Seeking Fat Acceptance (Read 3393 times)

Fightinlibrarian


    Society doesn't "thrust" any image into our faces.  It's all a matter of where you are looking. Some of the biggest stars that are known throughout the world don't look like they have an eating disorder. I know there are examples of celebrities that have the "self-starvation" look, but for the most part celebrities don't. 

    While eating disorders are not to be taken lightly, but you are looking at extreme cases and a much smaller percent of the population.  I have never seen ad campaigns telling girls that they have to be thin and promote eating disorders.  "Society" doesn't put pressure on girls to be thin, it's usually factors closer to the person suffering the disorder than some celebrity or tv show.  Yeah it is sad that a 10 year old has to spend a week in the hospital, but her eating disorder has little to do with "societal pressures".  

    About 10% of the US suffers from an eating disorder, but 62% of the US is overweight or obese; which is the bigger problem? I know that you are using hyperbole and emotion to try and get your point across but I don't see why you think society is having this big problem with "pin thin perfection."

     

    Maybe if more "normally proportioned people" were plastered acrossed our billboards and tv screens, this wouldn't be the case:

     

    Eating disorders (e.g., bulimia, anorexia nervosa) are a significant public health problem and increasingly common among young women in today’s westernized countries (Griffin & Berry, 2003; Levenkron, 2000; Hsu, 1990). According to the National Eating Disorder Association (2003), 5–10% of all women have some form of eating disorder. Moreover, research suggests that 19–30% of female college students could be diagnosed with an eating disorder (Fisher, Golden, Katzman, & Kreipe, 1995). A growing body of research indicates that there is a link between exposure to media images representing sociocultural ideals of attractiveness and dissatisfaction with one’s body along with eating disorders (Levine & Smolak, 1996; Striegel-Moore, Silberstein, & Rodin, 1986). The media’s portrayal of thinness as a measure of ideal female beauty promotes body dissatisfaction and thus contributes to the development of eating disorders in many women (Levine & Smolak, 1996). Cultural and societal pressure on women to be thin in order to be attractive (Worsnop, 1992; Irving, 1990) can lead to obsession with thinness, body-image distortion, and unhealthy eating behaviors.

     

    And what is exactly classified as "overweight"?  Some people have different genetics...not everyone is born with a rapid-fire metabolism or a svelte body structure.  Shall we persecute these individuals because they don't fit an "ideal"?  I know many incredibly active and healthy individuals who may pass as "overweight" but are very muscular.  Is it really fair to judge a person based on their body weight?  As a former college athlete, I knew a coach from an opposing team who made her women's xc team attain a "race weight" prior to the start of their season.  Needless to say, she made her team into skeletons.  Half of them ended up with bone fracture injuries and her best and thinnest runner starved herself to the point of passing out just a few meters from crossing the finish first at the national meet.  Athletes passed her as she hadn't the strength to stand.  Fortunately, that coach was replaced shortly after...  But yes, the pressure exists and cannot be denied.  Especially for the female of the species...

    Fightinlibrarian


      I guess you missed the word success...that's kind of the point of weight loss, right...losing it for good, without developing an eating disorder.

       

      As for ads...there is so much wrong with this one.  Eat numerous cartons of crappy "yogurt" loaded with HFCS (no mention of eating yogurt as a treat, in addition to healthier meals).  And she doesn't appear to be overweight in the first place.

       

       

      I always thought the same thing when this commercial came on...  The message always seemed like, "yeah you are a woman of average if not thin weight, but you must live off of yogurt to become thinner because you are female" as the husband who clearly gets to be himself and eat what he wants freaks out at all of the food in the fridge being replace with yogurt...


      A Dance with Monkeys

        And what is exactly classified as "overweight"? 

         

        Well. There is a lot of research on this.  Most of it looks at BMI categories.  Since this is population-based research, it is more likely to represent the truth about populations than about individual anecdotes, but it is also far less likely to be biased by personal beliefs that are not supported by any evidence (e.g., "I'm just big-boned").

