Stef (firecat) wrote,
Stef
firecat

meme war

Peggy Elam writes the best blog post I've seen yet on the "fat is contagious" study that everyone's ranting about.

I'm glad that so many people are outraged by this study and how it is being reported. It failed to peg my outrage meter though, and I wonder why.

I'm somewhat appalled that such crap is being published in the New England Journal of Medicine. I used to think they could be trusted to publish good meaningful scientific studies, not studies that play 52-pickup with a bunch of statistics. I guess that was too much to expect. For a while they were publishing editorials critical of the "obesity" hysteria.

As for how it's being reported ("better avoid fat people if you want not to get fat"), I'm not surprised that the reporters are getting some of the facts wrong and leaving out the rest of the facts. That's how science tends to get reported, especially where "obesity" is concerned. I'm also not surprised at the hatred and fear behind such comments, because it's clear that society tells us to hate fat people and to fear fatness beyond most other conditions.

The main thing that's different about this particular story is that the hatred and fear are being openly voiced, by mainstream supposedly objective news media, as advice. The hatred is usually more couched in pseudo-concern or "too bad, but this is the way it is" language, but here fat people are being portrayed as actual enemies of thinness to be actively defended against, rather than as victims or losers.

This doesn't outrage me...it's more like it makes me curious. I really have no idea what it's like inside the head of a person who believes fat people are attacking them. Also it makes me go, "Hm, what next? When will they start saying we eat babies?"
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