Fat Bingo: Fat and Fit Article

Using the article “Fat but fit? Big gray area confounds scientists“.

“Is it possible to be fat and fit? Perhaps, researchers say, but losing weight may make you even better off.”

Message: Don’t get your hopes up, fatty, exercise and a healthy diet are only worthwhile if you lose weight—if your weight is stable you might as well skip the gym.

“No excuse to pack on pounds”

Message: Fat people really want to be MORE fat and are looking for excuses to gain weight.  Always.

“Obesity is a major public health issue”

Message: Fat people are a drain on society.

“Is it really protective to be metabolically healthy?”

Message: Health markers like cholesterol or blood pressure or insulin sensitivity can be valuable in helping thin people avoid problems, but are only valuable in fat people if they reinforce that weight loss is needed.

Then there’s a bit about a 2008 study I’d like to track down, where 20 metabolically healthy obese women and 24 metabolically at-risk women went on a six-month diet to lose weight and some of the metabolically healthy women ended up decreasing their insulin sensitivity.  Then the author contrasts this with a more recent study that used diet and exercise — you remember exercise, that thing which often improves insulin sensitivity? — and found that insulin sensitivity didn’t decrease while losing weight in the study that used exercise.

Yes, this does appear to be comparing apples with oranges and saying, hey, apples are really orange!  Or something.   Head, meet desk.  And nothing about how weight was affected long-term, of course, because long-term studies are more expensive and tend not to show much weight loss and are therefore depressing or something.

Then, finally, at the bottom of the article:

[G]iven that most people fail to maintain weight loss (and findings that yo-yo weight loss and gain may be psychologically and physically harmful), the best message for the metabolically healthy subset is unclear.

“Most people fail to maintain weight loss” but this may only trouble the “metabolically healthy” fat people?   Bwah?  Hello?

“Whether we should be actively promoting weight loss knowing that over 90 percent of these individuals are going to fail is a question that I don’t think anyone can answer at this point,” [Jennifer Kuk, a professor at York University in Toronto] said.

Here’s an answer for you:  NO.   No, don’t promote weight loss.  No, don’t push weight loss.   Permanent, sustainable weight loss is not possible for most people, and for many, dieting is tied to long-term WEIGHT GAIN.

The frustrating thing about this article?  There’s good facts there about how fat people who are metabolically fit tend to be more active.  There’s a closing quote about how exercise can increase your fitness, whether it causes weight loss or not.  This could have been an article on how exercise can be good for you and that it’s not about weight loss.

Instead, it’s a near-Bingo.

11 thoughts on “Fat Bingo: Fat and Fit Article

  1. But if they don’t continue to push weight loss, the diet industry and pharmaceutical companies won’t continue to make tons of money off of fat people. It’s not about our health, it’s about how much money they can get out of our pockets and into theirs by making us think that, even though we’re probably healthy, if we just lost weight, we’d be even healthier (yeah, right, and I have a bridge for sale, but I don’t think they’re buying [and I’m not buying their line of crap either]). Corporate greed trumps truth and scientific fact every time.

  2. I’d read that article yesterday and was thinking some of the same things. So close, yet so far! Why is it so hard for most people to accept that being fat is not so bad, and that it doesn’t necessarily need to be fixed? It’s like The Invisible Truth or something.

  3. You know what I think happened? Someone threw a cheap Somebody Else’s Problem Field around the concept of fit and fat. Why do I think that? Because even when people study the question and the findings are irrefutably that eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly are far, far, FAR more important than the number the scale shows when you stand on it in terms of overall health, both doctors, scientists, and journalists continue to ignore those facts in favor of the concept that individual BMI (a concept that was never meant to exist at all, incidentally) is the only measure of health.

  4. I’m proof positive that being fat isn’t the death sentence everyone thinks. This morning, I was trying to get off a train but the conductor suddenly started it up again and I fell on the platform. I landed half on my butt and half on my side. Except for some bruises, no bleeding and no broken bones. That extra padding (as well as semi-regular exercise) I think really contributed to not getting a more serious injury.

    We just need to be left alone and if we want to make a change, it’s up to us and nobody else.

  5. Vesta44, I’ve heard that one for decades. There’s much truth about the money aspect. But can’t people think of other ways to make money off us? Y’know, like nice clothing and shoes and sturdy furniture and more social events? Some companies, to be fair, already do this but we need more. In this financial climate, why should there still be this large underserved group?

  6. “At the population-wide level, BMIs over 30 are associated with numerous health problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But the measurement is less sensitive when it comes to predicting individual health. ”

    Looking at that article again…does this quote sound, oh, I don’t know, ridiculous? Aren’t the “individuals” they’re talking about, um, the very same “individuals” who actually make up the “population”? You can’t have one without the other.

    • I think the quoted info is meant to say that BMI correlates with some health problems if you’re looking at a large group but that a specific individual’s BMI doesn’t necessarily indicate anything.

      • I guess it’s just difficult for me to just view numbers and not people. Those numbers are real people who have a whole host of differing circumstances, environmental factors, and genetics. Like special snowflakes….lol. No two are exactly alike. It’s hard to endure generalized information from doctors who only see the numbers and don’t look deep enough into your own unique attributes. I think this means that I just hate statistics about people….too many variables to account for accurately.

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