and eating disorders, plastic surgery….it’s broad-ranging and intense and overwhelming and impactful and really well done. I recommend it for anyone and everyone.

That sounds so cool, I’ll even let her get away with using the word “impactful.” Just this once.

5) And finally, Monif C. has released a new line of swimwear that is really, really not my cup of tea, but it does remind me that summer’s coming to this side of the world soon, and if Fatshionista has taught me anything, it’s that there can never be too many discussions of plus-size swimwear. Personally, I always look everywhere and then inevitably return to Land’s End. (Don’t forget to check the overstocks.) I did get a Pool-Pruf suit from Junonia wicked on sale a while back, though, and that’s great for water aerobics, which is my new love.

Tell us about your favorite suits, Shapelings. Or anything else you feel like talking about.

101 thoughts on “Mailbag”

  1. I have no comment on the actual substantive list items as yet, but WHOA are those Monif C. suits ugly (IMO only, of course). Holy Victoria’s Secret on Crack, Batman. I will grant them bonus points for making sexy plus-size suits, though, even if they are not my thing.

    I personally enjoy the retro-style swimsuits from Esther Williams–not the easiest site to navigate, but lots and lots of fabric options; and Poppi–I linked to the Esther Williams ones under Meowser’s guest post b/c I thought they would look great with her awesome bathing cap. The Poppi suits only come in straight sizes, bleah. I see she will make custom suits based on your measurements, but only in the brick-and-mortar store in Portland.

    Anyway, I have the Poppi halter tankini top and adjustable bottom and I do really like it.

  2. Of item #2, US News & World Report (a mag I *used* to respect), headlined that study as: “Too Fat? First, Get off the Couch”

    OMG! THAT’s what I’ve been doing wrong all this time! I completely forgot to get off the couch! I’m going to throw away my couch, and I bet I’ll get thin immediately!

  3. I looked at the “skip lunch, fight hunger” link, and while the name is just awful, I don’t think they are actually promoting the idea that people skip lunch, but rather that people donate the money they would usually spend on lunch for a day. That is not so bad. Besides, everyone could benefit from bringing in lunch from home every once in a while (says the woman who goes out to lunch at least 3x a week!!)

  4. Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger? The name makes my head hurt. I see what they’re trying to do, and I know the name is all about catching peoples’ attention, but OUCH! STOP MAKING MY HEAD GO ‘SPLODE!

    I saw the headlines about ZOMG! teh fatz will kill you even if you are living healthy! and immediately thought to myself ‘I can’t wait for JFS to tear the butterfly wings off this one.’

  5. All this talk about “Exercise-heart study casts doubt on ‘fit but fat’ theory ” has left me feeling sick and vulnerable. I have even had little twinges of the “Oh my God I have to DO something about my weight come back.” I have not had these feelings in so long. Are other people feeling vulnerable? How are you handling this. HELP!!!!

  6. I just checked out those new swimsuits….hmm? They might be a good thing to wear if you were spending the weekend at the playboy mansion. If I could actually afford to spend that much on a suit, I think I’d rather have one that I could actually swim in without worrying that it might fall off.

    On a side note, I am currently 5’5″ and 250lbs (I know…I just checked) I am 46 yrs old, I can remember when I was in my early 20’s and wore a size 13, even at 118lbs I still had a
    36/38″ bottom. I’ve looked at pictures of me at that point of my life, sure I was fairly thin, no grey hair, no lines in my face, blonde, adorable. But I was also still very insecure and boring as hell. I had no spirit to me, no confidence to speak my mind or to stand up for myself. I was also married to a man that over the years made it very clear he had no respect for me or my feelings. When I started becoming more ‘well-rounded’ he also said he loved me the way I was and the added weight didn’t bother him. Which made some of the gifts he got me a bit confusing…like the exercise bike or the membership to a local health club.

    I stayed with him because I didn’t have the confidence to strike out on my own. Lucky for me he ended up finding someone else…and I was blessed to find a man that honestly loves me the way I am. We get some strange looks when we’re out, not because of our different sizes (he’s 6’1″ and 135lbs) but more the fact that while I just turned 46…he’s 24. A lot of people think that my two new stepsons (ages 2 & 3) are my grandsons. But does it bother me? Yes, part of the time, but I also know that I’m happier then I ever thought possible.

    I’m glad to have found this site, it’s helping to give me the confidence to realize I can be sexy and sensual at any size.

  7. I bought my swimsuit from Junonia a while ago, an Aquatard in red and black (it appears now they only offer it in black). It makes me feel very secret agenty, like I’m trotting down the beach with a speargun and a mission.

  8. Hey, Sue.

    I would just try to remember there is literally nothing you can “do” about your weight that won’t make you LESS healthy. Over-exercising, calorie-restriction, and anything else your mind is telling you to do a) won’t make any difference to your weight and b) will hurt your body instead of helping it. Society tries to push the LOSE WEIGHT DO IT NOW message on us all the time, and you’ve been resisting it up to now because you know it’s bollocks. Keep knowing it’s bollocks. The fantasy of permanent healthy weightloss is a lie, and a harmful one, and you’re already taking care of YOUR body the way that’s right for YOU. That’s all you ever have to do.

    In a different but still FA-related vein, up to now I’ve been stuck in the cognitive-dissonance “FA’s a great idea — once I lose about 10 pounds I’ll totally accept my body exactly the way it is!” phase of absolute mentality. Today for the first time I had the thought “What if I never get any thinner?” and a) did not freak out and b) allowed the idea to take root in my mind without having to immediately chase it away. Tiny steps, right? Hurrah.

  9. I don’t really have a problem with the “Skip lunch/Feed the hungry” deal. I don’t think that skipping lunch on one day will cause many people irreparable harm and it’s a good cause. When I was in 8th grade, I helped organize and participated in a 30-hour fast. At the end of the 3 hours, each of us was served dinner. A third of us got a traditional American chicken dinner. Another third got rice and gravy. The last third got bulghur wheat and gravy. (This was designed to highlight what the populations of the world actually have access to.) I was thrilled to get the wheat. It was something my mother served us while I was growing up.

    As for the so-called study, I’m afraid I’ve gotten to the point where I just dismiss any study that equates fat with bad. I know that’s terrible, but I’ve just got too much teh fat == eeeevil fatigue.

    Ugly AND overpriced. Who could resist that? K-Mart has some lovely swimsuits at a third of the cost. (Even less if you go into the store, where most of them are on sale.) I got the Islander one in both colors for $22 each.

    I hope that the “Celebrity Fit Club” doesn’t kill anybody. That regimine can cause irreparable heart damage.

