The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I’ve been listening to the Good/Bad fattie debate with a bit of detachment. I haven’t thrown my hat into the ring yet, since I feel the Good/Bad division is a historically natural human response, a sort of boundary/structure-seeking inherent in finding one’s place within a group. Perhaps my detachment comes from not feeling any need to be a part of a group, per se, which comes from my slightly different neurological profile. But I recognize the human, or typical, urge to find one’s place within a society in which they’ve accepted as their own.

Hell, we see this dynamic all around us. It’s part of what we’re fighting against; we’ve become the victims of a war of attrition, the wearing down of our equal status as individuals and, when it comes down to it, as full-status humans. Many groups have historically undergone similar warfare. Political and religious structures, some long-lasting and some not, have cropped up throughout history which reflect this desire to structure society so that it can be more easily navigated and controlled. Caste systems, racial classification, economic classification, fat classification, &etc.

That we seek to similarly divide ourselves is, therefore, natural. It is not, however, in any way, shape, or form, desirable. It is an impulse we must fight against, at all costs. And that’s why I think there was such a furor this week over the Good/Bad fattie classification. It’s not because the majority of us think in such terms, but because the majority of us know that groups have the tendency to divide their members into such categories, and we know that we must reject this tendency if we are to really change anything.

Are we changing anything if we get fat accepted, but now there are strict guidelines about how much one should exercise because it’s been determined that activity level, and not fat, are what most closely correlate to good health? Are we changing anything if we just put everyone else on another diet, namely, some particular person’s (not everyone’s) definition of HAES? Are we changing anything if, instead of keeping quiet about the size-control methodology of some private insurers and their interested diet industry sponsors, we give that power to the government and their interested lobbyists instead? Are we changing anything by buying fat-hiding clothes, and wearing skirts to the beach, because we’re afraid of being heckled by teenage boys? Are we changing anything if we feel the need to list what we ate that day and our activity levels to people who are anyone except our doctor? Are we changing anything by supporting others’ decisions to mutilate their bodies by amputating their stomachs, starving their bodies, cutting off parts of their bodies, &etc instead of trying our very best to educate, and then support them only in recovery from that disordered thinking and not during it?

Recently I was “outed.” Just today, I received a comment on my blog from someone who knows me personally; I have no idea how she got the link here. I have had to struggle with my own anonymity, since every fiber of my being screams against it, wants to be open and honest and unafraid of the consequences. I have much to fear, honestly: retribution from a previous abuser, misunderstanding of my posts by family and friends, frowning-upon by employers who might find my confessions unprofessional and ‘unhinged;’ personal and professional doom is very possible if this blog is truly “outed.”

The point is, the truth, to some, is Ugly. Not ugly, Ugly. Disgusting. Horrifying. Makes one quake with fear and loathing.

Ugly is a concept we’re all familiar with; Ugly is Bad, Ugly is a characteristic held by one person which ensures all the rest of us who aren’t Ugly are automatically better than that person. Beauty is the opposite of Ugly. Beauty connotes automatic superiority. Many things can be beautiful in different ways. It is harder to be Ugly; Ugly isn’t open to interpretation. The Beautiful are protected from the Ugly by laws. The Ugly are put in cages, or jails, or eke out lives at the bottom of the totem pole, or succeed only as long as they remain invisible and anonymous.

Fat has become Ugly. Automatically inferior to non-Fat. Our voices have been suppressed, our bodies made invisible or the objects of jokes, our minds marginalized, our morality falsely interpreted as encompassing the historically-defined morality of Ugly persons (lazy, mean, stupid, crazy, unhealthy, contagious). It is interesting to note that the aforesaid Ugly morality has been, at times, attributed to most other oppressed groups (Jews, blacks, gays, &etc were all at some point labeled approximately thusly).

So while we’re discussing Good/Bad fatties, even if the Bad fattie is indeed a “straw” fattie, let’s keep in mind that there is a very good reason we must be vigilant about this dynamic infiltrating FA. The fact is, the war we’re fighting is being fought against All fatties, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, however they are defined within our ranks. It might even seem, to some, reasonable to compromise with anti-Fat warriors by throwing Bad fatties to the wolves, so that society can just transform its precious dichotomy of Beauty/Ugly : Thin/Fat to Beauty/Ugly : Healthy/Unhealthy.

Debunking the idea that some Ugly, automatically inferior group, even exists, is a difficult task that hasn’t been taken up by most any of the previously oppressed groups, with the exception of people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—and his words have largely been spun by his successors to apply only to black people or only to racial relations, and not have the generality he originally intended.

I think the Good/Bad fattie debate isn’t spurious. In fact, it’s vitally important: in busting one false dichotomy (thin = Beauty, fat = Ugly) we must be careful not to simply transfer that dynamic to a whole new group of future oppressed people. That open racism is largely frowned upon is a great victory. There have been many other victories for historically oppressed groups. We aren’t the last group to be oppressed openly—the desire to oppress, to find one’s place in a class-conscious world, to assert one’s status using traits that are purely incidental and have nothing to do with the content of one’s character, will always be there. But we need to name this dynamic; like the courageous and brilliant Dr. King, we have to call it out for what it truly is, and we need to let people know that our struggle isn’t just about Fat, it’s about busting this highly destructive and oppressive dynamic.

It comes down to “Superiority by Birth”: because I was born to look/act/etc a certain way, I’m better. I didn’t have to do any work, or prove myself in any way — I’m just naturally better, and you’re naturally worse, there’s nothing you can do about it (though you should sacrifice your whole life trying).

This last statement is one of the most destructive and oppressive viewpoints in the history of mankind, and is at the root of all sorts of massacres and atrocities. Take your pick—the Crusades, the French Revolution, the Holocaust, the massacre of Native Americans, the rise of the Roman Empire, the fall of the Roman Empire—and so forth.

And maybe it is just human nature, and we must succumb to repeating history with different groups in power and poverty, for equally arbitrary reasons.

But perhaps, like Dr. King, we can step out of ourselves, and maybe — just maybe — evolve as a species beyond the arbitrary and hurtful definitions of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

BeingGirl: For girls, by liars

This morning, Harriet Brown had a wonderful post to which I felt compelled to respond upon a bit more digging.

“BeingGirl: For girls, by girls,” a site hosted by Proctor & Gamble, is one of those places that draws in teenage girls with cutesy graphics and shitty writing (by the staff), and better writing which populates the rest of the site (posts by the girls themselves). Some of the posts are heartbreaking, and the articles themselves (esp. the ones concerning weight) are filled with virulent lies, and ‘methods’ of weight-reduction which read like a pro-ana site.

What dangerous nonsense…I hope my teenage, computer-literate, soon-to-be step-daughters haven’t ever stumbled into that den of lies.

