Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No, THIS is why you're fat

I love, love, love the website This Is Why You're Fat. It's funny and a clever idea. But I am constantly floored by what folks think is UNhealthy.

Weekly you get the horrible carb bombs of breaded starches deep fried in death-by-soybean oil, weird conglomerations of sugary snacks and sweets, interspersed with the occasional monster food - a regular food, like a burger, supersized to the max. But the weird part is how people just cannot let go of the outdated concept that fat is bad for you.

Folks sitting in front of their computers of a morning shovelling in Cookie Crisp (for the virtuous:  whole wheat bagel with fat free 'cream cheese') are writhing with delighted revulsion at things like the Bacon Bomb and congratulating themselve for not eating such dangerous and fattening foods.

When are we going to UNlearn that fat and meat are bad for you?  How many people are going to have to die of carbohydrate-induced diseases before we get a clue?  Truth in advertising:

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Epic WIN!

Alternately, we could just claim that we are not fat as Paul Campos seems to do in this article.  On the subject of 'bribing' scientists to support the views of an industry (in this case pharmaceuticals) - which I absolutely believe happens, BTW - wanders into the weird here with the so-called opinions of a fellow guest (supposedly a scientist):

"In this case, the program is to keep repeating the word "obesity" over and over again, like some sort of pseudo-scientific mantra, even though, as my dinner companion points out, there's hardly any evidence that the increasing weight of the population is actually a health problem"

WHAT? No evidence that increasing weight is a health problem? Hang on, let me clean my computer screen, here.  Did I accidently drink bourbon instead of coffee again this morning?!

From the CDC on diabetes alone:

"Diabetes affects at least 18 million people in the U.S., a number that has been growing more

rapidly than the general population since 1990. The rapid growth has occurred among those who
have the non-insulin dependent Type 2 variety of the disease (formerly known as adult onset

"The decade-plus growth trend

in prevalence, and its apparent acceleration starting at the end of the 1990s—which by all
accounts has continued into the 2000s—has led many observers to conclude that the U.S. is
experiencing a diabetes epidemic (Gorman 2003)."

"Concern about growing diabetes prevalence is also based on observed growth in the prevalence

of obesity, a leading risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, and several other chronic diseases
(NIDDK 2004b)."

"Figure 2 shows how the obese fraction of

the adult U.S. population, which grew only slightly from about 13% to 15% during the 1960s
and 1970s, rose increasingly fast during the 1980s and 1990s, and now stands at over 30% (CDC
From the JAMA:
"There has been a marked increase in overweight and obesity in the United States over the past 25 years, with the prevalence of obesity among adults aged 20 to 74 years rising from 13% to 31%.1-3 This increase in prevalence of obesity has occurred among both men and women and across all racial/ethnic and age groups. Prospective cohort studies as well as national surveys have shown that obese individuals have an increased risk of several adverse health outcomes, notably hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), arthritis, disability, and mortality.4-8"
More gems from Campos's article:
""Do you realize," she (this is the 'well-known scientist', remember) asks me, "that in the United States somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of everyone in their 50s, in every ethnic group, is supposedly overweight?" I do realize this, but I'm enjoying hearing somebody besides myself rant about the absurdity of such things for a change.

"What sort of sense does it make to classify a normal physical characteristic of an entire population as a disease?" she asks."

Now, perhaps I am totally misunderstanding Mr Campos's point here. The article is, after all, about the buying off of the scientific community by industry, something that I wholeheartledly agree happens. But it seems to me that Mr Compos and his 'well-known scientist dinner companion' are both out of their minds or, hey, maybe it's an April Fools joke.

America is eating itself to death, a trend that began when we slashed meat and fat in our diets and began loading everything we put in our mouths with carbohydrates/sugars.  Saying that it's not a problem will NOT make it go away. If you don't think it's a problem I challenge you to walk into your local Wal Mart and stand in one place for a few minutes, watching.

THESE are average Americans.

And they are ILL.

And here's the thing: a bit of body fat is no big deal. I do NOT think the BMI is accurate; it's a tenuous guess, at best. Anyone with higher than average muscle mass would throw a "false obese" number.
Nor do I think that one's 'ideal weight' is correct for everyone.  Bodyfat is not the main issue.  Fitness is.  We graze on carbs all day, our blood sugar stays high, we get no exercise, we get no sunshine, and an increasing number of us are unhealthily overweight.

It's the truth and it's a problem.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:17 am   1 comments


At 1:51 pm, Anonymous Dana Seilhan said...

I think I love your blog. I will have to link to it. And get my own started.

I hate This Is Why You're Fat, precisely because they enjoy taking the piss outta fat people, but then they prescribe "remedies" that... here's a shocker... keep fat people fat. I also don't like their attitude about fat people generally. It's a health condition, not a moral failure--and when we're lied to left, right, and sideways about what "healthy eating" means, what else is going to happen? Eating the way the Health Nazis tell you to eat leaves you starving and cranky. Then you get disgusted and give up and say, "As long as I have to suffer, I might as well not starve in the meantime" and go right back to bad foods.

No no no no NO.

Campos? That one is a piece of work. I wholeheartedly embrace his crusade in behalf of children unfairly pegged as "abused" and "overfed" when they have other things going on, like the little girl in New Mexico who was tall for her age and had a full set of teeth at age one, yet her parents were supposedly "overfeeding" her. That's where my admiration ends. I read his book The Obesity Myth and he, like so many Fat Acceptance activists, seems to stick his head in the sand and ignore the fact that obesity is a symptom of metabolic illness in many people, whether self-imposed or not. Also, he seems to have a bug up his butt about women's rights groups, which had absolutely nothing to do with the central thesis of his book, and plays dumb about their efforts in body acceptance activism. Whatever your feelings about WR groups, it's not very nice to lie about them and pretend they aren't doing things they in fact are doing, when that information is easily available on the Internet.

anyway... yeah. I just got done reading yet another personal finance blog article about how it's more "frugal" to be vegetarian. Yeah sure, if you live in a country where you don't have health insurance co-pays...


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