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Scare mongering

I’ve never really been one to accept things at face value. Statistics and studies relating to fat and the OMG OBESITY CRISIS are one of those “don’t accept at face value” things for me.

Some studies are funded by the weight loss industry, which of course are perfectly happy to perpetuate the CRISIS myth, because every person who joins up with their industry or wants to get weight loss surgery puts more money in their pockets. Big, Fat Facts has some interesting information about these stats, as do some scholarly journals – the International Journal of Epidemiology is one, but there are many others.

Statistics that are often quoted usually aren’t completely up to date, and are used for scare mongering tactics in order to make people feel that we are more in CRISIS than we are. Yet we accept them as gospel truths.

Yes, I have always been this cynical. I was always taught to question everything. My parents instilled me with a healthy dose of disbelief mixed with a curiosity about everything. University taught me to take this attitude further, but life in general has taught me this cynicism, or whatever you want to call it, as well.

I don’t understand people who don’t question sources or statistics, studies or information given out. It’s like when your mother email forwards you an equivalent of a chain letter, REPOST OR DIE – verify your information.

I don’t understand knee-jerk reactions to fat people, or judgments based on appearances. That person is obese, it must be their fault! That person is HUGE, surely they’re incredibly unhealthy. Yeah? How do you know this?

Or, my favourite – don’t you know you’re killing yourself? You’re going to die!

Well, yes. We are all going to die. The vast majority of us won’t know when it happens. Some people do die from health-related issues, that MAY be related to their weight, but the way people talk, you’d think that all fat people were at risk of dropping dead RIGHT THIS SECOND.

Hysteria gets you nowhere. Citing opinion as fact doesn’t help. All it does is further perpetuate the myth of the greedy fat person, the unhealthy strain on the health system. This? Helps no one.

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