  10. I like Fantasie and Freya bra sized swimsuits. They have actual supportive built in bras that make my boobs look amazing. Expensive, but well worth it. (Unfortunately, they only go up to a 44″ band, with some styles only going up to 38″ or 40″, so they’re not truly plus size, more for inbetweenies with racks of doom).

  11. That sounds so cool, I’ll even let her get away with using the word “impactful.” Just this once.

    You are the soul of generosity.

    Also, I’m totally having cognitive dissonance with the “Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger” thing. I mean, their promo material and suggestions for campaigns talk about buying pizza for the office and having bake sales (to “make it easy” for people to give their lunch money), with zero food moralizing or diet talk. Maybe they just aren’t recognizing the connotations of asking people to skip lunch? Are there people who don’t get how loaded that language is?

  12. A lot of food relief organizations use “fasts” as a way to gain donations (and non-food relief organizations do it as well — Fast for Darfur has been immensely popular in the past). I’ve participated in these in the past. They aren’t promoting unhealthy behavior, they’re trying to raise awareness about an extremely dire problem that affects us locally and globally.

    Also, I don’t see what’s so controversial about “Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger”. It seems pretty self-explanatory and in no way promoting starvation or anything remotely related to weight loss. If it said “Skip Lunch, Be Healthy”, then yeah, that’s pretty effed up.

  13. Wow, those are swimsuits that will only work on, say, the model wearing them. Also, I think I object to a swimsuit I’d have to glue down in order to be able to wear.

    Uh . . . I bought my last swimsuit at Target. I probably will need a new one this year, as I may or may not be going to the Caribbean. I am looking forward to this (swimsuit shopping, not the trip to the Caribbean) about as much as a hole in the head.

  14. I had just caught wind of that article about Fat not being fit. (Actually the oh-so-clever Yahoo title for the article was “‘Fit but fat’ theory false?” Um…when has ANYONE outside of the fatosphere acknowledged that fit but fat theory as an actual THEORY??

    Anyways I read it all and got the study and like someone else said I just can’t wait for JFS to get a crack at it. Already, aside from Kate’s note on the unreliability of self-reported studies, all of the doctors who ran the study have accepted donations from various pill companies. AND then there is the whole “correlation does not EQUAL causation” mantra that JFS has me mentally chanting anytime I read studies now!

    Those swimsuits look great but since I’m not a playboy bunny I’ll stick with the utilitarian one I managed to score at the Women’s section of JCPenny’s.

  15. RE: the fat but not fit study. Studies like this are so disheartening. If all it took were scare tactics to get people to lose weight, we’d all be thin. But losing weight isn’t a simple matter of choice, even if you want it really, really badly and even if you are scared within an inch of your life that the fat will kill you. So, this study basically says: “Attention fat people, there is no use in exercising because your fatness still poses significantly higher health risks even if you are really active and fit.”

    Instead of trying to disprove why fat cannot be fit or healthy, why not try to show how one can be fit even if fat and the health benefits fitness brings for all people, regardless of body weight? Fat people already face obstacles in pursuing physical activity, from fears of mockery to mobility and access issues. Studies like this only further discourage fat people from getting fit, because not only will fitness not make some people thin, now it won’t even make you healthier. Shouldn’t the public health incentive be to encourage and not discourage fitness for all?

  16. I love aquagym (my class is in shallow water), and I recently replaced my old bathing suit, which got eaten away by clorine. Bought another Roots tank suit (dark blue and grey with a touch of red)… got lucky as there was a scratch-and-save promo (10-50%) and I got the 30%. Result: my suit cost me $56 plus tax, instead of the $80 plus tax it usually goes for. Unfortunately, I don’t think it has any particular anti-chlorine treatment, so I’m just gonna try to take good care of it by rincing it off well after every class, etc.

    The Junonia suits that Kate has linked to seem interesting, albeit kinda bland to my taste.

  17. I can see the appeal of those suits for some folks, but practicality is my fashion watchword. I’m trying to imagine myself jumping around in a pool wearing one of those Monif-C swimsuits and I just keep thinking of the quote from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: “I thought you’d sort of get excited, sort of heave and pant and come running at me, your melons bobbling.”

    I purchased this safe and melon-securing suit from Junonia, in red.

  18. forgot to add that I used to own a Roots tankini (like a tank suit, but in 2 pieces). Hated that POS. It would have been fine had there been hooks between the tank and the bottom, but there wasn’t. Result: air bubbles would form in the tank and lift it up. Not the most useful thing when you wanna swim or just play in water.

  19. Umm…so I think those Monif C. suits are actually kinda awesome (for floating on a raft, not actually swimming–especially in the ocean!).

    Rachel, I totally agree with you on the irresponsible message of that study; how many people are going to see it and think, oh well, what’s the point of even trying to be healthy?

    And the Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger does give me a bit of a twitch, just because it’s superficially equating not eating with being ‘good’, albeit in a charitable fashion, and we certainly don’t need any more of that out there, no matter what the context.

  20. Those swimsuit are totally sweet–for wearing at your private pool or hot tub when you trying to seduce someone. Otherwise, I don’t think I could handle exposing that much boobage for a regular beach outing. Geez.

  21. 1) I’ll still be hungry if I skip lunch. Also, $5 will not help feed four children for a week in NYC, it might feed one for a day. Unless they’re on the weight loss plan. Honestly though, how many women in NYC are skipping lunch because it doesn’t fit into their diets anyway? If they’re already skipping then what they would have spent is $0, so do they just not donate?

    2)Obviously the answer is bariatric surgery. At least you’ll have died trying.

    3)Obviously your slang is outdated. “Healthy” is a slang term meaning thin. See, you keep trying to use actual definitions and that makes about as much sense to most people as trying to explain why that popular kid over there isn’t “cool” because they’re body temperature appears normal. Even doctors use slang now so they can prove they’re “hip” and “rad.”

  22. On a little further reflection on 1, remember the whole “You should eat everything on your plate because there are starving kids in India” thing? Can I just share what’s left on my plate? Sharing is good, right?

  23. Junonia is THE GREATEST place for swimsuits for us big gals. I have about 8 of them (I do a lot of water aerobics) and they have all held up really well, they fit great, and they keep the girlz in place.

    I love their clothes too–my only complaint is that I am short (5’4) and their pants are seemingly made for very tall women. I ordered a pair yesterday in petite length…my fingers are crossed that they work or I may be coming into work nekkid…. :O!!!!

  24. And the Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger does give me a bit of a twitch, just because it’s superficially equating not eating with being ‘good’

    Yeah, for me it’s that, plus the directive to skip lunch in general; I’m sick of the idea (only tangentially implied here, granted) that if rich (and/or fat) people ate less, world hunger would be solved. It doesn’t work like that.

