videoApr 17, 2014 1:15 pm
Indian-American actress, producer, and writer Mindy Kaling gets called a lot of things, but “brave” shouldn’t be one of them, according to her. She talks to Jimmy Kimmel about backhanded compliments on her weight and why she chooses to wear the clothes she does. Then she gives us a bit of realtalk about how amazing her job and career are so we don’t need to pity “Mindy Kaling the sea monster” (if the tabloids had their way!).
photosetMar 26, 2014 9:33 pm
textMar 15, 2014 11:27 am
This is Redefining Body Image's go-to list of resources, articles, research, videos, etc. providing facts and information regarding health and body image, especially dedicated to debunking the everyone's favorite myth that fat = unhealthy.
If I referred you to this page and this way of thinking about fat and fat health is new to you, I encourage you to have an open mind.
If you have something to add, please submit! The more this list grows, the more ammo we have to back us up in our fight against the body positive nay-sayers.
Let the facts come marching in.
- Articles and Evidence by the Fat Nutritionist that go into some of the controversies around dieting, weight, and eating.
- A massive list of resources discussing the truth behind fat health can be found over at Big Liberty Blog, titled Truth Behind Fat: References.
- One of my staple resources, Kate Harding answers the ever popular question directed at fat activists: "But Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy?"
- Some more from the lovely Kate Harding: “Reality vs. Relativism" and "Diets Don’t Work”.
- A scientific study helping to prove how diets really work by, Junkfood Science - How We’ve Come to Believe that Overeating Causes Obesity
- More of Me to Love discusses fat health, fitness, and health at every size.
- Everyone Knows Obesity Is Hurting Us, But Is the Fight Against Obesity the Problem? - Linda Bacon, Ph.D.
- The Health At Every Size® Manifesto.
- Heart Surgeon Speaks Out Against What Really Causes Heart Disease - A very interesting and informative piece that details new studies on heart disease.
- Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift
- Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: diets are not the answer.
- The TRUE Cost of Fatties - Looking closely at how obesity impacts gas costs and health care, which is to say not at all.
- More on Obesity and Healthcare Costs here.
- Stereotype Management Skills by Deb Burgard, PhD. discusses how to refute fat shaming propaganda, among other helpful things.
- Uncommon Knowledge About Changes in Body Weight by Lily O’Hara
- Things Obesity is Not by Ragen Chastain
- 'Everyone knows' obesity kills, but is weight loss the answer? by Lydia Turner
- Above-Normal Weight Alone Does Not Necessarily Increase Short-Term Risk of Death, U.S. Data Suggest - Science Daily, July 2012
- Among diabetes patients, the obese outlive the trim - a study that cracks fat health stereotypes about type 2 diabetes
- 'Fitness and Fatness': Not All Obese People Have the Same Prognosis; Second Study Sheds Light On 'Obesity Paradox' - People can be obese but metabolically healthy and fit, with no greater risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer than normal weight people, according to the largest study ever to have investigated this seeming paradox.
- This TED talk by Julie Rochefort called “Shift the Focus” discusses and displays a lot of really important data based around the fact that health is possible at EVERY size. A short 8 minute video that covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
- This extensive article by Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D. called Obesity, Health, and Metabolic Fitness debunks a number of myths regarding fat health. Many important topics are covered, from “thinner is not necessarily healthier” to “emphasis on weight loss” being “misdirected and hazardous”, to challenging the link between obesity and heart disease. A very comprehensive and informative resource.
- Fear Mongering for the Nation by Fat Body Politics - A critical look at the HBO documentary Weight of the Nation.
- Why Diets are Harmful and Counterproductive by Linda Bacon challenges conventional wisdom regarding obesity and weight loss to support the conclusion that “Weight is a baseless measure for health, and weight loss a counterproductive goal.”
- Peter Attia Ted Talk: Is the “obesity crisis” hiding a bigger problem? - Challenges conventional approaches to how diabetes and fat health is framed in society, touching on the science involved in insulin resistance and metabolic issues.
Fat Acceptance/Size Discrimination Related Resources (WIP)
- Ever wanted to learn more about Fat Acceptance? Check out the Fat Acceptance FAQ over at Spilt Milk, complete with a list of links to some great health-related info.
- 5 Fat Acceptance Myths Debunked - Debunking myths such as “Fat acceptance demands complete confidence and self-love at all times.”
- NAAFA Official Website
- The Association for Size Diversity and Health // Research Articles
Body Positivity Resources (WIP)
- Body Positivity 101 by The Ellipses Project
photoFeb 08, 2014 11:38 am
photoFeb 05, 2014 7:28 pm
These are the kinds of facts that remind me how strong the confident women in my life are, and how unfairly difficult that has been for some of them to achieve, given how many parts of society seem to be determined to make them feel awful about themselves all the time. Let’s be real — we’re fighting an uphill battle against all the things on this graphic.
textFeb 01, 2014 2:44 pm
Truth Behind Fat: References
DISCLAIMER: This links list is always in the works, and is not comprehensive or complete. If evidence is not listed, it doesn’t mean it does not exist. If you have any links to add, please insert them in relevant comments and they will be reviewed.
