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The inevitable media spin

8th November 2007

The inevitable media spin

In case you were planning to celebrate yesterday’s study celebre – showing being overweight is actually ideal – with a box of Krispy Kremes, put down that doughnut… errr fork.

Put down that fork: Being fat is still unhealthy

Being overweight may not kill you, but it could lead to obesity, U.S. health experts cautioned on Wednesday in response to research suggesting that being a bit heavy does not raise the risk of death…

Experts noted that the research only looked at death rates, not overall health. It did find that obesity was associated with a significantly higher risk of death from heart disease.

“You should not take heart in the idea that if you are only overweight you are OK,” said Dr. Robert Kushner, a professor of medicine at Northwestern University who specializes in nutrition and diet.

“Given time, there is a high likelihood you will be obese because people gain weight as they age in this country,” Kushner said in a telephone interview.

And as Lisa noted in the discussion of the study at Shapely Prose, the headline on Gina Kolata’s piece on the original study was also changed:

Before: “Overweight People Found Less Likely to Die From Some Diseases”
After: “Causes of Death Are Linked to a Person

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This entry was posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2007 at 12:25 pm and is filed under Fat Bias, Health, Nutrition & Fitness. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 7 responses to “The inevitable media spin”

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  1. 1 On November 8th, 2007, GroovyBabe said:

    There is an america study that has come out that says apparently it is healthier to be slightly overweight that underweight, obese or even a normal weight. Theres a link on my latest post (entitled ‘good to be fat’) about an article in the independent newspaper.

  2. 2 On November 8th, 2007, Eve said:

    Yeah. ‘Cause “normal” people can never gain weight. I mean, this is what we’re talking about! In this writer’s ideal world,”overweight” folks are terrified of becoming obese, “normal” folks are terrified about gaining any weight, and we “obese” folks are irredeemable.

    One good thing I’ve found about being fat is that I don’t worry about getting fat. I suppose I could get fatter, but it’s not like I’m going to go from being socially acceptable to unacceptable if I put on 20 lbs or something.

  3. 3 On November 8th, 2007, Rachel said:

    Groovybabe – we’re talking about the same study.

  4. 4 On November 8th, 2007, littlem said:

    “Being overweight may not kill you, but it could lead to obesity”

    Cogent analysis of the day *disdainful eyeroll*

    “…go from being socially acceptable to unacceptable”

    I think that’s the real terror in all this shrieking (at least when it’s women that are shrieking. Men shriek something related, but different). There’s a whole feminist (and classist) analysis in there, but I’ll let Rachel have at it since she’s the expert here.

  5. 5 On November 8th, 2007, Carrie said:

    Speaking as a professional (well, sometimes) science writer, all I have to say is this:

    This writer needs to burn in science writer purgatory for a while. First off, the lede is mind-numbingly obvious. “Overweight can lead to obesity.” Uh, right. Tell me something I don’t know. What about “Overweight can lead to self acceptance?” Or “overweight can lead to infestations of purple kittens?”

    Secondly, I don’t know the writer did his/her research. Okay, fine, she called an “expert”, and if she was trying to do a story that some people thought the study was bogus, s/he should have said so outright. Did s/he read the study?

    Le sigh.

  6. 6 On November 8th, 2007, Lisa said:

    Holy wow! Thanks for the shout-out.

  7. 7 On November 8th, 2007, Rachel said:

    Haha, you put it better than I could, Lisa.

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