Now this is irritating. It’s not the fat-shaming (or not just the fat-shaming, I should say) but the media hungry bad science & the distraction from serious problems that’s got me annoyed.
Let’s look at this properly:
- Wealthier countries generally have more obese people.
- Richer countries also use more fuel & food resources.
These things are related but correlation is not causation - or at least not in the direction the article, & the scientific paper it’s reporting on, is pointing.
- In wealthier countries people drive more, which leads to both increased fuel use & to increased obesity.
- In wealthier countries people eat more.
- Wealthier countries also throw more food away.
- Many obese people eat more than average weight people; however, many - trying gamely to lose weight but not necessarily succeeding - actually eat very little.
- Very fit people, & people with active jobs generally eat more; like the Malagasy builders I worked with in Madagascar, very far from obese, but there is no way that I could’ve eaten the enormous platefuls of rice & beans they ate!
Fuel use, food distribution disparities, & food wastage are very serious global issues. Trying to lay the blame on fat people is tilting at windmills & is unwarranted distraction from the root causes.
- Wealth disparity.
- Consumer culture.
- Disposable culture.
- Separation between food production & consumption.
- Lack of research into, or commitment to, viable fuel alternatives.
- Poor commitment to public transport alternatives or the provision of cycle & pedestrian friendly routes.
- Car-centric town-planning.
Many of which are root causes of obesity, too.
It seems that everywhere we turn lately someone is trying to blame some one thing or some specific group of people, for climate change - cows farting last week, fat people this week - anything so long as it isn’t agribusiness, corporates, oil oligarchs, capitalist driven consumer culture, &/or lack of political will.
Please, could we try & focus on the big-picture & sort this shit out before it’s too late?