not dead

“Total and annual percent change in age-standardized death rates and years of potential life lost before age 75 years for all causes combined and for heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, unintentional injuries, and diabetes mellitus.”


Between 1969 and 2013, for

All causes of death there was a 42.9% reduction.

Stroke – 77.0% reduction

Heart disease – 67.5% reduction

Cancer – 17.9% reduction

Diabetes – 16.5% reduction

So despite all the fat-death screaming of society, at least here in America (you know, the land of fatties), there is a lot less death.  Especially for deaths where fat is blamed such as stroke and heart disease.

The only increase was in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Something that is not considered fat-related.

And yet in an article in,

“However, the death rate from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease doubled over the study period, from 21 deaths per 100,000 people in 1969 to 42 deaths per 100,000 people in 2013, the researchers found. This increase might be a result of obesity, as well as continued smoking, lead author Jiemin Ma, a researcher at the American Cancer Society, and colleagues, said in the report.”

Except I couldn’t find anything in the published study that tried to link obesity and COPD.

The National Institute of Health states:

“Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants—such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust—also may contribute to COPD.”

Do you see weight, obesity, fat in that list?  I sure don’t.

Perhaps they mean that being fat increases the risk of death from COPD, but since COPD can prevent you from doing even basic activities (like walking, cooking, or taking care of yourself), it seems likely that people with COPD may be prone to weight gain because of resulting lack of mobility.  So the problem may be a lack of treatment that assists COPD patients with mobility.

The only thing I found in the study concerning obesity was blaming a slow down in the death rate reduction for stroke, heart disease and diabetes on obesity prevalence.  I guess because a 42.9% overall reduction, 77% reduction in stroke, 67.5% reduction for heart disease, and a 16.5% reduction for diabetes is just not good enough?  It couldn’t be that we’re starting to hit the wall for what our current medical skills can deal with – right?

It has to be because – fat.

And you have to cry FAT somewhere in a study.  Otherwise, how are you going to get funding for further research?

The article goes on to list some interesting statistics, taken from an accompanying editorial published in the same issue of JAMA, such as:

Alzheimer’s disease moved from the eighth-leading cause of death in 2000 to the sixth-leading cause in 2013, McGinnis wrote in the editorial.

Suicide rates also increased by one-third from 2000 to 2013, “highlighting the importance of mental health and depression as prominent health challenges,” McGinnis said.

What’s more, death rates among black people were about double those for white people in infant mortality, heart disease, diabetes and prostate cancer in 2013, he said.

The editorial’s take away from the study is

“Ultimately, the most fundamental national challenge is bringing the best health possible to its entire population, regardless of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status,” McGinnis wrote in the editorial.

I agree generally with that statement; however, I feel like McGinnis is missing the point.  While the ultimate problem may be “bringing the best health possible to its entire population,” the cause is lack of affordable healthcare options.

Until the United States makes healthcare accessible to its entire population, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and size, we won’t be able to tell what we can achieve in reducing our death rates in this nation.



Well, actually, I did just throw up in my mouth a little bit when I saw this article.

Oh boy, we now have a whole group of “Fat Concern Trolls,” getting together to help fatties like me to live with our chronic “disease” of obesity.

Let me make this clear – FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!

Is obesity a chronic disease?  I don’t think so, but I’d actually be okay with this categorization if it meant that discrimination against fat people could be ended.  Unfortunately, it mostly adds credence to the folks who want to “cure” fatness.  That’s like trying to “cure” tallness, or shortness, or having brown eyes.

This group claims that their National Obesity Care Week (“NOCW”) is a campaign to advance a

[C]omprehensive, compassionate and personalized approach to treating obesity as a disease.

Uh uh.

Since, there is NO KNOWN METHOD for long term significant weight reduction for MOST people, I assume this treatment must be not weight focused but health focused.

That would make me very happy.  There is a lot of science out there that tells us that there are ways to improve your health without achieving weight loss.  In fact, focusing on weight loss is actually detrimental to the process – because once the weight loss stops (and it ALWAYS stops) the participants tend to stop participating in the otherwise healthful actions.

You see, healthy behavior is GOOD FOR EVERY BODY.  It doesn’t matter what you weigh when you start; and it doesn’t matter what you weigh while you’re doing it, and healthy behavior doesn’t have an end goal.


And I want to be clear here.  Nobody has a duty to do anything with their own body.  If you choose not to engage in any given behavior – no problem.  You do not have a “duty” to be (or be perceived as) healthy, good looking, or anything else.  As Regan Chastain puts it, “You are the boss of your own underpants,” and I’ll add – you are the boss of what those underpants contain.  I am saying that if you choose to engage in behavior that will enhance your own health, the outcomes will be better if health is your focus, not weight.

The article also claims:

Nearly half of people affected by obesity say they have not been advised by a physician about maintaining a healthy weight, according to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

I read this and my first reaction was to call BULLSHIT.  Turns out I was right.