         

        From an old post:

         

        Here is a corpus of literature from different investigators and different patient/subject populations from around the world. The studies all test different hypotheses. The studies show consistently that high BMI and low BMI are independent predictors of death and disease and that these predictors remain when controlled for confounders such as comorbidiites, level of exercise, smoking, socioeconomic status. Most of these are in JAMA.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18056904

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16505525

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17986696

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16551713

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16478900

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15840860

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17670912

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15353531

         

        The science is fairly consistent and clear. BMI > 30 (note, not >25) is associated with excess morbidity and early mortality, as is BMI < 18. This makes sense. Most folks with BMI > 30 have excess fat. Most folks with BMI < 18 are malnourished.

        Note. I said "most". I did not say "all".

         

        In summary, given the current science we have, excess fat is an independent risk for excess morbidity, early mortality and excess cost to society (in terms of lost productivity and increased healthcare costs).

         

        ---

         

        And as long as I am dragging out old posts, here are some regurgitated BMI rants:

         

        ---

         

        The BMI rant:

         

        BMI is a simple calculation, height divided by weight squared using metric units.  The BMI categories are based on general statistica about the population at large (heh) and, as above, do not account for body fat percentage or musculature.  The BMI for somebody who is 5-10 and 145 lbs is 20.8, which is squarly in the "normal" range of 18.5-25.


        When most athletic folks complain about BMI, they are complaining because they are muscled and their muscle weighs a lot, giving them a calculated BMI category of "overweight" or "obese" when they are all-muscle.  These folks are misinterpreting the BMI, which is meant to serve as a screen for obesity.  A screening test is meant to find all cases of a disease, even though some of those it identifies may not have the disease.  Used as a screen, all people who are obese should be found by an elevated BMI, but some of those found with the elevated BMI will be football quarterbacks.  That is why there are follow up tests, such as whether the person looks fat, or the results of a body fat test.

        However, that is not how BMI is meant to be used.  BMI is a screening test to help identify folks with obesity, not a diagnostic test to calculate bodyfat.  Most 200 lb Americans are not Arnold Schwarzenegger and are not all-muscle.  That it happens not to be very accurate for a bunch of freaky runners does not mean the test is garbage.

        And also, how do YOU know your overweight body mass index is due to muscle and not fat?  Answer: unless you have had a body fat measurement, you don't.

        To be crystal clear: BMI is the number.  Not the word.  The number is always accurate.  The word is an interpretation that has to do with population-based statistics.  The word "overweight" does not mean "fat", but rather something along the lines of "more weight than average".  I am sorry if that word offends you because you beleive it implies "fat".  The fact of the matter is that most people whose BMI falls into the category of "overweight" do have excess fat, even athletes.  And they have a higher risk of dropping dead at an early age or developing diabetes or other conditions related to excess fat.  This is a fact, supported by science.  AND, many athletes who are overweight due to muscle today remain overweight as their muscle inexorably becomes fat as they age.  Also a fact.

        I am sorry if the word "overweight" offends you.  If your BMI can be categorized as overweight, you might have excess fat, no matter how badly you want to believe otherwise (or how much you believe yourself to be an "athlete", whatever that means).  If your BMI can be categorized as overweight, go get your body fat measured.  Targeted data is better and safer than denial.

        From the CDC, paid for with your tax dollars:

        How is BMI used?

        BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults. However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool. For example, a person may have a high BMI. However, to determine if excess weight is a health risk, a healthcare provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.

         

        ---


        The BMI is a very useful number in terms of guiding policy and services and for following an individual patient who you have already identified to be unhealthy due to being both overweight and fat. BMI is much easier to follow than body fat, which can be hard to test.

        BMI is a screening test. Body fat measurements and the mirror test (i.e., look into the mirror while nekkid and be honest) are individualized tests that have much greater cost and time associated with them. Screening tests are supposed to have high sensitivity and poor specificity, and be very inexpensive to perform. BMI is perfect in this regard. Diagnostic tests, by contrast, are supposed to have excellent positive predictive value and cost/time considerations are less relevant. So BMI is a great place to start.

