Folk Devils

Read this from Megan McArdle – it is longish but well worth the time.

Megan: What about gastric bypass? The quoted figures for gastric bypass seem pretty impressive when doctors talk about them on television.

Paul: Gastric bypass is surgically induced bulimia. People starve for the first few months so of course their blood sugar levels go down. At five and ten year followup the average weight loss from these procedures is about 10% to 15% of body mass (it’s actually less than that since lots of people drop out of the studies) which means most of these people end up still “morbidly obese.” And they can never eat normally again.Why do you think you never see the actual stats for weight loss from stomach stapling? If they were good they’d be on billboards 50 feet high.

Megan: Those shows on TLC that basically invite the audience to gawk at fat people usually say they’ll lose fifty percent of their excess body weight

Paul: If you put people on starvation diets, which is what these methods do, of course you’ll get huge amounts of weight loss. Then most or all of it will be gained back, which among other things is a recipe for congestive heart failure. I’d love to do a “reality” show on the contestants on shows like The Biggest Loser three years down the road. But that would probably be a little too much reality.

Gastric bypass is the most radical method available for weight loss, and it basically doesn’t work. Everything else is even less successful, though usually not quite as dangerous.

 Paul is Paul Campos, author of The Obesity Myth. Why am I linking this? Because of this:

Twelve-year-old William had the £10,000 procedure after his parents had both had the same operation.

Two years ago he was told by doctors that unless he reduced his weight, he could be dead by the age of 21. His 14-stone weight meant he could barely walk and often had to use a wheelchair.

 This boy will never be able to eat normally. If you look at the pictures, he is still not a skinny kid – he weighs 112 pounds at 12 years of age. But he will never be able to eat normally again. That sentence is for life. If you read the McArdle piece you should know where the title of this post came from. I’ll end this with another quote from Paul Campos:

The current stigmitization of fat kids is essentially child abuse as government policy, and the people behind it are, as far as I’m concerned, either incredibly stupid or very evil or in some cases both.

Here’s an idea: Stop harrassing people about their weight. Because it appears that focusing on the idea that being fat actually makes people fatter. At least there’s an extremely strong correlation there. I bet if we stopped demonizing fatness people would actually be a bit thinner. They’d certainly be happier and healthier.

It is not “for the children”. It is against the children. And it is government policy. And pure, unadulterated madness.

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One Response to Folk Devils

  1. Brett says:

    So where were all the patriots who believe in individual liberty when people who smoke were designated the original folk devils?

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