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Posts Tagged ‘Oh really?’

The SMH is at it again.

This is what I’m getting at:SMH front page clip showing an article about eliminating bingo wings (for women) in the Life & Style sectionSMH front page clip showing an article about eliminating bingo wings (for women) in the Life & Style section
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… and it looks like Selleys doesn’t want my business.

I saw this ad on television this evening:

Transcript:

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An article in the Sydney Morning Herald today states that a healthy diet will cost a “typical” welfare-dependent family of four approximately 40% of their average income.

This, presumably, is a bad thing, because 40% is a significant proportion. A large chunk of the rest would probably be covering your accommodation. You’re not left with a whole lot more.

There’s not really a lot of analysis about what this means for how less-well-off families might make decisions about purchasing food. Nothing about how the cost of a healthy diet might be reduced.

There is, however, this statement at the end of the article:

The convener of the food and nutrition special interest group of the Public Health Association, Andrea Begley, said she supported a food tax and subsidies for lower-income families, particularly given rising obesity rates among lower socio-economic groups.

Because the solution to high cost of healthy food is to make the other food options even more expensive, in a paternalistic example of social manipulation?

I’m all for assisting people to eat a healthier diet if that’s what they want to do, especially if what’s stopping them is the high cost. So subsidies might be good. However, I’m not in favour of this kind of paternalistic “let’s force them to spend nearly half their income on the food we think they should be eating” attitude. That implies a certain level of judgmentalism, and I’m seriously not in favour of that!

(Oh, and gotta love how they throw in the OBESITY EPIDEMIC BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA at the end.)

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

It’s the DEATHFATZ! FOR REALZ!

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.

*headdesk*

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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Shorter Amy Alkon: I didn’t get to scream in public when I was a child, so neither should anyone else.

SRSLY.

Of course, Ms Alkon is basing this on her recollection. I’m sure that, like most people, she doesn’t remember very much before the ages of 4 or 5, probably not daily events even after those ages, and I’d be fairly surprised if she didn’t do her share of screaming in public at age approximately 2. But even if she’s right and she never did, she clearly doesn’t understand the concepts of “community” and “family” and “parents having a life even when they have small children”.

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