Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The creation of the obesity crisis

The weight loss diet or slimming industry packaged the proffered solution. But the dissemination of the actual obesity as a crisis was more about ambitious scientists involved in the disjointed field of "obesity science."

Even Big Pharma, is there because of the potential profit to be had from the dream of a successful calorie restricting drug.

Obesity used to be a cinderella subject, those involved couldn't get anyone interested in it. I mean who cares if someone else is fat? Do you care if someone else is slim? What the hell has that got to do with you personally?

Sweet FA is the answer.

So how to interest people in what they don't rightly give a rat's arse about?

Make it about them. How much it's going to affect them personally. Starting with the threat to their health and then their society's resources how much it will "cost" them. Hooking a certain mindset in emotively, with anger and rage, rather than sympathy. Fat people are selfish- lazy and greedy. It's all highly explosive stuff, given weight loss dieting was from the start a highly individualised process.

It was not unusual for whole families to be eating normally in the presence of one or more who were underfed and having to watch them eat. 

Indicative of the recklessness of authorities decision to go down this line is this used to be used by charities and other agents for social reform to calculate the cost to society of illegal drug addiction. To show the cost of the war on drugs, not the cost of drug addicts to already primed to anger"tax payers."

This meant people were able to wake up to the costs without turning that directly addicts, in the main.

All this concern about personal weight gain/healthy eating habits was sold mainly to the middle classes or what's patronisingly dubbed 'the worried well'. Which maybe why they of all political stripes have led the hate charge. Along with the fact that middle class (and upward) people are distinctly more thin friendly than lower socio-economic/class groups.

Recruiting the M/C has been crucial. There is something intrinsically bourgie busybody about telling people to eat less and "take"exercise. It sounds like them, poking their nose in other people's business, whilst wishing to draw a veil over their own activities.

In fact, I'd say the two are related the second following from the first. 

This crisis is the product of ambitious scientists wishing to elevate their chosen field, into a bona fide science.

The reason they picked this is hard to ascertain. The usual motives; an unquenchable curiosity, a thirst for knowledge, the intellectual challenge, the pitting of wits with nature (i.e. biology) the desire to relieve suffering, don't apply in the main.

So it's interesting as to why fatness. I suppose it has an unusual mix, in that it is seen as related to health, a personal social element. Health has dovetailed more and more with science, especially in more recent decades.

And perhaps most of all, it has a 'cure'. One that takes the pressure off, removes the sense of urgency that comes from looking for answers.

The fact that it isn't an answer is solved by the authoritative assertion that it is and it's their word against the amateurs.

Trying to turn being fat into a disease has been a standout. In a way its in the post religious stream of turning every undesirable or inconvenience into 'disease.' I wonder if its the earliest example of this?

Addiction and alcoholism see to have become 'diseases' after it.

Certainly, it's also to make fatness sound important and serious, give it some dignity. Fatness is seen as clownish an aesthetic challenge, nay, affront, fat people are often seen as inherently ridiculous. A caricature of the human form.

Using disease is an attempt to make it a part of the scientific cannon as if that in itself will facilitate progress of some kind. Rather cargo cultish. The contagion had a magic bullet, invoking that has deviated from method to metaphor.

Though I can't say for sure whether they want a cure, they seem to concentrate mainly in telling everyone just how bad-therefore important- fatness is. Loads of money should be directed at research so they can provide even more hype.

Certainly that whetted the appetite of major pharmaceutical companies, though I'm surprised that they don't seem to have figured calories in/out for a dead end as far as any perspective drugs would be concerned. I think there's a mystery there.

Unless is just the prospect of money shinning a glare in their eyes.

I am surprised the way weight is split up like this, doesn't offend those who consider themselves critically engaged. But then, Freudianists got away with pretending that was scientific for a while.

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