Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Big O

A quick post this morning because I couldn't resist linking to the blog of Sandy Szwarc, whose smart, thought-provoking blog I love. Recently she wrote about the so-called obesity "epidemic" in a way that had me cheering from the sidelines.

This follows on the heels of my pulling my sixth-grader out of her required "wellness" class, at least for the nutrition and "obesity" parts of the class. Because isn't it a great idea to take a bunch of impressionable 6th-graders and brainwash them into thinking that the only healthy food out there is a carrot stick or salad (hold the dressing!)? Given the fact that most eating disorders start between 11 and 17, this seems like a bad idea to me, especially the way such things are taught. But don't take my word for it--read Sandy Szwarc's blog. Great stuff.

4 comments:

CARRIE ARNOLD said...

Harriet,

Great post, both yours and Sandy's. I love her blog, too. Why can't more people think like this?

Carrie

marcella said...

I agree great posts both. The hype about adult obesity is ridiculous too - it's taken a friend until the age of 58 to have it explained to her that she is obese BECAUSE she's sick not the other way round. FINALLY after a whole host of condemning statements and out and out misdiagnoses, she's met a sensible doctor who has been able to give her useful information rather than criticism and blame.

Harriet Brown said...

Fat is the last great frontier when it comes to prejudice. The last few years of the anti-obesity epidemic have given people license to not only perpetuate this prejudice but actually encourages it. A friend who's a psychiatrist told me about a patient of hers who was 100 pounds overweight, who started losing weight rapidly. She urged her patient to see her internist. Said internist had nothing but praise--"You're losing weight at last!" Turned out the patient had a life-threatening disease, but doctors could not see it--all they could see was that she was losing weight and wasn't that great.

CARRIE ARNOLD said...

I had a tuberculosis patient once who dropped dress sizes rapidly, but didn't do anything about it because she kept getting compliments (!!). When giving the case overview to a group of nurses/physicians, one of the audience members said "Don't we wish all of us could do that?" Umm...she had TB. I found that utterly rude. I regret to this day not saying something to her.