1) The health risks associated with increasing weight are generally small, in comparison to those associated with, for example, being a man, or poor, or African American.It’s interesting how often the “health” card is invoked, even amongst medical and psychological professionals. Truth is, there’s really no way to evaluate people’s health based on how they look. And yet, we do it all the time. So, now what? Without the “health” argument to back us up, how should we disguise our disgust with fat?
2) These risks tend to disappear altogether when factors other than weight are taken into account. For instance, fat active people have half the mortality rate of thin sedentary people and the same mortality rate as thin active people.
3) There is no good evidence that significant long-term weight loss is beneficial to health, and a great deal of evidence that short-term weight loss followed by weight regain (the pattern followed by almost all dieters) is medically harmful. Indeed, frequent dieting is perhaps the single best predictor of future weight gain.
4) Despite a century-long search for a “cure” for “overweight,” we still have no idea how to make fat people thin.
Monday, August 21, 2006
I'm Worried About Your Health
In The Diet Myth, Paul Campos discusses the “disease” of obesity as a socio-cultural construction designed to underhandedly fuel bigotry against fat, as well as to potentiate racist and ethnocentric thought. How many times have we heard, “You see, it’s not that you don’t look good—it’s just your health that I’m concerned about”? In his journalistic account of the weight-loss research enterprise (and industry), Campos debunks this myth by presenting facts exposing that (exact quote):