Widely Obvious: Obesity Spreads Socially

Joanna Dolgoff covers new research on how obesity spreads through social contact over at Huffington Post. I'm sure this comes as a huge surprise to those of us who have watched our waistlines spread along with the waistlines of our friends. Well, at least until we lose sight of our friends because they can no longer get out of their house and we can no longer get out of ours.

Research is not inherently a bad thing (despite some people's reaction to it), even when it seems blindingly obvious research to conduct. Look at Baron Cohen's latest showing that techies have higher rates of autism -- an oversimplification to be sure, but it's late, I've taken sleeping meds, but I've just had a snack and I know if I go lie down now I'll wake up with acid swishing in my mouth. Acid reflux sucks. So you get this snarky fat post.

I'm going to make a confession that won't be a surprise to those who know me or who have been able to follow pictures of me over the last two years. I've gained weight. Considerable weight. Weighty weight. Annoying weight. I'd like to blame stress. Hell, I'd like to propose the theory that it's all the fault of the anti-vaccine people and now the pro-FC folks who keep me so busily engaged at the computer. They did it. Hah, no, no, no. It's the flu shots I've had each year while wearing a big grin as I think of those most rabid of anti-vaccine people. I confess, I see the light now. That's the correlation. I was fine, slim, gorgeous until the flu shots. Oh, crap, and the hep A and B's I had done and the tetanus booster. And the pneumonia one since I'm high risk.

Vaccines are definitely to blame for my obesity. Before I started getting all those shots (Oh, meningitis one, too, since I deal with college students), I was thin, graceful, barely gray, and then those shots did it to me. I'm telling you it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I went off the GFCF diet after four committed (should have been) years and discovered I did not have Lou Gherigs disease now that I was no longer eating the great wall of china (seriously, rice flour is the mortar for that sucker). It has nothing to do with all the hamburgers, french fries, pizza, lasagna, donuts, cake, pies, cookies. Nothing. Grilled cheese sandwiches! Seriously! Who would have thought you could ache for a grilled cheese? Heaven in your mouth. Butter. Cheese. Good bread. Not tofu butter and cheese and cardboard pretending to be bread. No. We're talking Texas toast. Real butter. Sharp cheddar cheese.

It's the vaccines. What else could it be?

It's a logical, rational conclusion that when we gather socially we will eat mindlessly, engage in similar eating activities, and in general enjoy food while we socialize. We will do it festively or because we are mind-numbingly distressed and worried. And it wouldn't surprise me to find out that parents of special needs kids are at greater risk of obesity because of stress-related eating.

Here's the truth. We've all got metaphors for how we assign priorities to our lives. I've got buckets. I got a bucket for this, I got a bucket for students, for teaching, for family related affairs, definitely a bucket for the husband. I've got a lot of buckets, and each is filled with my commitment to and care for that particular person or thing in the bucket (no, they are not literally in the bucket). I don't have any empty buckets, though, so putting weight loss in a bucket to the front of the stack, well, I'm not sure I care enough to do so or at least more than all the things I've got in those buckets.

And I suspect that's true for a lot of the obese, especially those whose asses and guts get featured in any news article talking about how fat we are. I know I'd have a danged bucket for people aiming cameras at my torso, is what I'm saying. I'd throw it at their fat asses (you know they are; they're camera men, not the reporters).

We're fat, we've got fat friends, fat family members, sigh. Fat pets. We are a nation round and proud most the time, at least when we can catch our breath. Sure, we have to stop and wipe sweat from places we never imagined would exist and sometimes find things we were looking everywhere for in folds we'd like to pretend aren't there but secretly bounce and jiggle both in a secret horror and fascination.  But hey, maybe there's a bucket for that.

So, seriously, all my skinny friends that are left out there, gather around. I've got this bucket I want to share. It's filled with fried chicken. Based on the latest research, you know it's inevitable. There's now more fatties than slim-jims. Join us....bring a bucket or two, though. Maybe a two liter, too?

*Please note that not all of the above is necessarily accurate, true or relating to me. I would however like some fried okra when you bring me the chicken. Mkay? Oh, and chocolate cake.


melbo said...

I like it - the point you were trying to illustrate that is, not the fact that being up late has allowed you time to lament the decline of your waistline.

I've noticed since I passed the big 40 that it is getting easier to gain. It also doesn't help that I don't have time or opportunity to walk as much as I used to. That has made a really big difference.

kathleen said...

heehee...My theory is that the "Fat Fairy" sneaks into people's rooms at night..depositing cellulite on the unsuspecting..it's way easier to blame her than my good friend chocolate...as for the fried Okra?-you can have mine..anytime...:)