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nice article on the myths about the “obesity epidemic”

Posted by on Jan 28, 2011 in Blog Posts | 5 comments

In medical school I was basically trained to believe that BMI and badness were linearly linked. Not so. I like this review article.  It took me a long time of reading and researching and seeking out the stuff I was never exposed to in my training to get this… What say you?

Is the epidemiology of weight a crisis or moral panic? (from journal of epidemiology…)

There are lots of points I like, one being that when “experts” gather to discuss the epidemiology and risks of weight, they rarely invite an epidemiologist along for the ride…
Many of these experts also have major conflict of interests.

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5 Comments

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  1. Lisa

    LOL @ “BMI and badness were linearly linked”! That article is a great overview of the HAES perspective on the “obesity epidemic”. I send that link out a lot.

    And seriously: when you start to realize how much of the obesity research is paid for by corporations (pharma, bariatric, diets like WW) that gain financially when people are distressed about their weight, you get very very suspicious of a lot of the studies.

  2. Kate S.

    One of the things I find absolutely maddening about the “obesity epidemic” is the way that the behaviours that are pushed, the “sacrifice all in the pursuit of thinness” behaviours, significantly contribute to what are being identified (in my opinion wrongly) as the effects of overweightness and obesity. Who diets the most? The naturally thin or the naturally larger?

    Have you read “Rethinking Thin” by Gina Kolata? That book was the beginning of my journey towards health and acceptance.

    • katja

      LOVED Rethinking Thin! Highly recommend it! I agree. The more we try to “fix” the problem, the worse it gets…

  3. Samantha C

    I think it’s a great debunking article – and it was nice to see the discussion of the moral panic and anti-feminist angle at the end. Not only are the mothers always blamed for the fat children, but when the fat girls grow up into fat women, they’re going to get more of the flack than the fat men. Which, when you realize that it’s the case, just proves how little the general public really believes that obesity is purely a health issue. If it were, men would get judged just as much.

    It’s just astounding to me that the medical doctors we go to with our trust that they know best about our health are still being taught to judge by BMI, instead of being taught science.

    • katja

      it is shameful that the docs aren’t taught this stuff (or even exposed to it) and the power they have in this arena. Many of my young clients were restricted from very early on, often on the advice of a pediatrician…