"her body is fat"

Last night Suzanne and I went to hear Paul Campos talk at the IPRH. He's the author of The Obesity Myth; Why America's Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health and wow, what a good speaker with such interesting and ultimately very useful points.

For example, our hysteria over America's obesity is a moral and social panic perpetuated mainly by very heavy white men and very thin upper-class white women who are projecting their obsessions and diseases onto our whole culture.

Cancer, strokes, and heart disease, the diseases that people point to as reasons for most of us who are in the 60-odd % of the population deemed overweight or obese, are in a steady decline while life expectancy is in a steady increase. So while we may be getting heavier, it's not having quite the dire effect people say.

It's easy to make people feel guilty about overconsumption and grossness and for some reason food overconsumption is what we're worried about right now, instead of irreversible ecological damage, gas guzzling, land misuse, etc.

Half of American girls have been on a diet by age ten.

The $50,000,000,000 (yes, billion is what he said) diet industry fails to produce the results it promises, thus creating more need for its servcies even though it fails.

Most people who start diets end up heavier than when they started. Whatever we're doing about weight isn't working.

Unfortuantely I didn't get a sense from this talk about what he thinks should happen instead. And I'm not clear on what "health" then means and entails. I need to read the book. Fascinating.

This posting title comes from something he said in the end, when mentioning that he does not allow his mother to say anything to his ten-year-old daughter about her weight, and I loved that when giving examples of dangerous language he used "fat" to describe a body, not a person. But of coruse, if we adopt that, where do we stop? My body is above average height? My hair is brunette?

I rambled about other stuff too. Wanna see?

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projects, friends, etc.

  • I love Bollywood so much that I made a separate blog for it.
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  • when you take grad school too much to heart re: literature
  • when you take grad school too much to heart re: travels
  • The Trophy Wife
  • rock and roll lifestyle
  • Why God Why
  • Technically not a friend, as not a human, but still a place I love very much, so it counts: Massey College
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