Please go read Sandy’s discussion of recent data analysis indicating that no actual statistical increases in children’s sizes have occurred since 1999. Note especially her sources describing poor outcomes from studies on the effectiveness of nutrition- and exercise-based interventions in schools (also see Rethinking Thin for detailed discussion of this), so nope, that’s not it either. (Not to mention that I consider it far more heartbreaking than some trumped-up “epidemic” of fat that kids as young as elementary age are being introduced to calorie-counting, exercise-as-calorie-burning, “portion control,” BMI, and just in general being encouraged to stigmatize fat kids even more than they did back in my day, all of which I believe probably contribute to eating disorders). If you are still convinced that there are more fat kids now than there were 10 years ago, because you “see so many more fat kids now than [you] used to,” you need to recognize that you are exercising selective memory with a hearty side dish of being influenced by panic-based media coverage of OMG CHILDHOOD OBESITY. Yes, really.

I am about fucking fed up with the “obesity epidemic” anyway, and I have seen statistics indicating that adults’ sizes have not increased much at all either over the past 10 or 15 years (which I am too lazy–or perhaps FAT AND LAZY?–to look up at the moment). The fact that we take as gospel truth the existence of an “epidemic” that is far more spin than reality makes me despair for humanity even more than usual. I know you know this (or if not, at least you already know how I feel about this), but these are our children’s lives we’re screwing with here. And I echo Sandy’s outrage on the matter:

When will taxpayers call these special interests on their bluff and begin to hold them responsible for the massive amount of public moneys and resources they’ve spent in the name of a childhood obesity epidemic — money that could have gone a long way towards improving educational opportunities and healthcare for children and families? When will the public demand evidence-based public health policies? When will parents hold these obesity interests accountable for the harmful effects of their initiatives and the nonstop weight obsessions that have surrounded their children?

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