Thursday, November 03, 2005

Fat politics

Has anyone read this book? Fat Politics: The Real Story behind America's Obesity Epidemic by J. Eric Oliver.

I just heard about it and I think I have to buy it. Except I think it might be preaching to the choir, because it seems to echo exactly what I believe:
"Political scientist Oliver condemns what he feels is a self-interested "public health establishment"-obesity researchers seeking federal funding, pharmaceutical and weight-loss companies peddling diet drugs and regimens, bariatric surgeons and other health-care providers angling for insurance reimbursement-for spuriously characterizing fatness as a disease. . . . Arguing that fatness is perfectly compatible with fitness, [Oliver] contends that scapegoating obesity drives Americans to experiment with dangerous crash diets, appetite suppressants and weight-loss surgeries, while distracting us from underlying harmful changes in the American lifestyle--mainly our incessant snacking on junk food and shunning of exercise and physical activity, of which weight gain is perhaps merely a "benign symptom." . . . By telling us we need to be thin without providing a safe way of losing weight, the same proponents of the "obesity epidemic" are also pushing millions of Americans towards dangerous surgeries, crash diets, and harmful diet drugs."
I'd also love to see a well-researched, factual expose about the dangerous metabolic effects of yo-yo dieting. I do think the most-frequently-used "remedies" to obesity often have much worse health consequences than the obesity itself.

I also think we experience major problems from far, far, far too much emphasis on the superficial appearance of health (leanness) rather than the actual fact of a healthy mind in a healthy body.

7 comments:

Mica said...

Yep, these days everyone wants to say they have a "disease" instead of just changing their addictive behavior.

mipper said...

oh don't you know... there is a fat gene!

i hate that one.

let us know if you get this and what your review is. i might have to look into it myself. i have a friend that i discuss this very thing with and she's seriously a twig but she says she has an insanely high body fat content. she is constantly telling me to listen to my fitness and not my pant size to know where i am in the real world. i like her a lot. ;)

Fat Charlie the Archangel said...

Hmmmm....actually, if it's addictive behavior, then it can't "just be changed".

But don't pay any attention to me - I'm one of those diseased folks (with fourteen years of recovery in OA). (However, the literature doesn't say "disease" for compulsive overeating - it says "illness". There's no disease vector.)

anonymouse said...

Most women with slim, toned bodies don't do much in the way of exercise when compared to marathoners and triathletes. They usually say they watch what they eat and that they got their bodies from their moms.

nancytoby said...

I was going to say something about how skinny people who can run fast think they're fit - but it's a lot easier for them to run, so speed may be misleading! But I didn't want to get into an anti-skinnyfast rant. :-)

William said...

People in general, need to look inside their heart for answers and stop waiting for other people to tell them what to do/think/eat.

People can accomplish amazing things when they are motivated. Even overcoming eating disorders.

Ellie said...

I'm gonna go out and ride my bike now...