Ludicrously Long List of Links

Fat-Shaming Leads to Weight Gain, Not Loss

Having been a reader of fat-acceptance writers like Kate Harding for a long time, I can safely say that there are many people/commenters who are deeply concerned that if we don’t shame and insult fat people for their weight, they won’t be motivated to lose it. This “idea” was just dealt a major blow by researchers from the Florida State University College of Medicine, who that found that shaming fat people about their weight correlates to weight gain, not loss

I’ve noticed a common theme in reporting on fat: People will report something as though it’s new and surprising, when there have been previous studies with the same result. We’ve known this for a while. Why is it never “further confirmation that fat-shaming leads to weight gain”? The same thing happens every time there’s study showing that the “overweight” BMI category lives longest, or that BMIs are plateauing.

Oops! Roosh V’s #FatShamingWeek rallies Fat Acceptance activists, makes fat shamers look like the dicks they are

Happily, the hashtag has been pretty much taken over by feminists and fat acceptance activists and other people countering the douchebaggery of Roosh et al.

And the only real media coverage the campaign has gotten — from Buzzfeed and The Daily Dot — has focused on the sheer douchebaggery of the fat shamers.

So it seems that the main effect of Fat Shaming Week has actually been to advance the cause of Fat Acceptance, not to undermine it.

Brilliant, dudes. Just brilliant.

Reality TV Gets One Right: Shark Tank Calls Out Quackery

I’m mostly sharing this because the Skeptical Hippo illustrating the page might be my spirit animal.

Research Shows That Cocaine and Heroin Are Less Addictive Than Oreos

It would be easy to mock Schroeder and Honohan’s discovery that cookies are addictive, especially since they started out knowing that Oreos are “highly palatable to rats” and then concluded, based on the maze experiment and biochemical analysis, that Oreos are highly palatable to rats. But the study inadvertently highlights an important truth: Anything that provides pleasure (or relieves stress) can be the focus of an addiction, the strength of which depends not on the inherent power of the stimulus but on the individual’s relationship with it, which in turn depends on various factors, including his personality, circumstances, values, tastes, and preferences. As Peele and other critics of neurological reductionism have been pointing out for many years, the reality of addiction lies not in patterns of brain activity but in the lived experience of the addict. Locating addiction in the unmediated effect that certain stimuli have on “the brain’s pleasure center” cuts the addict out of the picture.

Making the Case For Eating Fruit

May be triggering–talks about weight loss, etc.

Experts agree that we are eating too much sugar, which is contributing to obesity and other health problems. But in the rush to avoid sugar, many low-carb dieters and others are avoiding fruits. But fresh fruit should not become a casualty in the sugar wars, many nutrition experts say.

I like this part because it helps me not feel defensive when one of my coworkers is talking about how great their kale-beet-zucchini smoothie or juice concoction is:

“You can’t just take an 8-ounce glass of cola and add a serving of Metamucil and create a health food,” Dr. Ludwig said. “Even though the fructose-to-fiber ratio might be the same as an apple, the biological effects would be much different.”

Fiber provides “its greatest benefit when the cell walls that contain it remain intact,” he said. Sugars are effectively sequestered in the fruit’s cells, he explained, and it takes time for the digestive tract to break down those cells. The sugars therefore enter the bloodstream slowly, giving the liver more time to metabolize them. Four apples may contain the same amount of sugar as 24 ounces of soda, but the slow rate of absorption minimizes any surge in blood sugar. Repeated surges in blood sugar make the pancreas work harder and can contribute to insulin resistance, thereby increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Disability and Discrimination at the Doctor’s Office

One out of five offices refused to even book an appointment. Some explained that their buildings were inaccessible to people in wheelchairs, but most refused simply because they had no equipment like height-adjustable examining tables and chairs, specially designed weight scales or trained staff members to help move the patient out of the wheelchair.

But even the offices that agreed to see the patient were not necessarily offering appropriate care. When pressed, some acknowledged that they had no plans or equipment for moving the patient. Others said that they would complete only the parts of the exam that they could — and forgo the rest. Fewer than 10 percent of these offices had appropriate equipment or employees trained to help patients with disabilities.