Here’s a quote from the “Express Yourself — Creative Expressions” part of the site:

All that I can think about are the calories in that food

All that I can think about are the calories in that food Constantly counting and adding to make sure I don’t eat too much I know that it is bad to diet, but being thin makes me feel good That feeling of the fat on my stomach is annoying to touch So 900 calories a day is all that I can allow People tell me how much weight I’ve lost, but I just don’t see it I’m scared to eat more than that I don’t want the weight, not now People saying “Eat more, eat more” makes me just stare at it and sit Yes, food, food, everywhere, but I’m scared to eat it up You want to help me Well, I’m way beyond help I’m lost…

It was given 1046 positive “votes,” which means that resonates with at least that many girls on the site (the ones that bother to vote, anyway). It looks like the average number of positive votes is about 1000, from what I can see.This one, lower on the list, makes me feel very good, however:

Being Me

I have always struggled with weight issues and until recently I have
never really accepted myself. I always had self esteem issues and
would hide behind a facade of friendly compliments to other people and
big clothes. I figured out that I really needed to accept myself, so I
really stepped back and looked at my choices. Not just my eating and
exercising habits, but also my dressing and grooming habits. Going out
and buying that dress that I have always wanted but never felt I could
pull off.

I found that by stepping outside my safety zone I found more
confidence in myself and began to accept me for who and what I am.
I have found myself actually pursuing romantic endeavors I had never even dreamed of before.

I just wanted to let anyone who is having self esteem issues know that if you can step outside of your safety zone, as hard as it can be, you can
truly make a difference in your life. It has in mine.

But this post only got 422 positive votes, compared to the negative body image’s post of 1024. :(

These article writers (not the open-forum posts by regular girls like the ones quoted above) seem like they’re ALL nasty liars. Here’s another quote, from “Teenage Girls Fear of Fatness”

You would think from the words Carrie uses…guilty, bad, cheating, hate…that she was talking about something more immoral or harmful than snacking on potato chips. You would think she was worried about the osteoporosis, anemia, obesity and cardiovascular disease that might be made worse by eating certain foods [emphasis mine]

Anemia? Christ, that’s a new one. Where the hell are they getting this garbage, anyway? Or is it just “known” that OMG FOOD!1! is a toxic substance that causes diseases, and we need to try so hard to find the ‘wisdom’ to abstain from it?

The rest of the article is filled with confused contradictions, at one moment claiming rightly that body image is horribly skewed in the teenage girl population, then wondering “what causes” this when their own site is replete with panic-mongering bullshit, ending with :

Learn to see yourself through your grandma’s eyes not that distorted mirror you rely on. There’s no need to eliminate any food you enjoy from your diet. Just learn to make trade offs and balance unhealthy foods with healthy ones. And keep on the move. The safest and most appropriate obesity prevention strategy is to get rid of those “automobile feet” and exercise.

And when they don’t “prevent obesity” that way (exercise has been shown to be a largely ineffective way to lose weight, though it’s very effective in increasing health), what then? How are they going to feel? Like they need to start ritualizing food, just like they thought? That they aren’t good enough, and the answer is just to exercise ‘more’?

I could go on and on with this site. Instead, I’m just going to end with a few gems that you can discuss (and, of course, feel free to go to the site as well):

The Runaway Eating Epidemic

A recent study by the National Longitudinal Study for Adolescent Health revealed that in the five years between 1996 and 2001, about two million teens joined the ranks of the clinically obese!

Uh, yes, revising standards downwards in order to label more people obese (in 1997 or 1998, I forget) is going to make the ‘ranks of the clinically obese’ go up (don’t you love how ‘clinically’ obese makes it sounds so uber-scary and real, even though it’s an arbitrary number based on the bullshit skewing and misemphasizing of the Nurse’s Study’s statistics?)

Dieting Myths

This article “debunks” dieting myths—and also let’s you know which ones are “true”! The poll questions are the standard stuff, but one of them asks:

To keep weight off, you should take off how much a week?
1. at most 5 pounds
2. at most 2 pounds
3. at most 6 pounds
4. at most 4 pounds

The real answer, of course, is “at most 0 pounds.” “Taking off” weight doesn’t work for the vast majority of dieters, and to expect that one can “take off” some magic perfect number a week and “keep” it off is dangerously fallacious. To suggest to teenage girls that permanent weight loss is achievable in any fashion as long as they do it the ‘right way’ is abominable, and goes against the preponderance of evidence.

Fitness and Diet

This one is confusing, filled with dangerous contradictions:

When Should You Diet?

Unfortunately, women today are often pressured to measure up to a certain body type so they “diet’ to achieve that goal. But there are many body types and some people might have bigger shapes just because they’re built that way.

Just think of it in nature. Some cats are naturally skinny, some are husky, and some are heavier. Different builds and body types in animal are natural. And it’s the same with people. Each person has an ideal, individual weight range where they are still healthy. That range could be higher or lower, depending on the person. So just because you don’t look like the skinny actress on the cover of an entertainment magazine, don’t worry. And don’t go crazy dieting.

Sometimes going on a diet can really help you — if you’re overweight and need to lose pounds, for example. More than 1 of every 3 American adults is considered to have an unhealthy weight. Because of these excess pounds, they are more susceptible to disease. So being very overweight can be unhealthy, and is a good reason to “diet.” [emphases mine]

Huh?? One moment we’re all “different,” the next minute overweight is unhealthy and should be dieted off??? I don’t have the energy for this last one. Please tear into it for me.

My to-be stepdaughters shall be warned away from this site.

Edited to correct typos and provide emphases.

Dangerous Waters 2: “Fat kids = child abuse”

“Dangerous Waters” is a series whereby I take the “pulse” of sentiment on fat issues, and report those comments/articles/sites/etc that I feel to be physically harmful to fat people. For the first installment in this series, please see Dangerous Waters – Part 1.

In honor of Sandy Szwarc’s latest post titled Fat children and the courts, I typed these words into Google:

“fat kids abuse”

This is what I like to call “pulse-taking.” The first two, three pages of the standard Google search show what is most linked, and therefore exclude fringe elements and give you a gritty sense for what people ‘really’ think. I wanted to find if the sentiment “Fat kids = child abuse” really held popular water. Unfortunately, it seems as if it does.

Here’s what I found, in order of popularity:

Fat kids = child abuse –

Good for child protective services I say, letting or making your kid get so fat is in fact your fault and its cruel to a child. Why would a mother want to subject her own children to the health problems and social concerns that come from being obese. Does she want them to end up like those 1000 pound people who cannot leave their house and need to be weighed on scales made for whales and other large sea animals?