    And yeah, I don’t think those Monif C. suits are really meant for swimming. :) Like OTM, I’m way too practical for something like that. I did have a Target surplice suit that was WAY booby a couple years back, but you could also swim in it, dammit.

  25. I have watched both seasons of Celebrity Fit Club that had Toccarra on them. She’s always been gorgeous. I hate that they kept harping on her ‘unhealthy’ BMI and pretty much scoffed at her when she would say that she loved her body the way it is.

    The biggest issue I have with the show is all the bullshit talk about how they are trying to make the contestants healthier and more fit, rather than lose weight…and that they do it the ‘healthy way’. If they were not focused on weight loss, but health, they wouldn’t set targets of weight loss for them to achieve each week.

    Dr. Ian’s ‘healthy’ approach to weight loss is a diet that includes cutting out entire food groups for the detox phase (no meat for the first 2 weeks and very limited carbs) and then gradually incorporating those foods back into your diet. Only problem is, a lot of the people who do the show stay on the detox phase for the entire course of the show because once they start adding NORMAL food back into their diet, their progress slows down. It’s a game show, so they have to lose the weight to win.

    The contestants also have to keep up with a very unrealistic exercise schedule in order to lose the weight. Once back in their normal lives, they don’t have time to participate in boot camp exercises.

    It’s just annoying because all the judges on the show have written books and what not and they try to market it through the idea that their plan is healthy and can help anyone lose weight. And both of the plus size models that have been on the show have been ripped a new asshole by the judges for having the audacity to think of themselves as beautiful at their size (Tocarra and Mia Tyler).

  26. Hmm, I note according to that press release an obese active person has less risk from heart disease than an overweight inactive person. And that they don’t say anything about the relative risk of being inactive and thin. The last couple of paras were at least a bit more positive than the overall spin on the article.

    Caitlin: I too can now accept (more or less) never being thinner than I am now (5’6″, 240lbs). But the fact I’m not sure I can stop myself from getting fatter and fatter and fatter without using the same tactics that people usually use for getting thinner, and then have to accept whatever weight/size that is too is a bit more daunting. So I am still scared of being fat. I’m working on it though.

  27. So after getting a copy of said study mentioned in #2, I can quickly highlight a pretty serious limitation with regards to their result.

    In some ways it is a good study, 39,000 women followed for a mean of 10.9 years. But here’s the rub, they took a baseline of the women’s BMI and activity levels from an initial self-report questionaire, then used this data when comparing it with cardiovascular disease at the end of the study. BUT they did not do another measurement of BMI or activity levels (even by self-report) in the interval or at the end. This is a serious flaw, in my mind.

    The study itself was not designed to study these things, but they had the data and decided they could make big news (and maybe attract funders) is my thinking.

    You can get a free copy of the article at http://www.archinternmed.com if you are interested in reading the study yourself.

  28. “Skip Lunch, Feed the Hungry” is a terrible thing to call it, I agree. The basic principle — of brown-bagging and donating what you would have spent on “lunch out” to a hunger charity — is not such a bad idea at all, but “skip lunch” implies that your wicked, wicked appetite (ladies) is what makes other people go hungry every day. Bleh.

    And yeah, this “you can’t be fit and fat after all” story — double bleh. Nice way to make all the fat people hang up their sneakers for good and retire to the sofa, guys.

  29. Re Celebrity Fit Club: Wendy the Snapple lady wasn’t successful after being on it the first time, so she came back for another round. Ralphie May never got down to the level of thinness those drill sergent judges wanted him too. But they did lose 10% – 15% of their body weight, and according to Queen Latifah and the non-radical weight loss pushers, shouldn’t that be sufficient? ;-)

    If the fatphobes could only realize exercise and healthier eating shouldn’t automatically have to correlate with weight loss, we’d be in a much better place!

  30. OMG! Whil I can’t comment on most of this I happened to check the Monif C. site for the swimwear and Holy Mama! My first thought was pornstars…but then I thought, “Hey, why did they use just one model for all the suits? Because she’s bodacious!” She looks awesome, but I don’t know anyone who would wear that to the pool/beach…seriously!

  31. Hey all,

    This probably belongs in the mailbag, but we have a body-positive event happening in Philadelphia next weekend and would love to invite Shapelings!

    A small but diverse group of us in Philly got together on Love Your Body Day and put together a zine full of amazing artwork and writing around the topic of body image. We’ve gotten a grant from the queer/fat-positive group NOLOSE, so we’ll be holding a fabulous, rocking zine release party at a local roller rink! (That’s right, fat-friendly roller skating!) It’s $5 but we won’t turn you away if you’re broke.

    It’ll be on Sunday, May 4– see this link for details: http://therealpotato.com/love-your-body-day/

    I hope Philly-area Shapelings will come out and join us!

  32. No time to peruse the study today, but did it at ALL control for genetic factors?

    My understanding is that some people are genetically prone to heart disease and diabetes, and regardless of weight, will likely develop those things at some point. Just as they’re finding that cholesterol levels are more about genes than what one eats, I wonder if stupid studies like this bother to do family histories before they make their declarations.

  33. The high school i went to did (and still does) a lot of charity and awareness type things. Every year, the seniors had a 24 hour fast thing. It wasn’t so much of a “donate our lunch money to charity” thing; we got pledges for it. Standard pledge type thing – for every hour that i fast, person A will donate $1, etc.

    The lesson we were to learn wasn’t one of “if rich people ate less…”, it was more of an empathy-building exercise. Biology classes that day were focused on the effects of prolonged hunger and starvation on a person. Theology classes that day were focused on the importance of helping people who need help. I vaguely recall our math teacher letting us have a relatively easy day – any student who felt worn out or tired was allowed to put her head on the desk, etc.

    I have a lot of trouble coming down too hard on charities that are specifically there for the purpose of fighting hunger. I’d be more upset to find out they were misappropriating funds than find out they had sketchy PR.

  34. Being a woman of a certain age has given me melons that now have a certain, um, flexibility heretofore unseen in such anatomical features. Suits cut as low as the Monif ones might as well not be there if I do any kind of movement like, oh, stand up.

    My favorite suits for lap swimming are from H2O Wear. The down side is that not every style is available in all sizes, but a great number of them are, and while they’re not cheap, they wear like iron (I got more than a year’s steady use out of my last suit). And their customer service people are really nice and helpful.

    For vacation suits, I like Lands End, but I’m not thrilled with their designs this year. I’m going to check out a number of the suggestions posted here – thanks! And ladyjaye, I’m with you on the tankini – the top wouldn’t stay down even though the ad copy explicitly stated it would!

