Wait, what?

I’ve had some internet articles in my WTF? folder to  comment on when I had time for a while.  You know, when I had the spare time (in between working and Kenpo and getting ready for Tournament — TOMORROW — and SCA and family drama and…).

I had a couple of spare minutes this morning, and thought I’d read through the WTF? folder and see if anything popped out at me.

Here’s one:

In 1960, when President-elect John F. Kennedy fretted about fitness in an essay for Sports Illustrated titled “The Soft American,” roughly 45 percent of adults were considered overweight, including 13 percent who were counted as obese; for younger Americans, ages 6 to 17, the rate was 4 percent. Obesity rates remained relatively stable for the next 20 years, but then, from 1980 to 2000, they doubled. In 2001, the U.S. surgeon general announced that obesity had reached “epidemic” proportions.  Seven years later, as the obesity rate continued to rise, 68 percent of American adults were overweight, and 34 percent were obese.

*Trigger warnings, article is about losing weight, definitely not size acceptance.

First of all, how people are reporting these statistics is off.  I mean, who really believes that 102% of American adults are overweight or obese?  The 34% obesity statistic is a subset of the 68% overweight catagory.  So, if you say it in the way the person writing this article did, it’s 68% of adults are considered overweight, including 34% who are counted as obese.

See, there’s a difference.  And it cannot be contributed to sloppy writing, because he spelled out the 45%-13% thing at first.  Let’s ramp that obesity epipanic to full volume, why don’t we?

Second of all, his assertions of how the obesity rate doubled between 1980 and 2000, well, he’s leaving out one vital piece of the puzzle there:  In 1997, the Powers that Be changed the criteria for what could be considered overweight and obese.  Overnight, millions of people became overweight who’d been perfect weight before.  Overnight millions of people became obese who’d been merely overweight before.

Overnight, all these people suddenly developed diabetes and heart disease and even started dying off in droves due to their incredible fatness that wasn’t there just the day before! It was tragic, really.  There were so many people dying suddenly from being fat that the death industry just couldn’t handle it all.  Cemeteries were having to bury people on top of each other.  Because of both the amount of people suddenly dying all at once when they instantly became fat or obese, and the huge amount of space these fat people took up in the cemeteries, there just wasn’t room to put them all.  Mortuaries were scheduling 8 and sometimes 10 funerals a day!

Oh, wait, none of that happened, did it?  Sorry, I forgot, this is Real Life (TM) not the alternate reality people invested in the Obesity Epidemic would like us to believe it is.

The fact is that yes, overweight and obese category percentages have risen.  However, in all of the panic about the new obesity rates, nobody ever remembers that arbitrarily, in 1997, world governments changed the criteria for what is overweight and what is obese.  The epic rise in rates between 1980 and 2000 had less to do with people eating more and moving less, than it had to do with an administrative juggling of some numbers.

Of course, if we make that known, if we acknowledge that, we’d have to not be able to stir up more panic about how THE SKY IS FALLING AND EVERYBODY IS GOING TO DIE!  You know, in five seconds because that’s how long obese people have to live.

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5 Responses

  1. ZOMG! Dog and cats, living together!

    Talk about your ‘Golly Gee Whiz, t he Sky Must Really BE Falling’ school of journalism.

    Head hurt now.

  2. Overnight, all these people suddenly developed diabetes and heart disease and even started dying off in droves due to their incredible fatness that wasn’t there just the day before! It was tragic, really. There were so many people dying suddenly from being fat that the death industry just couldn’t handle it all. Cemeteries were having to bury people on top of each other. Because of both the amount of people suddenly dying all at once when they instantly became fat or obese, and the huge amount of space these fat people took up in the cemeteries, there just wasn’t room to put them all. Mortuaries were scheduling 8 and sometimes 10 funerals a day!

    HA! You are awesome, and this is fabulous.

  3. So where are all the fat people coming from? Maybe all these newly deceased fat people were emerging from their graves as zombies, without a thought in their heads but eating…
    (That’ll be the next news headline, just wait and see.)

  4. Didn’t you know we have a secret cult where we take thin people and force-feed them donuts until they’re one of us, one of us, one of us, one of us!

    Fabbo piece, really. Off to share it.

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