And as an answer to the question, “Well what can I do, that’s what he likes to eat.”… can…..wait for it… a parent! That’s right, instead of going to hit up the pizza hut and taco bell to buy him 12 tacos and a pizza plus chicken wings for dinner go buy a bag of that pre-washed lettuce, grill up a chicken breast and cut it up, then dumb the lettuce plus chicken breast into a bowl and put it in front of tubby. Since you were incompetent in your initial attempt to parent him/her the kid will probably refuse the healthy food. That’s OK, he’s fat he can skip a meal. Eventually hunger will win out. If you feed your kid mass quantities of junk that’s all they will eat. If you give them many types of food, most of which is healthy then they will grow up all the better for it. [bold mine]

And all the above is why I agree with taking children away from parents who refuse to do anything about their obesity and generally are the cause of it because I do feel as it’s a form of abuse

Wow, so we’ve found the CAUSE of the entire Obesity EpiPanic! PARENTS OF FATTIES! Well, duh, I should have seen that scapegoatism a mile away! We should just bar fatties from having kids until they lose they weight, shouldn’t we? Oh wait, that’s already happening for many infertile couples.

‘Fat police’ put children on abuse list (Propeller)

This is a small news blip that is voted up (positive) or down (sink) by members, and discussed. So far it has 62 positive votes, and 5 sinks:

“Fat police’ put children on abuse list

Family – Social workers are placing obese children on the child protection register alongside victims thought to be at risk of sexual or physical abuse.”

Some posts from the discussion:

Poster A1

I am absolutely sure I don’t like it. Any time social services gets involved in your life, there is a whole lot more stress on everybody, especially the kids. However; I must admit that there are people in this world that have children, that are too stupid to properly feed them. If they don’t listen to the advice of friends, family, or the social worker, then maybe they don’t need to be raising kids at all.

Oh, so sorry you were forced to “admit” that parents of fat children are stupid. Since many parents of fat people are also fat, then that must mean fat people are stupid, too! D’oh!

Poster B1

This is interesting. I personally think that giving your kids poor nutrition is a form of abuse. You’re just setting them up for a lifetime of illness. A parent’s job is to protect their child from that and educate them about things that school may not necessarily teach, such as healthy food choices. Unfortunately, too many parents out there are themselves clueless when it comes to making healthy food choices. Add into that the fact that we live in such a rush society, we don’t have time to make those choices and end up getting fast food for supper, or we tell 7 year old’s to eat whatever they want ’cause mom or dad is too tired to make them something. I don’t think this is something social services needs to get involved in. I do, however, think that parents need to start opening up their eyes to their kid’s health and weight instead of turning a blind eye. A proper nutrional education is what’s needed here, not social services.

Well, what is it? “Improper nutrition” is abuse or not? Because there’s no fooling around with what the government and pharma companies would love, love, love – to blame parents of fat kids for causing the so-called “obesity epidemic” disease of fat, which must be ‘cured’ by both drugs and governmental action, and probably some kind of eugenics program.

Poster C1

Letting your child suffer the lifestyle and embarassment of being overweight IS the responsibility of the parent when the child is young. If you can’t stop your child from binging on food, who will?

I speak out of personal experience. Both of my parents are overweight. Heart disease and obesity problems run in my family. I’m scared to death I’m going to die at 30 from a heart attack. I exercise daily and watch what I eat out of fear. Is that a life people should be forced to suffer through?

Shouldn’t people be accountable for practically causing their 8 year old to drop dead from a heart attack? I think something drastic like this or something close is going to have to happen to get this epidemic in America under control.

We have no self-control and we’re tearing ourselves apart from the inside. It’s time to wake up and smell the roses, not the Krispy Kremes. [bold mine]

Really? Do you really think an 8 year-old is going to drop dead of a heart attack? How many 8 year-old do you hear about dropping dead from a heart attack? I’d think the media would report on that with morbid Obesity EpiPanic glee. I mean, for god’s sake, when did people screw up diseases of aging, genetic tendencies towards others diseases, and fat at any rate?

Poster D1

What if the kid has a metabolic disorder? This is frikkin’ crazy! I mean if they have a 500 lb kid who’s 12, maybe. But where is it going to end…

Mother to her son: Well Bobby, the caseworker says you have to go to this state home because you eat too many ding dongs and play too many video games and don’t get enough exercise. Yep! Sorry. Hope you like the foster family you get stuck with, hopefully they won’t physically or sexually abuse you. Bye bye!

Poster C1 in response to Poster D1:

Physical wounds heal, a 500lb man usually dies. I’d take my chances getting beat on.

This is a true problem and I can’t understand the ‘logic’ of the people that say it’s up to the parents when the issue here is the fact that the parents aren’t doing anything to help it.

Okay, so Poster C1 thinks that physical and sexual abuse is is preferable to having an obese child? Also, “a 500lb man usually dies” is just a lie. You can take your chances getting beat on, Poster C1, but does that mean you have the right to say Mr and Mrs X’s children should get beat on rather than be obese? And who’s to say these kids aren’t going to be obese with their foster family, at any rate? In fact, sending kids to “foster homes” in order to lose weight (which is precisely what this is about) is sending them directly into the arms of abuse: undernutrition, semi-starvation, the ritualization of food and the forever battling of one’s body. Not to mention possible other forms of non-fat abuse. Yeah, that sounds like a fantastic arrangement. Sign me up, you abomination of a human being.

Parents in denial on fat kids –

Poster A2:

Clearly the issue is what these kids are eating: most parents buy McDonalds, have snacks at home that are loaded with fat and supply the kids with drinks containing high-fructose corn syrup. The combination of these ends up with increased caloric intake and little real nutrition. Add in the internet or video games and you have slugs on the couch that aren’t doing anything to raise up their metabolism. Basically the kids don’t do anything to burn energy and since it takes 3500 more calories over what you take in, it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that kids eat more than they burn and that equals fat kids. Parents are just too blind to their mistakes to realize it.

Apparently parents of fat kids are stupid and blind, eh, because “calories in = calories out” — a simple, time-tested (or disproved?) recipe for fat kids, heck, fat people! It’s as simple as that.

Poster A2:

I told my son years ago if he was going to be a video game junkie he had better stop eating junk.I bought fruits and veggies.and he is a slim trim video game, text messaging, freak whom I proudly say is my son.( I say freak only because I can’t imagine spending that much time texting or playing video games) The parents have a choice as to what the children eat at home. P>S> I also told him that the school system has my blessing to take the paddle to him if he misbehaves and had no trouble from him at school…..could it be that kids do really listen or are the parents today to involved in the life they lead to be a role model???

Ah yes, it’s because you bought him veggies that he’s “slim, trim, etc” and not because he’s genetically predisposed to be that way. Hey, I’m all for veggies. But to assume that all kids would be “slim, trim, etc” if they included veggies in their diet choices, is fallacious. Since you’re using your personal experience as a far-reaching, generalized example of behavior, I’ll use mine: We ate nothing but healthy, bland foods when I was growing up (baked skinless chicken breasts, veggies with no butter, 1% milk, low-fat cottage cheese/yogurt), and my brother and I were STILL fat. And still are.

Oh yes, and I’m so glad you’re proud of your son for being trim. Would you be proud of him if he weren’t?