  35. On the study–I too was curious about the comparison between the active and inactive groups–how did the fat actives compare to both categories of inactives? But it is also incredibly difficult to parse out the cause/effect here. If exercise is not modifying the fat–perhaps whatever it is making folks fat that is also a risk factor for heart disease–rather than FAT being the cause of ALL EVIL? And the researcher at the end raises an interesting issue–if treadmill tests (that examine actual fitness rather than self-reporting) show that fitness is not a function of body size and that performance in these tests better predicts heart disease–isn’t that an indication that your ability to exercise/be fit is at least somewhat limited by factors beyond your control (genetics that determines cardiac fitness/lung capacity/etc.)? .

    But, overall, I’m sick of all the emphasis on exercise/fitness for weight loss rather than for enjoyment of the activity. I’m with Rachel–do we really need to further discourage people from enjoying physical activity? (I say this like a broken record but the most blatantly anti-fat comments ever said directly to me have come when I was working out. F off world–I like running while fat.)

  36. In-betweenie here and Lands End just didn’t work for my body at all. Finally found my swimsuit at Title 9, which doesn’t have plus sizes but which I think is probably really good for folks like me who want coverage without frump and don’t have big boobs. Here’s the swimsuit I got, which DOES actually ride up in the butt when I wear it, but I have a LOT of butt so I won’t fault the swimsuit. And anyway I wear board shorts with them anyway, so it hardly matters.

    OOOH!! Now they have it in light green! Shoot, they didn’t have it in light green before! That’s what I would have wanted. *pout*

  37. I have not had these feelings in so long. Are other people feeling vulnerable? How are you handling this. HELP!!!!

    Personally I handle it by rarely reading the reports in the first place – because next week, or next month, or next year, they’ll start banging on about how its been scientifically proven we should actually be avoiding whole grains and boosting our immune system by smoking three Cuban cigars a day. I also handle it by remembering it’s in a lot of people’s financial interest fat continues to get a bad press and that many of those people sponsor research like this. Lastly I remind myself we’re all going to die at some stage, even the skinny people who exercise more than me. Think about the people you know who’ve had cancer, got diabetes, had strokes or heart attacks or anything else traditionally associated with fat. Think about gall bladders that go kaboom, the instances of liver or kidney disorders, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease or any of the other nasties that life throws at us. I’m willing to bet plenty of the people who got them were thin, some of them were young, and plenty of them avoided boogah! booga! Bad! Foods! all their lives and were plenty active to boot.

    I had my life completely ruined at the age of 27 when I caught glandular fever, which left me with ME and fibromyalgia. I was preposterously healthy, weighed 3 stone less than I do now, and had a physically demanding job that kept me highly active on a daily basis. I still got sick. Maybe this has affected my worldview somewhat but I tend to view health as something of a lottery.

  38. Ooh – and I once got a cheap black swimsuit from K-Mart which I christened in a jacuzzi prior to going for a swim in the regular pool. The dye ran like woah. I ended up with navy blue boobs I had to scrub for hours. Wash the bugger first, ‘kay?

  39. I find it very interesting that they have so many repeat customers for their life changing fat smash plan on celebrity fit club.

  40. I don’t see the “Skip Lunch/Fight Hunger” as a “people who eat cause starvation” stance. I read it more as “some people are hungry all the time. Be a little hungry in solidarity and pass the savings to those for whom skipping a meal is not an option, but a daily reality.”

  41. I’ve read the original article (I work in the authors’ field) and this, in my opinion, is the flaw in their reasoning. It’s buried at the bottom of their results section, with no accompanying figure, and hence not absorbed by the newspaper reporters: “Adjustment for hypertension, high cholesterol level, and diabetes in each model considerably attenuated the risk of CHD; however, the trends across categories remained similar. The risk was reduced by approximately 16% in overweight women and by approximately 35% in obese women. ” First of all, that’s incomplete reporting of data, and a thoroughly confusing way of reporting it, but nevermind. If you look at Table 1 (or take my word for it) a notably higher proportion of overweight and obese women had known CHD risk factors hyptertension and high cholesterol. The authors report in that sentence I just quoted that hypertension and high cholesterol explain much of the risk observed in the overweight and obese groups, exercising or otherwise, compared to the low weight exercising group. They assert that their findings don’t matter because being overweight probably leads to hypertension and cholesterol. They fail to cite any justification for the assumption. I humbly beg to point out that being overweight is not the same thing as having hypertension, nor is it the same thing as having high cholesterol, nor are the three inextricably linked. We can’t evaluate how strong the impact of hypertension or high cholesterol were in their data independent of BMI, because they failed to report it.

  42. Okay, I still don’t see the problem with Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger. They aren’t implying AT ALL that if people ate less, starving people would, you know, have food. We’re spoiled lucky bastards that we have as much food as we do (in the U.S.) and god forbid if someone suggest we skip a meal to know, in the most minimal way possible, what starving people in other countries face. It’s not to promote unhealthy choices or an unhealthy lifestyle; it’s to show people how difficult things are away from these comforts that we all take for granted. Food shortages are growing at a tremendous rate and organizations like Oxfam have difficulty keeping up with demand. 200,000 people in one refugee camp with no other source of sustenance aren’t going to get adequate nutrition from four cups of rice split between six people. THAT is what Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger is about.

    Meowser, I have mad respect for you, but I completely disagree with what you said here: “skip lunch” implies that your wicked, wicked appetite (ladies) is what makes other people go hungry every day.

    I don’t understand how that implies that our eating lunch is keeping other people from eating lunch. What’s keeping other people from eating lunch is a vanishing middle-class, 20-year droughts, climate change, over-population, and conflict. If anything, it implies that many Americans take for granted their ability to choose to eat lunch, whereas so other Americans are not so fortunate. The number of children living at or below poverty in a developed industrial nation is staggering.

    I hate that we have to deal with the implications that eating is bad because eating makes you fat and being fat makes you absolutely worthless zomgpickles! but I just don’t think this is one of those cases at all.

  43. SCG, I think the way it was phrased makes it sound like a shame trip for women. So many women (and yeah, quite a few men too, although not nearly as many) think they “should” be able to skip lunch every day and not be so hungry all the time and feel so, so guilty for “needing” to eat at all. It’s all about context. In a world where those shame trips weren’t rampantly out of control, my response would be different.

    Like I said, I have no problem with the idea of donating lunch money to charity, I think it’s a great idea. Even the idea of “fasting in solidarity” for a day is not a bad one if not medically contraindicated (it would be for me). But that is not how they phrased it. My objection was to the phrasing, not to the concept.

  44. Kate 217, that’s how I read it. My son participates in this once a week – they have bread and water for lunch and the amount they would have spent on regular lunch goes to the charity.

