I spend a lot of time doing research. On this blog I talk about research, I explain that Matheson et. al. did a study of 11,761 people and Wei et. al did a study of 25,714 people and that the Cooper Institute Research on fitness and weight is based on the Cooper Institute Longitudinal Study which is a database that has more than 250,000 records from nearly 100,000 people totaling more than 1,800,000 person-years of observation and that this research supports the idea that healthy habits lead to healthier bodies regardless of size.
Then I have to wade through 12 comments a day that say “I think you’re wrong because my aunt Gertrude was fat and she died of a heart attack.” Seriously? I’m truly sorry that you lost your aunt but why would you think that your aunt’s experience trumps a combined sample of more than 120,000 people?
Or this one “All the people I know who have type 2 diabetes or heart disease are fat.” Is this a frequent topic of conversation for you? Do you know more than 120,000 people? Also, fat people are tested early and often for these things and thin people are rarely tested. If I test group A early and often for a disease, and I rarely ever test group B for a disease, it’s not really a big shocker that there is a higher disease incidence in group A.
“All the fat people I know eats super sized fast food meals all the time.” Really? Really really? Even if this is true, why are you monitoring your friend’s food choices and why do you think that your friends are a statistically significant sample?
Also, it’s important to note that we are all subject to confirmation bias. That means that we tend to favor evidence that supports our beliefs. We’re also subject to Status Quo bias which leads us to prefer that things remain the same, or change as little as possible, if they absolutely have to change. For some people who are enjoying their thin privilege and all the things it buys for them, their perceptions may be clouded due to loss aversion. That’s why I’m interested in the evidence when it comes to Health at Every Size. (To be clear, Size Acceptance needs no evidence as it’s a civil rights issue – the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not size-dependent and should never be up for a vote.)
If you still think that you should extrapolate to the entire population based on your friends or your aunt or whatever consider that all of my fat friends have left the weight cycling lifestyle and chosen a Health at Every Size path.
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