Biblitz delivers advise

ASK Biblitz about Obesity.

'I chanced to see in the paper an advertisement of a new preparation called Slimmo, guaranteed to reduce superfluous flesh, which, was stated to contain no noxious or habit-forming drugs and to be endorsed by leading doctors.'

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Boyfriend loves my fat belly. Is this a good thing?

Workout Routines and Exercises

See also Body Image and Fitness.

Dear Leo,

OK, so I have recently gained loads of weight, and most of it has gone to my belly, which has swollen into a huge fat lump. I'm thinking of dieting, but my boyfriend doen't want me to, he says he thinks my belly is sexier fat. He plays with my flab all the time, he squishes it and rubs and massages it and eats sweets out of my belly button. Is this normal, and should I keep my belly?

Biblitz replies:

Relaxing massage is one thing but I can't say I like all this squishing business. Still, chacun son gout.

As long as you're satisfied it's you your partner finds sexy and not an objectification of your good self. The cultural temptation to objectify/fetishize women does not, I fear, have their best interest at heart. Act according to your own wishes on the matter and see what happens.


Bouncing baby Biblitz, as pleasantly full as a young python, clearly tucking in and getting his. Alright for now but what would he become, his fevered parents must have wondered?

Pigs Have Wings

Paperback By P.G. Wodehouse

More of the book.

'I have just returned from Market Blandings, Mr Galahad. I went there for the purpose of making a certain purchase. I don't know if you have happened to notice it, sir, but recently I have been putting on a little weight, due no doubt to the sendentary nature of a butler's - '


Let him work up to it,' said Penny. 'The Vail method. Building for the climax. Go on, Beach. You're doing fine.'

'Thank you, miss. Well, as I say, I have recently become somehwat worried about this increase in my weight, and I chanced to see in the paper an advertisement of a new preparation called Slimmo, guaranteed to reduce superfluous flesh, which, was stated to contain no noxious or habit-forming drugs and to be endorsed by leading doctors. So I thought I would look in at Bulstrode's in the High Street and buy a bottle. It was somewhat embarrassing walking into the shop and asking for it, and I thought I noticed Mr Bulstrode's young assistant give me a sort of sharp look as much as to say "Oho!" but I nerved myself to the ordeal, and Bulstrode's young assistant wrapped the bottle up in paper and fastened the loose ends with a little pink sealing wax.' (-- pgs. 58-59)

Nor was Blandings' celebrated port-swilling butler the only character to succumb to the diet industry's siren song

Until this moment, like the Spartan boy who allowed the fox to gnaw his vitals without mentioning it to a soul, Sir Gregory had kept his tragedy a secret from the world. Rightly or wrongly, he thought it made a fellow look such an ass. Chaps, he felt, chaps being what they were, would, if informed that he was mortifying the flesh at the whim of a woman, be inclined to laugh their silly heads off at a chap. But now the urge to confide in this sympathetic friend was too strong for him.

'She says I'm too fat, and if I don't reduce a bit the engagement's off. She says she positively refuses to stand at the altar rails with someone who looks like ... well, she was definitely outspoken about it. You know what girls are, especially these athletic girls who dash about tennis courts shouting "Forty love" and all that. They're all for the lean, keen, trained- to-the-last-ounce stuff. Dam' silly, of course, the whole thing. I put it to her straight. I said: "Dash it, old girl, what's what's all this about? I'm not proposing to enter the six-day bicycle race or something," but nothing would move her. She said unless I ceased to resemble a captive balloon posed for its flight into the clouds, those wedding bells would not ring out. She said she was as fond of a laugh as the next girl, but that there were limits. I quote her verbatim.'

'Good gracious!' (-- pgs. 39-40)

Everyone up with the Hayes Boys!


'So long, Atkins, Scarsdale and the rest of you! Join your fellow predators in the drink!' When the medical experts provide compelling evidence linking their measure of obesity to ill health, Biblitz will study it. Until then, he advises diet entrepreneurs to stop going about attacking the confidence of healthy young people or prepare to face the prospect of a large American lawsuit as Fatmeister Susie Orbach has suggested. So there!

Workout Routines and Exercises Feedingthebirds

'Body Mass Index (BMI), forsooth!,' suggests this superior intellect. 'None of that diet nonsense for me. Use it so as fodder for our feathered friends!'

The Obesity Myth

Why America's Obsession With Weight is Hazardous to Your Health

By Paul Campos

More of the book.

Even America's celebrated Institute of Medicine (IOM) will go no further than the statement, 'the link between obesity and disability needs further investigation.'

What is 'The Obesity Myth'?