    It’s a small thing, but it makes an impact on him. Even so, we talk about how skipping one meal a week isn’t scary for him because he knows there will be a next meal, but that’s not the case for so much of the planet.

  45. I commented here on the study, but I think it got caught in the spam filter because I included a lot of links. I elaborated more on the motivations behind the research authors in a post here, which stemmed from my original comment to this thread.

  46. I agree with sparklepants, I don’t think this is an anti-fat thing, for once.

    In many spiritual traditions, fasting is encouraged as a means for getting a different point of view, and for seeing how fortunate we are to be able to eat and make a CHOICE to fast. You might be uncomfortable but you will be fine, and the more you do it, the better your body gets at it. You might lose a small amount of weight, and then you will promptly gain it back. Your metabolism may be slower afterwards. That’s fine, since it’s not being done for weight loss (though there are many scientific studies showing potential benefits of fasting, that the slowing of metabolism is healthful since you are aging more slowly–this is of course completely different from diets or restriction to lose weight). I have learned a lot from skipping a meal or day of meals and donating the saved money to the less fortunate. Of course I could not fast and just donate (assuming I have disposable income), but I grow from personally experiencing some (minor) discomfort.

  47. Meowser, I’m going to start from what you said; I don’t think anyone is objecting to the concept of the project. Donating to charity, fasting in solidarity: all perfectly good things. It’s just that they were kinda sloppy about how they presented it. (Or maybe not so sloppy; playing to insecurities about eating habits could be very effective, if not rather underhanded, if they did it on purpose!) It’s the whole ‘skipping meals = virtuous’ thing implied in the title that’s the problem for me, no matter how it’s framed. It could be that that concept (eating less food on purpose is good) is so ingrained in mainstream culture that it’s not meant to be actively anti-fat, just that whomever came up with the slogan didn’t stop to question the implications of their word choice. But it would be lovely if they had; among other things, said word choice probably turns at least a few people off from their endeavor, and distracts others from its actual purpose.

  48. I don’t think anyone is objecting to the concept of the project.

    Yeah, notice that in the original post Kate’s friend requested that she blog “about the name of City Harvest’s fundraising initiative, “Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger.” “

  49. All this talk about “Exercise-heart study casts doubt on ‘fit but fat’ theory ” has left me feeling sick and vulnerable. I have even had little twinges of the “Oh my God I have to DO something about my weight come back.” I have not had these feelings in so long. Are other people feeling vulnerable? How are you handling this. HELP!!!!

    Just one note in addition to the previous comments on this study: Psychological factors play a HUGE role in heart disease. A good social network is correlated with a lower risk for heart disease. Depression is correlated with a higher risk. A-type personality is also correlated with a higher risk. All this suggests to me that relaxing and loving yourself the way you are probably also has huge benefits.

  50. Hey, good frikkin’ point, Queendom. Because one of the things the fatter women in that study were was fat.

    And really, in a cohort that big, I feel pretty safe – damn safe, in fact – in suggesting that a percentage of those fat women despised their bodies, and quite possibly the contents of their moral characters, for being fat. Not to mention were afraid to get health care.

    Which suggests to me another perfectly plausible explanation for the data.

  51. Regarding #2: What gets lost in the articles’ hand-wringing about “fat not fit” is that the fat women in the study who exercised had a significantly lower rate of heart disease than women with similar BMIs who didn’t exercise. I supposed “exercise reduces heart disease risk no matter your size” isn’t as eye-grabbing, though. As the actual journal article concludes: “The risk of CHD (coronary heart disease) associated with elevated body mass index is considerably reduced by increased physical activity levels.” and “Increasing levels of walking also resulted in significant reductions in CHD risk for overweight and obese individuals.”

    So it’s actually good news if you are concerned about heart disease risk.

  52. Cute swimsuits! They would be nice for lounging by the pool, not doing hearty laps. Right now, I only wear the boy short tankinis. I have a very boyish figure but with some boobs, so the tankinis are perfect for me. I am too modest to wear a bikini, I really don’t like showing a lot of skin in public. The model is absolutely gorgeous.

  53. I think the problem with the “Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger” phrase is that it’s just too short. Not long enough to clarify, short enough to be read in any number of ways, depending on the reader’s viewpoint and life experience.

    In many companies, the PR is outsourced. I know that an Evil Empire i used to work with outsourced its advertising campaign to the same group that did the Altoids commercials. So it’s entirely possible that the people that came up with this phrase weren’t even a part of the company. Whether or not they were directly employed by City Harvest, the fact remains that these folks were paid by the company exclusively for the purpose of coming up with phrases and slogans.

    Could it have been phrased better? Definitely. Could it be interpreted as a guilt trip? Certainly. Will it be widely interpreted as a guilt trip? Hard to say. Should we foster a grudge at a company whose primary purpose is to help feed people who would otherwise not be able to eat? Um, not in my humble opinion. Your mileage may vary.

  54. What’s with the side cleavage in those Monif C. suits? How do they keep the boobs from just flopping around? I don’t get it.

    That said, that model has a gorgeous figure. I wish I had a waist that went in like that. Sigh…

    I have a nice, boring, black Lands’ End suit that I feel secure enough in. Not sexy. But secure.

  55. I agree with Lindsay and others that there are probably better targets for the serious umbrage, and as others have said I think a program promoting awareness by not eating a meal, to remind yourself of what many other people go through every day, is actually a great idea. But I don’t agree that “skip lunch” has absolutely no fat-denigrating implications. I can practically hear the unspoken tagline “you could stand to skip a few meals anyway.” And I agree with Meowser that enough people already think they’re “bad” for taking a lunch break and actually eating during it anyway–the title of the campaign, as it is presented on the site without any further context, is not helpful and IMO feeds into this. Again this is not to say that the substance of the campaign is a bad idea, or that I’m going to be “boycotting” the organization because of this.

    I think the “fat and fit” study authors were asking an important question using a large data set and if they found the result they did, then of course they did the right thing by reporting it. You can’t really limit scientific inquiry based on public health advocacy. How the results are interpreted by them could be a problem, and the way the results are reported in the media is almost always a HUGE problem. I will say that I am starting to doubt my own ability to objectively critique studies like this–I don’t want to approach them with bias and I kind of find myself paralyzed and mistrusting my own opinions and ability to understand the findings–so I appreciate Rachel’s analysis of the funding sources and Epiphenomena’s expert input. It looks like those constitute at least 2 major potential issues with the study. Not to mention, as Kate said, it doesn’t really matter because how are you going to make all those people thin? WLS, I suppose. Which I’m sure is associated with absolutely no health problems whatsoever.

