OMG Zombesity crisis, again.

Australians are more healthy but obesity problem looms large.

Lets just step back and look at that objectively shall we. Australians are more healthy (yay Australians, go us) but Obesity (ZOMG!!!!) looms large. So more of us are obese? But we are more healthy. So what is the fucking issue here again? Oh that’s right fat = bad. So we can ignore the Australians are more healthy for the more headline-ingly (yes I just made up a word, I’m fat I’m allowed to) exciting “Obesity crisis!” Although exactly how it is a crisis if we are more healthy is yet to be explained.

So onto the rest of this article. Chlamydia rates are increasing. OMG! But hang on, if all fat people are as unattractive as the average comments on an article about obesity will tell you then who is having all the sex. Hmmmmmm. *snippy tone* Might want to think about using some condoms in all that sex you are enjoying then *supercilious look* (no I did not make up that word).

Lung disease. Yep this sucks but more likely to be correlated with smoking than obesity or perhaps genetic disposition or work in some industries? Still not seeing the obesity crisis bit.

Diabetes. Okay here we go. What, what do you mean thin people get diabetes too. Really? Are you sure? There are two types? No one generally bothers to differentiate between them you say? Fat and thin people can suffer from either? Or both (no really, how sucky is that?).

One in four adults is obese and one in 12 children. But every Australian has at least one risk factor for poor health (what being alive?) and one in seven have five or more risk factors.

Lets focus on that again. One in four adults are obese. Everyone has at least one risk factor for poor health. One in seven people have five or more risk factors.

So one in four obese, one in seven have five or more risk factors. So some of those obese people out there have less than five risk factors to their health. Making them just the same as a thin person in terms of risk. Who would have thought it.

The most common risk factors are lack of activity and lack of sufficient fruit and vegetable intake. But of course we all know that anyone who isn’t obese is active and eats 5&2 every day. Don’t they?

Plus risk =/= certainty. Otherwise insurance companies wouldn’t exist to make healthy profits. So where is the obesity crisis again?

Categories: education, health, Life, media, medicine

Tags: , ,

19 replies

  1. Oh, but didn’t you know? Being fat is terrible. So terrible, in fact, that some bright spark at the New Matilda (Ben Pobjie, in fact) has had the bright idea that fat-shaming Gina Reinhart is likely to make her back down and stop trying to impose her particular ideology on the majority of Australians.
    Yes, I knew you’d be impressed.

  2. I know Ben likes to write biting satire and when he’s on fire, he is really good. But sometimes he misses the mark, like now, and then you get the comments from people who think he is serious. *headdesk*
    If it looks exactly the same as someone indulging in fat hate, and there is no shortage of them, maybe ur doin it rong?

  3. There’s also the misogynistic crack at Hope in para 2, which rather sets things up badly.

  4. It’s being extremely disingenuous to suggest that obesity has nothing to do with diabetes.

  5. @Agnes I’m not suggesting that obese people don’t get diabetes, but how do you explain thin people who get type 2 diabetes, people who have never been fat? Or obese people who don’t have diabetes? One does not necessarily mean the other.

  6. Agnes: you’re right. There is a link between weight retention and diabetes. Unfortunately for the anti-fat zealots, it runs in the opposite direction to the way that the mainstream media likes to portray it.
    The mainstream picture is that being fat causes type 2 (insulin resistant) diabetes in some nebulous fashion. The emerging picture from decades of medical research is that the causality actually runs in the opposite direction – in fact low-level insulin resistance causes problems in the cellular energy usage and storage cycle, which leads to more energy being retained as fatty tissue. So it’s not that being fat makes you develop diabetes. Instead, the story is that having an early form of insulin resistance makes you prone to retaining body fat, and the whole cycle goes around in a negative feedback loop until it becomes a major inconvenience and reaches the point of being clinically detectable.

  7. Mindy I’m starting to think this is ‘the new climate change’ – where everyone gets to feel totally responsible for just about everything. Here’s The Telegraph’s latest contribution.
    But I must say your theory about condoms reducing weight is interesting.

  8. There is a really weird claim in that Telegraph article that ‘excess consumption shortens lives’. Excess consumption of what? and whose lives is it shortening, because all those ‘fat’ countries are pretty high up on the life expectancy tables, and most predictions continue to point upwards, despite claims of rising obesity.

  9. all those ‘fat’ countries are pretty high up on the life expectancy tables
    Yes, I noticed that as well, but I don’t think we’re allowed to talk about it – not being experts as such.

