Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

There is another medical furor a-brewing. The Dread Dormomoo and I were listening to the radio box this AM, and a medical show came on. A new study indicates that overweight MAY not be as dire in individuals as was thought. This gives me hope, as your Aardvark more closely resembles a grocer than a burglar.The war is "Overweight vs.Obese".

People who are overweight but not obese have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight, federal researchers are reporting today.

The researchers - statisticians and epidemiologists from the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - also found that increased risk of death from obesity was seen for the most part in the extremely obese, a group constituting only 8 percent of Americans.

And being very thin, even though the thinness was longstanding and unlikely to stem from disease, caused a slight increase in the risk of death, the researchers said.

WOW. Wowee wowow WOW! Perhaps the rubric "Your fat's bad; mine's not." applies.
I mean, who could POSSIBLY object to such gladsome tidings (except perhaps Victoria's Secret models)?

[insert menacing blare of trumpets]


Grumping like a Golden Corral customer whose steaks were overcooked, the Fat Police are whining about the methodology of the study.

Now the new study says that obesity and extreme obesity are causing about 112,000 extra deaths but that overweight is preventing about 86,000, leaving a net toll of some 26,000 deaths in all three categories combined, compared with the 34.000 extra deaths found in those who are underweight.

Dr. Donna Stroup, director of the Coordinating Center for Health Promotion at the C.D.C., noted that the previous study had used different data and different methods of analysis.

"Counting deaths is not an exact science," Dr. Stroup said.

Miz Dr. Stroup, we understand. Math is hard.

One complaint is that the new study diminishes the sense of danger engendered by the older "fat is BAD, your heart will explode" studies. On the radio report, one female science person referred to the old findings as "intuitive". C'mon, everyone KNOWS that a BMI above 3 is hazardous. Yeah, and I look terrible in Speedos.

(*child, tearfully shrieking*"Momeeee, what's THAT?"

"Look away Timmy...it's only a ....I don't know...I mean, I THINK it's... O dear Heaven...it has a MOUTH.... *snatches up Timmy and beats a retreat to the hotel*).

(The preceding was an exercise in self-deprecating fantastical humor, and no, I never even look at Speedos)

Read the article. The radio report presented the standard model as "If you ARE overweight, then you will BECOME obese". This understanding begets fear, and thus a measure of emotional control by the Anti-Fat League. One doctor (again female) was concerned that the new data would give a false security to those with a few extra pounds. In short, the OLD fear-mongering data is better, because it enables the Fat Police to better exert control through press releases and pressure upon Makers of Public Policy.

Nanny Science. Any data that contradicts the bad news, even if it is accurate, is to be discounted because the People need to be controlled by the fear of Death By Eclairs.


Anonymous said...

I noticed that the "fatty" on the comic cover looked remarkably like Michael Moore...but was I supposed to notice that?

Their BMI test is overrated, anyway. Many perfectly healthy people come in as overweight or obese. Mr. P. is "obese" by their standards, but he most certainly is not!

The Aardvark said...

It is a metaphysical coinky-dinky.
Also, an astute observation.

Perhaps the estimable Mr. Moore has crafted himself as "Everyman", and acquired the commensurate mass in the bargain.

You realize that you have made me think more about MM than I have in months.

The Fat Police really want to make us a homogeneous lot, rather like those little square watermelons the Japanese grow. The BMI test is an outgrowth of the mindset. You must fit so into the numbers. I am short for my weight, and the numbers are unhappy with me. The poor amenorrhoeic strutters of the Fashion Show ilk are as outside the norm as Michael Moore (sigh).

Which raises another question, which I need to post on. I have heard ZERO concern expressed about the new breed (!) of oral contraceptive that inhibits menses altogether
(well, reduces occurrence to 3-4 times annually). The old "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature." ad comes to mind. Messing with the design of Father God is of more concern, with greater consequence.

Talk about left field....

Unknown said...

Which raises another question, which I need to post on. I have heard ZERO concern expressed about the new breed (!) of oral contraceptive that inhibits menses altogether(well, reduces occurrence to 3-4 times annually).

The Depo shot does much the same, and they're not for women who want to have children anywhere within the next two or three years, that's for sure. It has a reputation of making woman's cycles go so wonky upon going off the medication that it normally takes one to two years for them to even back out. It's just not a good idea unless the poor woman is suffering from severe endo and it's either reduce the cycles or rip out the plumbing altogether.

BMI measurement completely forgets some people have a fair amount of muscle mass. Take two people of the same height and weight, one of which indulges in weight training and one who doesn't. They'll both come out with the same BMI number, but guess which one has the lower fat percentage. It's just not accurate.

Anonymous said...

"You realize that you have made me think more about MM than I have in months."


David The Good said...

Thank goodness. Now I can become fat without fear. Fear was the only thing keeping me thin.

David The Good said...

And tobacco.

MacLaren said...

What about "phat" people? Are they okay?

The Aardvark said...