Something to “Bitch” About

meowser-48.jpg posted by meowser

Update from Meowser 02/19/2008: Bitch has now put the article up online; post re-edited to reflect that.

Note from Meowser: Post has been edited to correct spelling of Lily-Rygh Glen’s name.

As many of you are probably aware of by now, Bitch magazine has an article out in its current issue, by Lily-Rygh Glen, called “Big Trouble.” It’s about how people with binge-eating disorders allegedly are not welcome anywhere in the size-acceptance movement if they get help for their problem, because if those women get skinny by giving up their binges, they will make the rest of us look bad and we’d rather they ate themselves to death than actually got cured, because that’s the kind of cold mean douchenozzles we all are. (That’s honestly not too much of an exaggeration of how Glen portrays us.)

Probably the reason this hasn’t hadn’t been blogged about before much in the Fatosphere is because the article is was until now print-only, no link is was available (update: Link is now posted here). I haven’t gotten to it until now myself for the same reason (Bitch is published quarterly). So I went out and purchased the magazine so I could write about the article in question. Read the rest of this entry »

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Weight Watchers Works. For Two Out of a Thousand. (And They Probably Weren’t Fat to Begin With)

fatfu-48.jpg posted by fatfu

One of the things you often hear – even among fat activists – is that 95% of weight loss attempts fail long-term. It sounds like an impressively discouraging number, but still, it leaves us with the idea that 5% of fat people are able to leave their corpulence behind and join the world of respectable, acceptable, normal-weight humanity. Or at least get somewhere in the vicinity.

We should be so lucky.  When weight loss failure numbers are presented (generally 80-95% failure) “success” doesn’t mean achieving “normal weight” – let alone permanently.  It means the ability to keep off some very modest amount that a given researcher (usually with a vested interest in the weight loss strategy) has arbitrarily defined as “weight loss success.” Typically 5-10% weight loss maintained anywhere from 1 to 5 years.

If that’s enough to make you thin, then I have news for you: you weren’t fat.

And studies that look at “successful losers” – unusual as they are even when defined by such a low bar – find the overwhelming majority are in the process of regaining, they’re just taking a little longer than average in getting back to baseline. 

In reality, people who go from “obese” to “normal weight” and maintain it for more than a few years are so rare that nobody knows just how rare because no weight loss study has been large enough or rigorous enough to detect a significant number of them. You can look everywhere (and I have) for a respectable study that gives you this number and you won’t find it.

Weight Watchers – More like Two in a Thousand Success Rate?

But Weight Watchers has sort of spilled the beans on this well-kept secret. At least it gives us a number to start making deductions. They come in a recent article published in the British Journal of Nutrition by Michael Lowe, an assuredly unbiased Weight Watchers consultant,  who hopes to convince us that successful weight loss is more common than the studies say. Mainly by spinning really horrible numbers in the best possible light. Read the rest of this entry »

Hi to NYT and Chi Trib Readers and Other Noobs

meowser-48.jpg posted by meowser

If you’ve just gotten here via the New York Times or Chicago Tribune — or you’ve discovered FatFu for the first time for any other reason — hello and welcome.

There are two of us who post here: the blog’s namesake, FatFu, and me, Meowser, who Fu invited to join on with her after she’d already set up this joint. At first we did not use avatars to distinguish our posts from each other’s, but after much confusion ensued amongst the readership, now we do. (My avatar, in case you want to know, is my cat, Binkley, who thoroughly approves this message.) Read the rest of this entry »