    I think fillyjonk started me on this train of thought with the post on cherry-picking, but I am a little more able to take results like this with a grain of salt now. I know I’m fit and healthy at my current weight, and I am 99.9% sure that further loss would not improve that situation any further. The authors’ findings may describe what happens on average in populations but they don’t really provide any course of action for individuals; we have no way of knowing, even assuming the findings hold, whether weight loss would improve the lot of the “fat and fit” or if you could even force enough weight off of enough of them for long enough to find out. “This person is thin and healthy + That person is fat and unhealthy” does not = “That person can become healthy by becoming thin.” My experience tells me that fat people can indeed be very active and healthy and that they are better off healthwise when they give up dieting. So although I respect science and the peer-review process and even the integrity of these scientists, I’m not really sure the study has any meaning in terms of how I live my life. Of course the media won’t see it that way and will have plenty to say on the risks of “packing on the pounds” and the virtues of “slimming down” and so on, but then I try to avoid news articles pretty much in general so I likely won’t see most of them.

  56. What’s with the side cleavage in those Monif C. suits? How do they keep the boobs from just flopping around? I don’t get it.

    I tried on a suit that was a similar style (but not Monif C), and there was pretty much no support at all – or at least not enough to do much for my slightly saggy DDs. They probably work best on women who have naturally perky breasts, and who aren’t planning on moving around too much.

    My fantasy swimsuit would give me the same kind of lift and shaping as my favorite bras – and cost less than $50. I’m not sure that’s a combination that’s possible while swimsuits are in season. I did find an OK suit for cheap at my local Ross, so I at least won’t have to skinny dip in the mean time. But I still browse figleaves.com and dream . . .

  57. Actually I think the swimsuits are kind of cute, but they probably wouldn’t work on a lot of people, especially that weird frilly one. And I have principles against spending $150 on a swimsuit. My swimsuit now is utterly adorable, however it is strapless, which I feel the need to advise against strongly. I don’t have much in the way of boobs to keep it up with, but it stays up due to the horrid tight band around the top that cuts my boobs in half horizontally. But just as long as I can draw attention away from the weird boobage effect, it’s utterly adorable.

  58. I have just got the most awesome swimsuits from simplybe.co.uk. They go up to a UK size 32 (36 in some styles), and are in so many colourful styles. I ordered a red tankini with ‘boy shorts’ bottoms, a lime green tankini with blue bikini briefs, and a white costume with broderie anglaise. The colours thrill me – proves we big women don’t have to hide in black! They feel excellent quality and were reasonably priced, too :)

  59. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to skip lunch, but if I don’t I will sell my diamonds and send them the proceeds.

  60. I put it to you that even if the study *weren’t* flawed in the way Epiphenomena mentions, and it *did* turn out that active fat women are less healthy than thin ones:

    a) We don’t know how to make fat women thin

    b) Active fat women are going to be healthier (and happier) than non-active women of the same size (and, as Peggy points out, at lower heart-disease risk — hey, that’s pretty important, wonder why it didn’t make the headlines?)


    c) Exercise will still make you healthier than if you were the same size and did nothing. Which is exactly what this HAES thing is all about, right?

    Eleanor Blair: Yup, I hear that too. I’m trying very hard to trust my body and accept it as it is, but if trusting it means it getting bigger…I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with that yet. But as I said, baby steps! You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.*

    *Unless you’re fat, in which case you must eat ALL OF IT ALL THE TIME because that is how you get TEH OBEESITEES.

  61. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to skip lunch, but if I don’t I will sell my diamonds and send them the proceeds.

    wriggles, hahahahahahaha!! Which also reminds me, I love bookwyrm.

    Obviously your slang is outdated. “Healthy” is a slang term meaning thin. See, you keep trying to use actual definitions and that makes about as much sense to most people as trying to explain why that popular kid over there isn’t “cool” because they’re body temperature appears normal. Even doctors use slang now so they can prove they’re “hip” and “rad.”

  62. Who in their right mind would think that “swimwear” needs, or is improved by, a belt? WTF??? That stuff is just nasty looking, and clearly not to go near the water in…. my boobs would just go swimming off by themselves in any of those!!

  63. Wish, Men In Full over at Livejournal did a really interesting piece that was inspired by that dipshitty douchebaggery of an article.

  64. “I am so sick of study after study telling me teh fatz is gonna kill me, without acknowledging that there is still no safe way to get rid of large amounts of weight permanently…”

    Can we call a truce and let fat people stay fat, but get some buy-in from fat acceptance advocates to support activities to fight childhood obesity, i.e., prevent some kids from getting fat in the first place? Not eliminating fat kids entirely, but getting back to 1980 levels or so?

  65. Can we call a truce and let fat people stay fat, but get some buy-in from fat acceptance advocates to support activities to fight childhood obesity, i.e., prevent some kids from getting fat in the first place? Not eliminating fat kids entirely, but getting back to 1980 levels or so?

    It’s not carbon emissions – we don’t just get to pick a level and feed people to it. I think most fat activists are in favor of giving kids access to fresh, healthy food (entirely unlike what they serve in school cafeterias, incidentally) and opportunities for enjoyable activity (mostly unlike what is done in school gym classes), but other than that, I still think school anti-obesity programs are (a) ineffective, and (b) largely evil. And I’m not really sure what one would adopt to get to that 1980 level.

    I’m also not sure – although someone else around here probably is – whether childhood obesity levels really are rising, or if that’s another distorted effect of changing standards and the like.

  66. Ummm.

    Have you (Stephen) found a way to do this without shaming those kids or causing lifelong disordered eating habits? Because I don’t think you have, in which case — NO.

  67. Why Stephen, how magnanimous of you. You’re going to “let” me stay fat. I appreciate it. /snark

    Oh, and unless you can figure out how to alter kids’ genetics and not promote eating disorders, no, no you may not.

  68. My two cents on Toccara: omfgwtfbbqspaceship!!

    Now for the coherent response. I only found out that she was on there because my boyfriend told me and we both said she didn’t need to be on there at all. She had a beautiful body. I had seen her on the cover of some magazine. Might’ve been one of the hip-hop ones and I thought she looked very gorgeous and healthy. I hate Celebrity Fit Club with a passion. Even more so now for brainwashing a woman who would have made a great role model to young “plus size” models.

    And Stephen…you need to get your head out of the sand. Genetics plays a part in being fat or skinny, as much as what you eat does. Sheesh.

