Friday, October 28, 2011


So SO SO glad to be past the digestive system part of my bio class. Half the chapter was about nutrition, meaning that there was a ton of “OBESITY CRISIS OMGZDEATHFATZ!” There was the obligatory “studies have found a ::coughmumble::correlation::coughmumble:: between obesity and DEATHLY DYINGS OF DEATH!” the so strident point of the initial two chapters about correlation=/=causation got tossed out the window as the chapter then launches into the evils of being fat.

I kinda saw this coming. In an earlier chapter it talks about adipose cells and how they are finding that fat people simply have more of them. Those cells don’t come out of nowhere, we are born, live and die with them. And instead of just leaving it at that, the book’s authors jump to the conclusion that the solution to the “obesity crisis” is to figure out how people with more adipose cells can have those “excess” cells removed. You know, instead of FUCKING ACCEPTING THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST FAT AND THAT THE FAT IS NOT THE PROBLEM.

Sure, there are health problems that can be attributed to food quality and activity level, as well as environmental and economic factors. The ACTUAL evidence (as opposed to a correlation) suggests that these problems occur just as readily in “normal” and “underweight” people exposed to those same factors and that their health outcomes are actually worse because its assumed that they are healthy because they aren’t fat. I really have to find the links to those studies. Especially because my text book steam rolls right the fuck over the fact that while there are fewer of those studies than there are of the FAT IS GOING TO MURDER YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN IN YOUR SLEEP THEN CACKLE EVILLY AS IT PISSES ON YOUR CARPET correlational studies, the quality of the evidence is considerably different and by the books own standards, considerably more valid.

My spouse is a perfect example. Zie has always been bean-pole skinny and unable to gain significant weight no matter WHAT diet zie had. Hir doctors always ignored this, and gave hir a clean bill of health every time. Turns out zie had ciliac and was dealing with a massive nutritional deficit because of the damage to hir intestines.

At worst, being fat can be a symptom of a larger, systemic issue. Its not even a necessary one. But mostly? Fat is just a part of your body, doing what it has evolved to do. The fear mongering about fat? Is having a real, measurable impact on public health.
This is one place with the scientific community where I really sorta lose my shit. THIS IS BAD SCIENCE! I am almost as upset at the bastardization of a system that is supposed to be constructed to avoid shit like this than I am at the actual harm these assumptions are doing to me, mine and the larger human community. YOU ARE DOING SCIENCE WRONG AND GODAMMIT THAT PISSES ME OFF.

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