I’ve been impressed with Slate’s willingness to publish pieces that push back against the obesity epipanic [the panic and hyperbole surrounding the increased percentage of people with a BMI greater than 25 or greater than 30]–notably Daniel Engber and LV Anderson. Other articles generally line up with the rest of the mainstream media, but this was a good example of some drama-free writing about size from an author who hasn’t made fat or size “his” issue, Brian Palmer:
Dripping sweat can be a major problem for obese people, or anyone else who has grown unusually large (like some athletes). When you put on weight and muscle, you don’t add sweat glands. As a result, those with bigger frames have a lower density of glands at the surface of their skin, with more space between each one. That means their perspiration won’t cover their bodies as evenly, and they’ll have to increase their sweat output to compensate. Large people also sweat more because it takes them more energy to move around. When people sweat too much, the moisture can form into rivulets and pour off, leading to dehydration and overheating. (There’s no evidence for the assertion that fat people sweat more because they have an insulating layer.)
No obligatory mention of the obesity epidemic. No, “BTW, fat people should lose weight.” Just sticking to the facts and the topic at hand. No drama.