I had sort of wanted to blog, but hey, there comes a time when you have to work while at work.
I work for a community college. The fall semester will not start for another month so things are slow.
The only problem with moving is it forces you to organize, which forces you to look through stuff… and you always find some scrap of something which could potentially be a trigger… today it was a brochure. How to avoid getting cancer. Eat right and don’t be fat were listed before smoking, which I found highly offensive. But you google ‘how does fat cause cancer and you can easily find some cancer foundation that will list a whole bunch of ‘mays’ … fat may produce this hormone or stop something else from functioning.
The problem I have with that is the problem I have in regards to so many fat-caused conditions: mainly that researchers draw false correlations between fat as a cause and conditions, instead of seeing fat as a co-occuring condition along with the other conditions, both caused by another circumstance.
The reason why this form of fat as cause and X as effect thinking is dangerous is because research based on this assumption will inherently miss the real issue.
Fat people are told so often to that it is how much they eat that is making them fat that society takes for granted that the quality of everyone’s diet, of late, has decreased dramatically to the point where what we ALL eat is very poor. Just because one doesn’t store fat doesn’t mean that one will not develop cancer if it os caused by something that is beong added to the food that everyone eats.
In other words, I see weight gain as being more similar to a food allergy, at its most basic level… two people can eat the same food, strawberries for instance, and one will be fine and the other will experience a change in their physical functioning. So too with certain foods. No two people ate alike, so no two people are going to be able to eat the same stuff, in the same quantities with the same results.
As I have said in previous blogs, research reduces, and reductive logic may work well for explaining other aspects of nature or mechanisms but its a poor system to use for people. Its even a poor system for animals. The more complex the brain of a creature is, the less predictable its actions will be, and thus the consequences will be less predictable as well.
On terms of ‘what is the RIGHT diet’, the only sane one is: the one each individual discovers, through trial and error, which works for that individual.
Of course, there is no money to be made by anybody in just presenting the idea that an intelligent adult can figure it out on their own. Food, as a business, wants to jerk us back and forth, mess with our minds, and feed us things that leave us still wanting something else because there is no profit in just sustaining the human body.
I abhor any research or explanations that start with the supposition that fat is a cause because the ’cause’ of fat itself is difficult to pinpoint, is heavily dependent on the individual, and is overly stereotyped as an excessive diet rich in junk foods. Yet, even with that stereotype in place, and with all the abundant research that shows our bodies cannot function correctly on fast and junk foods, personal responsibility becomes the sandy foundation upon which all our thoughts, plans, and research into ‘obesity’ sits. Researching obesity as a symptom alongside cancer has the dangerous potential of shifting the blame onto the food industry. And if there is one thing McDonalds does not want to see, its the solid conclusion of science that either obesity or cancer OR both is the inevitable consequence of eating Big Macs and fries. Such a conclusion, if the science community pushed it to the FDA as something that was necessary, like banning certain types of medications because they will inevitably will kill if taken, would cause us to address the issue of poor diet in the way it should be: through forcing food manufacturers to use high quality, organic or free range-raised ingredients, cooked in a fashion that does not alter the nutritional value of the ingredients, and served in reasonable proportions, without additives. If the country placed the blame of poor health on industry instead of individuals, and regulated the hell out of fast and junk food production, based on the fact that processed foods cause disease (which we know is true) and thus should be banned, we would see a definite change in the health of everyone, not just those who are fat. If hamburgers were taxed like cigarettes and salads were dollar menu items, then it would be obvious that personal choice never was the right foundation to research and base conclusions on in terms of weight, because it would suddenly be easy and cheap for everyone to obtain a healthy meal.
And eat to stave off cancer, and diabetes, etc.
After all, our society may not have banned cigarettes or alcohol, but awareness of the consequences of these thongs has been heavily pushed, with positive results. Those same results will never be seen as long as society focuses on fat people in all ways, even when denouncing crap food. As long as fat stigma literally outweighs, across the board, fast food or junk food stigma, for everyone, regardless of weight, we will never ‘fix’ this problem.
There is no solution in a world that allows a vegetarian to sit and shovel french fries into her face while criticizing me on my diet because I am fat. Yes, this actually happened, and its a prime example of why I get so sick of being told that I am inhealthy.