Fat Free Media?

A couple of days ago I was interviewed by Judith Timson, a columnist for the Globe & Mail, who wanted to know if all the talk about obesity in the media was actually helping anyone. You can read her take on this here.

So Judith is going to go on an Obesity Media Diet – i.e. she is not going to read any more media reports on obesity.

While that may or may not help Judith, she does raise a couple of important points in her column:

1) Bombarding the public daily with supposedly new findings on obesity is probably not helpful – only adds to the noise, confusion and fatigue (a la Yellow/Amber/Red Alert! In the end who cares?)

2) Let’s make sure that we don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater – the problem is not simply excess weight and not everyone with a couple of extra pounds is “obese” or needs “obesity treatment”. (You need more than a scale or tape measure to diagnose obesity).

3) Let’s not underestimate the negative effect that “healthy-weight” messaging may have on eating and exercise behaviour – if you are looking for “cosmetic” weight loss – you need help with your self esteem and body image – not help with losing weight!

Great points – very much part of a healthy discussion.

I of course will continue reading new stuff on obesity – after all, what could be more interesting?