Fat news through 3/9

I’m still playing with different names for this feature. See below, click, and enjoy!

January 2016: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics outlines its recommendations for the successful treatment of fat adults. While recognizing the bias that fat people face, the focus is still on weight loss rather than coping with or countering the bias.
http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(15)01636-6/fulltext

March 2016: Ragen Chastain supplies and explains her 11 reasons to focus on health not weight, while acknowledging that your health is nobody else’s business unless you ask for input.
http://en.paperblog.com/11-reasons-why-i-focus-on-health-and-not-weight-1426822

March 1, 2016: Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. looks at recommendations that fat people lose 5-10% of their body weight in light of a 2010 study showing that intentional weight loss can increase risk of death from all causes.
http://blogs.plos.org/obesitypanacea/2016/03/01/does-weight-loss-reduce-risk-of-early-mortality
http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v34/n6/abs/ijo201041a.html

March 3, 2016: Dana Schuster discusses how important it is to consider issues of privilege and intersectionality in how HAES and fat activism are applied to an individual.
http://healthateverysizeblog.org/2016/03/03/the-haes-files-committed-to-a-new-haes-view

March 4, 2016: See some of the photos from Ebony’s March 2016 issue featuring successful (and beautiful) plus-size black women who are featured in an article “The Curvy Confessionals”.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/norawhelan/ebony-magazine-plus-size-cover
http://www.ebony.com/style/cover-story-the-curvy-confessionals

March 5, 2016: A blogger describes in detail what flying-while-fat is like for many fat people, including the emotions and stress the fat traveler goes through even when nothing goes wrong.
https://medium.com/@thefatshadow/what-it-s-like-to-be-that-fat-person-sitting-next-to-you-on-the-plane-85006e263778

March 8, 2016: After questionable studies and amid unsupported claims, Orexigen’s obesity drug Contrave was approved by the FDA. A former FDA deputy commissioner wants patients being prescribed Contrave to receive materials stating the drug has no benefit for the heart despite Orexigen’s claims.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2016/03/08/former-fda-official-calls-for-tougher-restrictions-on-obesity-drug-contrave
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2499275

March 9, 2016: Researchers looking at weight-loss and the health benefits of adding mindful eating and stress management to a diet-exercise program find long-term improvements in metabolic health even though there was no substantial weight loss benefit.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.21396/full
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.21472/full

New links, through 3/5

Late again, and in fact this collection of links covers two weeks of gleaning the web. Also, I’m identifying the content by the end date and not the starting date of the week. Enjoy.

February 2016: Researchers discuss three studies regarding beliefs and weight stigma, finding that negative evaluations of fat people depend upon the perceived amount of effort they’ve put into losing weight.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/294258634_Prejudice_Toward_Individuals_With_Obesity_ Evidence_for_a_Pro-Effort_Bias

February 22, 2016: As more universities add fat studies to their curricula, discussion of body diversity and body politics spreads. As an example of the spread of body-positive culture, Reddit removes a fat hatred site under its new harassment policy.
http://college.usatoday.com/2016/02/22/fat-studies-embrace-diversity-and-take-on-the-biases-of-being-overweight

February 22, 2016: As the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) contemplates allowing weight to determine insurance rates (contrary to the tenets of the Affordable Care Act), David S. Seres gives a practical explanation why such discrimination should not occur.
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/healthcare/270230-an-obesity-penalty-would-be-legalized-discrimination

February 24, 2016: Based on preliminary data from a survey, the prevalence of obesity has surpassed 30%, even though activity rates have improved.
http://www.medpagetoday.com/Endocrinology/Obesity/56362

February 24, 2016: The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) offers a free webinar on sharing the HAES message.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT2wkoBTnpQ

February 24, 2016: Travelers concerned about the width of airline seats are the unintended beneficiary of a new regulation, meant to assist parents traveling with an infant’s car seat, requiring airlines to post the width of the narrowest and widest seats in each class of service for each make, model and series of planes used in its operations, with the measurement done from inside the arm rest.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoglia/2016/02/24/new-kid-seat-rule-will-help-plus-sized-passengers

