It's amazing how often this sort of debate follows this formula:
Some guy: "If you're overweight or obese, you should know that you may face increased risk of health-related complications and illnesses as a result. You should make an effort to improve your health and body."
Some overweight/obese person: "OMG ANOREXIA IS BAD Y U HATE FAT PEOPLE SO MUCH"
mikesalvatore wrote:Hmmm... obesity epidemic aside...
This is exactly why there is an obesity epidemic. As soon as someone points it out, someone with some weight/self-esteem issues pops up and says...
mikesalvatore wrote:eating disorders are a big deal.
This is a [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring_%28fallacy%29"]red herring[/url] in the absolute worst tradition of logical fallacies, and you, mike, are making my point for me. There is a double standard when it comes to weight and appearance, and it's damaging to thin people AND overweight/obese people. It insults and assumes the worst of thin people, and allows overweight/obese people to remain in denial about their weight and lifestyle.
mikesalvatore wrote:Anorexia is just one of the eating disorders, bulimia and binge eating disorder are more prevalent
Yep. Combined, those three eating disorders affect less than four percent (at the very HIGHEST estimates) of the population of the US
(I use the US here, because it is believed that individuals in the Western world are more susceptible to eating disorders, therefor our percentages are higher (in other words, I'm giving YOU the benefit of the doubt)).
Versus the 68% of the US population that is overweight/obese. Again, I'll ask you... which is the bigger (teehee) problem?
mikesalvatore wrote:Eating disorders are not only way more common than 0.5% for anorexia alone...
I cited my source for that 0.5% statistic, and I was also overestimating there, actually. The real statistic is, in fact, a bit smaller. Would you care to cite your source for your "way more common" claim?
mikesalvatore wrote:...they are underdiagnosed because things like shame and anxiety make it really hard to seek help.
mikesalvatore wrote:Onset usually occurs during adolescence, but not always, and both men and women (as many as 1 in 4 are men) struggle with them well into adulthood. One study in Canada found disordered eating attitudes and behaviours in 27% of adolescent girls out of over 1700 that were interviewed.
Extremely misleading. That study used the EAT-26, a test based on informal self-responses. None of the girls actual eating habits were monitored or verified, none of the girls' overall body conditions or health levels were taken into account, and the results were presented in a "combined" form that made it impossible to tell the difference between the number of girls who starved themselves every day and the number of girls who ate McDonalds Big Macs every day. Furthermore:
The EAT-26 is not designed to make a diagnosis of an eating disorder or to take the place of a professional diagnosis or consultation. The EAT-26 alone does not yield a specific diagnosis of an eating disorder. Neither the EAT-26, nor any other screening instrument, has been established as highly efficient as the sole means for identifying eating disorders.
I already discussed the first study; I think it's misleading at best. The third link doesn't actually seem to have any real science or statistics cited, it's just a sort of PR page. The second link is appears quite good, however. Let's take a look at some of what they've got to say:
that second link wrote:The prevalence of anorexia and bulimia is estimated to be 0.3% and 1.0% among adolescent and young women respectively. Prevalence rates of anorexia and bulimia appear to increase during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood.
Hoek, H. W. (2007). Incidence, prevalence and mortality of anorexia and other eating disorders. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 19(4), 389-394.
Lifetime prevalence rates for AN, BN, and BED tend to be higher among women than in men.
- Lifetime prevalence of AN = 0.9% in women and 0.3% in men
- Lifetime prevalence of BN = 1.5% in women and 0.5% in men
- Lifetime prevalence of BED found to be 3.5% in women and 2.0% in men
The average lifetime duration of BN is found to be approximately 8.3 years.
Hudson, J. I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H. G. & Kessler, R. C. (2007). The Prevalence and Correlates of
Eating Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3), 348-358.
Okay, so according to the data that YOU linked, lifetime prevalence of AN is 0.9% in women and 0.3% in men. I believe I offered an estimation of 0.5% (men and women together), which, given those figures, seems pretty close, and you claimed it was "way more common" than that. It seems your own citation proves you're wrong?
mikesalvatore wrote:Why does this matter?
It doesn't. The entire "anorexia/eating disorder" thing is, as I said before, just a distraction, a red herring, a bit of nonsense that seeks to derail anyone attempting to call attention to the terrifying obesity epidemic sweeping through the Western world. Anyone who attempts to call attention to it, or to tell someone they should be more careful what they eat, or that they should live a less sedentary lifestyle, or that they're getting a bit pudgy and should be careful usually gets shouted down with "OMG ANOREXIA Y U HATE FAT PEOPLE YOU SELF-ESTEEM-DESTROYING BULLY!" It's sad, really. No good deed goes unpunished, I suppose.
mikesalvatore wrote:As so many others have said, we're living in a culture that has different ideas about how to talk about body image than what most of us are used to. For the JETs out there who struggle with this, openly or not, this thread and/or comments from co-workers, students or others might have stirred up some difficult emotions. Not everyone is ready to "get over it" yet, and that's OK.
No, it's not okay. If you're anorexic and you're not ready to "get over it" yet, that's not okay, and people who care about you won't let you ignore the problem. If you're an alcoholic and you're not ready to "get over it" yet, that's not okay, and people who care about you won't let you ignore the problem. If you're an addict and you're not ready to "get over it" yet, that's not okay, and people who care about you won't let you ignore the problem.
A couple of very controversial, yet damning studies--I intend absolutely no offense to anyone; however, I'm a whale biologist and I calls 'em like I sees 'em... and I always like to see what the science is telling me:http://www.eatingdisordersonline.com/news/studies-and-research/controversial-study-links-low-intelligence-to-being-overweighthttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1531487/The-greater-your-weight-the-lower-your-IQ-say-scientists.html
Yanno, the only reason I even brought up that anorexia anecdote was to illustrate the double standard that exists in Western culture--it's okay to berate thin people, but not okay to say ANYTHING to fat people.
Chris Rock tells it the way it is (language NSFW):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVIs0D2acgw
I'm a man of statistics. I tend to step back and focus on the big picture. I don't know that it's a good thing (MG sometimes gets annoyed with this way of thinking), but it means I pick my battles carefully. Where should I direct my efforts? To reducing a dangerous, deadly, preventable and treatable condition that affects less than one percent of the nation? Or to reducing a dangerous, deadly, preventable and treatable condition that affects more than 65% of the nation? Really. You tell me.