Thursday, 13 March 2014

How not to promote educational attainment: Have an obesity crusade

Predictably enough this story about lower educational attainment of fat girls is making some noise. Its of course very important that this awful effect of 'obesity' galvanizes more effort to harass fat children/adults and hopefully help the boys join the girls/deal with this terrible scourge.

Only so that fat children/adults can do something about themselves of course, for the motivation, honest. The fanaticism of these people who cannot stop believing in lifestyle anorexia, seems to know, no bounds. Trying to present this as something to do with the (purported) biochemical effects of their 'obese' construct;
"Further work is needed to understand why obesity is negatively related to academic attainment, but it is clear that teenagers, parents, and policymakers in education and public health should be aware of the lifelong educational and economic impact of obesity."
In a way it is. And yes, everyone should know the price fat children/people are paying for being the target of an unethical and reckless crusade which polices some of the sense right out of them. Maybe this can help a few of them to get a hold of themselves, you know, exercise some self discipline. Show us how that's done.

This research obfuscates laughably, "Associations between obesity and academic attainment were less clear in boys."

"Less clear" eh? You can bet if it was good news for them in that, it would be in the conclusions. I'm going to come right out and say, educational attainment in fat boys is not affect by them being fat, in contrast with girls. And this type of finding is not unique;
Obese girls were less likely to enter college after high school than were their nonobese peers, especially when they attended schools in which obesity was relatively uncommon........Obese boys, on the other hand, did not differ from their peers- no matter what their school context-in college enrollment. 
Nor are the shifts in the purported effects of weight over time. 
Over 17 years, low SES has become associated with higher BMI and odds of overweight among Chinese women, whereas high SES remains a risk factor for overweight among Chinese men.
It started off the same for girls as boys, but over that time, those girls from families of higher socioeconomic status diverged markedly from girls from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds.

The fusing of looks with weight and the importance that still plays in girls and women's life chances would be a pretty strong candidate.

Excessive negative stress can play a major role in undermining the ability to learn. It can literally stop the brain from functioning properly especially when combined with added stress on top of that, such as having to take in and process information quickly for sitting exams to settle a young person's future.

I have always said the reason FA is dominated by women is girls and women still diet tend to diet more than boys and from younger ages. The reality of attempts at restriction over years, derails the cultivation of belief in it that can linger more readily in those not so exposed. 

Dieting is a failed strategy. Its rate of failure is so unspeakably bad-in terms of medium to long term change, let alone short-that the likelihood of long term weight change of a significant amount is barely of statistical significance. Even if we take Stunkard's 95%, that means every attempt has about a 1 in 20 chance of reaching a slim(ish) goal weight.

Every time.

Now I know you know this, I'm not going to bore you for the millionth time. My point is if you like so many fat women started dieting in childhood, in my case 11, then by the time you get to the latter secondary school years, you are already a proven failure. To yourself.

The extent to which this undermines a girl's educational attainment will wary, it depends on how much there is to interrupt this pretty key fail.

Then there's the fact that doing something over and over again, without making a proper assessment of the true result of your actions, that is basically defines the actions of an idiot.

To remain positive about dieting, requires you to unwittingly fool yourself. This does not go unnoticed by the part of your mind that you are not wholly the ruler of. Often imperceptibly adding to your burden of shame.

The idea that if you think positive you can alter probability is mathematically unsound. Though counting calories may help maintain a suppleness with basic maths. Though it didn't with me. I think the sense of crippling inadequacy and anxiety outstripped that benefit.

Something I've never seen elsewhere is the rejection of your body, the suppression of your feelings about what's happening and the inability to acknowledge the true results, undermines the basis of many people's intellectual attainment.

Self analysis.

The ability to feel your feelings and to categorize and describe them. To assess what is happening to you and to think about what it means, teaches you to understand things about others. It extends gives your store of deep meaning and understanding of things that are unsaid, or seemingly unsayable.

The need to deny the true effects of your actions, to put a positive spin on it can add a strangely stiff, unbending aspect to your mind. Like one grown middle aged and safe before its time.

I can't pretend I don't feel this is yet another attempt to use 'research' to tell fat people and children, who are what they are. I've seen it all before. This is how it works.

It's great that more people are doing some serious analysis of this kind of thing, I hope they know just how urgent it's becoming, to not allow fat children to be dragged down further by this crusade. And to rescue those who have.

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