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19 Controversial Facts About Being Fat That You Need To Know

Surprising facts you might not have heard about America’s favorite crisis: Obesity!

1. Fat people are constantly scrutinized

Check out these candid photos of a fat women going about her day and the judgmental states complete strangers gave her.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2275692/Obese-womans-revealing-photography-project-exposes-cruel-judgmental-stares-attracts-people-street.html

2. The dieting industry is big business. It is designed to keep you failing and coming back.

While almost everyone can lose weight short term, 95% of weight loss attempts fail within 5 years:

“You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back. We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority. Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people…In addition, the studies do not provide consistent evidence that dieting results in significant health improvements, regardless of weight change. In sum, there is little support for the notion that diets lead to lasting weight loss or health benefits.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17469900

How many “dieting attempts” does a person need before they (the 66 billion dollar dieting industry) realize the dieter is not the one failing?

http://www.timesunion.com/business/press-releases/article/U-S-Weight-Loss-Market-Forecast-To-Hit-66-4156531.php

3. Diets don’t lead to long-term weight loss, even when you call them lifestyle changes

And this isn’t because people revert back to old habits:

“Consider the Women’s Health Initiative, the largest and longest randomized, controlled dietary intervention clinical trial, designed to test the current recommendations. More than 20,000 women maintained a low-fat diet, reportedly reducing their calorie intake by an average of 360 calories per day and significantly increasing their activity. After almost eight years on this diet, there was almost no change in weight from starting point (a loss of 0.1 kg), and average waist circumference, which is a measure of abdominal fat, had increased (0.3 cm)”

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/10/1/9

For anyone who likes to begin sentences with “Yeah, diets don’t work, BUT…”, I have a link for you:

http://kateharding.net/2007/04/12/diets-dont-work-but/

4. Some big-name companies are already feeling the brunt of this.

Sales, stocks, and success rates are all notably dropping for some famous diet and lifestyle change companies.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/13/weightwatchers-forecast-idUSL4N0BD7KG20130213

5. Doctors don’t have all the answers.

The correlation between weight loss and health is tricky because a lot of other factors (family history, physical activity, nutrition, prejudice, etc.) come into play. Science and medicine are still working on exactly how it all comes together.

On top of that, how your doctor PERSONALLY FEELS about fat people can make a huge difference on how your “weight-issue” is treated.

http://yaleruddcenter.org/resources/upload/docs/what/bias/WeightBiasStudy.pdf

“In a study of over 620 primary care physicians, >50% viewed obese patients as awkward, unattractive, ugly, and noncompliant. One-third of the sample further characterized obese patients as weak-willed, sloppy, and lazy.”

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/256140.php’

Many fat people have anecdotes of negative experiences and weight biased discrimination in medical settings.

http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/for-fat-patients-and-their-doctors/

6. If you still think doctors know everything, check out this one.

He take the TED stage and turns the tables on everything we’ve been led to believe about obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

His research suggests putting on weight may be a protective function in response to something we are not aware of.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMhLBPPtlrY

7. Weight loss surgeries are a coin flip at best.

Complications include feeling constantly cold and flu-like on top of your mood swings and new “relationship issues”. Also, frequent diarrhea, hernias, and death! And that’s just what the official website lists!

http://www.mayoclinic.org/bariatric-surgery/complications.html

A 2013 study of lap band surgery patients found that, within the first 10 years, almost half of the participants had to have “revisional” procedures. Eg. Having the foreign body removed.

http://theconversation.edu.au/lap-banding-a-long-term-obesity-solution-study-11651

http://journals.lww.com/annalsofsurgery/Abstract/2013/01000/Long_ Term_Outcomes_After_Bariatric_Surgery_.13.aspx

http://thisisnotadiet-itsmylife.com/2013/07/14/this-is-not-your-typical-weight-loss-story-part-2-susan/

8. We can’t make thin people fat, either.

Sure, sometimes thin people naturally gain weight and vise versa…but whenever science tries to weasel in and control body size (in either direction) it never goes as planned. Bodies are complicated. We are more than calories and exercise.

http://kateharding.net/2007/05/08/yes-i-like-gina-kolata/

9. We’ve already thought of the children.

We’ve already thought of the children.

Research is showing us that when children diet they are more likely to adopt dangerous behaviors such as starvation that can lead to eating disorders. Dieting causes kids to lose motivation to adopt healthy behaviors, and it even causes them to GAIN MORE WEIGHT.

Another study shows that kids who are “overweight” and “obese” actually eat less than children with a “normal” BMI.

(Skinner, Steiner and Perrin, Sept. 2012) (Neumark-Sztainer et al., 2006).