February 25, 2016: We’ve long heard that losing 10% of body weight can yield some health improvements. A new study shows that losing even 5% of body weight also achieves many health benefits. So maybe it’s the behaviors and not the weight loss . . .
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/25/big-health-benefits-to-small-weight-loss
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413116300535

February 25, 2016: Baseball player Pablo Sandoval has been the target of fat-haters, with all the usual myths and stereotypes coming into play. Registered dietitian and credentialed personal trainer Jonah Soolman explains why assuming Sandoval (or any other athlete) should lose weight to improve performance is simply wrong.
http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/john-tomase/2016/02/25/what-if-pablo-sandoval-isnt-overweight-exactly

February 25, 2016: Caroline Dooner explains that everybody deserves respect regardless of size or health status. Health is not a moral issue but disrespecting others “because we think they aren’t doing life right” is.
http://www.ravishly.com/2016/02/25/fat-haters-health-not-moral-issue

February 26, 2016: Melanie Sheppard shares her experience seeing Dawn French (once again fat) on stage radiating confidence as she discussed her body, relating French’s attitude to her own journey to loving and accepting her own body.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/melanie-sheppard/what-dawn-french-can-teach-us-about-body-image_b_9303644.html

February 26, 2016: Everyday Health talks about four classes of medication where weight can be a factor for determining effective dosage due to how the medications are processed and concentrated in the body.
http://www.everydayhealth.com/obesity/treatment/medications-dont-work-youre-overweight-obese

March 1, 2016: Sandra Aamont, PhD gave a TED talk that went viral about the risks of dieting, and has now written a book Why Diets Make Us Fat. Aamont wants people to know that healthy is better than thin.
https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/dramatically-improve-health-1-4-224539079.html

March 1, 2016: Margot Meanie provides seven tips on how to achieve a body positive home to help you on your journey to body love and acceptance.
https://www.romper.com/p/7-tips-for-building-a-body-positive-home-6050

March 3, 2016: Archeologists believe that the prevalence of figurines such as the Venus of Willendorf shows that fat people existed even during the Paleolithic period when food was scarce and life demanding.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/03/what-these-ancient-statuettes-of-obese-people-say-about-paleo-diets

Blocked out seat on an airplane

Happy Thanksgiving! This isn’t a Thanksgiving post, but it might be useful if you’re traveling for the holidays, or any other time.

I recently flew an American Airlines 737, and paid a little extra to get a better seat. They have two levels of better seats, and I paid for the lesser of the two. Mostly I wanted an aisle seat, and one near the front so I could get out more quickly. And I figured I’d get a bit more legroom. I didn’t get any more legroom, but I got the other two things.

But here’s something else I got: the middle seat was blocked off. The airline left the seat in place, bolted the armrests down, and bolted a plastic tray between them. The plus was that I got both armests to myself, and didn’t have anyone else’s shoulders or feet bumping me. The minus was that I couldn’t raise my armrests to make more room. I fit in the seat OK, and it’s still a better seat than it would be with someone right at my elbow, but more room is always better.

Now the airline could have gotten more money by just selling the seat, rather than blocking it and getting a few more bucks (above the basic ticket price) from me and the window seat guy. So why do they do this? My understanding, from a half heard conversation a flight attendant had with someone behind me, is that they blocked it so that the plane would have only 150 seats and they therefore wouldn’t have to add another flight attendant to the flight. (A web search seems to confirm this hypothesis. Also, if you’re interested, the rows with blocked seats are rows 16 and 17 on Boeing 737s on American Airlines.)

But I still have to ask: why not just take out the seat? They could even leave the three seat frame, and just take off the middle cushions. Or, better yet, make the two remaining seats a bit wider. Providing more width (and not just more legroom or a better position in the plane) for a bit more money would help not just fat passengers, but would make everyone sitting in those seats happier. Hell, they could even make the upgrade fee half the cost of a seat so the change is revenue neutral. They’d sell every single one of those wider seats, thereby making back all the money they gave up by blocking the seat, and still saving on crew costs.

Why is it that American Airlines would rather the extra space go unused?