Invisiphilia: Part Four – Camp

This is the fourth installment of my poem in several parts, “Invisiphilia: An Epic.” For an introduction to the piece, please read Part One.

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Part Five >>

Invisiphilia: An Epic

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PART 4: CAMP

I wonder what the other kids

are doing on their break—

Learning to count calories, shun

pasta, meat, and cake?

Learning how to deal with hunger

(biting sharp like knives)?

Running laps until they vomit—

—running for their lives?

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<< Part Three

Part Five >>

A Bad Day for Fat Liberty

And liberty, everywhere.

In Dundee, Scotland, fat kids from a non-neglectful household are being put up for adoption by the state because their parents failed to ‘slim them down.’

Seriously.

Fuck.

I’ve written a few times about how the loss of the individual right to body autonomy and the moral panic over fat can lead to such an outcome, that it was one of the many steps on the road of divesting fat people of their civil rights — that is, in criminalizing fatness.

For everyone who thinks fat hate and fatphobia is no big deal, and is just a personal health issue, please read this and think again.

Big Calorie Brother is Watching You, Fat Kids

In the annals of creepy monitoring of calorie counts, this expensive taxpayer-funded measure to study the calorie intake of children via photographing their lunch trays and ‘their leftovers’ is way up there:

Calorie Camera: Schools Photographing Students’ Lunch Trays

Health officials trying to reduce obesity and improve eating habits at five San Antonio elementary schools unveiled a $2 million research project Wednesday that will photograph students’ lunch trays before they sit down to eat and later take a snapshot of the leftovers.

Parents will receive the data for their children, and researchers hope eating habits at home will change once moms and dads see what their kids are choosing in school. The data also will be used to study what foods children are likely to choose and how much they’re eating.

Okay, fine, so this is just a study, right? Surely this isn’t about trying to socially engineer a marginalized class of people to conform to the ‘better’ characteristics of the elites, right? Wrong:

Researches selected poor, minority campuses where obesity rates and diabetes risk are higher. Among those is White Elementary, which is just off a busy interstate highway on the city’s poor east side, on a street dotted with fast-food restaurants and taquerias.

I like how they say “obesity rates and diabetes risk” are higher. You know they wanted to put “incidence of diabetes” is higher, but instead they had to use a redundant statement to get the word DIABETES in there. Because we all know that despite a very low real incidence of Type II Diabetes in children DIABETES is the bread-and-butter scare-word used to frighten parents and get concerned public activists in a righteous huff over the ‘childhood obesity epidemic’ (which isn’t confined to childhood, nor does ‘obese’ have much meaning since the growth charts are all comparative, and which isn’t an epidemic by any stretch of the imagination).

However, the article does have this refreshing insight which, in the context of the article, would seem to suggest such an expensive taxpayer-funded project in these dark times of deep deficits is short-sighted to say the least:

Researchers warn that obesity is not always the result of children eating too many calories. A previous study by the nonprofit center reported that 44 percent of children studied consumed calories below daily minimum requirements, but nearly one-third were still obese. Seven percent screened positive for type 2 diabetes.

If you as a parent don’t want to consent to having your child’s food photographed and nitpicked? Well, you’re just stupid and ignorant, says the school’s principal (who was very sure to get his name/school in the national news, I’m sure):

Mark Davis, the school’s principal, said getting consent from parents hasn’t been a problem. He suspects the small number of parents who withhold consent don’t understand the project, perhaps thinking it limits what their child can eat at school.

My prediction: next study will be recording the BMIs of students as well as the contents of their eaten lunch.

First Lady Releases Child Obesity Recommendations

…largely blames mothers for child’s obesity.

cue shock and surprise

Link to the AP article

Some particular gems (note throughout these that the child omgbesity is referred to, without challenge, as “the problem”):

Mrs. Obama has said she wants to help solve the problem in a generation so babies born today will come of age at a healthy weight. The report says that could happen if childhood obesity rates dropped to 5 percent by 2030.

Read: Non-experts who don’t apparently know anything about statistics, genetics, and the science of size can now control billions of dollars and influence countless lives as long as they’re somehow connected to an influential politician (this is not new, of course, but it can’t be reiterated too many times in my opinion).

Or: Welcome to the moral panic. Check your deviant status—and your children—at the door.

Or: The report says that one can solve the problem in a generation if rates drop to very low in a generation—i.e., one can solve the problem if one solves the problem—i.e., the utter BS non-speak tautologies presented as some kind of ‘revelation’ in order to push an agenda fueled by bias and the politics of crisotunity rather than facts and reasonable outcomes.

