According to a recent study, there is a new obesity “paradox” in town.  Researchers found that people who are fat when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, tend to live longer than people who are average weight when diagnosed.


Well yay us.  Seems like fatties may have something going on that helps our bodies deal with type 2 diabetes!  Right?

Well, the lead researcher Mercedes R. Carnethon has decided that the results couldn’t reflect some protective nature about being fat and having type 2 diabetes.  Heaven forbid.  No, she posits that the reason must be that lean people who get diabetes are somehow predisposed to worse health.

 “Perhaps those individuals are somehow genetically loaded to develop diabetes and have higher mortality,” she said. “A normal-weight person who has diabetes has an extremely high mortality rate.”

With all due respect Dr. Carnethon.  Fuck you.

She goes on to try to explain away the results of her research by claiming they couldn’t always track how much people were smoking (well, honey, fat people smoke too), or (I love this one) before being diagnosed the person was told to lose weight, and so is really an ex-fatty and that’s really why they died.  (So even if you aren’t fat anymore, they still want to claim you died from death-by-fat?  Argggggghhhhhh.)

So instead of saying, wow, there may be something going on that is protective about fat – maybe we should study that – Dr. Carnethon is like a two-year-old, being told something she doesn’t want to believe is possible – NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!  And the sad thing is many healthcare professionals and researchers are on Dr. Carnethon’s side, simply because they can’t believe there could be anything good associated with fat.





  1. I feel like I just had this conversation last night. A good friend of mine is waiting on a biopsy to find out if she has to face a second form of cancer (she’s already a breast cancer survivor, four years and counting).

    She was telling me that she told her doctor that the ‘good’ thing about it is that she’ll finally lose weight. She seriously was happy when she lost three pounds while on chemo last time. I wish I were kidding.

    Well, apparently the doctor informed her that in the treatment for this cancer – if, all powers of the universe forbid, she has it – will lead to weight gain.

    So there she sat bemoaning potential cancer not because she could be facing death, not because it’s miserable to fight the disease, but because she might wind up weighing another fifteen or twenty pounds when she gets healthy again!

    I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to shake her by the shoulders and tell her she should welcome any sign of recovery as the positive it is.

    But there we sat in a restaurant she and her family frequent a lot. All I could do under the circumstances was take another bite of my flautas and try not to cause a scene in the middle of a public space.

    I love this woman dearly, but her attitude toward fat is so utterly toxic that I find myself avoiding her because she literally cannot hold a two minute conversation without railing against fat. I’ve known her for more than thirty years and she’s been on every diet ever conceived by human mind short of the one where you inject the urine of pregnant women into your bloodstream and get 500cal a day nutrition from a feeding tube. I think if her HMO covered it, she might try that one, too. Those three pounds she lost undergoing chemo? Are the only ones that have ever left her body. And yet she devotes huge amounts of her time, her energy, her money, and her mental space to the endless battle to get thin at any cost, whatsoever. What’s more, she’s still convinced it’s simply a matter of calories in vs calories out and it’s really, really easy to lose a lot of weight.

    And you know what? Every day every source of mainstream information tells her she’s right, I’m wrong, and being thin is proof that you’re healthy… even if you have to get cancer to get thin.

    Yeah, today I’m going to have a good cry about that.

    • I have a Real Bad Disease. It has caused me to lose a lot of weight. If someone would take this disease off me, they can have all the weight loss that came with it (a rather substantial amount), and I’d gladly take the weight back.
      If this were actually possible, I bet I could auction the disease on Ebay and get a tidy sum for it.
      Twistie, your dear friend is nuts. And sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve heard of people sort of wishing for cancer so they could lose lots of weight.

      • I’m sorry to hear you are ill. People often compliment people because of weight loss, never thinking that this is not always a happy circumstance.

  2. This is very interesting. Type 2 diabetes runs in my family. And it hits people at weird ages and skips around among nuclear families. I was diagnosed at the same time as my aunt…she’s about 8 years older than me. I have always been fat, since I was 5 years old. She has always been rail thin and an exercise fanatic. My diabetes was relatively easy to get under control with some food and exercise modifications–I already worked out and ate fairly well so I added weight training and cut back on the bread–and very low doses of oral medication. My aunt had a terrible time getting her diabetes under control. Now she’s on insulin and still struggles to keep her numbers low. I’ve seen this pattern repeated a few times in my family. I know it’s anecdotal, but it did lead me to wonder whether fat was protective in some way.

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