Dangers from fat increasing by the year?

The BBC website “science” pages have text on obesity and a quiz about it. I am always interested in trying to find any real science basis behind our current obsession with obesity and diet. I still remain to be convinced by more than a scraping of it. (See old post about child obesity/anorexia scares. )

While I was scoring poorly on the quiz- I failed the first question on how many years of life obesity can cost – I saw this,:

Obesity can shorten your life by 9 years. 18 million days of work are lost through sickness due to obesity, and it costs the NHS £500 million a year.

I always have a problem with health rants that discuss how much problem x or y costs the Health Service. We get used to seeing things that put arbitrary cost figures on health. Unfortunately, no source is quoted, so it’s hard to argue with the data. But, an absence of facts never stops me making an argument.

Is every illness suffered by an obese person to be blamed on their weight? Don’t they get the same range of health problems as everybody else? So, any extra cost calculation would surely have to deduct a baseline standard level of health costs.

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The 3 rules for a successful diet :-)

Diets don’t work, according to a research report in American Psychologist, (Mann et al) discussed on physorg.com. Not only had most people who lost weight through dieting regained their weight in a couple of years, Mann concluded that

most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all. Their weight would be pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear from losing weight and gaining it all back

Well blow me down with a feather, etc. Who would have thought it? Well me, for a start. Given the obsession with dieting, if diets worked, people wouldn’t be (supposedly) getting fatter and fatter all the time.

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