Via Red No. 3, …

Via Red No. 3, a 2007 post from fat fu points out just how many different reasons people give for the existence of the obesity epidemic. I’m not going to repost it here because it’s really long.

Fat Fu and Red No. 3 point out that the reason someone gives often seems to have more to do with that person’s ideological leanings than anything else.

To be fair, Fat & Size Acceptance people have their own ideology. I suspect that dieting, our screwed-up relationship with food, and our fatphobia contribute to the obesity epidemic (such as it is).

Still, I’m reminded of how Fat Acceptance are said to be denialists, and are sometimes compared to global warming and/or evolution deniers. One of the arguments against those two types of denialism is that if they had something going for them, there would be evidence in favor of one alternate theory, rather than a bunch of alternative theories which are in many cases mutually exclusive. They would have a particular competing explanation, rather than throw out a bunch of ideas and see which ones stick–because that tends to be the mark of someone looking to believe something (or not believe something), rather than someone who actually has a good alternative explanation.

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3 Responses to Via Red No. 3, …

  1. G says:

    I’m a scientist who deals with denialists on the regular, so sometimes folks throw that argument against FA in my face: “How can you deny the science about obesity?” And yeah, it’s in the peer-reviewed literature and ‘accepted’ (even though the methods and statistics are often crap, and the studies might be funded by, say, Jenny Craig or Allergan…)

    But gosh, it’s easy enough to observe that our current paradigm of weight isn’t correct! (If diets worked reliably I’d know a whole lot more thin people.) It’s easy to shoot holes in the ‘best theory’ we have now; shouldn’t science be focused on creating a better working model instead of limping down the road with this one?

    • If I’m not being too nosy, what field are you in?

      I’m always a little more reassured that I’m not crazy when I see someone who’s a scientist in FA. When you’re going against the mainstream, a little reassurance helps.

      • G says:

        I work in geoscience. There are still some things in FA that bug me a little bit, like everyone’s favorite statistic that 95% of diets fail (but I do have some references to read here, so we’ll see if I can find where that number comes from). I’m not an expert on health issues but my bullshit detector works so I can at least read papers 🙂

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