Skip to comments.The Epidemic That Wasn't (Obesity "epidemic" greatly exaggerated)
Posted on 03/06/2008 3:49:03 PM PST by Marie2
The obesity epidemic has absolutely been exaggerated, said Dr. Vincent Marks.
I once ticked off the local franchiser of Weight Watchers by pointing out my weight gain after quitting smoking was no big deal.
OK, the column should not have pointed out that the Nazis did not feed people to death in the Holocaust.
Did I mention shes Jewish?
Now we have been told to the point of ridiculousness that we face an obesity epidemic an abuse of a noun that really medical professionals, of all people, should avoid. The definition of overweight and obese were redefined to the point where anorexics became chubby. OK, an exaggeration on my part.
But not by much.
When someone 5-1 and weighing 99 pounds is considered normal and someone 6-foot and weighing 185 is overweight, then it is small wonder that the world is considered to be having an obesity epidemic. Check out the BMI calculator.
Sanity is making a comeback, though. Maria Cheng, APs medical writer, reported skeptics live in the medical community.
The obesity epidemic has absolutely been exaggerated, said Dr. Vincent Marks, emeritus professor of clinical biochemistry at the University of Surrey.
The numbers are not there. At least not in Britain. Reported Cheng, According to national health statistics released last month, from 1993 to 2006, relatively little change was noted in weight gain, with men and women gaining an average of about 4 kilograms (9 pounds). In children, no significant gains were recorded.
And there is also this natty little problem, which Cheng reported: In 2005, Katherine Flegal of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, finding that overweight people typically live longer than normal-weight people. More than a dozen other studies have come to the same conclusion.
This is not to say that obesity is not a problem. But being overweight does not seem to be a problem. You may even live longer. And the problems seem exaggerated. It is as if some people want there to be an epidemic so they can cure it.
I’m afraid Don Sturber would retract his retraction if he visited any Wal-Mart in Ohio. For that matter, virtually anywhere in Ohio. There are hugh plowpeople in the heartland.
I don’t know, there a LOT of fat people around, including fat kids, which were a rarity when I was growing up. And it’s true that doctors are seeing type II diabetes show up in children, which used to be unheard of. Hyperbole to call it an Epidemic? Possibly, but there is a problem with people eating too much and exercising too little. Whether there should be a government role in all this is another question entirely.
Incidentally, I believe the study in question referred to elderly overweight people, not the population in general. The theory being that seniors with some fat reserves could better withstand a serious illness.
Its seems obvious that the weight at which people live the longest should be considered the norm, and the definition of overweight and underweight should be applied at the point a significant decrease in life span starts in either direction.
Failure to do something like this when defining medical standards seems like fraud to me. I can't think its because there is a lack of research data, or that the folks in the field are just stupid. So what else are we supposed to think?
People say, “look at people in your class yearbook and see how thin kids used to be,” and I did just that yesterday, which is why my mind is on this subject. We are moving and the big box of memorabalia came down from the rafters.
Anyway, the kids in the 70s in my high school and jr high look just like the kids around here today. We had some fatties back then, just a few, and some who were a little chunky but looked healthy, and then lots of thins. Just like the kids I see walking around here when school lets out.
If you read Surber’s article, the average weight gain since ‘93 has been about 9 pounds, and of course the population has aged. So it would hardly account for an unusual amount of people waddling at Wal-Mart.
There is an obesity epidemic in America. I see it each and every time that I go to the store. If it is not obesity, I’m not sure what the heck you would call it.
i guess it “looks bigger” than it really is. bwhaha!
This is a true story..I was waiting for a table at a seafood buffet at one of the casinos. Right in front of me was a table with five of the fattest women I had ever seen. TWO OF THEM WERE USING OXYGEN AND IN WHEELCHAIRS. The shells from the crab were falling off their plates onto the floor as they were stuffing their fat mouths. I got so disgusted, I told my husband I had to leave. I was almost crying..I looked around me at the fat people smoking, gambling, drinking and eating and I thought "is this what our soldiers are dying for?" I know it's not really like that, but for that split second, I was absolutely mortified...and still am when I think about it.
Am I being judgemental? Yout bet I am. I wish more people were judgemental. I credit the death of shame for some of our weight problems.
If so the healthful norm for that age category is what is now called "overweight". Thus the standard is wrong and should be adjusted to include age. Seems pretty obvious.
Of course, the heavyweight boxing champion at that time was only 188 lbs.
It's fast food and the availability of the food without exercise. A lot of people gain 5-10 lbs during the Thanksgiving to New Year's timeframe and never take it off. So after ten years, it's an extra 50-100 lbs, depending on the person. Just sorta inches up on you.
Your statement is subjective, though. If statistics say the average adult weighs 9 pounds more than they did in the early 90s, and the average adult is older, why these subjective observations of fat ladies on oxygen stuffing crab to dictate health policy in this country, or fat butts at WalMart? We can’t base scary health declarations on subjective observation.
I can think of several really fat people I knew when I was a kid. I can also think of several really fat people I know now.
Please see my post #10. Most people would gain those 9 pounds in two holiday seasons.
Around here, go to any shopping mall, close your eyes, count to 100 and take a picture of the first group of 20 or more, and convince me that it’s not an epidemic...
Weather change - NOW!
I do see your point, I go out to places and am like; "wow, do they own a mirror 'cause that's a lot of meat and not enough packaging".
But did you ever consider the places that you see these people?
Not a direct cross but my friends and I would frequent this corner bar on Friday nights now and then and it appeared to be a normal, young crowd. On rare occasions, we would show up in the middle of the day- you would think that the entire neighborhood was nothin' but nasty old toothless drunks from the people that haunted the place... not that there's anything wrong with that.
Just like second hand smoke?
It worked for them that time. Why not keep trying?
The older you get, the heavier you are more likely to be.
Thus an aging population will push the average up some.
The basis of the epidemic could then be explained by a supposed epidimec of aging.
Went to Bon Jovi concert in Phila Sat. night . The amount of OBESE ( really fat ) people in attendance was astounding . We sat on the upper level and a lot of the people had to rest every 5-10 steps because they were out of breath . I would say that 80% of the people around us were overweight from 25-even 100 pounds . This was true across all age levels. The majority of these people were busy eating all kinds of crap( ice cream,nachos with mucho cheeze etc .) during the concert. Really was an eye opener .
There are a lot of problems with the BMI — starting with the fact that it varies by the square of height, rather than the cube of height, which is how volumes (and the mass of said volumes) vary.
However, this is not a good example to use, because the math does not support the argument. The ratio of the cube of the two heights mentioned is 1:1.64. If 99 pounds is increased by a factor of 1.64 — that yields 163 pounds. On that basis, it would be possible for the 185 pound six footer to be 22 pounds overweight. /mathnerd mode
When I was in school, there was one completely obese girl..I even remember her name...FRANCES VAN WORMER. Her life was made a living hell. It was horrible. I was a big girl, maybe 10-20 pounds overweight which I lost in high school because I WANTED TO LOOK GOOD...DUH...if people kept telling me I should love my body no matter what it looked like, I might never have lost it and that 10-20 pounds probably would have turned into 50-100. That’s what’s going on...the shame is gone...and so it goes...
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