Saturday, September 4, 2010
Fit Sugar's Question is Frickin' Hilarious
Okay, so Fitsugar has a post up asking "Has a doctor ever prescribed Weight Loss for you?" The whole tone of the piece is like walking on egg-shells, especially for a fitness blog. Like this is a deep dark secret people are ashamed to admit to each other or that it is so RARE that to be told to loose weight is like being told you have some rare, but shameful condition. Allegedly, the bloggers at fitsugar are reaching out to the already fitness minded, the people for whom "get your body bikini ready in 14 days" is a serious endeavor...they just need to do some extra crunches or planks before resort season, not say, loose 100 lbs. Fine, sure. But I doubt that that is really their total readership. There might be some fatties like me or even some moderately overweight people who could stand to loose 40lbs. But fundamentally, with 2/3 of adults at least OVERWEIGHT according to BMI (and more importantly, height/weight tables through insurance companies), pretty much 2/3 of adults have been told to loose weight. A friend of mine in college, who generally wore a size eight, but after a summer on a dig in Israel got down to a size six, was told to loose weight (when she was a size eight). She could wear a bikini at either size and look pretty damn good according to my standards, but she was told by her doctor to loose weight because she was at the higher end of her "normal range."
Now, do I have a big problem with doctors telling their patients to loose weight? Yes and No. I have a problem with it when they do it in a vacuum. When they simply say, "loose weight." If instead, they help people find a program, go to a nutritionist, or in some other way give the proper bread-crumbs to a healthier lifestyle, I'm fine with it. But I can't tell you how many people I've known who have been told to loose weight without any other quality information. People, in fact, who start to avoid doctors because they know that they will be told to loose weight and who are afraid that they will ignore their health problems or not seek treatments beyond weight loss for said health problems. So, when a doctor says "loose weight," if they don't have resources at hand or real world suggestions, how helpful is it really? How much harm might it do?