  69. Can we call a truce and let fat people stay fat, but get some buy-in from fat acceptance advocates to support activities to fight childhood obesity

    No. In addition to what Tricia said, depriving children of food during childhood is just going to fuck up their metabolisms and make them even more likely to end up fat adults anyway. Not to mention that children need fat and calories and nutrients to grow and develop. Honestly, if I was forced to make a compromise, I would sooner see the fight against adult obesity intensify and the fight against childhood obesity disappear than vice versa. Because children are more emotionally and physically vulnerable to the effects of shaming and starvation.

  70. Stephen – I am one of the people who has been in several programs to “combat childhood obesity”. The idea is not exactly new, you know? These programs have done harm to me and to countless other kids – I have no conclusive proof, but among other things they probably played a role in me developing binge eating disorder.
    Now, if there were programs around that focussed on joyful food preparation, teaching kids to listen to internal hunger and satiety cues (or better, preventing them from losing their natural ability to do so), and fun ways of moving… I don’t argue with that. In fact, I would be very much in favor. But in order to truly serve these goals a program needs free of any reference to weight maintenance and weight loss and I have never seen anything like it. Would this decrease “obesity” levels among children? I don’t know. But it would for sure make them physically and maybe more importantly mentally healthier. (By the way – any program like that should also teach kids to respect people of all sizes in order to prevent bullying of fat kids. This alone would do a lot for kids’ health in my opinion.)

  71. Excellent response, Queendom. I don’t think there’s a person in the spherosphere saying, “It’s okay for ME to feel good about my body as it is, but WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN??!?” Also, to the best of my knowledge none of us are saying, “Quick, tie down the two-year olds and force-feed them cupcakes! Stop that child–the jump-roping one! DON’T LET THEM ENJOY MOVEMENT AND FOOD!” For me, fat acceptance doesn’t mean trying to make people fat. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that.

  72. Wish, Cthulu’s Cafeteria did a great takedown job of the MSN flamebaitery last Friday. Anyone who thinks people wouldn’t find something else to start in on if everyone was thin has their head up their Atkins-clogged intestine.

    Put the kids on diets, but let the adults “stay fat”? Uh, Stephen dear, how do you suppose so many of us got and stayed as fat as we are in the first place, hmm?

  73. Can we call a truce and let fat people stay fat, but get some buy-in from fat acceptance advocates to support activities to fight childhood obesity, i.e., prevent some kids from getting fat in the first place? Not eliminating fat kids entirely, but getting back to 1980 levels or so?
    Fighting words, Stephen, such fighting words.

    I fully support programs to help children with nutrition and activity levels. Especially having to deal with bored children all summer. My children are overweight. This is not surprising since their mom and dad are overweight, and their grandparents, and their great-grandparents.

    I will never, ever support a program that fights “childhood obesity”. I don’t believe there is a safe way to do it that leaves a child’s soul and body intact. I do support programs all the time that uncritically promote nutrition and activity (not exercise- schools have made exercise boring). Weight does not factor into this. As queendom noted, size acceptance is a critical part of this. Once upon a time, when we were taught about diversity, size was included. I remember that- we come in many colors, shapes and sizes. What happened to that?

    Stephen, take that concern and put it to where it belongs- child poverty, preventative medical care, child hunger, decent child care. Go join MomsRising. Who knows- maybe if we actually took care of our children, they would be healthier and happier and help forge a better society.

  74. Stephan – the science actually is pretty clear. It’s sort of like quantam mechanics: the moment the kids start noticing you’re monitoring them for fat and size, they change behaviour, and not usually to the effect you think you’ll have. Much higher incidence of eating disorders and (no kidding) weight gain. Self hatred and shame follow, as well as the inevitable cruelty.

    Which is not the same as a focus on nutrition as unrelated to fat. Having a good nutritional base really helps a kid. That means a nice combination of food provided, but the eating of it has got to be directed by the child’s body. Teach them to hear themselves, and provide a wide range of foods even if they reject them the first few times. Kids can suddenly like a new food. (I’ve heard the average time is six exposures.)

    And don’t get into good and bad foods. The majority of kids like sweets. If sweets are bad foods, the kids reason, they are bad kids. It’s a pretty straight line from A to B, and I’ve heard it voiced *exactly* like that.

  75. For me, fat acceptance doesn’t mean trying to make people fat. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that.

    And I’m pretty sure any “fat acceptance activist” whose purpose was to make more people fat WOULD, in fact, be alone. And also made of straw.

  76. *ahhh* Thank you for those links, peoples. It helps to read a bit of sanity…I’m just having such a body-hating week already, it kind of is too much when I remember the rest of the world hates it too.

  77. I particularly like the way Stephen said this…

    “… not eliminate fat kids entirely…”

    DAMN, that is a frightening turn of phrase. Because eliminating them altogether, well… what are you planning to do to THAT MANY FAT KIDS?!

    Nope, nope, nope. I’m not stepping up to any campaign that uses the word “obesity” without irony, and I’m sure as shit not about loading more observation and invasive/fascist “intervention” on fat kids. I’d rather spend my time showing how fun dance is and leave it at that. Because no one knows how to “eliminate fat kids”, short of, you know, _eliminating the fat kids_.

    Gah! My paranoia detector is overheating today!

  78. I’m so glad Stephen brought this up.

    Any time we can be reminded that people “buy in” to MeMe Roth’s shrieking mantra “don’t get fat! And don’t pass down obesity to children!” the more we can bring the conversation back to reality.

    Some babies are born fatter than others. As in they have more fatty tissue in their bodies. Last time I checked, a fetus doesn’t have access to utensils in utero, so it’s not like you can accuse a newborn baby with more fatty tissue of shoveling twinkies down its piehole. You can’t know exactly what the mother ate, either.

    We will never eliminate fat people or fat children. We have not yet found a way to make them permanently thin. And it’s not scienterrific, but the fattest people I know are the people who were forced onto to diets by well-meaning, terrified adults as CHILDREN.

    The younger the shame cycle begins, the more likely it is that you damn the child to an adulthood of obesity.

  79. Something of note: A source in Barry Glassner’s book was involved in school lunches. The source found that, if you put pizza on a lunch tray with an apple, salad/carrot sticks/broccoli and a cookie, more children ate vegetables. Plop steamed veggied on a plate with polenta and fruit salad, and a lot of kids pinched their noses and walked away.

    I think we’re well into good food/ bad food with American kids. And I predict it will have little result in terms of decreasing obesity. In fact, I predict it will give the so-called bad food all sorts of magical powers. Taboo has a way of doing that.

