Health Ponderings

More on obesity

I have been thinking more about the “obesity isn’t unhealthy” argument that I linked to in a previous post, and I don’t know…it just seems like bullshit. Maybe the idea that obesity is bad is too far ingrained for me to have an objective opinion…but I don’t know. I tend to think that things that have historical precedent have stronger arguments. We come from a line of hunter-gatherers who ate natural foods. They weren’t necessarily rail-thin or bodybuilders, but they weren’t fat, either, in general.

That was one of the things I wondered about from that article–it said that an overweight person who worked out could be more healthy than a thin person who didn’t. That’s certainly true…but how many overweight people do you know who work out regularly? The ones I know who do have lost and are currently losing weight, so I hardly think they count.

The argument seemed to be that being fat is natural for many people, and therefore there shouldn’t be a stigma. I can agree that overweight people shouldn’t be stigmatized, but I’m not sure that the proliferation of obesity these days is “natural”. Something is causing it; and just because something is caused to happen doesn’t mean that that is the natural order of things. It is one of humanity’s responsibilities as thinking beings to evaluate how we affect the world and how the world affects us, and to try to correct damaging behavior.

Today I got an interesting motivational mailing about fitness and obesity from Leanne Ely, an associate of FlyLady. I think the FlyLady policy is that I can quote the emails in order to spread the word about the system, I just can’t archive emails for people to get elsewhere…so I hope it’s okay that I’m quoting this part:

We do ourselves no favors when we eat stuff that merely puts volume into a space that requires nutrition. I believe one of the reasons obesity levels have hit such highs with children is because they can’t get the nutrition they need–they keep eating because their bodies are screaming for real food! When your body wants and craves nutrition, until it gets it, you’ll want to keep eating. Have you ever noticed how junk food just doesn’t satisfy? That’s why–it’s not real and you need real food to fuel your “engine”–all stuff you can pronounce, not the chemicals, colorings and additives that are so prevalent in junk food.

Ms. Ely is a nutritional therapist, so it’s not like she’s some housewife who just came up with an idea…but it does ring of common sense, doesn’t it?

(I know that sometimes my body screams out for chocolate, but I don’t think that invalidates the theory.)

Right now I’m home for lunch, eating some leftovers. I suppose that’s mildly healthier than going for fast food…although part of this is meatloaf :> After work today I’m going biking with Mari and Kelly (and maybe Brooke; haven’t seen her to ask if she’s coming). I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t been on a bike since 1997! Time to see if the phrase “it’s just like riding a bicycle” is a viable simile.

Hmm, hope I don’t fall on my face.