Yesterday’s headline story was all about fat people. Not just ordinary overweight folks, but F-A-T ones: morbidly obese avoirdupoidically challenged Americans. Seems a study just out claims obesity spreads (no pun meant) rather like a virus. Sort of contagious.
Obesity can spread from person to person, much like a virus, researchers are reporting today. When a person gains weight, close friends tend to gain weight, too……..people were most likely to become obese when a friend became obese. That increased a person’s chances of becoming obese by 57 percent.
There was no effect when a neighbor gained or lost weight, however, and family members had less influence than friends….Proximity did not seem to matter: the influence of the friend remained even if the friend was hundreds of miles away…. The same effect seemed to occur for weight loss, the investigators say. But since most people were gaining, not losing, over the 32 years of the study, the result was an obesity epidemic. — NY Times
Wonderful news for the enabling industry, particularly the Czars of Eating Disorders, whose job is to make fat people (and other akrasiacs) feel better about themselves without challenging them to change. See, it’s not your fault if you don’t push back from the table, or mix in a mouthful of greens with your twice-daily helping of cholesterol a la mode, or cut down from your 6 cherry Cokes and 4 beers daily. Your best friend is a lard-ass, too. We’re all in this together, see?
Dr. Nicholas Christakis…a principal investigator in the new study, says one explanation is that friends affect each others’ perception of fatness. When a close friend becomes obese, obesity may not look so bad….“You change your idea of what is an acceptable body type by looking at the people around you,” Dr. Christakis said. (op.cit.)
I guess this also explains sexual activity in biker bars and leper colonies. Pigs don’t mind the smell of pigs, so why would fatties turn off other fatties?
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, there’s this:
The stigma that society attaches to obesity can cause children immediate, and possibly lasting, harm, according to a research review …. Overweight children and teens are commonly teased or ostracized by their peers, and sometimes treated differently by teachers and even parents. This, the review shows, can lead to low self-esteem, poor school performance, avoidance of physical activity and, in the most serious cases, depression and suicide. — ScientificAmerican.com
So on the one hand, associating with fat people reinforces further fat-making behavior, but the unfatted community, including (presumably unfat) parents, tend to drive the fat little brats to hari-kariville. Do I have this right? Or maybe there’s some tiny inconsistency in the alleged science reported here.
I’ll leave it to the
apologists experts to sort out — but my bias is clear. This is all unadulterated horseshit aimed at ensuring the vocational viability of pseudo-scientists called “psychologists” who ply their sick witchcraft on the world’s weak, vulnerable, and gullible.
Got a weight problem? Drop your knives and forks, folks. Your first step is just that fucking simple. I’ll send my bill in the morning.