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Demonizing Fat in the War on Weight—an actual positive article in the NYTimes!
I want Paul Campos’ book, The Obesity Myth. A quote from the NYT article:
He said in a recent interview: “The current hysteria about body mass and supposedly devastating health effects is creating a stratification in the society of power and privilege based on a scientifically fallacious concept of health. What we are seeing with this moral panic over fat in many ways is comparable to what we saw with the eugenics movement in the 20’s.
interesting read. I’m not sure it’ll live up to Camryn Manheim’s marvelous autobiography, but I’m willing to check Shankar’s book out of the library.sounds like an
Unfortunately, the Salon interview makes it clear that Shankar WAS a compulsive overeater. I’ve known VERY few compulsive overeaters in my life. Seriously, I have known a lot of fat people. I’ve known people who eat a lot, who eat emotionally—and I’ve certainly eaten emotionally at times. But I’ve known precisely ONE person (in the flesh, not online) who binge eats. She was skinny and gained weight up to “chubby,” but she was also a newly-diagnosed bipolar person and had other problems.
Just about every not-fat person I know keeps saying, “Hey, eat less and exercise more, you’ll lose weight!”
It doesn’t work that way for many of us. Ask ANYBODY who has lived with me—I don’t even eat enough, much less overeat. I’ve done the daily exercise-myself-to-death thing and lost NOTHING. Nada. I’m talking A YEAR of a daily aerobic and lightweight circuit followed by an hour-long water aerobics class, and NO POUNDS LOST.
I know—one anecdote isn’t “data.” But I am not alone in my experience, by any measure. In fact, dieting from my pre-teen years on has screwed up my metabolism horribly. I truly believe that dieting made me fat. The fact that I am now being treated for two conditions that can contribute may help me change that—but I can’t count on it.
I know I can get more fit, and that is a reasonable goal. Making weight loss in and of itself a goal is not wise, because I am setting myself up for yet another failure.
Believe me, if I could just choose my weight, there’d be less than half of my current self left. I don’t know of anyone who CHOOSES to be fat. While more and more people in the US are considered “obese,” fat is considered a moral issue that is wholly chosen and under our control. That makes it just fine to discriminate against and denigrate fat people.
The interview does link to big_fat_blog, which is good—Shankar mentions it in her book.
I’d like to see a bigger picture of her with the interview, though.