Sea of Noise

Sat, 24 Jul 2004

The Obesity Myth

"It takes a brave man to speak out in favor of flab today . . ."

What happens in these kind of cultural processes is that cosmetic preferences get medicalized and then moralized. So it's not only that we like thinness because it is fashionable but it becomes that thinness is actually good for health. And what's more, if we're not thin, it's our fault and we're bad people. It becomes a moral good.
That process has been going on in the United States for about 75 years and it's produced the current moral hysteria.

. . .

Medicine, especially public health, is a highly politicized discourse. To take the word of the Center of Disease Control or the National Institute of Health on weight without skepticism or any further investigation is equivalent of taking the word of the [Office of National Drug Control Policy] on whether marijuana is bad for you.

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