The report says a woman’s weight before she becomes pregnant and her weight gain during pregnancy are two of the most important factors that determine, before a child is born, whether he or she will become obese. [bold mine]

Read: Fat women have a higher likelihood of giving birth to fat children. Before driving in the Duh! Truck, realize that they’re not implying here that fat is genetic. In fact there isn’t the single, slightest nod paid to the overwhelming (77%) role genetics plays in the determination of weight. The report is written on the assumption that weight—for a mother before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and then the weight of the child—are completely controllable. Of course, instead of just assuming fat children would become thin children with the ‘proper’ diet, it attempts to correlate some hoo-doo about the physiology of fat mothers and future fat children. If this seems convoluted to you, then you’re on the right track. Instead of talking about genetics or talking about what fuels significant weight gain in pregnancy (someone more expert correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that large pregnancy weight gains in general are most strongly correlated with a concurrent cessation of a calorie-restricted diet), they couch everything in dubious ‘risk factor’ and correlative language.

(As an aside, if anyone has a copy of this actual report, I’d like to read it. I have a feeling it’s just a data dredge survey of some kind)

Something also very interesting to note, for those who have a nose for these public policy scienterrific press releases: the selective use of numbers. Note that the statistical correlations between fat moms (before pregnancy), weight gain (during pregnancy) are just reported as existent, while the correlation between breast-fed and reduction of obesity likelihood is stated outright (apparently 22%, but remember this is an odds ratio, so what that really means is that if the average bottle-fed child has a 15% chance of becoming obese, if they are breast fed then this goes down by 22% of 15% — that is, by 3%. So if the average bottle-fed child has a 15% chance of becoming obese, the average breast-fed child apparently has a 12% chance. The numbers are a bit less scary, no? That’s why they’re reported as odds ratios instead of real probabilities — to inflate their significance).

Quick Hit – National Review

Here’s someone outside FA that seems to ‘get it’ in many ways. I’ve been seeing many more libertarian-oriented blogs/magazines/papers utilizing some of the language of FA than usual, in commenting on the latest battle in the War on Fat People.

Taking Obesity Too Much to Heart

In the movie The Blind Side, the young Oher is known as “Big Mike,” to his embarrassment. He is big. Massive. One might say obese. Yet, there were no BMI screenings at the Christian school he attended. His teachers gathered to discuss his schoolwork, not to fret about his size. Oher’s size did ultimately matter, but on the football field alone, and there, it was a very good thing.

Put Big Mike in a Massachusetts public school, and this is what transpires. He is weighed, measured and BMIed; an accusatory letter goes home to his parents. Your child, it says, is failing; he is taking up too much space. “What?” his parents exclaim. “We had no idea!” Much healthy living ensues. And in three years, when the next BMI screening rolls around, Big Mike fails the fat test again. Because no matter how much money it spends, the government and its schools cannot make our children lose weight. It can, however, grow quite corpulent itself as it spills into new crannies of our lives.

Eugenics Rears Its Ugly Head, Again

When you deliver your body to the State, expect the State to start:

  1. Making you do things
  2. Preventing you from doing things

In other words, if you hand your body over to someone else, that someone else will claim the right to control it.

Today I was rudely reminded that eugenics, one of the nasty platforms of famous fascist/socialist states like Nazi Germany, is alive and well (h/t Elizebeth). Eugenics posits that one can (must) improve the species by allowing some people to have children, and disallowing others. In our modern time, it has also become more selective: couples can choose to have children with certain genetic makeups and not others. All in the name of having the ‘best’ child, who will become the ‘best’ kind of citizen and human, and that these ‘best’ people are superior in general to naturally-born, unselected people.

In this current example, The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE)), has recommended practitioners or governments which follow the Society’s recommendations, void the Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for certain classes of people, namely (bolding mine):

1) In view of the risks for the future child, fertility doctors should refuse treatment to women used to more than moderate drinking and who are not willing or able to minimize their alcohol consumption.

2) Treating women with severe or morbid obesity required special justification. The available data suggested that weight loss would incur in a positive reproductive effect, although more data was needed to establish whether assisted reproduction should be made conditional upon prior life-style changes for obese and smoking females.

3) Assisted reproduction should only be conditional upon life style changes, if there was strong evidence that without behavioural modifications there was a risk of serious harm to the child or that the treatment became disproportional in terms of cost-effectiveness or obstetric risks.

4) When making assisted reproduction conditional upon life style modifications, fertility doctors should help patients to achieve the necessary results.

5) More data on obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption as well as other life style factors were necessary to assess reproductive effects. Fertility doctors should continue research in this area.

Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (bolding mine):

Article 16
  1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

It is my firm belief that being fat is intertwined with racial status, since fat is preponderantly genetic. Therefore, discriminating against fat people is discriminating against them based on their racial status. Again, fat is not a behavior. Fat is not a disease. Fat is a body type, which is preponderantly genetic.