  10. @kvd – my hubby keeps telling me that sex is good exercise. I’m just suggesting that people doing it, who may be at risk of contracting an STI might want to think about using condoms. Sex probably wouldn’t be a bad way to improve your fitness if you wanted to go that way.

  11. Ugh, sorry for poor linking skills.

  12. I have just been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure and saw a specialist yesterday. I was very pleased she made no reference to my weight (considerable, all my own work, I’m very proud) until late in the convo and then as a throw-away aside as a ‘risk factor’.
    However, when I responded saying that every diet had resulted in my getting bigger -that I lose 5-10k pretty easily, and then nothing, even as I reduce calories and get more and more obsessive and she responded “Yes, your metabolism is resistant to weight loss -the only way you’ll lose weight is a lapband.” Which she said would work, but she wasn’t pushing it.
    I left a bit schemozzled. Both good and dismaying to hear that a diet wouldn’t work – Good to have my experience both acknowledged and validated, dismaying because apparently I still had a fantasy that one day, these pounds would melt away if I found the magic formula.
    Anyway, thanks for the ongoing examination and interrogation of the usual narrative – I need to hear that I’m not dooming the country.

  13. TW: Fat hate.
    So I thought about this and wrote a blog post about this “bikini body” diet thing that’s been going round Facebook, because only skinny people have the right to wear bikinis, right? Second comment I get brings up the “yeah size twelve people fine BUT ZOMG morbidly obese people, they ust need to stop eating so much!”
    Look at the blog of the person who wrote the comment – three posts attacking Melissa McEwan from Shakesville with the title “it’s not fat shaming, it’s idiot shaming.” I’m not linking.
    This is where the “obesity crisis” has gotten us: hate and shame.

  14. The logic of the study that Tamara highlights is seriously flawed (or at least the reporting makes it seem that way). The BBC also reports on it here: and they have a number of related feature pages, like you can put your weight into a field and find out where your average weight compares with the world average (because this is really important news)! The claim is that obesity is more draining on the world’s resources than population growth, but, it’s all based on an assumption that obese people eat a lot more than non-obese people. And this is proved because some of the biggest resource-consuming countries are also the heaviest – like the USA. (Rather than say thinking about how resources are used in those countries and how much food is disposed of without being eaten, and the impact of things like height to average weight and the relationship between both and health, or the fact that professional athletes presumably eat more than most obese people but not questioning whether this is a moral use of resources).
    Part of me wonders whether the actual study really says people in many countries are now consuming more food than in the past and that is unsustainable on a global scale, and this has been turned into an obesity issue.

  15. @Thacky
    Ironically it may be the focus on fatness that leads to better longevity for fat people who go the HAES route rather than dieting. My blood pressure was checked because I am fat so I can work on getting it down through lifestyle changes (eating more veg in my case and getting more exercise – something which isn’t applicable to every fat person) while I control it with medication. If I was thin it never would have been checked and could have gotten higher, with no visible symptoms, until it was quite bad even life threatening. My Dr actually told me the people most at risk of dying from HBP were men who were otherwise feeling well because lack of symptoms masked very high BP which led to strokes etc. but they never went to the Dr because they didn’t feel unwell.

  16. What always gets me with the reporting on health studies is the “people who do X have a lower mortality rate/are less likely to die” nonsense. Sorry, the mortality rate is 100% regardless of what you do or don’t do, however good or bad your health is along the way. You may lower your chances of dying from a particular ailment, or dying early, or whatever – but you aren’t lowering your chances of dying. And then of course there’s the “people who stand on one leg in autumn are twice as likely to die of a heart attack!” screamers. Yeah, but what they conveniently forget to tell you is that you might go from one in a million to two in a million, or some such numbers. Pfft to such reporting.

  17. Louise, bad reporting, but I think they generally mean, the chances of dying within x period, not the chances of dying full stop (which as you say, 100%, or a probability of 1).

  18. @Mindy
    Thanks for your thoughts -you are quite right.
    I remember years ago a (white, thin, male) doctor telling me that to lose weight all I had to do was think like a thin person! I told him if I was thin I would eat far fewer vegies, and far more potato cakes. I also suggested the delusional thinking was not really more healthy. He didn’t like me.
    There’s no doubt I push myself to keep up my fruit/vegie intake due to the urgings of HAES, and if I was thin, I wouldn’t. Thanks for giving me a different perspective.

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