         

        Anybody who tries to use BMI as a definitive tool, ask them to define the difference between screening and diagnosis. Tell them that you are patient and happy to wait...

        When faced with YOUR BMI, as with your weight, you should not rush to be defensive (e.g., "that stuff is just rubbish, it does not apply to us athletes"). Rather, you should supplement that information with a measure of your body fat, blood pressure and lipids. If any of these are out of the normal range, you stand a chance at improving your health and life by reducing them.


        day after day sameness

          I'm just big-boned and finely marbled...

          Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless


          I've got a fever...

             I personally know several women who have dieted by eating nothing but a tiny carton of yogurt or a bowl of cereal as a meal, 3x/day. 

             Screw that.  They need to go on the Twinkie Diet.

            On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

            Shoe


              I don't understand why they don't do waist/hip ratio.  I understood based on some research I read that is better at identifying over-fat/health risks... that some populations are unlikely to have high BMI (It mentioned Japan I believe) even when overfat and at increased risk, and the waist to hip ratio caught this.  It seems just as easy as BMI.

               

               

               

              Though... one comment... I do doubt that "their muscle inexorably becomes fat as they age. Also a fact."   Muscle may atrophy and fat may be added, but muscle never becomes fat. Wink  I know you know better that the literal reading of the statement, but enough people I have run across don't that I have to comment.

               

              Well. There is a lot of research on this.  Most of it looks at BMI categories.  Since this is population-based research, it is more likely to represent the truth about populations than about individual anecdotes, but it is also far less likely to be biased by personal beliefs that are not supported by any evidence (e.g., "I'm just big-boned").

               

              From an old post:

               

              Here is a corpus of literature from different investigators and different patient/subject populations from around the world. The studies all test different hypotheses. The studies show consistently that high BMI and low BMI are independent predictors of death and disease and that these predictors remain when controlled for confounders such as comorbidiites, level of exercise, smoking, socioeconomic status. Most of these are in JAMA.

              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18056904

              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16505525

              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17986696

              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16551713

              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16478900

              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15840860

              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17670912

              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15353531

               

              The science is fairly consistent and clear. BMI > 30 (note, not >25) is associated with excess morbidity and early mortality, as is BMI < 18. This makes sense. Most folks with BMI > 30 have excess fat. Most folks with BMI < 18 are malnourished.

              Note. I said "most". I did not say "all".

               

              In summary, given the current science we have, excess fat is an independent risk for excess morbidity, early mortality and excess cost to society (in terms of lost productivity and increased healthcare costs).

               

              ---

               

              And as long as I am dragging out old posts, here are some regurgitated BMI rants:

               

              ---

               

              The BMI rant:

               

              BMI is a simple calculation, height divided by weight squared using metric units.  The BMI categories are based on general statistica about the population at large (heh) and, as above, do not account for body fat percentage or musculature.  The BMI for somebody who is 5-10 and 145 lbs is 20.8, which is squarly in the "normal" range of 18.5-25.


              When most athletic folks complain about BMI, they are complaining because they are muscled and their muscle weighs a lot, giving them a calculated BMI category of "overweight" or "obese" when they are all-muscle.  These folks are misinterpreting the BMI, which is meant to serve as a screen for obesity.  A screening test is meant to find all cases of a disease, even though some of those it identifies may not have the disease.  Used as a screen, all people who are obese should be found by an elevated BMI, but some of those found with the elevated BMI will be football quarterbacks.  That is why there are follow up tests, such as whether the person looks fat, or the results of a body fat test.

              However, that is not how BMI is meant to be used.  BMI is a screening test to help identify folks with obesity, not a diagnostic test to calculate bodyfat.  Most 200 lb Americans are not Arnold Schwarzenegger and are not all-muscle.  That it happens not to be very accurate for a bunch of freaky runners does not mean the test is garbage.