For a general resource on debunking the junk science behind obesity, please see:
- Linda Bacon’s resources and blog
- Sandy Szwarc’s blog, Junkfood Science
- Michelle’s blog, The Fat Nutritionist
- ASDAH’s article repository
Debunking Fat Hate and Misconceptions
Doesn’t Obesity Kill?
- Obesity does not kill 400,000 Americans a year (in fact, it ‘contributes’ to fewer than 30,000).
- Fit Over 60s Live Longer Regardless of Body Fat
- No tenable link between obesity and breast cancer type
- No tenable link between diet and weight control and remission of type II diabetes
- The J-curve relationship between BMI and mortality
- Mortality risk for overweight and obese is no greater than for ‘normal’ when hypertension and diabetes are controlled for, (Anthony Jerant, Peter Franks. “Body Mass Index, Diabetes, Hypertension, and Short-Term Mortality: A Population-Based Observational Study, 2000–2006″ J Am Board Fam Med July-August 2012 vol. 25 no. 4 422-431)
- Low-Calorie Diet Doesn’t Prolong Life (New York Times, August 29, 2012)
Shouldn’t Fat People Should Simply Eat Less and Move More?
- In controlled settings people lose 10% of their weight on a diet, but one third to two thirds of the weight is regained within 1 year, and almost all is regained within 5 years. (“Methods for voluntary weight loss and control. NIH Technology Assessment Conference Panel.” Ann Intern Med. 1992 Jun 1;116(11):942-9.)
- The preponderance of evidence shows that diets don’t work
- No weight loss intervention shown generally effective post 5 years
- Fat people as a whole metabolically the same as lean people, except that they’re bigger
- Eating and weight gain not necessarily linked, study shows
- Evidence for a bodyweight setpoint (energy homeostasis)
- Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: Diets are not the answer. (Mann, Traci; Tomiyama, A. Janet; Westling, Erika; Lew, Ann-Marie; Samuels, Barbra; Chatman, Jason. American Psychologist, Vol 62(3), Apr 2007, 220-233. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.62.3.220 ) (PDF)
Isn’t There An Obesity Epidemic?
Yeah, But What About the Children? Isn’t Fat Killing Them?
- Americans have only gained an average of 14 lbs (women) and 16 lbs (men) since 1990 (Gallup)
- Obesity: An Overblown Epidemic
- The 1998 BMI definition changes made 30 million Americans overweight or obese OVERNIGHT
- The Myth of the Obesity “Tsunami”
- One-third of American Adults are Obese, but Rate Slows
- Childhood famine (that includes dieting and starvation) increases risk of type 2 diabetes
- Adolescents who engage in unhealthy weight-control behaviors such as dieting and binge eating are three times more likely five years later to be overweight than adolescents who did not engage in those behaviors
Isn’t Weight a Lifestyle Choice?
- Obesity largely determined by genetics, says study
- Obesity is 77% heritable
- Thin parents pass on skinny genes to children (October 4, 2011, The Independent, UK)
- Insulin resistance. A multifaceted syndrome responsible for NIDDM, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. DeFronzo RA, Ferrannini E. Diabetes Care. 1991 Mar;14(3):173-94.
But Doesn’t the Idea that People are Different Sizes Though Consuming/Exercising the Same Violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
- In fact, in principle, the suggestion that a “calorie is a calorie” — all human metabolisms are the same Bunsen Burner — violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Isn’t there a Study that Disproves the Claim that You Can Be Fit and Fat?
- That study is junk science. The preponderance of evidence shows that in fact, one can be fat and fit.
Is there Discrimination Against Fat People?
- Brownell Obesity Discrimination Study (2001)
- Health Professionals Specializing in Obesity Aren’t Immune from Weight-Bias
- The surprising reason why being overweight isn’t healthy
- Obesity bias based on disgust, study says (2010)
Isn’t Fat Unhealthy?
- Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift (Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:9, 24 January 2011)
- Higher BMI can lower risk for Alzheimer’s
- Metabolic syndrome associated with decelerated cognitive decline in the very elderly
- The case against the Type II diabetes “epidemic” in kids
- You can’t eat your way to diabetes
- ‘Obese’ BMI does not harm current health of young adults, study says
- Obesity not always tied to higher heart risk (Reuters, May 24, 2012)
Shouldn’t Fat People Try to Diet Anyway?
But Aren’t Food Deserts/Lack of Access/Poor Choices/Lack of Time Making Poor People Fatter?
- Although long-term follow-up data are meager, the data that do exist suggest almost complete relapse after 3-5 yr. (Miller, W. C. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Aug;31(8):1129-34.)
- In fact, size acceptance and health at every size may be a better approach to health than chronic dieting. (Bacon L, Stern JS, Van Loan MD, Keim NL. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Jun;105(6):929-36.)
- Except that dieting can kill you, even when you’re fat and dieting down to a ‘normal’ weight.
