Beauty and Perfection

I’m not a big fan of the cult of vanity that feeds a large industry related to food restriction, exercise and ‘health’. I tend to perk my proverbial dog ears whenever a study comes out affirming the ‘Biggest Loser’ mindset as I have found more unhealthy and unhappy people who buy in to that propaganda. I do not believe that weight loss is the panacea that everyone purports it to be. Truly, what brings more happiness? A small number for one’s pants size or a partner, friends and family that love and admire one? Maybe a community that holds value in the gifts one has to offer?

We are so entrenched in seeking happiness and value in objects that we, ourselves transform in to objects. As such we must conform to some sort of Pygmalion-esque statue in order to be loved. I reject this paradigm.

I’ve heard this study mentioned by several news articles and on television in the last couple of years and thought it might be a good thing to post the actual journal article so that people can read for themselves. I have had people come to me from time to time and ask for help with ‘getting in shape’ and I agree to advise them. I tell them from the beginning though that I do not have an attachment to the paradigm of skinny equaling healthy that generally it is more vanity related. That said I don’t think that a person should then just abandon their goals, rather I think that ‘health’ should not be the excuse for that size 2 dream. Honestly, I think anyone wanting something under a size 4 is likely to need counseling.

It should be noted that subsequent commentaries on this article have discussed the variables of health and mortality. Kidney disease and diabetes have both been asserted to still be a possible problem in overweight individuals, but heart disease and cancer are not as big a threat as originally thought. Rather the food that one eats is more closely related to heart disease than their lean body weight.

Oh also that BMI [Body Mass Index] is still an arguably fallacious measure as it does not take into consideration the lean body mass versus fat content of an individual. This means that two men of the same height and weight might be different in terms of fat content versus muscle but they both might show up as ‘obese’ by using the BMI mode of measure.

jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/conte…93/15/1861

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