10. Speaking of BMI…It’s a load of crap.

There are great ways of measuring health and there are even, admittedly, reliable ways to measure obesity. But they are expensive. Relying on the BMI means doctors don’t feel the need to use one of the more scientifically sound methods that are available to measure obesity levels.

Also, The person who dreamed up the BMI said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual. So, there’s that.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106268439

11. BMI is a load of crap AND it arbitrarily changes.

Yes, in 1998 the standard of who is obese, overweight, and normal (such a shameful term) was changed without any scientific data to back up the new labels.

http://edition.cnn.com/HEALTH/9806/17/weight.guidelines/

12. You don’t need to lose weight to become healthier .

Many studies support that healthy habits (eating fruits and veggies, exercising, reducing alcohol consumption, and not smoking) are linked to a decrease in mortality regardless of weight.

Healthy habits doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss but the truth is that they don’t need to in order to be effective!

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=192035

http://jabfm.org/content/25/1/9.short

13. The “obesity epidemic” is not shortening life expectancy.

“With or without consideration of …extremes or gains in body weight…alumni mortality rates were significantly lower among the physically active.”

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198603063141003

“Healthy lifestyle habits are associated with a significant decrease in mortality regardless of baseline body mass index.”

http://www.jabfm.org/content/25/1/9.abstract?

“no measure of body weight or body fat was related to the degree of coronary vessel disease. The obesity-heart disease link is just not well supported by the scientific and medical literature…Body weight, and even body fat for that matter, do not tell us nearly as much about our health as lifestyle factors, such as exercise and the foods we eat…total cholesterol levels returned to their original levels–despite absolutely no change in body weight–requiring the researchers to conclude that the fat content of the diet, not weight change, was responsible for the changes in cholesterol levels.”

http://thinkmuscle.com/health/obesity-health-metabolic-fitness/

http://theconversation.com/obesitys-paradoxical-impact-on-trends-in-life-expectancy-7981

14. That works on an individual levels too.

Studies have been showing since 2005 that overweight and slightly obese people actually live longer and than people in the “normal” BMI category.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/health/study-suggests-lower-death-risk-for-the-overweight.html

http://www.digitalnewsrelease.com/?q=jama_3867

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1555137

15. Research like that often gets ignored by the media.

You’ve probably seen tons of pictures of fat people without heads…

…But I bet you’ve never read this article about the health benefits of being fat

http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.tw/2006/12/obesity-paradox-2-how-can-it-be.html

16. Seriously though…there so many pictures of headless fatties in mainstream media.

It’s a subliminal trick to get YOU more caught up in the hype of this “obesity epidemic.”

Removing a person’s face from a photo dehumanizes them, and makes it easier for the viewer to judge, stereotype, and even begin to hate them.

17. Yes, I put “Obesity Epidemic” in quotations.

Believe it or not, there’s pretty strong evidence that it isn’t even real. Or, at least, isn’t an infectious disease (as the term “epidemic” suggests). You can’t catch fat, people.

Seriously, there is no research for this one. I can’t give you a research article here because it doesn’t exist. The truth is fat has never been proven to CAUSE any of the diseases it is CORRELATED WITH and we don’t actually know why that correlation exists. But we do know fat people can be healthy and thin people can be unhealthy so if that isn’t enough reason not to judge people based on how they look or make assumptions about what they do and/ or do not eat, I don’t know what is.

Read and decide for yourself.

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/obesity_epidemic_or_myth/

http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/the-real-epidemic-is-not-obesity/

http://www.no-obesity-epidemic.org/

18. Overall, we’re kept guessing because (full-circle) how would the dieting industry make money if we all believed that we were pointlessly chasing something unattainable!?

Mindblown

19. On a lighter note, fat acceptance movements not only exist but are gaining influence.

In 2014, the NAAFA (The national association to advance fat acceptance) convinced Disney World to change a new attraction that was previously degrading to fat people.The new version reminds guests that healthy habits are for everyone. Thanks to Disney for listening.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/the-daily-disney/os-epcot-habit-heroes-reopens-20130117,0,4369198.story

Also this year, HAES (Health at every size) began communication with the US House of Representatives in regards to the Affordable Care Act .

http://www.naafaonline.com/newsletterstuff/oldnewsletterstuff/February%202013%20NAAFA%20Newsletter.html

20. BONUS: If you’re fat, compassionate, and/or interested in fat acceptance there are resources for you!

Resources for you, friend!

http://fatso.com/
http://www.haescommunity.org/
http://www.naafaonline.com/dev2/
http://kateharding.net/
http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/

These websites and blogs contain messages of education and self love and most also link to great research and books that I highly recommend. Happy reading!

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