Well, the myth actually has three parts. The first is that weight is a good indicator of health and that you can tell a lot about whether a person is likely to be healthy and to have good life expectancy by just looking at their weight. The second is that significant long-term weight loss is medically beneficial. And the third is that we have some method of producing this result - significant long-term weight loss - that is worth the costs that are incurred in attempting to produce this effect. All three of these assumptions, or, really, more acts of faith on the part of our culture, are false. This is just not the case.

What kind of evidence have you found in examining these myths? Obesity is a pervasive topic now.
Workout Routines and Exercises
It is pretty interesting. One of the more shocking aspects of this is that when you actually go looking at the data, when you actually look at the medical literature, you discover the fact that there isn't a very good correlation at all between w eight and health and that this correlation disappears completely when you start taking other variables into account. So, for instance, ask the question: 'If you compare thin sedentary people to fat active people, who is healthier'? The answer is that fat active people are much healthier than the thin sedentary people, and they are just as healthy as thin active people, indicating that activity levels are very important to health but that weight really isn't. So as an initial matter, you discover that by looking at the medical literature a lot of the claims and certainly the main, central claim that fuels the obesity media, are not supported by the medical data.

Furthermore, the next thing you discover, and I think this is perhaps the most shocking single aspect of the whole obesity hysteria in our culture, is that there really isn't any good evidence for the proposition that significant, long-term weight loss is medically beneficial. Given the hysteria we have on the subject, and given all the messages that we're getting from government authorities that people ought to be trying to lose weight, you would assume that it had simply been more or less conclusively demonstrated that weight loss is medically beneficial. But in fact it hasn't been demonstrated at all and indeed it hasn't even been tested.

The reason the proposition that significant long-term weight loss is beneficial hasn't been demonstrated as a matter of medicine and science is that we do not know how to produce significant long-term weight loss, and so, therefore, it's not even possible to set up the kind of experimental data that would test this hypothesis. We don't know how to make fat people thin. So when you consider that it appears that things other than weight are vastly more important to health than weight itself, that we don't know if being thinner would actually be good for them, and that we don't know how produce these results, even if it was a good thing to produce, it simply is not rational to have a public health policy that's constructed around the idea of making heavier people thinner. (From a 2003 interview by Dr. Pattie Thomas with the author of The Obesity Myth, Prof. Paul Campos, at BigFatBlog)

The New York Times Mazagine

Losing the weight stigma

A social movement argues that you can be healthy no matter how fat you are.

By Robin Marantz Henig

Oct. 5/08

More on the prospect of a lawsuit against Weight Watchers.

More on a celebrated baby bulimic.

More on Biblitz favorite, Dear Fatty French.

The public-health crusade of the moment is a no-holds-barred war on obesity. ...

But some activists and academics, part of a growing social movement known as fat acceptance, suggest that we rethink this war - as well as our definition of health itself. Fat-acceptance activists insist you can't assume someone is unhealthy just because he's fat, any more than you can assume someone is healthy just because he's slim. (They deliberately use the word 'fat' as a way to reclaim it, much the way some gay rights activists use the word 'queer.') Rather, they say, we should focus on health measurements that are more meaningful than numbers on a scale. This viewpoint received a boost in August when The Archives of Internal Medicine reported that fully half of overweight adults and one-third of the obese had normal blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar - indicating a normal risk for heart disease and diabetes, conditions supposedly caused by being fat. ...

Scientists who study obesity at the cellular level say genetics determines people's natural weight range, right down to the type and amount of food they crave, how much they move and where they accumulate fat. Asking how someone got to be so fat is as meaningless as asking how he got to be so tall. "The severely obese have some underlying genetic or metabolic difference we're not smart enough to identify yet," says Dr. Rudolph Leibel of Columbia University Medical Center. "It's the same way that a 7-foot-tall basketball player is genetically different from me, at 5-foot-8."

Fat has been blamed for cardiac trouble, diabetes and some forms of cancer. But fat-acceptance activists argue that the epidemiological studies that link fatness to disease often fail to adjust for non-weight-related risk factors found more often in fat populations. Poverty, minority-group status, too much fast food, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of access to health insurance or to nonjudgmental medical care, the stress of self-loathing and being part of a stigmatized group - all are more common among fat people, and all are linked to poorer health outcomes at any weight. This makes it harder to say to what extent an association between obesity and disease is due to the fatness itself or to the risk factors that tend to go along with being fat.
It remains an open question, one deserving of further scientific scrutiny, whether the health risks seen in fat populations are caused by the fat itself or by something else. Only then can we really know how to effectively wage the war on obesity - or if such a war even needs to be waged. (-- p. 24)