- A fit fat person is usually healthier than a sedentary thin person.
- Obese people (BMI of 30 to 34.9) have no greater risk of early death than those of “normal” body size (BMI 18.5 to 24.9). Most people who fit the clinical definition of obese are in the smaller categories.
- “Normal-weight” people who think they’re fat have a lower quality of life. Why?
It distracts from the real issues:
- Weight discrimination in healthcare prevents proper diagnoses
- Health practitioners already are too likely to diagnose on body size instead of symptoms and facts
- Exercise improves health, but it often doesn’t cause weight loss. If your goal is weight loss, it’s easy to get discouraged and quit exercising.
- Fat bias prevents fat people from getting jobs, from getting raises, and from getting proper healthcare treatment. Society’s response? “Prevent obesity!”
It’s a win for the weight cycling industry:
- Diet programs benefit from the (short-term, usually temporary) success of diets. Most people diet to lose weight and then regain. A significant subset then go on a new diet, regain, try another new diet, and so on. Someone may do Weight Watchers, then NutriSystem, then Jenny Craig, then Weight Watchers again. Who’s making money in this situation?
- When lost weight is regained, the dieter is blamed – not the diet.
- New York Times reporter Gina Kolata wrote in Ultimate Fitness: The Quest for Truth about Health and Exercise that news agencies receive hundreds of press releases a week from diet programs, authors, and researchers. Most have something to sell. Weight loss is a terrific product to sell, because it’s so often temporary.
- Ever notice how weight loss ads extolling how someone lost 40 or 50 or 60lbs will include a note “Results not typical”? There’s a reason for that.
Unfortunately, what’s good for the weight cycling industry isn’t necessarily good for patients:
- Contrary to popular belief, weight loss usually results in being less fat, not thinness.
- Being “less fat” doesn’t necessarily help.
- Dieting is a risk factor for eating disorders.
- Waiting until you lose weight before healthcare practitioners take you seriously can have long-term repercussions. Including death.