              And also, how do YOU know your overweight body mass index is due to muscle and not fat?  Answer: unless you have had a body fat measurement, you don't.

              To be crystal clear: BMI is the number.  Not the word.  The number is always accurate.  The word is an interpretation that has to do with population-based statistics.  The word "overweight" does not mean "fat", but rather something along the lines of "more weight than average".  I am sorry if that word offends you because you beleive it implies "fat".  The fact of the matter is that most people whose BMI falls into the category of "overweight" do have excess fat, even athletes.  And they have a higher risk of dropping dead at an early age or developing diabetes or other conditions related to excess fat.  This is a fact, supported by science.  AND, many athletes who are overweight due to muscle today remain overweight as their muscle inexorably becomes fat as they age.  Also a fact.

              I am sorry if the word "overweight" offends you.  If your BMI can be categorized as overweight, you might have excess fat, no matter how badly you want to believe otherwise (or how much you believe yourself to be an "athlete", whatever that means).  If your BMI can be categorized as overweight, go get your body fat measured.  Targeted data is better and safer than denial.

              From the CDC, paid for with your tax dollars:

               

              ---


              The BMI is a very useful number in terms of guiding policy and services and for following an individual patient who you have already identified to be unhealthy due to being both overweight and fat. BMI is much easier to follow than body fat, which can be hard to test.

              BMI is a screening test. Body fat measurements and the mirror test (i.e., look into the mirror while nekkid and be honest) are individualized tests that have much greater cost and time associated with them. Screening tests are supposed to have high sensitivity and poor specificity, and be very inexpensive to perform. BMI is perfect in this regard. Diagnostic tests, by contrast, are supposed to have excellent positive predictive value and cost/time considerations are less relevant. So BMI is a great place to start.

               

              Anybody who tries to use BMI as a definitive tool, ask them to define the difference between screening and diagnosis. Tell them that you are patient and happy to wait...

              When faced with YOUR BMI, as with your weight, you should not rush to be defensive (e.g., "that stuff is just rubbish, it does not apply to us athletes"). Rather, you should supplement that information with a measure of your body fat, blood pressure and lipids. If any of these are out of the normal range, you stand a chance at improving your health and life by reducing them.

               

               

               


              A Dance with Monkeys

                I don't understand why they don't do waist/hip ratio.  I understood based on some research I read that is better at identifying over-fat/health risks... that some populations are unlikely to have high BMI (It mentioned Japan I believe) even when overfat and at increased risk, and the waist to hip ratio caught this.  It seems just as easy as BMI.

                 

                BMI is easy because clinics already routinely measure Ht and Wt.  They do not measure Hips or Waists, which is technically a bit more challenging to do right.  It could be done, but it would require that everybody switch what they do in clinics.  It would also require a new set of studies.

                 

                 

                Though... one comment... I do doubt that "their muscle inexorably becomes fat as they age. Also a fact."   Muscle may atrophy and fat may be added, but muscle never becomes fat. Wink  I know you know better that the literal reading of the statement, but enough people I have run across don't that I have to comment.

                 

                 Your clearification is correct.

                  Back to the usage of stick thin models... I don't like it one little bit. I'm very thin (haven't always been) and am forever being told I'm too thin by people who somehow think it's appropriate (one coworker even started a bulimia rumor once) but I still don't like to see people whose bodies look unhealthy being glamorized. I'm talking about the ones who have no muscles, just skin and bones. Even worse is the fitness/fashion magazines who airbrush pictures of women with already great bodies. My recent copy of Shape sickens me. The cover has an obviously airbrushed Jillian Michaels. She normally looks like she has very muscular abs, but here she looks gross and fake.

                  Jillian Michaels cover

                  I don't half-ass anything

                   

                  "I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horrible death' and thon, which means 'for a stupid T-shirt.' Look it up." - Celia Rivenbark, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning

                   


                  Needs more cowbell!