Doctors put lower value on lives of the disabled, study finds

In some cases doctors may even be making orders not to resuscitate “because” patients have learning difficulties, the three-year study concludes.

In other cases, it found evidence of doctors making more “rapid” and “premature” life-and-death decisions in cases involving the disabled than other people.

People with special needs are also less likely to be diagnosed quickly with conditions such as cancer and “all aspects” of medical care were “significantly” worse for them than for the wider population, it concluded.

Things That Won’t Necessarily Prevent Fatness

You Don’t Need an Excuse

Imagine a picture of the Dalai Lama who is looking way more at peace than you ever will. Across the top is, “What’s your excuse?”

Well, that’s ridiculous, isn’t it, because the Dalai Lama would never do something so silly but still wouldn’t you laugh and think, “Ummm, I’m not the Dalai freaking Lama, that’s my excuse!”

“Hot Mom” Maria Kang Is A Self-Obsessed Narcissist

Admittedly a little mean. I mean, it includes grammar-snarking.

I gather that communication isn’t your forte, but when someone says “What’s your excuse?,” that statement contains an implied assertion that the individual addressed has done something wrong, or failed to do something he or she has an obligation to do, and thus requires an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for a failing.  That negative thought isn’t the independent creation of members of your photo’s audience: the negative element is entirely yours. The suggestion of inadequacy is an unfair assertion. It is a presumptuous, arrogant, offensive and insulting assertion, made more so by your obvious implication that how every woman should live her life, judge her success, choose her goals and prioritize her time must necessarily match your choices in these deeply personal matters.

We Don’t Need An Excuse

Beyond Obesity: Reframing Food Justice With Body Love

The Body is Not An Apology operates from the framework that says injustice starts in many ways from the inability to make peace with the body, our own and others.  From that premise, the issue of promoting health is not about the failure of the body but the failure of our society to protect and care for EVERY BODY equally and the ways in which we as individuals and communities have internalized that lack of care.  If we cared for each person in our society we would have those things that are required for basic human sustainability in all communities.

Musings on Taft’s “modern” diet

“Levine says this article illustrates the long-standing problem of patients’ not sticking with a plan, something that still frustrates doctors, dietitians and nutritionists today, she says.”

Wow. That’s not what my take-away was. How can we continue this kind of thinking, and poor ‘treatment’ that makes the dieter less, not more healthy? If a lawyer, president of the United States who did everything he could, with every expert and chef and personal trainer couldn’t lose weight (reminds me of modern day Oprah weight saga) how can we still say it’s just about willpower, or adherence… The story is tragic, and inevitable.

αEP: Shut up and sing!

Sound familiar? It should. It’s a problem in more than just entertainment and politics — it’s also a problem in skepticism. What it really is is an authoritarian defense of orthodoxy that dismisses criticism unless it comes from the right kind of person — preferably one comfortably embedded deeply in the orthodox position. It’s a version of the Courtier’s Reply, only in this case it’s used to defend science, or a political position, rather than theology. Shut Up and Sing Syndrome imposes unjustifiable barriers to criticism: you don’t get to criticize the subject at hand unless, for instance, you have a Ph.D. in the relevant subject, or some other lofty credential, even if the criticism is based on obvious and trivial flaws that a layperson can see.

The layperson could be wrong, of course, because they’re lacking some deeper understanding and are focusing on superficialities. But even in that case, the proper response isn’t to declare that they should not be allowed to voice that opinion because they don’t have the right credentials, but to address the criticism. And if the layperson is right about the problem, hoo boy, but are you screwing up if you’re trying to silence them.

Stones, Glass Houses, Etc.

This procedure should all sound familiar: remember Alan Sokal? He carefully hand-crafted a fake paper full of po-mo gobbledy-gook and buzzwords, and got it published in Social Text — a fact that has been used to ridicule post-modernist theory ever since. This is exactly the same thing, enhanced by a little computer work and mass produced. And then Bohannon sent out these subtly different papers to not one, but 304 journals.