Why do some parents allow their children to get fat? – Yahoo! Answers

Poster A3:

I do believe that in some cases it is abuse. If someone has a history of genetically overweight people in their family or if they are overweight then that is even more reason to make sure your child eats healthy and gets enough exercise. I’m not talking about people who are mildly overweight, I’m talking about people who are obese.

Well, hey then, as long as we’re talking about those obese people, as defined by the arbitrary (and ever downward-changing) BMI, and not the “mildly overweight” people. Ten bucks this poster is “mildly overweight.” Yeah, honey, as long as it doesn’t happen to you, right? But fuck those fuckwit fat fatties!

But wait, the brilliance (two ‘up’ votes for this abomination) continues!

Poster B3:

It is abuse.. it is NOT genetic. Fat is not genetic. Obesity is a problem in TODAYS world for a reason. more overeating, high fat, fast food etc. NOT genetics. Anyone who says its genetic is just another lazy american looking for an easy excuse to not eat right or work hard and exercise.

most fat kids have fat parents because they induct the kids into their lazy over eating lifestyle.

You mean, it’s not genetic, despite the overwhelming evidence?

And, by “eat right,” you mean eat Splenda-flavored air for the rest of one’s life, correct? Because that’s what weight-loss programs shill, and in order to ‘maintain’ that kind of weight loss, you have to be on the diet for life. Mmm, semi-starvation is nutrilicious!

Poster C3:

in a way yes [it is abuse]. they are being careless and terrible parents. first of all some parents let their kids eat whatever they want. all the candy they want and when they want mcdonalds they get mcdonalds. i think that they are stupid for letting the kids control them! there was this special on tv where there was this really fat boy and they showed him in his home. and they expect people to feel sorry for the family when THEY are the one’s feeding him fried chicken, a plate like for 3 people and the kid eats it ALL by himself and if he doesnt get what he wants he cries and busts tantrums. so he was sick because he was so obessee, how can you feel sorry for this family when the stupid mom caused this! yes i think its abuse, poor kid… and in some cases the kids ARE sick and that causes them to gain weight so that IS sad, but to these mothers who do it themselves are pathetic mothers who shouldn’t be allowed to have children!

For anyone who wondered if these carefully concocted TV horror show specials like Maury, Dr. Phil, and so forth didn’t do damage – read the above. This woman is a voter. These carefully-crafted-to-push-a-certain-agenda shows have made this woman believe that fat parents force-feed their children fried chicken 20 times a day, and live at McDonald’s. Thanks, Dr. Phil et al. You join my “abomination of a human” list.

Poster D3:

Yes it is a form of abuse, you’re taxing their young body with fattening foods which of course isn’t good.

Yes, because fat is toxic, correct?

Unfortunately the parents of fat kids tend to be fat themselves

Hmmm, I wonder why that is. Could it be, I dunno, hereditary?

and don’t see anything wrong with their lifestyle and they figure as long as they’re happy (which we know they’re not b/c theres deep emotional issues that go with obesity) they keep it up.

Oh, we know that, do we? Wow, you’ve solved the problem of obesity all on your own, youngin! What those McFatties need is counseling to solve their “deep emotional issues,” and they’ll be thin!

Parents should want better for their kids and in order to do so they need to lead by example and eat healthy and get active.

Ah yes, so parents shouldn’t be fat, either. In fact, we should make getting pregnant conditional on thinness, don’t you think?

I can’t go on with this one any longer. Just too depressing! There seems to be a veritable consensus that parents of fat kids are responsible for their kids’ fat in a non-genetic way, and the only dissents to the “child abuse” argument I’ve seen in the first two standard Google search pages have been by small-governmenters and libertarians, and one post on an FA blog.

Ai yai yai.

Dangerous Waters – Part 1

Sometimes the hate is so virulent, it very much takes my breath away. I get scared, thinking of not only my safety, but the safety of my fat compatriots, and my future likely fat children.

These are examples where people hate fat people so much (for often different reasons, or no reason at all) they suggest fat people should be tortured, maimed, or killed, for the crime of being fat.

They were chillingly easy to find. Part 1′s site of this new series is

I put in bold the parts where harm, torture, maiming, and killing of fat people is advocated.

Fat People –

These are quotes from within posts. Posters aren’t arranged by their order of posting on the site, i.e., I didn’t quote everyone, only the most violent (though they were all ignorant, hateful, disgusting, and appalling).

Poster 1:

Go ahead chew your way through a tower of cheeseburgers from McDonalds — in your parents’ basement at the age of 35 surrounded by a stack of moldy comic books. I hope you fuckers DIE of a premature heart attack from all that polyunsaturated fat you goofballs seem to like to ingest on a regular basis. For you imbeciles the drug of choice isn’t beer or pot, its MARGARINE. Go to your mommies and whine! Fuck you Harry of Ain’t It Cool and Bob from the DKE list. You could both stand to lose some weight. You can start by cutting off your fat ugly fearsomely misshapen heads.

Poster 2:

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH FAT PEOPLE!!!!?!?!!??! They whine and complain every day about how they want to be skinny, and they go crying to john walsh, oprah and maury so people can see their UGLY, FAT ASSES on TV. Who in the right mind would want to actually see their nasty fat fucking asses on TV!! I say FUCK YOU FATTIES! I HOPE YOU DIE IN THE FILTH YOU CREATED FOR YOURSELF.

Poster 3:

I am angry with these fat losers. They can’t control themselves. They say, “I need to go on a diet, and then they stuff their faces with greasy shit!” Then they wander why they can’t do a simple thing a fit and skinny person can do. We should send these fat losers on a deserted island somewhere where they can lose some weight and actually do some physical exercise.

Poster 4:

Something else about fat people eating are these ENORMOUS bastards who get winded getting up and WADDLING 15 feet to the buffet. Then waddle out to their handicapped parking spot. DIE FAT FUCKS YOU ALL STINK STINK STINK!

Poster 5:

Women have the worse manners in the world. They act like a bunch of homeless dogs when it comes to dinner time. The next on of you fucking cows that sticks their nasty hands all over my food will get harpooned!

Poster 6:

It was really bad we left a bar and he was drunk and he got in a fight with this shorter and leaner kid. He got his ass kicked the fat piece of shit and I was left there like what to do. The kid that kicked his ass was really hot. I could tell he looked really jacked too underneath his shirt and I bet he can fuck so much better. He ran off with his friends and i watched my fat BF struggle for breathe on the ground, and so I walked out on him. You’re on your own you fat weak person.

Poster 7:

Fat people piss me off to no end, because they are a blight on society. They inflict themselves on everyone else and attempt to draw pity from the healthy people around them. A fat woman that is “happy with how they look” should be slapped and brought down to the level they are at: Dirt.