To understand how ridiculous this is, just consider this one fact: the fear of diabetes is one of the largest health ‘risks’ that anti-obesity crusaders tout when trying to get you into a panicked enough state to agree to their fascist ultimatums. And having diabetes in your immediate family is by far the largest risk factor for having diabetes yourself. Yet, women who already have diabetes — or heart disease, or a history of cancer, or any of the other major ills thrown at the doorstep of fatness — aren’t disallowed from getting reproductive help in the article being discussed here.

This isn’t about the future health of the child (a concept right out of eugenics, by the way), or whatever malarkey they’re concocting to get you to go along with their crusade. Or else women with diseases shown to be genetic wouldn’t be allowed to get reproductive help. No, this is a direct attempt to make formal the second-class status of unpopular groups of people.

As a final note, not only should it be a basic human right for a woman to reproduce if she so chooses. It should also be a basic human right to contract with another individual for services that do not violate other basic human rights. In other words, if there’s a doctor willing to contract with you for IVF services, then you have the right to proceed.

Send Away the Fat Kids

Shudder-worthy article today: Task force: Screen kids, obesity treatment works

An influential advisory panel says school-aged youngsters and teens should be screened for obesity and sent to intensive behavior treatment if they need to lose weight — a move that could transform how doctors deal with overweight children.

Needless to say, sanity watchers points required when reading the entire article.

Ugh, this kind of thing makes me sick…such blatant ‘othering,’ such a huge expense, for: “…intensive treatment can help children lose several pounds — enough for obese kids to drop into the “overweight” category, making them less prone to diabetes and other health problems.”

Several pounds? Twice a week appointments, group ‘therapy’ meant to brainwash children that feeding themselves and/or not having a cookie-cutter body type is a sign of being broken and bad?

Ugh, ugh, ugh. What are your thoughts?

Jay Severin Rails Against MA Anti-Obesity Laws

Jay Severin of 96.9 FM WTKK has been outspoken against the state of Massachusetts and its new anti-obesity campaign put forth by Governor Deval Patrick (D).

Though Jay’s personal views on obesity aren’t fat-friendly by any means, Jay illustrates that one does not have to think well of obesity to fight for the right of individuals not to have their civil rights eroded or taken away entirely because of how much they weigh.

The best political friends of fat people are libertarians, and others who believe in a hard and low limit to government size and power.

You don’t have to be in Massachusetts to listen to Jay. He’s on 3pm – 7pm EST every weekday. Listen online at wtkk.com.

Michael Graham of WTKK has also spoken out for body autonomy and against these intrusive new regulations. Here’s a great quote from his recent blog post (though I don’t agree that “kids eat too much and exercise too little, the point is sound), “Massachusetts: The Fat is in Our Heads“:

Does anyone think the overweight children of the Commonwealth will drop so much as a Whoopee Pie–much less a pound–from Patrick’s efforts? Of course not. Patrick will talk, legislators will vote, taxpayers will foot the bill…and our kids will still eat too much and exercise too little.

Meanwhile, as I write in the Boston Herald today, there’s a very simple action Beacon Hill could take today that would have an immediate, positive impact on our kids. Allow more charter schools.  But Gov. Patrick won’t. Even though a new study proves charter schools outperform everything else, our politicians oppose their expansion to serve more kids.

Fat people, libertarians are the only party out there that doesn’t think we should “do something” about obesity. It’s time to get back to our roots, and embrace libertarianism with gusto, as a vehicle to protect our civil rights.

EDIT: Just to reiterate, I do *not* agree with Jay Severin’s personal attitude regarding fat, especially fat women. In fact, just about five minutes ago he said that shockingly thin models were good role models for women and that our society was very sadly becoming more accepting of fat “bottoms” on women. He also said that he spoke for all men. lol!

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

spacedcowedgirl had a great comment on Rachel’s post on the Wii Fit:

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard that sure, eating disorders are a problem, but fat kids are KILLING THEMSELVES (or their parents are killing them) so desperate times call for desperate measures. I would be willing to bet that a majority of Americans would see basically no problem with shaming a fat child, destroying his or her mental health, and possibly triggering an eating disorder, as long as these steps put the kid into the normal BMI range.

What do you think of this? I, for one, agree with her. The culture is getting so toxic with respect to the Obesity EpiPanic Daily Media Scares (some of which include re-releasing panic-mongering press releases from last year) that people are getting hysteric. They would do anything to get their kids into the Arbitrary McMagic! SuperFittingIn “NORMAL” BMI, including putting kids on diets, sending them to boot-camp style fat camps to punish them for being fat and starve and overexercise them into conformity, even though it’s been shown to cause lower weights as well as stunted heights, and mental deficiencies (note: “malnutrition” doesn’t mean they had too little “good” nutrition defined as lean protein, wheat-based everything, fruits & veggies. They’re also talking about a fundamental lack of (gasp!) calories and (double gasp!) fats and (oh, the gasping horrors!) sugars).