Do you know why I’m fat? It’s because I don’t have enough cultural activities in my life. I don’t read enough, I don’t go to the theatre enough (I guess it doesn’t count when you’re onstage instead of in the audience), and I don’t spend enough time on the Internet!
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry (or both) over this study and its conclusions.
And even worse is the discussion in this magazine article, written by Fred C. Pampel PhD, the guy who did the “study”:
There have been many studies showing an association between socioeconomic status (SES) and weight. Lower SES usually means fatter. It’s not that people from a lower SES don’t have the mental wherewithal to enjoy cultural activities – they are tired and stressed and don’t have the money for season tickets to the ballet. Survival can wear your ass out.
Dr. Pampel believes:
“The social meaning of the activity rather than the activity itself must be important for weight control.”
How’s that for a steaming pile of condescension?
Dr. Pampel also says, more highly educated people tend to both read more and weigh less.
Perhaps that’s because people of a lower SES can’t afford to be highly educated – they have to work; and institutions of higher learning tend to prefer not-fat applicants over fat ones.
And, according to Dr. Pampel, you need higher education to understand the “importance of proper weight for good health”, and “mastering difficult coursework in college can help build confidence in one’s ability to reach difficult goals – including managing weight.”
It’s the old, fat people are so stupid they don’t understand that being fat is bad and they don’t know how to lose weight story.
Well, Dr. Pampel, you might be surprised to learn that NOBODY KNOWS how to achieve significant long term weight loss for most people.
Oh, and then there’s that little thing called genetics. If most people in the higher SES are thin(ner) or prefer thin(ner) mates, after a few generations, how do you think that is going to shake out genetics-wise?
Like many fat people, Whaliam and I are avid readers, enjoy listening to music, and use the Internet – a lot! Somehow, I don’t think we’re the exception that that proves the rule.