In conclusion of this disjointed and rambling rant, fuck fat people. It would be beneficial for the world as a whole if they were just all tossed into a pit and used for energy / fuel for cars. The extra food could be sent where it is actually needed, and the money saved on gas and fat ass accommodations could be spent on more important things. Fucking leeches.

Very unnerving, but it needs to be shown. Please link to this post whenever someone claims that fat people aren’t violently hated (and there are people who claim that).

Fat Discrimination Inevitable in the Next Presidency

As a disclaimer: I identify with, most closely, the libertarian party (see my post on FA and libertarianism). Logically, I would not be supporting any of the current candidates for the presidency based on my views; each of them hold some kind of deal-breaking beliefs which makes it impossible for me to rubber-stamp them in. I don’t do the “lesser-of-two-evils” thing. Perhaps it is convenient I live in Massachusetts, which is never a state in contention during the general election. Therefore I can write in my own candidate, which I plan on doing, without even the hint of the possible sabotage to the candidate of ‘least evil.’

That being said, this post is merely educational. I’m not for any of the front-runners right now over another; I want to illustrate that, in their own words, we are careening ever deeper into the inevitability of fat discrimination in the next presidency.

Hillary Clinton

From her Senate web page:

Obesity/Eating Disorders

The prevalence of overweight, obesity, and eating disorders is increasing at an alarming rate in our country. It is time that we recognize the causes and costs associated with poor dietary behaviors and physical inactivity and begin to focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and behaviors. To address these issues I have co-sponsored the Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity (IMPACT) Act with Senators Frist (R-TN) and Bingaman (D-NM). This legislation, which passed in the Senate in the 108 th Congress, would provide grants to train health professionals and students in obesity and eating disorders; grants to promote increased physical activity and improved nutrition; and provides funds to collect and analyze data related to obesity and youth health behaviors.

Here’s my analysis:

Line 1: indicates that she firmly believes in the verity of the junk science behind the so-called “obesity epidemic.”

Line 2: indicates she believes that obesity causes disease and poor health, and suggests the government intervene with anti-obesity programs.

Line 3: confirms she believes in government-sponsored and -enforced programs to ‘combat’ obesity, and in fact has co-sponsored a bill to that effect.

Line 4: details the anti-obesity initiative: the first part would either create new anti-obesity sections in health classes in high school or reinforce those existing, as well as “training” care-givers to accept and/or promote the junk science behind the so-called “obesity epidemic;” the second part would give monies to create programs which would further regulate and ritualize what children eat, and get them to exercise more; and further creates programs to find more correlations between “youth behaviors” and “obesity,” cementing the idea that obesity is behavioral, not genetic, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

John McCain

From his personal website, bullets taken from his “health system reform” page:

  • Childhood obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are all on the rise. We must again teach our children about health, nutrition and exercise – vital life information.
  • Public health initiatives must be undertaken with all our citizens to stem the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes, and to deter smoking
  • Bullet 1: confirms his believe in the so-called “obesity epidemic” rash of diseases. “We must once again teach our children about health,” etc indicates that the Thin People of Yore had apparently more nutrition and exercise training than children do now. “Vital life information” suggests that fatter people won’t live as long, which has been shown to be false.

    Bullet 2: not only indicates that obesity/diabetes is a choice like smoking, but says that “public health initiatives” i.e., government intervention, “must be undertaken to stem the growing epidemic…”

    Barack Obama

    Taken from his official healthcare policy.

    The nation faces epidemics of obesity and chronic diseases as well as new threats of pandemic flu and bioterrorism.

    This nation is facing a true epidemic of chronic disease. An increasing number of Americans are suffering and dying needlessly from diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma and HIV/AIDS, all of which can be delayed in onset if not prevented entirely. One in 3 Americans—133 million—have a chronic condition, and
    children are increasingly being affected.52 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 1 in 3 children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.53

    Childhood obesity is nearly epidemic,59 particularly among minority populations,60 and school systems can play an important role in tackling
    this issue. For example, only about a quarter of schools adhere to nutritional standards for fat content in school lunches.61 Obama will work with schools to create more healthful environments for children, including assistance with contract policy development for local vendors, grant support for school-based health screening programs and clinical services, increased financial support for physical education, and educational
    programs for students.

    NOTE: Obama uses statistics from this CDC 2004 obesity study, referenced in his plan. This study was investigated and shown to have inflated its numbers. A JAMA study later on showed that the CDC’s numbers had been, in fact, inflated by about 400%. A good exposition of the CDC 2004 study is here.

    Points: I don’t have much to say about this that hasn’t already been said in response to Clinton’s and McCain’s plans and observations. Also, my “NOTE” at the end of the quotes from Obama’s plan discredits his major source of information, likely cherry-picked to push forth an agenda considering it just took me a quick Google to discover the JAMA refutation to this study (which his staffers should/could have done).


    A fat acceptance activist would be hypocritical to support any of these candidates, given their anti-FA beliefs about fat, obesity, and required government intervention. Furthermore, there is every indication that they would vigorously promote those same anti-FA beliefs, spending tax dollars on ignorant and biased programs that would only serve to in one way or another harm future generations of Americans.

    Plan of action: Write in your own candidate. Seriously. Stand against fat discrimination, ignorance, and hate in a consistent manner. What does it serve you to vote for these candidates based on 90% of a platform you agree with, when that last 10% is so discriminatory, ignorant, and potentially harmful?

    Given that I don’t expect all FA activists to do this, and most to vote for one of these three front-runners, please resolve to do all you can to educate your favorite future administration as to their error of their ways. For their error will become our terror, if we give them, with our vote, the power to commit it.

    Contact forms:

    Hillary Clinton

    John McCain

    Barack Obama

    Getting Married? How Are You Planning to Lose Weight Before Your Big Day? – Part 1

    I got engaged this Christmas, and I’m fat. You might wonder what the connection is (beyond a trollish, “Heh, you mean fattie mcfatfat actually got a MAN NO WAY!!”).

    But as anyone who has entered this phase in her life and as much glanced at bridal magazines on the rack would know, there’s significant pressure to lose weight before one’s wedding, pretty much regardless of how much you weigh when you get engaged.

    This pressure is unusually severe. Sure, there’s diet-talk and body-deprecatory ads and features in every women’s magazine, but it’s usually phrased in terms of “Want to lose X lbs? Here’s the magic permanent trick that takes no effort and is NOT starvation, drugs, or obsessive exercise…”

    But bridal magazines step that anti-fattie babble up a notch. They say you HAVE to lose weight; as the screenshot from says to promote its messageboard section and weight-loss thread, “How are you planning to lose weight before your big day?” screenshot

    No questions of whether you want to lose the weight, can lose weight healthily, or even believe you need to based on whatever hocus-pocus diet myths you’ve accepted. Just, “How are you planning to lose weight…?”

    The body deprecation begins.

