What is your idea of fun?
This is an important question, for I believe the answer may reveal much about that which obsesses and fixates (ie, squanders) our energies.
What is your idea of fun?
If I were to ask my co-worker, and she were to answer honestly (another impediment to this mind exercise), it would have to be “eating.” She eats and eats; then, eats again. A constant parade of morsels flow into her mouth all day. As with so many people in today’s urban environment, food is a mystical object, worthy of a deeply committed devotion of thought and habit. And her physique does not disappoint. She is morbidly obese. I suspect her BMI is around 40. It’s not just that she likes to eat. It’s about all the mental and emotional energy and life force she puts into the subject of food. She is a very selective eater (as many obese people seem to be despite the fact it looks like they will eat anything that moves) and she breathes heavily when eating, as if restraining an unbridled orgasm with every bite. She is a true glutton and we live in the age of gluttony. She is home! If the subject of food arises, she perks up like a dog who hears his food pail. She enjoys discussing food, all things food. Its preparation, restaurants, its presentation, her gastronomic experiences. She is not a one-dimensional person. She discusses other subjects, but none so passionately as food.
She is unabashed about her food obsession. She willingly admits she is obese while brashly continuing to pad that waistline by continuously masticating her cud throughout each day and night.
And she will never lose weight.
Even if she wants to. She is nutritionally unhinged; she has thrown in the towel and surrendered to a lifetime of morbid obesity. This is her right, but I don’t think she should be humored for it. She will never lose weight and we instinctively know this.
But as with many issues of a nutritional impetus, we don’t listen until scientists conduct overly-intricate studies in order to quantify common sense for news outlets.
In this case, the American Journal of Public Health published a mind-numbing study which just happened to break this surprising news to us.
…the odds of a clinically obese person achieving normal weight without surgical interventions are just 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women in a given year.
“What our findings suggest is that current strategies used to tackle obesity are not helping the majority of obese patients to lose weight and maintain that weight loss,” [said] lead researcher Alison Fildes…
The study was based on analysis of more than 278,000 people from the UK’s Clinical Practice Research database, tracked between 2004 and 2014, and it highlights the difficulty obese people face in trying to achieve sustained weight loss through diet and exercise alone.
They found that the higher a person’s BMI, the lower the likelihood that they would ever achieve normal body weight, as defined by the standard charts. Among the morbidly obese, only 1 in 1,290 men and 1 in 677 women managed to do it.
“This might be because people are unable to access weight-loss interventions or because the interventions being offered are ineffective — or both,” Fildes said. This study could not determine whether any weight loss was intentional or due to illness, or what kind of diet and exercise plan, if any, the patients used.
“We know that there are changes that happen in the brain when people become obese,” Dr. Kevin Niswender, an associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told CBS News. “These data would suggest that those changes in the brain that happen in obesity are not reversible.” Niswender was not involved in the study.
“Research to develop new and more effective approaches to obesity management is urgently required,” the authors of the study conclude.
This whole what-do-we-do-about-obesity rigmarole is exasperating.
The rampant foodyism in our First World culture is exasperating.
The manner in which people stupidly cling to, and look for, “easy” solutions to obesity is exasperating.
The intricate manner in which so-called professionals discuss obesity and eating habits is exasperating.
Nutritionists and food scientists are the worst. They turn a simple problem on its fat head and complicate it with levels and levels of useless filler information that merely distracts from the problem at hand: why are people overweight? They then escalate the dialogue from one of advice to an active agenda of forced intervention on the part of schools and government, that dreaded nannyism that presupposes to know better, than us, what we should and shouldn’t eat.
It’s become so bad (I live in California, so I witness and experience such do-gooder government meddling first-hand) that we are in danger of now defining a new dynamic of various interests that are intersecting over a mutual agenda which involves effecting a dietary mandate that is simply a smoke and mirrors cloaking mechanism that hides increased profit-creating regulation: monetary profit for all upper level interests in this charade of food regulations, a dynamic that has no visible benefits for an ignorant populace that can’t deduce between the benefits of raw almonds and an Almond Joy bar.
The Military Industrial Complex gave way to the Education Industrial Complex. And it now bows to the Dietary Industrial Complex, and Michelle Obama is its first honorary hot-air-spouting figurehead.
I have placed a passage from the linked news story in bold above. It is this:
“…and it highlights the difficulty obese people face in trying to achieve sustained weight loss through diet and exercise alone.”
The problem is that the simplest route between point-Fat and point-Skinny is a straight line, but the representatives of the Dietary Industrial Complex stand nothing to gain if the mechanics of weight loss are deconstructed to such negligible steps of action. It behooves the propagators of the Dietary Industrial Complex to confound weight loss with unintelligible layers of conflicting hearsay and quack science.
The Dietary Industrial Complex doesn’t want you to lose weight; it wants to create an industry out of telling you how to lose weight despite the fact you probably won’t.
We don’t need “new” methods to address obesity. We need to unearth old common sense and struggle to make people find other avenues of “fun” besides food.
The straightest line between fat and skinny? Eat less, move more.
Too bad that elemental sliver of advice won’t make anyone rich or give Michelle Obama or California a smug mandate.