Why Do People Want To Be Fat

Why Do People Want To Be Fat – It is not that we eat more, that we exercise less, or that the lack of will. We need to stop shaming overweight people

When I saw the picture, I couldn’t believe it was the same country. A photograph of Brighton beach in 1976, which appeared in the Guardian a few weeks ago, appeared to show an alien race. Almost everyone was thin. I mentioned it on social media and then went on vacation. When I came back I found that people were still discussing it. Lively discussions made me read more. How did we get so fat, so fast? To my surprise, almost every explanation proposed in the thread turned out to be false.

Why Do People Want To Be Fat

Why Do People Want To Be Fat

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Unfortunately, there is no consistent data on obesity in the UK before 1988, by which time rates had already started to rise significantly. But in the United States, the numbers go back further. They show that, coincidentally, the tipping point was roughly in 1976. Suddenly, around the time the picture was taken, people started getting fatter – and the trend has continued ever since.

The obvious explanation, advocated by many on social media, is that we eat more. Many have pointed out, not without justice, that the food was generally disgusting in the seventies. It was also more expensive. There were fewer fast food places and shops closed earlier, which ensured that if you missed your tea you would be hungry.

So here is the first big surprise: we ate more in 1976. According to government figures, we now consume an average of 2,130 kilocalories a day, a number that seems to include sweets and alcohol. But in 1976 we were 2,280 kcal without alcohol and sweets, or 2,590 kcal when they are included. I found no reason not to believe the numbers.

“A photograph of Brighton beach in 1976, which appeared in the Guardian a few weeks ago, appeared to show an alien race.” Photo: PA

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Others claimed that the cause was a reduction in manual work. Again, this seems to make sense, but again the data does not support it. An article last year in the International Journal of Surgery found that “adults working in unskilled trades are more than four times more likely to be classified as morbidly obese compared to those in professional occupations” .

So what about free movement? Many people have argued that since we drive more than we walk or bike, we are glued to our screens and order our groceries online, we are walking much less than we used to. This seems to make sense – so here comes the next surprise. According to a long-term study at the University of Plymouth, children’s physical activity is the same as it was 50 years ago. An article in the International Journal of Epidemiology states that, adjusted for body size, there is no difference in the amount of calories that people burn in rich countries and in poor countries where agriculture has ‘ subsistence remains the norm. It suggests that there is no relationship between exercise and weight gain. Many other studies suggest that exercise, which is crucial to other aspects of good health, is far less important than diet in controlling our weight. Some say it doesn’t matter because the more we move, the hungrier we get.

Others pointed to more obscure factors: adenovirus-36 infection, use of antibiotics in childhood, and endocrine disorders. While there is evidence to suggest that these may all play a role, and while they may explain some of the variation in the weight of different people on similar diets, none seem strong enough to explain the overall trend.

Why Do People Want To Be Fat

So what happened? The light begins to fall when the nutritional figures are examined in more detail. Yes, we ate more in 1976, but differently. Today, we buy half as much fresh milk per person, five times more yogurt, three times more ice cream and – wait for it – 39 times more dairy desserts. We buy half as many eggs as in 1976, but a third more cereal and twice as many cereal snacks; half the total potatoes, but three times as crisp. Although our direct purchases of sugar have fallen significantly, it is likely that the sugar we consume in drinks and sweets has increased greatly (purchase figures are only from 1992, but then they were increasing fast. Perhaps, since we consumed only 9kcal per a. day in the form of drinks in 1976, no one thought that the numbers were worth collecting.) In other words, the opportunities to load our food with grown sugar. As some experts have been suggesting, this seems to be the case.

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The division did not happen by chance. As Jacques Peretti argued in his film The Men Who Made Us Fat, food companies have invested heavily in designing products that use sugar to bypass our natural appetite control systems, and in -packaging and promoting these products to break what is left. , incl. using subliminal scents. They employ an army of nutritionists and psychologists to trick us into eating more than we need, while their advertisers use the latest findings in neuroscience to overcome our resistance.

They hire cheap scientists and think tanks to confuse us about the causes of obesity. Above all, like the tobacco companies did with smoking, they promote the idea that weight is a matter of “personal responsibility.” After spending billions to defeat our will, they blame us for not exercising it.

Judging by the discussion the 1976 photo sparked, it’s working. “There are no excuses. Take responsibility for your own life, people!” “Nobody is forcing you to eat junk food, it’s a personal choice. We’re not lemmings.” “Sometimes I think it’s a mistake to have free health care. It’s everyone’s right to be lazy and fat because there’s a right to fix themselves.” The thrill of disapproval sounds tragically like the We’re-happy-to-blame-the-victims propaganda industry.

More alarmingly, according to an article in the Lancet, more than 90% of politicians believe that “personal motivation” is a “strong or very strong influence on the increase in obesity”. Such people do not propose any method as 61% of British people who are overweight or obese have lost their will. But this implausible explanation seems resistant to the evidence.

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Perhaps this is because obesity phobia is often fat snobbery in disguise. In most wealthy nations, obesity rates are much higher at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale. They are strongly linked to inequality, which helps explain why the UK incidence is higher than most European and OECD countries. Scientific literature shows how reduced spending power, stress, anxiety and depression associated with low social status make people more vulnerable to poor diet.

Just as unemployed people are to blame for structural unemployment and people in debt are to blame for impossible housing costs, fat people are to blame for society’s problems. But yes, the will needs to be exercised – by the government. Yes, we need personal responsibility – on the part of politicians. And yes, there needs to be control – on those who have discovered our weaknesses and exploit them mercilessly. And for the most part we get by, don’t we? But why? Why does a descriptor like “fat” have such negative connotations? If it is not rude to say “this woman is blonde” or “the man is tall,” why is it rude to say she is also fat? The answer is

. Especially in the United States, they have associated shame with weight and this has led to real problems in the food industry and our health.

Why Do People Want To Be Fat

In May 2020, Charlotte Zoller of Teen Vogue wrote that the word “fat” makes people uncomfortable because “it’s been thrown around as an insult for decades” but now “it’s a term that big people are advertising as a neutral description for themselves.”

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Magazine followed with “‘Fat’ is not a bad word,” but explained that the word had been coined by others: “Some use

As proof, we need look no further than the next ad about weight loss: “Take back your life,” says a YouTube hospital; get your life “back on track” in a diet book – much the same rhetoric used to describe drug addiction. Then there are the horror stories, like British businesswoman and columnist Katie Hopkins who gained 43 pounds on purpose to “prove” that

, as you call it, is “just lazy.” Note: Hopkins is wrong, and besides, as Monica MPH (@fattyMPH on twitter) pointed out to me, “obesity” is a construct, not some kind of reality. However this kind of ugly and delusional thinking persists, leading us to treat weight as if it resides in a different category than other physical descriptors.

Believe it or not, our prejudice against fat is a very modern practice. Historically, being overweight was very attractive. The Venus of Willendorf is one of the oldest human-made body figures – and it is thick and perfectly formed. PBS

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