    Being fat, then, is closely tied in with being engaged. Because, you see, all my friends and relatives who’ve imbibed the Obesity Epidemic KoolAid will expect me to try to lose weight before “my big day.” I don’t even think the expectation is dramatic weight loss, just knowing that I’ve started my juice-and-lettuce-after-four-hours-on-the-treadmill diet. Like it’s some cultural right-of-passage I’m expected to participate in, or else I do not ‘earn’ my wedding day, somehow.

    Of course, this pisses me off. I’m reasonably new to fat acceptance; it was only last July I read Gina Kolata’s “Rethinking Thin.” Before that, I was a KoolAid drinker myself, a recovering anorexic-dieter, exercise obsessor, bulimic wannabe (I could never make myself throw up, not for lack of trying). I’m trying very, very hard to accept my body and learn to love myself for who I am, and for who my family largely is — well, large. And that’s okay.

    So I decided to channel this pissed-off energy into recording how wide-spread this pre-wedding bridal ritual starvation expectation really is, and how it isn’t just about looking good in photo, it’s some kind of cultural right-of-passage. It’s like a kind of religious fasting, which is supposed to make us feel like we’ve really ‘earned’ our big day (with the natural assumption that if we decide not to diet before our wedding day, we’re some kind of lazy, worthless person whom shouldn’t be married).

    For part one:, the first hit on my Google search of “wedding bride.”

    This one was easy. Right on the front page there were three “features” categories: “real weddings,” “local features,” and “community” (a message board). See the above screenshot for the “community” view, and read the poster’s featured quote.

    Yeah, uh, 50 lbs before the wedding. Do either of you know you’re going to gain it back in 5 years? Will the husband claim his wife “let herself go” since she, a few years after the wedding, can no longer fit in her wedding dress? (of course, even though the poster wants them to both lose weight, I don’t know how stringent the expectations are on the groom’s side)

    I wonder if Memememe Roth, in her “Wedding Gown Challenge,” takes into account how many brides fasted, losing 10, 20, 30+ lbs in before their wedding day? Does gaining back the weight lost count as “letting oneself go,” especially if you just happen to go back to what you were before the pre-wedding weight loss (plus 10%, of course)? Sigh.

    But now, for the worst of it…a name that plays on the vanity, fear, and anticipation of most brides-to-be:


    I decided to enter the “community” section of the site, in order to discover what horrifying myths were being propagated on these poor women, and what their expectations were. I found a forum and an entire section of the site called “Vow to Wow Body Makeover.”

    Some of the sad thread titles on the first page are:

    ATKINS!!,” “FH won’t support me getting in shape,” “Why wont the weight come off????,” “Medifast anyone?,” “I’m scared, I don’t think I can accomplish my goal,” “Anyone on WW?,” “Lost weight with nutritionist, organic foods and gym,” “gaining weight,” (which is actually about a woman who thinks she’s too thin…guess no one is happy with their body-image if they’re getting married. Is that part of the ritual?)

    Some misinformed, sometimes virulent gems (please don’t read if you get triggered easily, some of these are difficult):

    “one of my friends[...]weighs about 95 lbs. and her doctor told her that it is because she eats junk food…when she eats junk food she loses weight, therefore she has to eat healthy food to gain weight…kind of like fat ppl have to eat healthy to lose weight…lol…!! Just the exact opposite!” [Nice bit of fat-hate there, especially with the mocking 'lol']

    Ok, well, here I sit. 180lbs. I have gained 50 lbs in the 5 years that fh and I have been together. At this rate, I will be almost 200lbs by the time we get married. I have GOT to fix this! It’s over whelming. I’m so uncomfortable all the time! My clothes are all too tight, and I just want to crawl under a ROCK! I feel like crap about myself all the time, and I just don’t understand why I can’t get healthy!…My fh and I have decided to try the south beach diet again. We started it once about 2 years ago, and I lost 7 lbs the first 2 weeks, but then I got lazy and slacked off. Wish me luck, guys!”

    Same poster, later: “fh loves me and would be totally happy with me if I never lost a pound, but I hate myself right now. For letting myself go like this! It’s just unbelievable to be that I’ve gained so much weight!!! I weight less when I was 9 months pregnant and that was 11 years ago!!!” [note the progressively lengthening strings of exclamation points, as the KoolAid puts her into a panic-stricken fervor]

    And finally: “We just want to be heathly and happy and set good examples for our children!” [ugh. So having terrible body image and starving yourself in order to achieve an impossible ideal just because you're GETTING MARRIED OMG is a good example?"]

    “Last year FH and I just decided to stop eating like pigs, so we cleaned out our kitchen of food and went shopping for new stuff, and watched the portions. I ate preeettyy much whatever I wanted but I counted calories – to me, a calorie is a calorie, wherever it comes from. I allowed myself about 1200 calories a day, plus 10 minutes a day on an elliptical. In 5 months I had lost 35 pounds, FH lost 50, and I was in a bikini on our cruise that summer.” [Note: So eating more than 1200 calories a day is eating like a pig? No wonder you lost 35 pounds in 5 starved yourself. See the Starvation Study]

    “My advice to you is that you can only lose weight if you are 100% motivated to do it for YOURSELF – not for anyone else.” [It's as simple as that!]

    “I’m newly engaged (as of Christmas eve!) and want to lose 40-50 lbs by our wedding in early 2010. I had a baby in March of 2007 so I have baby weight plus weight I had before I ever got pregnant :) The fiance gained 60 lbs since we started dating 7 yrs ago and I think he finally realized it and wants to get healthy too.” [that KoolAid is really healthy, apparently. Too bad the facts don't support the "health" argument of "thinner is the winner"]

    “i posted the “i’m scared” thread, and man it’s difficult adjusting to the vow to wow menu b/c it’s so much less calories!! and it’s not the way i eat at all. but maybe that’s why i am 15 lbs overweight and gaining all the time! ” [after the obligatory site registration, I discovered the "Vow to Wow" plan is 1,500-calories/day (below the 1,600 cal/day Starvation Study limit referenced above). Also, here's a nice quote from the "Strength Training" page of the program: "For most brides, having a toned body is crucial for their walk down the aisle.." Zah??]

    “I started Jenny Craig in September and have lost about 30 lbs. I still have about 40 lbs to go, well..if I get what I want.” [Like the fulfillment of your Fantasy of Being Thin?]

    “Hey congrats and don’t worry – you have tons of time to get to the healthy person you want to be.” [healthy = weight loss. Is someone making another Fat Hate Bingo out there?]

    Is any of you out there having the same problem? I have been exercising and dieting for about a month- a month and a half and got weighed the other day and realized that I have gained 5 lbs in the last month. I dont know what is up with that. I am getting married September 20, 2008 and I am trying to have lost 30 pounds by then! Any suggestions?” [have you been starving yourself at the federally-mandated lower safe limit of 1,200 calories/day?]

