Thursday, 27 November 2008

Those fat people just won't stop eating

New scientist reports on an 'anti-fat' pill

This study highilights a compound that tells the body it's full. Appart from the implications of tricking your body into believeing you've had enough food to satisfy your hunger when you haven't and the potential for misuse to prevent hunger pangs when starvation dieting, it just plays into the entire idea that fat people are fat because we can't help scarfing down food every ten seconds. (Note, I don't actually have access to the full paper, aparently, so we're going on what New Scientist has to say, that's the article linked).

To start with, this isn't the case. I'm not going to play the comparison game, but many fat people simply don't eat that much more or food that is less healthy then their thin counterparts. Of course, some do, but most fat people eat a diet that, in another person, wouldn't produce obesity. Saying that fat is all about fod intake simplifies the matter beyond belief and ignores the reality of a lot of healthy, active fat people who enjoy normal diets and normal exercise.

Next, eating isn't purely a biological phenomena. We don't gorge ourselves on christmas bay because of biological triggers and starve ourselves in the spring because of hormines, we binge becasue of christmas and we starve for a 'beach body'. Eating is very much a social phenonema. We don't just eat when we're hungry. Sometimes we eat when we're not hungry, sometimes we don't eat when are bodies are desperate for food. In humans, eating is much more tied up in a social activity then as something triggered by biology. Feeding my a drug to stop me feeling hungry won't stop me eating, even when I'm not hungry I eat because I enjoy food, I enjoy the social aspect of eating, and I have habits where I'm not able to concentrate if I don't have meals at certain times. Eating isn't about hunger, it's a social thing.

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