In 1954, Life magazine published an article entitled "The Plague of Overweight" with a series of photos of a woman named Dorothy Bradley. The story features some now-familiar tropes about fat people ("197-pound Dorothy ... covered up embarrassment by being jolly and gregarious"; "Dorothy envies slim girl's milkshake"). It is also notable as an early appearance of the concept of an obesity "epidemic".
Nichelle Gainer (whose Vintage Black Glamour blog was seen previously on MeFi) responds insightfully to a NY Times editorial by author Alice Randall called "Why Black Women Are Fat."
The Fat Trap (NYT pop review): Overweight individuals in Western nations (and, increasingly, beyond) face interpersonal and institutional stigma for their bodies*. Oftentimes, these stigmas are predicated on the belief that being overweight is a moral failure, that being overweight is usually a result of laziness, decadence, and/or characterlogical poor impulse control. However, an emerging consensus among obesity researchers points toward strong, common physiological and individual genetic factors as causative for heightened BMIs in the modern world and the general failure of dieting to produce BMI outcomes. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (paywalled) adds to this body of evidence, suggesting that chemical messengers held to contribute to altered "efficient" metabolism and increased hunger in the wake of low-calorie dieting are (on average) significantly elevated up to a full year (if not longer) following a substantial drop in weight from dieting.> [more inside]
Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit "My goal is to inspire people to get fit, teach them how to do it and give them hope that it IS possible to get fit and stay fit. " [more inside]
Obesity can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands.... As many as one in three obese people may have become overweight after falling victim to the highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36.
A graphic yet poignantly written first-person account of what it is like to weigh 530 pounds. The author of this account is unflinchingly brutal in her candor, which, although it makes some graphic moments in her narrative difficult to read, also brings you deeply into her world and her perspective. (A July 2008 update.)
US Surgeon General: Lose some weight, already Overweight and obesity may not be infectious diseases, but they have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. . . Approximately 300,000 deaths a year in this country are currently associated with overweight and obesity . Left unabated, overweight and obesity may soon cause as much preventable disease and death as cigarette smoking.