    “I am getting married in april and i want to lose a couple of lbs and i have been exercising good since Oct and i dont see any weight coming off either. Has anyone tried those Alli pills? do you think they work?” [oh, horrors, that poor woman...just a few pounds? God, take it to the bank and love yourself for who you are, and enjoy the last months before your wedding!]

    This one makes me really, really sad, because this woman has come very near to the truth and she’s acting like it doesn’t/shouldn’t apply to her: “I have a little problem with fluctuating weight. It is frustrating because it puts me between 2 sizes and so I feel like I have to have twice as many clothes and I just wish I could stay down in the lower size. Anyhow, I’d like to think I’m a pretty healthy person. I have a great cardio and lifting routine, FH and I rarely eat out. So I didn’t really get it. I started to do some research on this and found this book “Rethinking Thin”. Basically it talks about how genetics plays into what your body is designed to be. Each of us kind of has a preset weight range, and once you get to the limits of that range, your body tries to keep you in it. This is why you might be doing great and losing weight with a certain routine/diet and then all of the sudden it seems like it stops working. Anyhow, I don’t mean to go on about this and I don’t think we should look at it as an excuse for the way we are. Just because my parents are bigger doesn’t mean that I have to be, but I do have to recognize that I may have a harder time trying to look how I want to. I definitely recommend that we all take a healthy outlook on life, and not just think about being thin. Because in the end, I am not a happier person if I have to give up ALL chocolate just to stay in the smaller size. Hope this makes sense and good luck to you all!” [I'll let this one speak for itself. Sigh.]

    This is it for the first part of my bridal starvation ritual exposition. Thanks to the very first bridal site I looked at for giving me so much sad material. I hope these women can enjoy the lead up to and their wedding day, without being weak, starved, and hating their bodies.

    The Need for Unity in the Fat Acceptance Movement


    I suppose many of you are scratching your heads, asking, “What unity? We’ve got unity. Fat crosses every line – gender, religious, party, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, age.”

    A true observation, and an important one. However, are we, as a movement, crossing every line?

    I hope you agree that it is necessary to have as many voices from as many backgrounds in the movement. By being diverse, we become strong. By fat being a woman, man, black, white, yellow, gay, straight, bi, Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, disabled, small, tall, youth, adult (and the many, many other shades and nuances between all these classifications as well as many other disparate classifications which, if I listed them, would likely be scroll-worthy) issue, we end up with many diverse voices in our movement, by default.

    An atheist fat person isn’t immune from fattism, nor is a Hispanic fat person. Jewish fat people aren’t picked on more than Libertarian fat people. When we’re persecuted for our fat, by the very nature of image-based persecution, our persecutors don’t care if we are gay or straight, yellow or brown, if we voted for John Kerry, George Bush, Tony Blair; they don’t care if we’re short or tall, and though persecution varies in allowability between groups when one is a child or adult, it is becoming increasingly accepted to discriminate against all ages in an “I’m only hating you for your own good” manner.

    I, a long-time follower of the teachings of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was extremely pleased, at first, to see how diverse the FA movement was. It wasn’t about singling any particular person out based on background: it was about united people against the hate, abuse, and widespread discrimination of and ignorance surrounding fat and fat people. I thought Dr. King would be mighty proud.

    However, I began seeing some splits in the seemingly perfect unity regarding political stances, and positive policy beliefs. Perhaps it was exacerbated by the primary season in the US; but suddenly there cropped up a sense of what was popular and easy to believe in, and what was unpopular and dangerous to believe in (dangerous in the sense that one was in danger of being marginalized, ignored, or even considered to be not part of the “real” movement if he/she expressed his/her unpopular opinion).

    And therein lies the danger. To claim that the FA movement is, fundamentally, an expression of the beliefs of one political party over another, segregates members of the movement and marginalizes those who do not agree with the politics of the members who currently have the loudest voices and most influence.

    It’s not like this kind of division is new to the historically oppressed. Indeed, there exists a strange sort of expectation these days that, for instance, people of African-American descent should vote largely Democrat. For many elections in the past few decades we’ve seen this very phenomenon.

    But why are, then, whites exempt from the requirement to adopt a groupthink? They are pretty evenly split between parties. Why suggest that people of African-American descent should naturally be for one party over the other? Don’t African-Americans have minds of their own? Can’t they decide who they want to vote for based on their values as a colorless individual? I’m not talking about, for instance, voting for someone who is an obvious racist because one agrees with that candidate’s economic policies. I’m talking about opting out of the groupthink expectation and voting as an individual, not as a class fundamentally based on skin color.

    For those that disagree with the philosophy behind my suggestion, I have to defer to the great Dr. King. He was my teacher, and I couldn’t phrase my reasons better than he phrased his reasons. On that note, I often think it is horrifying Dr. King’s words have been twisted to support a semi-racist philosophical segregation within our individual ranks, even though it is clear upon hearing his unfiltered speeches, and reading his unfiltered biography, Dr. King wanted to unite all people as equal individuals, not as equal groups who must constantly reference their groupthink opinions. He recognized there is never such thing as ‘equal groups,’ since you are naturally segregating people based on uncontrollable characteristics such as skin color, and so forth. “Separate but equal” doesn’t work based on these reasons.

    So there exists precedent for some members of the group to claim that if other members want to be free of discrimination based on the characteristics that make them a member of that group, they must defer to the popular politics of the voices that are loudest in the movement, or else they are rejected, ignored, or even called traitors (I have heard African-American Republicans slandered to the high hills: “Haha, look, he/she wants to be white!”, “Boy, he/she must really hate him/herself, to be a black Republican,” ad nauseam (truly) ).

    How in the world do you expect a movement to find its voice if you don’t let individual members of the movement speak because they happen to have differing opinions? What makes you any better than those who are fighting against us by closing their ears, refusing to listen to our pleas for scientific sanity, for common sense, for non-discrimination? Don’t you do the same to those within your ranks who think that a different approach could be a better, or just additional, way to take?

    The fact is we’re all, regardless of our beliefs and backgrounds, against the same things, even if we differ with respect to what we’re for, i.e., what we think should be done to end the hate, discrimination, and violence.

    To claim, for instance, that we all believe (or worse, should believe) children should be made to take, as part of their health education classes, a section on Health At Every Size, is just not true. Maybe some people think this would further segregate fat children into a group with their own “special” kind of health philosophy, maybe some people don’t think public schools could ever teach it correctly and would end up killing its meaning by ending the segment with, “Well, that’s just one theory. Others would claim the old-fashioned, time-tested method of ‘eat less and exercise more’ works best. And hey, what’s wrong with watching what you eat and being active, right, kids?”

    The point is, we don’t all think the same, nor should we. We are all united against the same things: the hate, the abuse, the discrimination, and the ignorance we see around us every day. Agreeing to groupthink notions of what should be done about it and then rejecting members of the oppressed group that don’t agree based on philosophy or experience will not make us stronger, it will make us weaker. To gang up on them, to use rhetorical tactics to make their arguments look weak, to then refuse to take them seriously based on some philosophical ‘transgression,’ will be the death knell of the movement.

