Thursday, March 19, 2009

Obesity "epidemic" may be overstated

It's nice to read every once in awhile that people need to rethink the obesity epidemic as so many of us have already stated. In this article, sociologist Samantha Kwan of the University of Houston says the obesity epidemic may be overstated and is more of a moral panic. Kwan says:

"This epidemic has been constructed to the benefit of the medical industry that has in part medicalized the treatment of obesity over the years. While there may be a rise in 'obesity,' the BMI is not always accurate. Some scholars describe this epidemic more as a moral panic. While there may be some truths to rising rates, they have been overstated."

Unfortunately, you don't hear this much but rather just how significant the obesity rate is. I still often wonder if this obesity hysteria would not have been so dramatic had the BMI cut offs for branding someone "overweight" been lowered. To me, there was a correlation between that and the mass thinking of the obesity epidemic.


Gaining Back My Life said...

No one deserves to be put into a bmi bracket without a knowledgable Dietician actually conducting a 7 fold caliper test.

BMI charts really irk me, to no end.

Tiptoe said...

GBML, I agree. It's too bad that more places don't have hydrostatic water testing.

Gwen said...

The fear of obesity is just insane in our culture. I used to be afraid of fat, too, when I had an eating disorder . I still fight my fears and try to recognize those thoughts as remnants of my disease. Thanks for the insightful post. I'm glad you are in recovery. I know how hard it is!

Tiptoe said...

Gwen, so true the culture we live in. I'm glad you continue to fight the ED battle. In the end, it's the best thing we can do.