Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weight Loss as a cure-all?

If you read Ragen Chastain (you should!), you can read tons of evidence about how diets do not work and that your weight is not directly connected to your health. You would think professional organizations would get that.


There was recently a health screening fair at my job. You were paid $50 to get weighed, vitals done, and blood drawn.

I got the results today.

Most of my numbers were "within range". My HDL was low; well, according to one report. The other report showed it in the "normal range", so, not sure if I'm good or not. Also, they used BMI which is absolutely appalling. Not unexpectedly, mine was "out of range". Okay fine, I don't care about BMI because I know it was created by insurance companies and has no basis in reality or science.

The one thing that bothered me the most, however, was the fact that on the results pages, tips are given for improving your numbers. You can guess what the recommendation always was.

Weight loss.

Yes, weight loss would make my BMI lower. But how do they know it will improve my cholesterol? I could lose weight just eating 2 cheeseburgers a day. Healthy? Heck no! Will I lose weight? Possibly. Will my cholesterol improve? Doubtful.

I also almost got in an argument with a coworker because she is of the "old school", or more traditional group that is convinced that fat = unhealthy. We were talking about how these numbers may be used or how they may affect our insurance rates, particularly since everything is connected to weight and weight loss. Her comment was, "They (the overweight folks) should pay more for health insurance!" Shocked at first, I just decided to look at her and say, "Well, difference of opinion." I would have loved to say more but I understand her mentality is not going to change easily (based on her own behaviors related to food and weight) and I wanted to avoid an awkward conflict at work.

On a positive note, this all does greatly motivate me to continue fighting weight loss as a cure-all and help educate others on HAES and fat acceptance. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. I get so frustrated talking about HAES. I feel like I'm talking about the Kennedy Assasination Conspiracy or something. The looks I get.