Read this! Quick!
excerpt (and edit) after the jump!
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Obesity’s health effects could have more to do with feeling bad about being fat than actually being overweight, a new study shows.
Researchers who looked at a nationally representative group of more than 170,000 US adults found the difference actual weight and perceived ideal weight was a better indicator of mental and physical health than body mass index (BMI).
“The obesity ‘epidemic’ might have a lot more to do with our collective preoccupation with obesity than obesity itself,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Peter Muennig of Columbia University in New York City, told Reuters Health. “We still need to focus on healthy diet and exercise as public health officials, but we need to take fatness out of the equation. Were we to stop looking at body fat as a problem, the problem may well disappear.
Jeezumcrow I cannot believe this! What an incredibly positive step in understanding the difference between fat and health.
This is just exactly what I’ve been saying and screeching and proclaiming for about ten years now. To wit: stop treating fat people like second-class, non-human, lazy, stupid, diseased-riddled moral failures and I bet, just bet that our health, physical and mental, improves 1000%.
And those of us who have nary an “obesity related” health problem (me, me, pick me!) will stop believing that the slightest twinge, cough, or muscle ache from walking dogs for several hours every day is the dreaded Obesity Epidemic finally come to collect its latest not-at-all-innocent victim.
Edit: That’s it, Beverly. What would the world – and our health – be like if we didn’t feel apologetic for the space we take up.
The lead researcher the the study, Dr. Muennig of Columbia University admits,
“There needs to be a realization among public health officials and medical professionals that the messages we are giving the public could be doing more harm than good.
It has long been recognized that “fat” does not necessarily equal unhealthy. Nonetheless, we doctors often have a very visceral reaction when we see an obese person in our office. This visceral reaction sets off a red light that says, ‘tell this person to lose weight.’ That is not the right way to approach obesity.”
Y’all should also check out First Do No Harm, a blog where anonymous contributors share their stories of unfair and discriminatory treatment at the hands of medical professionals.
How many fat people stay away from medical care until they are seriously ill, simply because they are afraid of how they will be treated by biased practitioners who have a visceral reaction the way they look? That, to me, is the true epidemic here.