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Good or Bad Science: "Fat people are diseased, so we make fun of them."

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Posts

  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Windbit wrote: »
    It goes on to say that the majority of studies in the last 50 years have concluded that body weight is practically irrelevant to health, with the exception of extreme obesity (BMI>35), which represents only a little over 8% of the population.

    It would be nice if you actually read the articles that silly women (who wrote 6 out of the last 7 articles you linked) wrote.

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/293/15/1861 (one she uses a lot)
    "We did not examine other health problems caused by obesity. A recent population-based study has found that overweight and obesity have a strong and deleterious impact on important components of health status, including morbidity, disability, and quality of life, and this impact is disproportionately borne by younger adults. "

    "The differences between NHANES I and the later surveys suggest that the association of obesity with total mortality may have decreased over time, perhaps because of improvements in public health or medical care for obesity-related conditions."

    As for the underweight being dangerous.
    "Of the 111 909 estimated excess deaths associated with obesity (BMI ≥30), the majority, 84 145 excess deaths, occurred in individuals younger than 70 years. In contrast, of the 33 746 estimated excess deaths associated with underweight, the majority, 26 666 excess deaths, occurred in individuals aged 70 years and older."

    edit: I should say that she comes up with very odd methods for the numbers she uses in her articles, and of course neglects those that don't sound quite as good. e.g. taking the ideal group to be BMI 23-25. then the obese category is responsible for 164 836 extra deaths per year. Basically, you could spin the actual findings of that article in a number of interesting ways.

    Rook on
  • WindbitWindbit Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Okay, so how serious are the effects of excess fat? For example, would the quality of life for a 200 lb woman be markedly worse than a 130 lb woman if they were both physically active?

    Windbit on
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Windbit wrote: »
    Okay, so how serious are the effects of excess fat? For example, would the quality of life for a 200 lb woman be markedly worse than a 130 lb woman if they were both physically active?

    You already asked this, and I already answered it: it changes from person to person. There is no scale that says "if you are X pounds overweight your quality of life will be worse by X amount". All we know that yes, it will be worse.

    ege02 on
    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • WindbitWindbit Registered User
    edited August 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    Windbit wrote: »
    Okay, so how serious are the effects of excess fat? For example, would the quality of life for a 200 lb woman be markedly worse than a 130 lb woman if they were both physically active?

    You already asked this, and I already answered it: it changes from person to person. There is no scale that says "if you are X pounds overweight your quality of life will be worse by X amount". All we know that yes, it will be worse.

    Would the difference be noticeable, though? Or would it be near negligible compared to other health risks?

    Windbit on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Windbit wrote: »
    Would the difference be noticeable, though? Or would it be near negligible compared to other health risks?

    What the fuck?

    Look, if the 200 pound woman eats a healthy diet and gets 30+ minutes of cardio exercise daily, she's going to be significantly healthier than a 130 pound woman who does neither.

    But guess what? A 200 pound woman who eats right and exercises regularly isn't going to stay at 200 pounds for very long. Where her weight plateaus is going to depend largely on genetics; she may plateau at 120 pounds or 175 pounds. The important thing is that she maintains her body.

    And, yes, the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle and a crappy diet are huge.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    I think... I think some people don't realize that being overweight is usually a symptom.

    Wonder_Hippie on
    Your sig was too tall. -Thanatos
    Feral wrote: »
    MikeMan wrote: »
    i'm just a loveologist
    love me some lovin'
    gonna study up on lovin'

    Ain't no problem you can't solve in loveology with a larger sample size.
  • WindbitWindbit Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Does anyone know where I could find the statistics for both the number of thin people who died from heart disease and the number of obese people who died from heart disease? I'd like to compare them.

    Also, does anybody know why overweight individuals are more likely to survive heart attacks than thin individuals?

    One more thing: Since these two articles claim that the dangers of obesity are being greatly overstated, and the majority of you believe that obesity is a huge fucking deal, could someone explain why these two articles are wrong?

    http://www.junkscience.com/news/weight2.html
    http://www.techcentralstation.com/042505D.html

    Windbit on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Windbit wrote: »
    Also, does anybody know why overweight individuals are more likely to survive heart attacks than thin individuals?

    Because that study used the wrong measurement for obesity. They used the BMI instead of the waist-to-hip ratio. WHR is a far better predictor of obesity-related heart disease than the BMI.

    Edit:

    I can't comment on the first article yet because I don't have a copy of the NEJM study they cited. I might be able to bring it up later tonight. The second article is conflating the risk of being moderately overweight with the risk of being obese. The BMI is only a good indicator of unhealthiness at the extremes. The 'moderately overweight' and 'moderately underweight' ranges on the BMI include a lot of people who are quite healthy. This is a flaw of the BMI (which, again, is why WHR is a better predictor of disease), but does not imply that obesity is not a major risk factor.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    The first article, the NYTimes one, is almost 10 years old. Obesity-related research has moved ahead a great deal since then.

    As for the second article, this sentence is sort of odd:
    No longer can anyone claim obesity is a major killer. Obesity doesn't appear at all in the actual causes of death in the U.S. according to the 2002 National Vital Statistics Report.

    Well, no shit. Obesity isn't an actual cause of deaths. Rather, it contributes to and increases the risk of the manifestation of other causes.

    Further on in the article we find out that they used the wrong measurement of obesity: the BMI. Which basically means they have no clue what they are talking about.

