Fat is bad. Fat is ugly. Fat is sloth, gluttony, and lack of control. If you are fat, you are less intelligent than others; you don't know how to take care of yourself. You are lazy and need help. The only problem is, when you do ask for help, chances are good you will be met with judgement and ridicule masked by the "science" that supports it.
Our beliefs about fat are only made worse by obesity research that claims ".....even being a bit overweight is risky." This was the latest claim from a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Body-Mass Index and Mortality among 1.46 Million White Adults, December 2, 2010). It hit the media faster than two freight trains, (one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph)...sorry...couldn't be helped.
|"You've put on 5 pounds Governor. |
I give you one year to live."
Placing too much ....weight (pardon the pun) on the BMI is dangerous because it doesn't account for people with a higher amount of lean muscle (muscle weighs more than fat). Therefore, you could find that an "over-fat" person has the same BMI as an exerciser. More importantly, however, there is a ton of research pointing to the importance of physical activity to help stave off death (to a point of course) and chronic disease. Steven Blair, an obesity researcher at the University of South Carolina has been examining fit and fat since I was in my undergrad (a long long time ago). He suggests there isn't enough information available about individual physical activity in this, and other studies, to suggest overweight may increase your chances of an early death or illness. Moreover, he challenges the usefulness of the BMI on predicting mortality.
|This is my all-time favorite photo defining |
(in my opinion) what health is perfectly!
Health includes fat. Health is about physical activity and balanced nutrition. Health is about wine and nachos. Health is about happiness and abundance and not drudgery and lack. You can be healthy and enjoy a long life with fat on your body. I may not be an obesity research, but I have read the research. I have seen the damage this fear does to people. I have witnessed obese people being abused on the street, being told what to buy in the grocery store, and being poked in the stomach by strangers. I have listened to their stories and seen their tears. It is also our North American reality and for the sake of our health, it needs to change.
I'm not saying "stop the research". We need research to cover all sides of the argument. What we don't need is a one-sided focus interpreted by those who don't ask (or don't know how to ask) the important questions.
I hope this doesn't sound like a crazy-women's rant (my man-friend told me I was ranting during my last blog). I have a passion for the subject matter and a passion for helping everyone feel happy about who they are today and not who they could be .....10 pounds lighter.
That's all. Now go enjoy a glass of red and toast your fabulousness (I'm getting wellies....feeling the love).