HAES around the clock

Published 6.28.2016
A collection of recent, and not-so recent items related to health at every size or (HAES).

HAES comes to This American Life

The radio show This American Life devoted an episode to HAES. Lindy West (formerly of the website Shapely Prose) is interviewed, as is a staff member who lost a ton of weight to make it in show business and is now unhappy in the aftermath (she lost 100 lbs in 6 months, so Biggest Loser fast) with all the issues that come with that.

They also talk to a super morbid obese (that's the medical term, ugly as it is) black woman who does not share all of West’s positions. In particular, she notes that Lindy can still shop at Lan Bryant, whereas she cannot. Finding clothes for this woman is far harder. Just living for the much larger woman, who said she would have to lose 200 lbs to get to Lindy West's size, is far harder than for Lindy West.

There is a lot of discrimination due to size, I’ve never denied that. The issue is what to do about it.

The final segment is about Oral Roberts U and its program (which still exists but is now ignored) that tried to get all students to have a certain body fat percentage and weight, and if you didn’t make it you couldn’t attend classes. Before then it had been an effort to get everybody fit, no matter their weight, which was a much healthier method.

Medical Daily looks at HAES

As I do, the author finds good things about HAES, but also finds gaps in honesty, though that’s not how he phrased it. There are a large number of conditions associated with obesity, including premature death. Correlation is not causation, of course.

The author notes that how fat a person is matters too. There’s a huge difference between BMI 30 and BMI 50, but he notes there aren't many in the class 3 category— whatever impression the fatosphere leaves one with. Overall, it's a fair article. Commenters on the article didn't necessarily agree.

Famous fatty Marilyn Wann comments. No surprise she doesn’t like the piece because it’s not 100% positive about HAES. Deb Burgard (HAES researcher) also comments and offers a timeline for HAES.

HAES is winning?

Fewer people want to lose weight, even as more people are obese. The article is reporting on a Gallup poll result. The hypothesis is that if all your friends are fat, then fat begins to look normal. Shifting fashion standards are helping the trend, overly skinny models are under attack, the whole “strong is the new skinny” thing.

I don’t think it’s wrong to point to concerted efforts to say that being fat is just as healthy as being thin— even though it’s just not true at the extreme. Certainly it’s not true with the “deathfatz” folks.

The article brings up the diabetes thing again (that not all obese have it) but that’s because it depends on how fast your body stores fat in the pancreas. And how resistant your fat cells are to begin stuffed. Insulin resistance essentially means that your cells have started to say no thanks and so the insulin level goes up to force the sugar and fat in.

At least it notes that dieters go off and on diets because they go to extremes. Avoid the extremes and diet changes do work, and for the long term. Short term variances can be corrected by simply going back to the new, non-extreme habits.

People DO lose weight and maintain it

Lyle McDonald on why the 5% HAES shibboleth is not true. It is true that most people fail at diets (and he gives an explanation why) but about 30% succeed. I am not so rare as the HAES shills would have it.

People who decide to lose weight, make persistent habit changes do lose weight and maintain that loss— such as Linda Bacon herself did.

Part two opines that if you expect to fail you will, but if you have unrealistic expectations you're more likely to fail too.


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