    And then it makes the causation/correlation error:
    What is particularly comical are the expressions of incredulity about Flegal's analysis, even by Gerberding who told CBS News: "There's absolutely no question that obesity is a major public health concern of this country." Yet, for more than fifty years, her own agency has reported that health and life expectancies continue to improve ... as we've gotten fatter for generations.

    Overall, it's a pretty shitty article.

    ege02 on
    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • WorLordWorLord Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Windbit wrote: »
    Does anyone know where I could find the statistics for both the number of thin people who died from heart disease and the number of obese people who died from heart disease? I'd like to compare them.

    Also, does anybody know why overweight individuals are more likely to survive heart attacks than thin individuals?

    One more thing: Since these two articles claim that the dangers of obesity are being greatly overstated, and the majority of you believe that obesity is a huge fucking deal, could someone explain why these two articles are wrong?

    http://www.junkscience.com/news/weight2.html
    http://www.techcentralstation.com/042505D.html

    They're not wrong, they just miss the point.

    I find your questions to be entirely too focussed on death itself, and not enough on wellness or quality of life (or ailments caused by obesity that eventually kill people). The generally poor to abysmal health / quality of life that is more often than not associated with obesity is what I really think is worth discussion, not just "will it kill you sooner?".

    I mean, really, almost no one dies from sheer fatness.

    Blood pressure issues; heart palpitations; being almost consistantly out of breath; joint pain; joint problems; sleep apnea, leading to fatigue, leading to near-narcolepsy; swelling of the ankles/lower limbs (leading to bacterial infections); fluid in/around the lungs; hyperventilation; inability to use stairs well if at all.... this is the shortest list of all the afflictions that plague ONE of the obese people I know. I know about three or four. Their lists are longer.

    Anecdotal? Certainly. But I doubt you'll lack for similar data from doctors if you looked for it.

    It's not whether or not it'll kill you any sooner; its whether or not you can enjoy the life you have without constant pain and/or medical care while you're here.

    WorLord on
    ...privately black.
  • WindbitWindbit Registered User
    edited August 2007
    I've gotta confess: I've been bringing up all this because of a personal issue in my life. I won't go into the details here; I'm gonna start a new thread in the Help/Advice Forum. Anyone who would care to help me, it'll be the only topic started by me there.

    I'm out. Resume talking about evolutionary psychology.

    Windbit on
  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    I think... I think some people don't realize that being overweight is usually a symptom.

    I thought it was a hobby...

    ViolentChemistry on
    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    WorLord wrote: »
    I mean, really, almost no one dies from sheer fatness.

    Yeah, like AIDS. What we need to realise about AIDS is that it's never the cause of any actual deaths. AIDS patients die of cold, flu, and infection, not from AIDS.

    MrMister on
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    I think... I think some people don't realize that being overweight is usually a symptom.

    I thought it was a hobby...

    I said that because it kept sounding like certain people thought the obesity was what was doing the killing. I just wanted to note that it's as much of a symptom as it is anything else, an indicator of a sedentary lifestyle and/or bad diet, but that those are what are doing the killing.

    Wonder_Hippie on
    Your sig was too tall. -Thanatos
    Feral wrote: »
    MikeMan wrote: »
    i'm just a loveologist
    love me some lovin'
    gonna study up on lovin'

    Ain't no problem you can't solve in loveology with a larger sample size.
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    MrMister wrote: »
    WorLord wrote: »
    I mean, really, almost no one dies from sheer fatness.

    Yeah, like AIDS. What we need to realise about AIDS is that it's never the cause of any actual deaths. AIDS patients die of cold, flu, and infection, not from AIDS.

    Well, it is slightly different. HIV is binary; you have it or you don't. Diet, lifestyle, weight, insulin resistance, heart disease; these things aren't. So when somebody who's 10 pounds overweight dies of a heart attack, it's not clearly due to being 10 pounds overweight - whereas if somebody HIV positive dies of some cryptic opportunistic infection that only infects the immune-compromised, it's pretty clearly due to AIDS.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Fair enough, it's slightly more complicated. However, the basic tack of the argument still strikes me as "I didn't kill him--the bullet killed him!"

    MrMister on
  • ZalbinionZalbinion Registered User
    edited August 2007
    ege02 wrote: »

    Second, yes, extreme forms of dieting are harmful. That should be a no-brainer to anyone with the simplest clue about how the body works and how it utilizes different kinds of nutrients. Alas, extreme diets have become very popular in the last two decades because of people's tendency to look for easy ways out of their problems.

    Would it be wrong to posit that since we may have (here's the ev psych again) evolved in an environment where you didn't know when your next meal or tiger attack would come from, we might be nicely adapted to periods of feast and famine and periods of intense life and death struggle and complete lazyness. Chronic fasting is bad (hello starvation). Chronic feasting is bad (hello all those things you pointed out about fat). Chronic lazy is bad (hello tiger food). Chronic non-lazy is bad (hello stress and all stress related pathologies).

    Even if our pre-Homo sapiens ancestors had to deal with feast vs. famine conditions, by the time Homo sapiens shows up the hunter-gatherer lifestyle provides steady and balanced nutrition. It isn't a problem for us, so there shouldn't be an evopsych reason for it (unless it's vestigial behavior).

    Zalbinion on
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