The study they are referring to does not say that.

First, the study is a small (1,100 participants) phone survey; and the data can be found here: and

The question, it seems, is what do you mean by “affected” by obesity?

I would say, that would be someone who is obese.  The study’s chart shows that almost 70% of the obese participants (25% of the study participants) were advised on maintaining a healthy weight, and 80% of those participants were advised about the “risks” of being overweight/obese.

Apparently, this group believes that people “affected by obesity” means everyone.

And in case, you weren’t sure that these people don’t get it :

[A]ccording to patient advocate Michelle Vicari, “Many individuals living with obesity may avoid seeking medical care because they feel alienated and uncomfortable. Finding a doctor who is engaging, compassionate and committed to working with patients to develop a comprehensive weight-loss plan can be life-changing.”

Yes, fat people do feel alienated and uncomfortable seeking medical care.  That’s because they are they are often treated with disrespect and sometimes outright cruelty.  And a comprehensive weight-loss plan would be life-changing – IF IT EXISTED!!!!

Basically, what this group is really concerned with is trying to funnel more money into methods of “dealing” with fat people that are not helpful – things that are focused on weight loss rather than health.

Also, NAAFA (National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance) has said


This is a perfect example.  All these people going to “help” us poor, helpless fatties, without asking us what would help.  You know, like Microsoft programs “help” you do what you want to do, without having a concept of what you actually are doing.

Please, for the love of whatever you hold holy,


Questions about NAAFA

If you didn’t know, NAAFA is the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, and was the first fat rights group. It was a truly important force in the fat acceptance movement in the 1970s and the 1980s, through part of the 1990s. To put it kindly, it is less so today. Its website is; take a look if you like.

But rather than tell you about NAAFA, I’d rather ask you.

  • Had you heard of NAAFA before?
  • What’s your impression of NAAFA?
  • Is NAAFA relevant? Why or why not?
  • Should NAAFA be doing something that it isn’t?
  • Anything else you’d like to say?

Let’s discuss!


our gang

I just read this article on Yahoo:

“How to Talk to Your Kids About Weight – 6 Dos and Don’ts”

I have one suggestion – DON’T.

Read the article.

Every one of the suggestions is a good idea.  Focus on health, do not focus on weight or looks.

Except the way the article is written, you are being encouraged to LIE to your child.

Because all of these suggestions are supposed to disguise the fact that you are talking to your child about weight.

Fuck you.

Talk to your kid about health.  Talk to your kid about body-acceptance.  Talk about your kid about self-esteem and self-worth.

But do it from an honest place.

Don’t talk to your kid about all of these things because of their weight.  Kids are not stupid.  Kids will pick up the subtext of the conversation.  And if you are not honest with your kid, how do you expect your kid to be honest with you?

You know that people come in all sizes.  Let your kid know that too.  And then let your kid know that it’s okay for people to be different from each other.

Talk to your kid about health, and what a wonderful kid they are because you LOVE them.  That is how they learn that their worth is not a number on a scale.


naafa fashion card

This is part three of a series in which I respond to the author of this:

And Ms. Weinberg, reducing calorie intake and increasing calorie expenditure does not always lead to weight loss. And while the arithmetic (calories in = calories out) seems simple, the results are not because the human body is not simple.

Deb Burgard’s thoughts (“is there value in focusing on weight at all?”) are a breath of fresh air in this article.

And Ms. Weinberg shows exactly where she misses the actual point that Deb Burgard is making:

[Deb Burgard’s] point sticks, blunted by data that do, in fact, show a health disparity between people of different weights – and on the other hand, strengthened by research showing a strong connection between chronic stress and health.

The health disparity between people of different weights may be due to reasons other than weight. There is more going on here than weight. And that is Deb Burgard’s point.

Ms. Weinberg does not understand, besides the convenience of access to healthy food and a place to exercise, the kind of discrimination and bigotry fat people face each time they appear in public. She doesn’t understand what that does to a person over a lifetime.

If people want fat folks to live a healthier life, then stop treating us like shit when we venture out and attempt to participate in healthy activities. How about you just stop treating us like shit altogether? How would that be?

The fact remains, what constitutes healthy behavior for fat people, is healthy behavior for all people. There is no reason for a focus on weight, and studies have shown that a focus on weight loss tends to lead to the end of healthy behavior when the weight loss stops. Studies have shown, as well, that if the focus is on health or enjoyment, the healthy behavior is more likely to continue whether or not weight loss occurs. So the focus on weight is self-defeating.

The solution is not to reframe obesity as superfluous, but rather to seek a new approach to a decades-old problem. We need to focus on treating and preventing obesity, not only through intensive weight-loss regimes for individuals, but by attacking the root cause: the behaviours that are damaging to your health, no matter what your size.

No Ms. Weinberg, the solution is not focus on treating and preventing obesity. We’ve been focusing on fatness, and it hasn’t worked.


