T Nation

Obesity Epidemic is All Hype

Hey, I heard it on the radio - so it’s gotta be true…

The US gov’t recently announced that it made a mistake. Obesity is not the #2 killer in the US, it’s much, much further down the ladder.

Being fat doesn’t really kill that many people, does it?

The guy said it on the radio - so it’s gotta be true, right?

“its more hype than epidemic…”

:slight_smile:

Must be; I hardly see any fat people these days!

Actually,
One my Ex. Phys professors gave an interesting lectures looking at the “data the goverment doesn’t want you to hear”.

I wish I had time to post… but I’ve got a decent sized exam tomorrow.

Just remember as Mark Twain said (or Disraeli, I’m not going to argue it)

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

Rule to live by

I’d say of the non-athletes at my school, about 60%+ are overweight, with about half of that percentage morbidly so.

There’s one girl, she’s pleasntly plump in all the right places, or at least her girlfriend (and I, for that matter), think so.

But really, I don’t go three hours a day, not counting sleeping, that I don’t see someone so obese I want to vomit up my Grow! and not eat for a week.

Or, I’m just pissed today that I bruised my triceps as it connects to my elbow with someone’s knee and I’m taking it out on all the fat people that don’t exist.

Obesitys not an epedemic, a calorie is a calorie, free weights are dangerous, aerobics is far superior to weight training, Dr. phil is a nutritional expert, diet soda is good for you, creatine is a steroid, banannas build big muscles AND…eating, breathing, walking and generally being alive will cause your death one day.

Wait…I may be wrong on the last one, but the rest are right on. The man on TV said so.

[quote]Atreides wrote:
Hey, I heard it on the radio - so it’s gotta be true…

The US gov’t recently announced that it made a mistake. Obesity is not the #2 killer in the US, it’s much, much further down the ladder.

Being fat doesn’t really kill that many people, does it?

The guy said it on the radio - so it’s gotta be true, right?

“its more hype than epidemic…”

:-)[/quote]

The radio guy is a little off in his terminology. Being “obese” is still considered dangerous and has a host of associated health risks. The recent government literature review (this wasn’t a new study, just a review of available data) showed that people who have been classified as “overweight” using BMI (25-27.9) don’t have the health risks that were erroneously associated with that weight level. Since they’ve found that to be true, the number of people who meet the obese/disease risk category is much lower than originally thought, as the overweight BMI range has a lot of people in it.

That’s all broadly speaking, of course. How the person get’s a bit overweight is still integral.

-Dan

I heard similar info as buffalokilla.
There was less of a mortality risk associated to overweight than to morbidly obese, but a higher mortality risk associated to being underweight.

I don’t care what the study says, there used to be one fat kid per neighborhood, and now there are a lot more. I guess if there are more fat people, there will be more fat people dieing.
Norms and devaitions screw me up.

I agree with Obesity being an epidemic.

But lets take this route:

What do you consider more of a health risk…

How they became obese?

or

The fact that they are no obese?

I believe that we need to fix the obesity.

The lecture he presented was more speaking of obesity as a co-morbidity and symptom of diseases but obesity as the actual cause of the diseases. Consider that most obese people became the way they were by low-fiber, high-fat, high-sugar diet; this we all agree is a health risk alone.

Unfortunately, his PPT presentation isn’t posted so I cannot specifically site the references he used. I know they were from JAMA and the whatever the name of the England medical journal is.

There are a lot of twists and turns in the presentation. I know that he speaks out against obsesity, and I was intrigued by the nature of him speaking out against the “health risks of obesity” and identifying it as the “health risks of habits that lead to obesity”.

If anyone is interested in the PPT presentation, let me know.

I heard that some restaurants were going to begin a major campaign in which they will show how the health risks of being overweight are overstated.

Not that I am really for any of those McDonald’s type lawsuits but a deliberate misinformation campaign seems like an ideal target.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1114720257910.print_obesity_hype.jpg

[quote]Soco wrote:
I heard that some restaurants were going to begin a major campaign in which they will show how the health risks of being overweight are overstated.[/quote]

I believe the campaign you speak of is brought to us by these good people: http://www.consumerfreedom.com/

im just watching super size me.

some people are SO dumb.

i think it has put me off fast food for life.

[quote]miniross wrote:
im just watching super size me.

some people are SO dumb.

i think it has put me off fast food for life.[/quote]

Great movie. But that points out how the health risks are associated with his high fat and low fiber diet. He hadn’t been obese long enough to cause any health issues but his month binge of saturated fat nearly killed him.

If obesity stats come from BMI it might be greatly overstated. Its really not hard to be classified as overwieght or even obese according to BMI.

I doubt it was the saturated fat.

[quote]TriGWU wrote:
He hadn’t been obese long enough to cause any health issues but his month binge of saturated fat nearly killed him.[/quote]

[quote]NateN wrote:
I doubt it was the saturated fat.

TriGWU wrote:
He hadn’t been obese long enough to cause any health issues but his month binge of saturated fat nearly killed him.

[/quote]

It was specifically addressed by the physician(s) in the movie. High saturated fat low fiber nearly shot his liver.

I don’t neccessary believe the standpoint that obesity doesn’t kill but the actions that lead to it do, but it is an interesting side to defend.

I still think that obesity is a public health concern in America – as people have mentioned already, the American diet is becoming increasingly poor nutritionally, and physical activity is declining, and of course these things can cause obesity along with the many health problems associated with it.

But it still amazes me that the government continues to use the BMI to measure the prevalence of obesity. Common sense alone should tell you that a formula that is based only on height and weight isn’t a very good indicator of fatness, yet the government still relies on data collected from studies that use the BMI!

And, as a number of recent news articles have pointed out, most athletes, even those that don’t even look huge by most people’s standards, are considered “overweight”!

Forget the ‘he said, she said’.

The facts are crystal clear:

(a) A higher percentage of our population is overweight today - perhaps more than ever.
(b) Being overweight will increase your likelihood of acquiring conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
© Such conditions ruin or diminish your quality of life, your health, and -along with being overweight - your self-esteem. It doesn’t matter how accepting the public is of overweight individuals, in their minds they still think ‘I would never date that chick’.

PERHAPS, being overweight does not pose as much risk to your health as previously stated. That is not to say it doesn’t pose a health risk at all - that risk is still very much there.

It’s plausible the government overstated the obesity problem long ago to stimulate the public to do something about it - they could then be trying to clean the plate. Either way, something’s wrong: understating an existing problem will simply foster it grow faster; Lying about a non-existent problem is a serious Ethics breach - particularly from the government - and would deserve swift punishment of those involved. The government’s function is to improve quality of life and protect the public. Except in military instances, where someone’s life is unduly jeopardized, nothing warrants obscuring information,much less lying, to the public.

[quote]BigRedMachina wrote:
I still think that obesity is a public health concern in America – as people have mentioned already, the American diet is becoming increasingly poor nutritionally, and physical activity is declining, and of course these things can cause obesity along with the many health problems associated with it.

But it still amazes me that the government continues to use the BMI to measure the prevalence of obesity. Common sense alone should tell you that a formula that is based only on height and weight isn’t a very good indicator of fatness, yet the government still relies on data collected from studies that use the BMI!

And, as a number of recent news articles have pointed out, most athletes, even those that don’t even look huge by most people’s standards, are considered “overweight”![/quote]

How else can you do it?

Do you know how expesive it would be to get the right equiptment to measure body fat? Do you know how much time it would take per patient? IF you used body fat calipers the data would be even worse.