    Why in the world would you want to single out those who could help you gain ground amongst the philosophical groups of which you’re not a part, but they are? Why in the world, for instance, would you single out Christians, when they would be the most convincing voice amongst a group of Christians, putting their own perspective on how they can uniquely fight against the discrimination from that quarter? Why would you single out the Republican and Libertarians for their differing social and economic views, when they could frame an argument amongst their ranks that would end the discrimination within their own philosophical groups?

    Think of each of us as an Ambassador. We are each uniquely suited, based on our beliefs and backgrounds, to fight discrimination amongst people of similar beliefs and backgrounds. To alienate any one of us is to cripple the group’s ability to fight.

    The FA movement needs to welcome all into its ranks, and suffer unpopular voices, just as it desires the rest of the world to suffer our unpopular bodies. Only then, free from hypocrisy, can we move forward, towards a day when we, and our children, are free from our present-day, ubiquitous second-class citizenship.

    Click here to read some of Dr. King’s speeches (with “I Have a Dream” available in audio)

    Kids being malnourished in Florida schools

    A post concerning this article, posted on JunkFood Science:

    Brain food for kids: Having enough to eat

    Efforts to address childhood obesity by lowering fat and calories in school lunch programs are having unintended consequences. A nutrition audit of school children in Florida found that growing youngsters were being underfed and short on vital calories. Some officials whose lunch programs have been flagged for underfeeding children have suggested that since there are still fat children, they must be eating too much and the nutritional guidelines should instead be changed to even greater reductions in fat and calories.

    Since a study found that these schoolchildren were eating fewer calories than federally suggesting – from 100 – 200+ fewer – and yet schoolchildren were still fat, the school suggested that the federal government — wait for it — lower its suggested caloric intake for schoolchildren.

    Uh, hmm. I thought that the suggestions were based on, I dunno, science. What Florida schools are discovering is that people can take in the same amount of calories a day and be different sizes. Wow, surprise! We’ve known that for a while. Good thing Florida schools are finally catching up with reality. Bad thing that they’re still missing the forest for the trees.

    First Mississippi wants to bar fat people from eating at restaurants, and now Florida schools want federally-mandated malnourishment so that they can starve fat children skinny.

    Yeah, I just love where this is all leading.

    “Lock-in” the Fatty Fat Fats

    I have been reading the article on Junkfood Science here: Children hungry to lose weight

    One of the recommendations of “Hungry for Success” is so-called “lock-ins” of high school students during lunch-time, so they can’t leave the campus (and get that fatty fat fat McDonald’s food which is obviously CAUZING TEH FATZ THINK CHILDREN OMG).

    This is just one of the many problems with this article. Its main thrust, of course, is the implementation of a Food Police to monitor what you eat and turn food choices into moral choices (especially in their pressure on expecting mothers, who we all know are vulnerable to doom-and-gloom language, desiring their babies to be as healthy as possible).

    Another example of what I’ll just call “Fat Capitalism;” my firm belief is that no less than free-market capitalism is necessary to end the oppression of fat people. Why? Because the tools of mass <i>political</i> oppression are precisely the tools a powerful, centralized government possesses. It doesn’t matter if they don’t use those tools against the unpopular segments of society this generation, because with those tools in their possession, all it takes is the political ‘tide’ to turn, and generally unpopular groups turn into scapegoats.

    Tools that centralized governments currently use against their unpopular fat groups: government-mandated healthcare programs (“You make everyone else’s premiums go up, fatty, because of your fat. Therefore, I can force you to diet.”), public education (“Your kids are in our schools and we provide the food and recreation. Hence, we can force your children to take more hours of gym than academics, go to mandated after-school concentration-camp nutrition/starvation programs, and lock them into the school during lunch so they don’t get fatty-fat-fat”), adoption and child services (“You’re too fat to adopt/keep your child.”), and more to be added later.

    I will expound upon “Fat Capitalism” more in a future post. To become free, one must live in a society that allows us to make free choices about our own bodies. Too bad that “Pro-Choice” will soon only apply to abortions, since all our other body choices will be taken away from us.

    Are these assertions even true?

    Reading an article this morning on the recovery from anorexia, I stopped to actually look on the bottom bar of my browser to see where the little underlined key-word links went to. I hovered over the word “fat” and saw it linked to an NYTimes nutrition page.

    Here’s one section of the ‘article’ on fat:

    Side Effects

    Eating too much saturated fat is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. A diet high in saturated fat causes a soft, waxy substance called cholesterol to build up in the arteries. Too much fat also increases the risk of heart disease because of its high calorie content, which increases the chance of becoming obese (another risk factor for heart disease and some types of cancer).

    A large intake of polyunsaturated fat may increase the risk for some types of cancer. Reducing daily fat intake is not a guarantee against developing cancer or heart disease, but it does help reduce the risk factors.

    Whaa? Are these assertions even true? I’m pretty sure that ‘fat’ doesn’t give you cancer; there was a falsehood to this effect circulated last year that was eventually debunked. Check out the Junk Science link on my “Fat Links (Science)” page.

    First they mentioned a diet high in saturated fats causing problems (which has been widely shown), but then they go on to say “Too much fat also increases the risk…” of several horrifying diseases (I’m surprised they didn’t mention anything about diabetes), which seems to signify not a diet high in fat, but being fat “increases the risk” of OMG TERRIBLE DISEASES AND EARLY DEATH WTF.

    And, by the way, how did a bullshit BMI designation suddenly become a “risk factor”? It’s just a designation, a way to group people statistically, and is completely arbitrary.

    Studies have shown there is a U-shaped curve plotting risk of early death against weight; at the extreme ends risk of early death rises (i.e., when one is extremely under- or over-weight). However, the local minimum of the curve (where one is ostensibly healthiest, since they have the lowest probability of dying young) occurs in the 30 < BMI < 25 category, which is what insurance companies have deemed ‘overweight.’

    Well, the curve doesn’t shoot up sharply right after that point, since it’s entering the magically unhealthy ‘obese’ BMI region. It’s a U-curve, shooting up near the extremities, which implies there is likely a grouping of ‘obese’ BMI individuals that are normalized with respect to those extremes that comparably healthy to individuals of ‘normal’ BMI (since that BMI group occurs at the left of the healthiest ‘overweight’ BMI, and the obese group at the right).

    In other words, the ‘normal’ BMI group is already normalized by discounting the severely underweight. I argue that if one discounted the other end of the curve from the ‘obese’ category, obese individuals would have comparable death age-rates as normal individuals.

    Bullshit junk science which has been widely disproved === studies of which have been reported in the NYTimes itself, no less —  appearing on a page purporting to be scientifically sound is journalistic blasphemy. NYTimes, you should be ashamed of yourself.