The focus should be on achieving better health no matter what your size. That is something that is achievable.

If we stop stigmatizing and judging fat children; if we stop putting fat children on diets, or exposing all children to fat bias, maybe children can grow up with the type of body they were naturally meant to have. Instead of trying to force them all into some cookie-cutter mold, people could be naturally what they are and we could enjoy the diversity of nature.

I am not saying that we should ignore the health-risks that have been associated with obesity. I am saying we need to treat those conditions if they arise (and not simply assume they will arise, because they don’t always). I am saying that until there is an actual treatment for obesity, the healthcare professionals need to focus on what is achievable – better health. And even if there were a way to turn fatties in to thin folks, the healthcare industry should still be focusing on health first.

And you Ms. Weinberg, don’t understand, really, that the impacts of fat shaming and discrimination are not only psychological; they are physical as well. Society is cruel. But the problem with discrimination and fat-shaming and bigotry runs a lot deeper than that, especially when the outcome is fat people being denied their basic rights. If you think fat people simply need to toughen up, you must not know any fat people –or the ones you do know, don’t trust you enough to let you see who they are and what they deal with as a fat person.

Yes, government and society need to address access to healthy food and lack of exercise spaces. But society needs to provide fat people with a safe place to access and utilize those things.

And healthcare professionals need to provide fat people with non-stigmatizing healthcare that focuses on health instead of weight.


naafa fashion card

This is part two of a series in which I dive deeply (or try to) into the mind of the author of this:

Seems like writer Ms. Weinberg ignores one of the main reasons fat people do not engage in healthier behavior – starting from a very young age, fat children are taunted if they try to engage in sports, games or simply existing. So they stop engaging. If every time you step outside your house, you are called names and bullied, you stop going outside. If people stare at you and make unkind statements about you when you go out to a nice restaurant or you are doing your grocery shopping, you start choosing options that reduce your interaction with other people – like using fast food drive-thrus, or the convenience store.

If you eat a healthy meal or exercise, you are either praised (because the people around you think you are doing this because you agree with their judgment that you need to lose weight), or you condemned (subjected to the judgment of, “it’s about time;” or “who does she think she’s fooling”).

Everything you do in public is judged.

Ms. Weinberg does list some of the problems with BMI, but then goes on to say that we should be looking at body fat distribution and waist circumference.

Well, how your body deals with body fat is going to be tied to genetics. If being short or tall statistically presents certain health risks, no one is going to recommend “treatment”.

Remember back when we discovered that what was healthy for a man was not necessarily healthy for a woman? We didn’t know that because up to that point, most studies usually only used men as test subjects. Surprise, different bodies, different needs. Well, perhaps it’s time we try to determine what is healthy for fat people as opposed what is healthy for thin people. Different bodies, (possibly) different needs. We won’t know until we stop the mindset that thin people represent the most desirable health outcome.

In citing the 10 year study of participants in the Australian research, showing that even metabolically healthy fatties have an elevated risk of getting diabetes, how many of those participants also engaged in dieting over those years, and how many were subjected to fat discrimination and fat bias? In other words, what else besides weight and metabolic markers were taken into consideration, in determining what caused one-third of the participants to become “unhealthy” metabolically? And yes, for a significant portion of the participants, metabolic health was transitory but for the majority, it was not. Why was that not emphasized? And what about health deterioration that is just due to getting older?

And then Ms. Weinberg suggests that we should lower the bar to establish metabolic health for fatties! Excuse me? Nobody wants to believe in fat and fit, so let’s just lower the bar until we can say fatties are not metabolically fit. You know, something like they did with glucose numbers.

But then we get down to the crux of the article. Most fat people are not metabolically healthy. There are health risks associated with being fat. The socio-economic reasons are discussed, but nobody is talking about the effect of society, discrimination and fat bias on a fat person.

When you see a fat person, you are looking at someone who has been exposed to hate and discrimination their entire life! If hate worked, we would all be thin, okay?

You are probably looking at someone who has engaged in dieting for a good part of their life. Dieting includes, not only, the harm done to the body through calorie restriction, but the harm done to the mind when the diet fails and the dieter feels the shame and blame of the failure.

We keep hearing that fat people are a burden on the health system. No, unhealthy people are a burden on the health system. If a person suffers from ill health, for whatever reason, should they be denied care? If the healthcare system has no known treatment for the underlying reason (whatever that may be) for the problem, should fatties be denied care?

When a fat person goes to the doctor, they are in the extremely vulnerable position of being ill and having to seek care from someone who is quite likely to have a bias against fat people. Fat people are often given lectures about their fatness, even when being fat has nothing to do with the reason that person is seeking care. And often fat people do not receive the care needed. Instead they are simply told to stop being fat and that will take care of everything.

Oh, and the treatment that is supposed to help you stop being fat, is dieting, a treatment that is pretty much guaranteed to make you even fatter in the future. And if the diet doesn’t work, it’s your fault, so no healthcare for you, fatty.