- And there are suggestions that frequent (intentional) weight loss diets reflect susceptibility to weight gain, rendering dieters prone to future weight gain. (August 9, 2011, K H Pietiläinen, S E Saarni, J Kaprio and A Rissanen. “Does dieting make you fat? A twin study” International Journal of Obesity | doi:10.1038/ijo.2011.160)
- Healthy lifestyle habits are associated with a significant decrease in mortality regardless of baseline body mass index. (Eric M. Matheson, MS, MD, Dana E. King, MS, MD and Charles J. Everett, PhD. J Am Board Fam Med January-February 2012 vol. 25 no. 1 9-15)
- And adolescents who engage in unhealthy weight-control behaviors such as dieting and binge eating are three times more likely five years later to be overweight than adolescents who did not engage in those behaviors.
- There are even further suggestions suggest that for many adolescents, dieting to control weight is not only ineffective, it may actually promote weight gain. (Alison E. Field, ScD, S. B. Austin, ScD, C. B. Taylor, MD, Susan Malspeis, SM, Bernard Rosner, PhD, Helaine R. Rockett, RD, Matthew W. Gillman, MD, Graham A. Colditz, MD. “Relation Between Dieting and Weight Change Among Preadolescents and Adolescents” PEDIATRICS Vol. 112 No. 4 October 1, 2003 pp. 900 -906)
- Weight Regain Following Sustained Weight Reduction is Predicted by Relative Insulin Sensitivity, Trudy J. Yost, Dalan R. Jensen, Dr. Robert H. Eckel*, Obesity Research, Volume 3, Issue 6, pages 583–587, November 1995
- Studies question the pairing of food deserts and obesity (Gina Kolata, The New York Times, April 17, 2012)
General Sites Debunking the Junk Science About Obesity
- The Problem With Peer Review
- When the population approach to prevention puts the health of individuals at risk
Evidence for the Moral Panic
ADOPTION AND FERTILITY
- Australian woman told she was too fat to adopt (January 2003, The Age, Australia)
- In the UK, fat women can’t adopt (June 2006)
- Kylie Lannigan told she was ‘too fat to adopt’ (June 2007, Australia)
- Gary Stocklaufer denied adoption request because he was fat (July 2007, United States)
- New Zealand bans fat woman from entering the country (November 2007, Big Fat Blog, NZ)
- Obese women not allowed to get IVF treatments (December 2008, BBC News, UK)
- Charlotte and Damien Hall denied for adoption because of their BMI (January 2009, The Guardian, UK)
- Couple accused of starving baby so she doesn’t get fat (January 28, 2010, Fox News, USA)
- Grandad arrested over Grand Canyon hike (September 2, 2011, The Age, Australia)
- Parents allegedly starved baby because of obesity concerns (November 8, 2011, ABC News, USA)
- Grandmother to face capital charges in granddaughter’s death (March 1, 2012, CBS News, USA)
- Oz parents to be held responsible for their kid’s obesity (February 2, 2009, The Indian Express, India)
- Parents of fat children told they may be put up for adoption (September 5, 2011, Mirror News, UK/Scotland)
- Ohio puts 200-lb third grader into foster care (November 27, 2011, MSNBC, USA)
- ‘Obese’ 5 year old taken from parents (December 5, 2011, iOL News, UK)
DEMONIZATION OF FAT PARENTS, AND PARENTS OF FAT CHILDREN
- Is childhood obesity a symptom of neglect? (July 16, 2010, TIME Magazine, USA)
- Study: Children are likely to become overweight by mimicking behaviors of obese parents NOTE: The study did not in fact show that children become overweight by mimicking the behaviors of fat parents, despite that scare-headline. It just showed that fat parents are much more likely to have fat children — which makes sense, given body weight is 77% heritable (July 13, 2009, NYDailyNews, USA)
MEDICINE AND HEALTH CARE
- Doctors’ ultimatum to kidney transplant wife: Lose 42lb in nine months or watch your husband die (March 2009, Daily Mail, UK – h/t richie79)
TAXATION AND PUBLIC POLICY
- Fat people should have their food taxed to ‘pay for healthcare’
- Don’t operate on smokers and the obese, says NHS Health Secretary (February 2007, Daily Mail, UK)
- City government promotes lie to motivate weight loss via fear; anti-obesity agenda is to blame
- The 1998 BMI definition changes made 30 million Americans overweight or obese OVERNIGHT
- Obesity bias based on disgust, study says (2010)
- Global governments must get ‘tough on obesity,’ in which the commentariat helpfully suggests plus-size clothing be ‘prescription-only,’ amongst other astoundingly panicked and bigoted replies (August 25, 2011, BBC Health, UK)
- Southwest, Sizism, and Institutionalized Oppression (Athia, YouTube, August 2011)
- On Kevin Smith and Flying Fat (BigLiberty, February 15, 2010)
WORK AND EMPLOYMENT
Libertarian/Anarcho-capitalist Arguments Against the Obesity Moral Panic
photoJan 25, 2014 5:05 pm
You know, there are lots of industries and groups that don’t deserve their stereotypes. And then there’s modeling, which is even worse than I can imagine. Watch how they look at girls and what they do to them.
photoJan 13, 2014 1:43 pm