  80. Stephen, you go for it. But first read Rethinking Thin, the chapter about how studies found that the most rigorous school interventions, education programs, healthy school lunch programs, incorporating movement into the school day, etc. when done on a trial basis by the government may have made kids at the test schools healthier, but no such program made the kids thinner. As I said, these were rigorous, well-thought-out, comprehensive programs incorporating all of the facets that “everybody knows” can keep kids from getting fat, so we’re not talking some half-assed effort here. Since the fact that nobody has ever been able to find a way to make people permanently thin is a bad fact, however, people still continue to scapegoat school lunches, video games, parents (and lemme tell you, based on my own experience, the parents of a fat kid can often be THE MOST informed and strict when it comes to no junk food, enforced exercise, etc., which makes the stereotype of clueless fat parents force-feeding their kids McDonald’s even more insulting), fast food, and all the other demons du jour. When changing these factors doesn’t help make kids any thinner, they just stick their fingers in their ears and redouble their efforts.

    If you really can find a way of “holding the line” on childhood obesity (bonus points if it doesn’t involve destroying a child’s mental or physical health or relationship to food forever) then you’re going to be a very rich man.

  81. bigmovesbabe, it’s not just your paranoia, that phrase creeped me out too. (Phrasing: Eliminating fat kids vs. eliminating fatness in kids).

  82. Oh, and I agree with, like, everyone else that the way you phrased your comment is pretty fucking insulting. You don’t have to “bargain with” the crazy fat ladies to find out what level of childhood obesity we would “settle for.” I don’t care how many kids are fat and how many are thin.

    All anyone here wants is for people to be whatever size they are naturally, and to be as healthy as they can possibly be, and we oppose dieting and intentional attempts to lose weight because dieting a) does not work, and b) often leaves you far worse off health-wise than you were to start with. Get it? We do not oppose dieting because we want some magic number of people to be fat. We oppose dieting because DIETING IS BAD FOR YOU regardless of whether you are thin or fat.

    This dishonest, scaremongering idea of “promoting fat” or “wanting people to be fat” is ENTIRELY MADE UP BY YOU AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

  83. Sooo beginning not to care about any of these yammering twerps in the mainstream media.

    They will never learn and they will never shut up.

    So why should I expend an iota of energy attempting to educate them?

  84. Or, you know, more compassionately

    Stephen, take that concern and put it to where it belongs- child poverty, preventative medical care, child hunger, decent child care. Go join MomsRising. Who knows- maybe if we actually took care of our children, they would be healthier and happier and help forge a better society.

    what Krista said.

    I will write a check for the campaign you run, Krista. Just get them to SHUT. UP.

    I’m just not in the mood today. Or for, oh, say, the rest of this life.

  85. This press release came out today where a couple programs which:

    a) Promote eating healthy foods (not mentioned how they define those)
    b) Promote increasing activity
    c)Critique the idea that being thin leads to happiness

    Leads to a lower risk for young women in the next three years of both developing eating disorders and becoming obese.

    The release particularly specifies that it’s the first such intervention to have good results. It’s from a specialist in ED, not an obesity researcher, so perhaps that’s why it’s more sensible than the CI/CA type of things so many programs cultivate.

    So, if you do two things from HAES, critique the thinness ideal and get more exercise, it’s good for young women.

    Who’d’a thunk it?

  86. Sorry I forgot to put the link in, it’s coming; but I think the link is slowing it down. Apologies all!

  87. Stephan, I’ll call truce on these requirements:

    1. Have programs that teach kids how to exercise and be healthy, without thin being the ultimate goal.

    2. Not teach children that bullying other fat children is helping them to be healthier. If hate made people thin nobody would be fat.

    3. You realize that people come in all shapes and sizes, that’s reality. That until people come to your door with a funnel and a tube connected to a barrel of foodstuffs, you do not know what it’s like to be persecuted for your natural body size.

  88. Re. the study on BMI and exercise.

    I read the study itself, and while not qualified enough to understand it in full, it seems they did/found some interesting things:

    – Self reported, obviously an issue.
    – Seems they used only the originally reported information for diet and exercise and did not account for changes over time.
    – They used categories for exercise and BMI rather than linear data to make it easier to formulate policy and to manage.
    – No increase seen in some heart conditions (MI) for active obese people.
    – Looks like they found that normal weight active people in some cases increased their risks by exercising in certain bands.
    – They didn’t look at anything beyond the recommended level of exercise e.g. what if people did twice as much (as seems to be required to “maintain” weight loss in some other studies).
    – When they didn’t get the results expected/wanted, they claimed the study was “underpowered” for that data.
    – The overwhelming result seems to be that doing some exercise is highly beneficial for obese & overweight folk.
    – There’s no interaction between BMI and obesity (I think that means that they found that exercise does not reduce BMI??)
    – They postulate only one causal theory for why obesity would increase cardiac risk factors, but not many possible other such as:

    — perhaps obese women are likely to attempt repeated dieting, which itself is harmful to cardiac health
    — perhaps obese women suffer increased cardiac risks due to chronic stress arising from fat phobia in society.

    Anyway, I’ll be really interested to see what JFS says.

  89. correction:

    “There’s no interaction between BMI and obesity…”

    should be

    “There’s no interaction between BMI and exercise level…”

  90. The meaning of “There’s no interaction between BMI and exercise level…” depends on the dependent variable they are talking about. But since the study mainly deals with the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (right? I haven’t read it) I guess that in this case it means that exercise had the same effect on cardiovascular risk for differnt BMI categories (i.e., it did not decrease risk more or less for at people than it did for thin people).

  91. I kind of like the Monif’s although they’re a bit “hit me over the head” sexy for my taste.. Like Tim Gunn says: a chacun son gout.
    I am partial to Gottex bathing suits… I found one in a size 18 a few years back at the Loehman’s in Deerfield, IL.
    I treasure the thing… It’s lovely.
    But yeah, goes to show that Gottex makes plus…
    As far as the (yet another) bollocks “obesity” study check out the “F-Word” and she followed the money trail and it’s all about the “Usual Suspects” Johnson und Johnson, Roche, etc…
    Warning from someone in the industry: The more prestigious the journal in which a study is published the more likely it’s industry sponsored and not worth the paper it’s written on because it’s a promotional piece not a valid scientific advance.

  92. My current swimsuit is by Delta Burke. I snagged it at Marshall’s a few years ago, and even though it’s a size (possibly two) too small, I love it.

    it’s a simple tank suit with a built in shelf bra (which doesn’t do a thing to hold up the girls but keeps them squished at least).The bottom is a lovely cobalt blue, which shades up into a pretty tealy-blue, with bronze-colored studs in various sizes of circles and rings.

  93. I’m still not sure why anyone would pay attention to a “nutritionist”. All you need to be a “nutritionist” is sixty dollars – the cost of the diploma mill degree. If you want to talk to someone with real training and education, get a dietitian.

    Nutritionists are without exception evil, cheating, lying, scamming quacks.

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