Unless you’ve been unconscious, live in a cave, or are a member of the lost tribe of the Amazon, you’ve heard about the overweight/obesity “epidemic.” You've also been subjected to myriad reports, studies, reviews, and opinions that fat is bad and that too many people have too much of it. Television shows like The Biggest Loser portray health as a matter of losing weight at all costs, and media outlets provide us with almost daily reminders that fat is bad.
Fat people are portrayed as lazy, greedy, lacking moral character, and there have even been opinions they are using up more than their fair share of natural resources (check this out; it isn’t from the Onion.com, it’s meant to be serious).
For almost two generations, society has tried to eradicate forms of discrimination based on gender, sexual preference, religious beliefs, and race. However, now we have cultivated dislike, distaste, and derision for people who are stamped with this innocuous label of “overweight,” or who violate the tenets of the Body Mass Index (BMI).
In the 1950s we had the Red Scare and the fear that there was a “Red under every bed.” Now we have the Obese Police and their cry that there is “Fat under every hat.” The obesity scare is just an updated form of irrational hysteria.
People are – and have been – dieting more than ever, but according to the “Obese Police” we still have way too many overweight folks out there. Personal trainers and other so-called exercise and nutrition experts are delivering the message that thinner equals healthier, and that a lower BMI score is a valid measure of a person’s level of fitness and health.
The problem with all of this is that there really isn’t any reliable scientific evidence to back up these sky-is-falling assertions that obesity is a disease, an epidemic, a pandemic, and that fat itself is responsible for any diseased condition of any kind. However, what we have in spades are half-assed studies that produce half-assed conclusions that are reported as bona fide proof that fat is the root of all evil.