And not literary theory journals, either. 304 science journals.

It was accepted by 157 journals, and rejected by 98.

So when do we start sneering at science, as skeptics do at literary theory?

Responding to No name Life Science Blog Editor who called me out of my name

The Blog editor of Biology-Online dot org asked me if I would like to blog for them. I asked the conditions. He explained. I said no. He then called me out of my name.

A Note to You, Should You Be Thinking of Asking Me to Write For You For Free

On Science, Communication, Respect, and Coming Back From Mistakes

So let’s just unpack what happened. According to Dr. Lee, the only notice she received that her post was considered inappropriate was its vanishing from the blog site. SciAm did not communicate with her about it other than by the tweet above. And SciAm said nothing about the uncalled-for abuse of one of their bloggers by one of their partnership representatives.

It is worth adding here that other bloggers on the SciAm network have protested that there have never been any standards elucidated or curbs indicated on what they can write. (Small sample: NerdyChristie, KateClancy, Krystal D’Costa.) And as many other bloggers (including Maggie Koerth-Baker, Josh Witten, David Wescott, Tony Martin) pointed out, who does science, and what barriers they encounter as they try, is an integral part of the conduct of science.

Loneliness is Deadly

Things that have a bigger impact on your health than your BMI include loneliness.

Archaeologists Discover 2600-Year-Old “Warrior Prince” That’s Actually A Warrior Princess

As generally fun as this story is (yes, stories about ancient archaeology and gender mix-ups are fun, OK?), it actually highlights a serious problem in the realm of archaeology: Namely, that researchers take their gender biases into the field with them. Archaeologists saw one skeleton with a lance and another with jewelry and assumed that the former was a man and the latter a woman. But that doesn’t take into account the diversity of ancient civilizations.

To My Student, On Breaking Up With Her Boyfriend

I know you are heartbroken. I see you sobbing in the hallways.

You think things will never be the same.

And you are right.

Let’s Read 50 Shades of Grey!

The bran muffins at my work cafeteria are pretty darn chewy (and consequently don’t crumble much either). They’re also godawful and the least sexy foodstuffs ever.

It adds a whole new angle to the scene if he’s eating a bran muffin:

“These keep me… *wink* *smirk* *eyebrow waggle* …regular. They keep things moving, if you know what I mean. I like to maintain a certain degree of power over my… movements.”
*Ana swoons*

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4 Responses to Ludicrously Long List of Links

  1. bodycrimes says:

    Aarrgh, too many good links! I clicked immediately on the ‘don’t write for free’. Have you seen Mr Bingo’s response to that question?

  2. adameverhard says:

    Reblogged this on Sly Fawkes and commented:
    There is such important information here.
    I’m not trying to link body size with emotional eating, as I think it’s primarily genetic. However, there are many factors involved in the big picture. Body size is definitely not simply “calories in, calories out.”
    Let’s single out the emotional eating component for the sake of argument. In truth, most human beings are drawn to emotional eating to one degree or another, or there would be no such thing as “comfort food.” For my own part, I’m a large person, both tall and heavy–set. I have always been burly. As a child, I did not eat significantly more than my smaller friends. Its possible that I had a somewhat larger appetite to feed my growing big-boy self, but it wasn’t like I was eating entire pots of food all on my own. My skinny cousin rivaled me in being able to pack it in. He’s still skinny, and I’m still heavy.
    When I was in my early college years, I starved myself, worked out excessively, and took advantage of the cocaine and amphetamine diet that my upper middle class financial status allowed for. Looking back, I was miserable and sometimes borderline suicidal. It was impossible for me to maintain the “ideal” body type that I was struggling to achieve.
    It’s an agonizingly slow process, but articles like these can and do make a difference. I hope everyone will take a look at them.

  3. Dawn says:

    Hey, thanks for including me on this gorgeous long list of links! I will definitely be spending some time clicking around!

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