                    My recent copy of Shape sickens me. The cover has an obviously airbrushed Jillian Michaels. She normally looks like she has very muscular abs, but here she looks gross and fake.

                    Jillian Michaels cover

                     

                    That looks like they took random body parts from other photos of other women and 'shopped them together...doesn't even look Human, anymore.

                     

                    I am with you on the disgust with Photoshopping of photos...of anyone.  It's gotten to where no one on a magazine cover even looks like the person depicted.  It's no longer just zit removal or fixing an errant hair.   Curvy women are made svelte, muscular women like Jillian Michaels are made soft.  Like they are trying to make all women look like one non-existent woman.  I think this is done with men's photos, too, but perhaps not to the same extent.

                    I shoot pretty things! ~

                    '14 Goals:

                    • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                    A Saucy Wench

                      I don't understand why they don't do waist/hip ratio.  I understood based on some research I read that is better at identifying over-fat/health risks... that some populations are unlikely to have high BMI (It mentioned Japan I believe) even when overfat and at increased risk, and the waist to hip ratio caught this.  It seems just as easy as BMI.

                       

                       

                      I have very little in the way of waist.  My ribcage and my hipbones/iliac crest are in VERY close proximity.  But I have narrow hips.  When I was at 18% body fat (BMI of ~ 21.5) my waist to hip ratio fell into the "unhealthy category".  Right now when I am some measure of body fat that is NOT healthy and a BMI solidly in the overweight category my waist to hip ratio is nearly exactly the same.   I am not equally healthy. 

                      I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

                       

                      "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

                      MrH


                        BMI is easy because clinics already routinely measure Ht and Wt.  They do not measure Hips or Waists, which is technically a bit more challenging to do right.  It could be done, but it would require that everybody switch what they do in clinics.  It would also require a new set of studies.

                         

                         

                        http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/95/4/1777.full

                         

                        and for balance:

                         

                        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19809330

                        The process is the goal.

                        Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.


                        A Dance with Monkeys

                          Study 1 pooled ~6,000 patients.  Study 2 had 20,000 subjects.  Giving #1 the benefit of the doubt, the results are mixed, meaning there is not a preponderance of evidence in favor of one approach over another. However, BMI is substantially more feasible to perform across a population. In individual patients, again, it is better to consider specific tests such as checking body fat and lipid profile, blood pressure, other markers for vascular risk.

                            BMI is easy because clinics already routinely measure Ht and Wt.  They do not measure Hips or Waists, which is technically a bit more challenging to do right.  It could be done, but it would require that everybody switch what they do in clinics.  It would also require a new set of studies.

                             I'm also willing to be that people who are struggling with weight would be less than willing to have these measurements taken on a regular basis. I wouldn't particularly relish it myself.

                            I don't half-ass anything

                             

                            "I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horrible death' and thon, which means 'for a stupid T-shirt.' Look it up." - Celia Rivenbark, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning

                             


                            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                              Begs a similar question as to why society puts value onto the self-starvation look thrust into our faces time and again...

                               

                              Well as long as it is a thread for disagreements and debates, I'd say it does not beg the question at all, but rather the opposite, it prompts it.

                              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                                We plaster thin people all over because they are more attractive.  Sorry, no health/fitness/style magazine would sell with an overweight person on the cover.  They want to associate their product with attractiveness, and you can't seriously say overweight people are as attractive as those in shape. 

                                 

                                 

                                I don't feel having excessive body fat is any different than smoking or being alcoholic.  Its a controllable issue, and the majority of people who are affected brought it on themselves through excessive or unhealthy eating, laziness, etc.  I personally feel those who are excessively, unhealthily overweight should be taxed, like we do to tobacco or alcohol, as it is just as damaging a health risk as either smoking or drinking.

                                Hays in the barn. Sack it up. Get After it. Just one more mile, just one more mile, just one more sad little mile in my miles of trials. God, how I do love every last one of them.