From the Obesity Frontlines

San Francisco is playing host to a series of lectures and mini-conferences on the treatment of obesity. My mom is one of those attending, as a nurse practitioner, to sharpen her treatment skills. So, it’s incidental that while I scrambled downhill to the newsbox in front of our hotel to purchase proof of Osama Bin Laden’s demise in newsprint format for my dad and I to gloat over, I came across these two stories.

One from May 2, 2011 in the USA Today explains a study of weight loss drugs revealed in pre-screening that participants in the trial were “significantly less sexually satisfied than the general population”.

The study indicated the truth behind a common sense conclusion. Severely to moderately obese people, with a BMI above 30, have poor body image and do not orgasm as often.

On another perspective, we have a story in the Fresno Bee, also from May 2. This illustrated a problem with fighting childhood obesity (see image at top). Should we have a problem with depicting childhood obesity in this way? Does “stigmatizing” fat kids make it harder for them to lose weight?

A Yale psychology weighed in with:

“Whether children or adults, if they are teased or stigmatized, they’re much more likely to engage in unhealthy eating and avoidance of physical activity.”

From my own perspective. The only advice I can offer, on my modest weight loss triumph, comes from within.  A child or adult that feels fat, (1) knows their fat, (2) experiences a deep sense of personal loathing. Either this causes them to mentally snap and change everything on their own, or they’ll simply replicate the same behavior they’ve been engaging in for however long they’ve been fat. That’s all I know, anecdotally.

But the profoundly evil bullshit in this article comes from this horrid revelation.

Prepare to get incensed (pdf). “The NAAFA strongly discourages participation in weight-reduction diets” and they justify that stance because people participating in diets aren’t given enough information for them to actually give informed consent. In another statement of purpose, the FATS indicate their stance behind obesity research, so long as that research’s goal is to improve the health and well being of fat people, rather than to encourage weight loss. What the fuck. I am very disappointed that the Fresno Bee, as an institution that claims to utilize journalists, would let this shit fly unchecked. How about a feature story on these jackasses in print side-by-side with their stance against billboards depicting fat kids?

Update: Shortly after I published this story, a group of fat activists stormed the conference my mom was at, a group of a dozen or so obese women, marching to whistles.  They paraded in to the lecture hall, announced their disdain for stigmatizing and discriminating against the obese, etc. etc. and marched out. How serendipitous.

Source and Source

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