When it comes to black-box epidemiology, wherein associations and correlations are drawn between two or more conditions, but where the causal mechanisms behind those associations are left shrouded in convenient mystery, nothing seems to gratify researchers more than showing how fatness (i.e. “obesity”) is associated with a host of scary-sounding chronic diseases, while implying that fatness itself is the result of simple gluttony and sloth.
Because, you know, fat people enjoy making themselves sick just to annoy everyone, and to drive up healthcare costs. (It’s all part of the secret fatty agenda. If you haven’t been coming to the clandestine meetings, please email me.)
What we don’t often hear — because, at least up till now, it doesn’t seem to be as much fun, or get as much funding — are the other associations that can be drawn between fatness and health.
So, without further ado, I present you a few tidbits from this morning’s headlines:
- How income inequality leads to obesity – Researchers Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson have been studying income inequality for years. Their new book, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, contains a hypothesis that recent increases in body weight could be due to increasing inequality.
- Indeed, food insecurity (a.k.a. “not getting enough to eat”), is often associated with obesity, especially among African- and Hispanic-Americans.
- And, at the same time obesity has been epidemicized, fad diets, and orthorexia in general, seem to have taken off. (Ignore the fact that Prof. Hawkey appears to be kind of a bonehead when it comes to “obesity,” and focus on the association he’s unwittingly drawing here, and his astute criticisms of apocryphal diets.)
- Oh, also, weight gain in adolescents is associated with drinking diet drinks. Yeah, diet drinks. I know. And they think it’s because diet drinks mean they were dieting.
So…yeah. Something for obesity researchers to gnaw on, HUR HUR.
(ETA: Also, sorry for spamming the feed this morning — I’m adding some old posts to my archive, and they all go out over the feed whether I like it or not.)