Posts Tagged ‘fat acceptance’

Headline: “How lethal is your load?”. Subhead: “Even skinny people may be carrying a mother lode of toxic fat”.


The article seems incredibly confused over the issue of good fat vs bad fat.

For example, the journo seems to have understood that fat in certain locations is a better indicator of problems that may impact on health. (I’m taking this at face value, for the sake of the argument. I am NOT accepting it as a statement of fact. For the record, I also think it’s a problem to judge people for their health, regardless of whether you are judging them for their size. But I’m not going to go into that in this post.)

However, there is no indication that the journo has understood that the corollary of this is: fat in certain locations is a poor indicator of problems that may impact on health, and therefore fat in general is a poor indicator of problems that may impact on health.

The journo is still also associating “fat” with “bad” and “thin” with “good”:

The fat belly on the outside, fat belly on the inside guideline does have its exceptions.

Japanese studies of sumo wrestlers, for example, have found that these obese men are commonly ”fat on the outside but thin on the inside”, says Carey. …

But in the general population, such people are in the minority. And the reverse of the sumo scenario also exists: people who look normal size or even skinny on the outside but who are carrying a toxic mother lode on the inside.


Oh, and this is buried near the end:

after cigarette smoking, waist-to-hip ratio is the best single predictor of death from heart disease in Australia; better than a simple waist measurement and better than the much-touted body mass index.
[Emphasis added.]

You mean we don’t need to be worried about the OBESITY EPIDEMIC BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA nearly as much as we thought we did? Well, knock me over with a feather, I don’t think I can handle the shock!

Bonus weirdness: reference to the supposed “healthiness” of the “natural” hunter & gatherer lifestyle – although there is an acknowledgement that the real reason that people living thousands of years ago wouldn’t have had a problem with fat as they aged was because they didn’t live so long. So yeah. This journo is somewhat confused!

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Rachel Hills’ recent post highlighted for me one of my bugbears.

On the whole, I agreed with her post. I did think it was going to go towards what I think is the real problem with the pursuit of thinness (by the fashion industry, but also more generally): that is the fact that almost all the women in the public eye – almost all the female public role models we have – are thin. That means people equate “thin” with “the ideal”, which means that people who want to pursue “the ideal” in their own lives pursue “thinness”. And that’s not healthy, because it’s not possible for most people to be that thin. (In fact, as Rachel points out in her post, it’s not possible for most of the naturally thin models to be that thin, either.) What would be healthy would be to see a diversity of female role models. (See Shapely Prose for this point made over and over again – see especially the “health at every size” category. The comments often drive the point home more than the posts do.)

Anyway, the post didn’t really go in that direction. Instead, Rachel made this comment, and I really feel the need to take issue with it:

And that’s the thing: most people look healthy when they’re at the weight that’s right for their body.

Um, not necessarily.


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In Janet Albrechtson’s universe, that’s where.

A friend, whose judgment I respect, has been encouraging me to read Janet Albrechtson on the basis that I probably won’t agree with her but she’ll probably give me food for thought.

So, having a bit of spare time today, I decided to give it a go.

So far, NO good.


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Australia seems pretty excited that we have, in Casey Dellacqua, a female tennis player who looks set to make the big league. First in quite a while. A nice sort of splash article about her upset second-round win in the Australian Open talks about her attitude to money, and how this will mean she doesn’t have to count pennies quite so much. Fair enough. Great to see this sort of focus on women’s sport.

But then at the end:

Her victory in a tough three-setter was a reward for hard work. She was pilloried for being overweight and out of shape after her first-round defeat at the Australian Open two years ago, and has worked to shed some kilograms and steadily improve her fitness, something that was evident as she clawed back from 0-3 down in the second set.

“I’ve never denied that, and that’s something I always knew that I needed to work on,” she said of her previous condition.

“Because people have always said, ‘Look, you hit the ball well and you strike the ball really well’. It’s something I’ve needed to do, and I’ve taken it all on board.”

Because what really matters is that she’s thin and hawt.


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A few years ago, I got myself the Implanon contraceptive implant. I was extremely happy with it, and after its three-year lifetime expired, I got myself a replacement.

I got it about 12 months after it was released in Australia, and only a few years after the clinical trials had been carried out. I remembered reading the information sheets and talking to my doctor about failure rates, and at the time, the only information was from clinical trials. In those, the only prenancies had been where the implant wasn’t properly inserted (read: not at all) or where the woman had already been pregnant.

I thought I’d take a look and see if there was more data now, and I found this article through PubMed.


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I just heard a doctor (one who actually sounds like he bases what he says on science) on the BBC say that “75% of the amount of fat a child has is determined by genetics”.

He wasn’t talking in the context of the child obesity furphy, and he didn’t say anything about adults (but I suspect he’d say it’s pretty similar). But in other words: so, why are we stressed out about the “child obesity crisis” (or the “obesity crisis” in general) if it’s based on genetics?


[First posted here.]

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So I’m procrastinating from my work and finding newspaper articles that get me going …

The Guardian has this article about deaths caused by cosmetic surgery.

In general, ok: the message is, essentially, surgery is surgery is surgery, and it’s not a great idea to have it unless you need it.

However. Some bits are less-than-impressive.


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Something that’s been bugging me for a while, well, practically all my life (since I was old enough to notice that some people in the world go on diets, anyway) is the cry of: “I can’t eat that, I’m being good!”

“Good” in this context usually means: “I’m on some sort of diet where I deprive myself of practically everything I like to eat for however long I can do it, because all those foods are evil. I probably won’t lose any weight. And then at some point I’ll binge on all those “evil” foods and gain some weight and feel really bad about myself. And then I’ll diet again.”

Um, people? That’s not good, at least, not under my definition of the word.


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