The big fat con story [Guardian]

by Limbic on April 27, 2004

Size really doesn’t matter. You can be just as healthy if you’re fat as you can if you’re slender. And don’t let the obesity ‘experts’ persuade you otherwise, argues Paul Campos

at is on trial, but until now the defence has been mostly absent from the court of public opinion. At bottom, the case against fat rests on the claim that the thinner you are, the longer you will live. Fat Kills, and the prescription is clear: Get Thin.

The doctors and public health officials prosecuting the war on fat would have us believe that who is or isn’t fat is a scientific question that can be answered by consulting something as crude as a body mass index chart (the BMI is a simple mathematical formula that puts people of different heights and weights on a single integrated scale). This, like so many other claims at the heart of the case against fat, is false. “Fat” is a cultural construct. According to the public health establishment’s current BMI definitions, Brad Pitt, Michael Jordan and Mel Gibson are all “overweight”, while Russell Crowe, George Clooney and baseball star Sammy Sosa are all “obese”. According to America’s fat police, if your BMI is over 25, then you are “overweight”,full stop. Note also the radical difference between how our culture defines “fashionable” thinness for men and women. If Jennifer Aniston had the same BMI as her husband Brad Pitt, she would weigh approximately 55lb (nearly four stone) more than she does. MORE

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