A Nice Follow-Up – Obesity Epi-Panic

If you haven’t already, please read Sandy’s “The sky is not falling” post over at Junkfood Science. I think it serves as a great follow-up to my post this week on the Obesity Epi-Panic.

Summary: A new study came out: Americans are living longer and are healthier than ever before. We are not dropping like flies due to obesity. Fat kids aren’t dropping dead from heart attacks in their teens. Fat young adults aren’t dropping dead from heart attacks in their 20s, 30s.

One of the most important parts of a moral panic is called “Disproportionality.” That is, the reaction to the current folk devil is highly disproportionate to the actual threat that folk devil poses. This could also be in the form of some “looming threat lying down the road,” i.e., that this current generation of kids is going to die in hordes in their 50s.

Dang, I had no idea fifteen extra lbs of adipose tissue was so toxic, did you?

The point is, we all need to TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Shut off the local news. Stop reading the health columns of the NYTimes. Ignore water-cooler diet comparisons. And USE YOUR COMMON SENSE.

It’ll be okay, I swear. 🙂

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2 comments on “A Nice Follow-Up – Obesity Epi-Panic

  1. vesta44 says:

    I read Sandy’s post, and the thing that amazed me was the life expectancy for people born in the early 1900s (48 for men and 51 for women). Now, all of my grandparents were born around 1900 (and my dad’s mother’s sister). All of them lived well into their 80’s (and one grandfather died at 90). Guess what? Every one of them was at least “overweight” and some would have been called “obese”. My parents were born in the 1930s, neither of them was fat as a kid/teen, but gained weight after 2 kids were born/as they aged. They’re still alive (at 74 and 75), in spite of what the media would have us believe about fat people dying like flies from teh dreaded fat.
    That’s one of the main reasons I don’t believe anything the media has to say about fat people dying early (I haven’t seen it happen, unless it happened to fat people who had WLS, I’ve seen 5 people I know have it and die from it after they got thin, 3 of them were in one family, and that was back in the 80’s). So WLS has been killing people for almost 30 years now, that I personally know of, and probably for longer than that. I’ll take my chances with my fat, thank you very much (especially since I was lucky and my failed WLS didn’t kill me).

  2. anniemcphee says:

    The only thing that genuinely scares me is that, because people do fall for all these panics to some degree, it is the best marketing in existence for big government to sell its “solutions” in the form of massive power grabs and fascism. People DO grab onto these pie-in-the-sky government solutions, thinking the loss of liberty is worth it. It isn’t. Give me liberty or give me death. NOTHING is worth our liberty. But there is a headlong rush to give up our liberties in the name of safety, healthcare, and various goodies.

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