[Image from Jes Baker’s awesome “Empower All Bodies” project.]
Another reason it just makes more sense to encourage fat people to love our bodies, rather than teaching fat people to hate our bodies until we attain “normal” weight:
The chance of an obese person attaining normal body weight is 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women, increasing to 1 in 1,290 for men and 1 in 677 for women with severe obesity, according to a study of UK health records led by King’s College London. The findings, published in the American Journal of Public Health, suggest that current weight management programmes focused on dieting and exercise are not effective in tackling obesity at population level.
The research, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), tracked the weight of 278,982 participants (129,194 men and 149,788) women using electronic health records from 2004 to 2014. The study looked at the probability of obese patients attaining normal weight or a 5% reduction in body weight; patients who received bariatric surgery were excluded from the study. A minimum of three body mass index (BMI) records per patient was used to estimate weight changes.
The annual chance of obese patients achieving five per cent weight loss was 1 in 12 for men and 1 in 10 for women. For those people who achieved five per cent weight loss, 53 per cent regained this weight within two years and 78 percent had regained the weight within five years. […]
Weight cycling, with both increases and decreases in body weight, was also observed in more than a third of patients. The study concludes that current obesity treatments are failing to achieve sustained weight loss for the majority of obese patients.
And those “success” numbers include some patients who lost weight involuntarily due to health problems.
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Another couple of fat-related research links, while I’m posting about this:
A 2009 article in Nutrition Research Review, “A review and meta-analysis of the effect of weight loss on all-cause mortality risk,” examined whether otherwise healthy obese people live longer if they lose weight.
It is less clear whether weight loss benefits longevity and hence whether weight reduction is justified as a prime goal for all individuals who are overweight (normally defined as BMI>25 kg/m2). The purpose of the present review was to examine the evidence base for recommending weight loss by diet and lifestyle change as a means of prolonging life. … There was no evidence for weight loss conferring either benefit or risk among healthy obese. In conclusion, the available evidence does not support solely advising overweight or obese individuals who are otherwise healthy to lose weight as a means of prolonging life. Other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, especially exercise and dietary quality, should be considered.
And another study looked at the link between perceived anti-fat discrimination and mortality:
The researchers were curious whether there would be a correlation between weight discrimination and an increased risk of mortality once you controlled for other factors that might also be associated with a heightened risk of dying — things like depressive symptoms and body-mass index, for example. Sure enough, that’s what they found — controlling for other factors reduced but did not eliminate a statistically significant link between weight discrimination and early death: All else being equal, respondents who said they felt like they’d been discriminated against on the basis of their weight were about 31 percent more likely to have died.