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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,another GUEST BS: Is demonizing obesity discriminatory? (36) RE: BS: Is demonizing obesity discriminatory? 01 May 04


I am always skeptical of journalistic accounts of scientific studies. The preponderance of the best research still shows that

1) Obesity is a dangerous condition that CAN exacerbate heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other killer diseases.

2) Obesity has a partly genetic basis; among identical twins separated at birth and raised apart, there is a high correlation of obesity (ie if one is obese, the other is much more likely to be obese).

3) Even if it is not genetically determined for you, if you become obese as a child it will be very difficult to ever be normal weight again. It is possible, but much more difficult than for those who became obese as adults. This has to do with the way we store fat (by cell division as children, cell growth as adults). It was partly the original research of a scientist in my family that showed this. One hypothesis is that Americans are getting fatter because of what we feed our kids BEFORE they become obsessed with weight.

4) Obese people in general live shorter lives than non-obese counterparts (if you don't believe doctors, ask insurance companies).

This means that

1) obese people ARE likely to be in poorer health because of their obesity, despite what our decidedly non-expert GUEST thinks

but

2)there is not necessarily anything they can do about the obesity (besides risky surgery), despite what our equally non-expert Martin Gibson has to say.

Therefore, fat people should not be judged or dicriminated against.

But that doesn't necessarily mean "it's all right to fat." It would depend what you meant by "all right." It's like saying "it's all right to have heart disease." On the one hand, it's certainly morally all right, and no one should make fun of people with heart disease OR the obese. On the other hand, it would be better for you and your loved ones if you were not obese.

The tone, it seems to me, comes from the Guardian and times articles, not from scientists who recommend weight loss...


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