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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Perceptions of the Obese and Overweight

Accidental Hedonist - Perceptions of the Obese and Overweight: "Steven Shapin comes to several interesting conclusions in his review of William Leith's book “The Hungry Years: Confessions of a Food Addict”. The one that struck me was the following...

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that fat became ugly when the poor became fat. {Emphasis Added}

It's the kind of statement that sticks out, regardless of the information provided in the rest of the review. For every person that shows an obesity epidemic, there's another person that shows that being overweight (not obese) adds little or nothing to a persons health risk, and that (by the way) the obesity numbers are overblown.

The main reason for this issue is that people equate being overweight (of which there are many) to being obese (of which there is far lower number of people).This mistake in people's attitude towards weight affects their perceptions of those who are overweight. J. Eric Oliver, a Chicago political scientist and obesity researcher, has found that seventy per cent of all Americans think that laziness and poor self-control are the predominant causes of obesity.

'Lazy' and 'poor self control'...to what classes of people have those two characteristics been applied before?

Personally, I don't know how accurate or not Shapin's statement is, but it does have a ring of"