This just in: Stereotypes are not always true. It’s Science, y’all!

In the case you haven’t heard the news yet, this just in from a recent study (brought to my attention by both Big Fat Blog who posted a nice look into this research and poses some great questions on it; and Done With This Shit):

In comparing physical activity levels among American children, researchers discovered that the most overweight and obese ethnic groups are also some of the most active… (Emphasis mine)

“Contrary to our expectations, higher levels of physical activity were not associated with lower rates of obesity across the race and ethnic groups,” said Britni Belcher, M.P.H., the lead author of the study. (PR Newswire)

The real kicker though is that even with the results being contrary to expectations (you know, the stereotypical expectation that fat people eat more/move less); they are all still pegging this research as yet another “paradox” of the obesity epidemic.

So, I’m just curious, for all you folks out there still adamantly denying that maybe (just MAYBE) this isn’t a huge set of paradoxes, and could be something a lot more complex than the proposed Calories In/Calories Out mantra: Mark Twain and I would like to know: how long IS that river in Egypt folks?

“It’s not denial. I’m just selective about the reality I accept.” ~Bill Watterson


5 thoughts on “This just in: Stereotypes are not always true. It’s Science, y’all!

  1. Usually, when the data consistently does not support a theory, one does not call it a “paradox” but a “flawed theory”. Of course, when it’s not a theory but an article of faith that the data stubbornly refuses to go along with, it becomes a paradox.

    And “calories in/calories out” can go back on the shelf at least until we get the tools to *measure* those variables. Currently it’s marginally useful against snake oil salespeople, but apart from that it’s just bleating..

    I’m currently on a quixotic quest to argue for FA in a forum full of disciples of the churches of “with the next diet all will be better” and “if you only ate your vegetables”. Goodness. I might take up rolling large stones uphill as a hobby next. (*adds link to collection, just in case…*)

  2. You know, I sorta came to this conclusion a few weeks back when, oddly, I linked up with an old friend from elementary school. We were a pretty tight bunch…slumber parties, girls scouts, pretty much together all the time. She had posted a bunch of pictures from those early days, probably around ages 6-9, and in every single one, I can see I was the chubby kid.

    And here’s the ass-slapper: I was incredibly active as a kid, so much so that my mom had to reign me in and almost tie me to the bed at night. I played soccer every weekend, had soccer practice, swam on the swim team in the summer, was a majorette and did looooong marches in parades, and rode my bike everywhere, miles all over the neighbourhood. I spent my summer days, sometimes all day, swimming around the pool and kicking a soccer ball with friends in the back yard. In the cooler weather, we hiked, played tennis, hauled wood, everything. No one could say I ever just sat around…I still don’t.

    And what’s more, eating out at, say, fast food restaurants, was a luxury for us. We couldn’t afford junk food, so there was rarely any in the house. If you wanted a snack, you had a piece of fruit or a hunk of cheese. So you couldn’t blame diet and inactivity for me being the chubby kid. Despite all this, doctors always shook their heads at my yearly physical and kept saying, “Tell her to lose weight…she’s too fat…” and my mom would say, “Okay, how?”

    Is it so hard for THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY (spoken in a giant voice) to understand that some folks are just big by genetics but are still happily healthy? My husband is very slender, but he’s on medication for high cholesterol and has to donate blood regularly to lower his iron levels. He also has high-ish BP He eats a textbook healthy diet, and we’ve recently taken red meat out of our meals because it’s starting to make us both feel crappy when we eat it…no other reason. Me, I’m significantly heavier, but my blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. are normal. And according to The Charts That Rule The World, I should not have been able to have ANY kids, but I did. It makes doctors scratch their heads and wonder, How? Can? That? BE!?

    This much evidence goes beyond anecdotal. Doctors are going to have to admit very soon that fat is NOT equal to unhealthy, no matter what science predicts. My MIL did a 5-year study at UNC where she undertook a low-fat diet…she had to have her bloods monitored regularly. The result? She GAINED weight, it knocked her thyroid out of whack, and her cholesterol levels went up.

    Go figure.

    • Yes, this. I was the strong kid. I could lift my skinny girl scout troop leader overhead when I was 14 (very useful when putting up large tents.) I bicycled more than 200 km every week and spent most of my free days hiking. Doctor said I had to exercise to lose weight. Yeah, sure. As soon as I find the time.

      Also, what DeeLeigh says on BFB about living in the city and being a blue-collar-worker.

      According to the Charts That Rule the World, I’m of a body type where I just *have* to drop dead from metabolic syndrome every minute now, until I get my mesomorph 5’8″ self into a size 0 somehow. Never mind that all the women in my family have the same body type and so far none didn’t live to see 90.

  3. Pingback: Ages 4-8? Sure, heap on the fat hate. Never too young! « I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.

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