First, let me make this clear: I believe science is wonderful. There are many different fields, and each one has numerous applications (and even fun). But...well, but. There's always a
My Google Reader account is enormous. I wouldn't be surprised if there were 1000 entries per day, at least on some days. Naturally, I don't read every single entry, some are things that don't interest me. My feed is divided into categories, one of which is Science and one of which is Health (there are many others, but I'll be talking about those two here).
Sciency stuff can be roughly broken down into four types:
- Interesting things I want to read. For example, I like reading about mental health.
- Things I can't fucking understand. For example, "Single–Base Pair Unwinding and Asynchronous RNA Release by the Hepatitis C Virus NS3 Helicase". Well, I'm sure it's of interest to Hepatitis C research, but that doesn't mean much to me. Neither does "Disentangling the Drivers of β Diversity Along Latitudinal and Elevational Gradients".
- Things that I'm sure can be of interest to some people who aren't experts, but which I skip reading because I can.
- Most fascinating studies with un-be-lie-va-ble! results.
This post concerns the latter category.
For example, there recently was a study demonstrating that, hold to your chair, bisexual men exist for realz. I was absolutely flabbergasted! FOR REALZ, I said! In the name of all those men, I would like to thank the scientists who took the time and money to demonstrate in a science-methody way that those men's feelings are teh realz.
Even more recently, WebMD informs us that Obesity Puts Young Kids at Risk of Social Isolation. REALLY? You mean that, in a society where Weight Loss is put on a pedestal, where the slight bit of fat is seen as horrifying, where we even call disgusting other animals and things that could possibly resemble parts of a naked fat person, obesity can lead to social isolation? NO MOTHERFUCKING WAY!
The very worse part of the article, however, comes at the end:
"My advice to parents would be to work hard to help their children achieve the best quality nutrition standards, participate in activities which have the potential to improve fitness levels, and to seek out activities in the community where children's peer relationships can be fostered and supported," he says.
Ballas says there are some concrete steps parents can take to help their children overcome the stigma of being obese.
"If there's a TV in their bedroom, just get it out," says Ballas. "If there's a TV in their bedroom it substantially increases the chance for obesity and sleep problems, and getting the TV out of the room reduces those chances."
Also encourage exercise, but maybe not competitive sports, which can heighten an overweight or obese child's sense of stigma and failure, according to Ballas. "A lot of kids have a great interest in learning and academics that are not necessarily sports related."
Those damn parents who just can't do a thing good! Clearly we mustn't teach children to treat their obese peers properly, we must rather teach those obese kids to not be obese.
I know that, because the aforementioned Health category covers a wide range of topics (chronic non-transmittable illnesses such as diabetes, seasonal stuff like the flu, delicious foods, etc.), but in spite of this, roughly half of the entries are about how you must lose weight RIGHT NOW.
Our attitude towards thin people isn't better, of course. I'm sure sites like Demotivational Posters putting up pictures of very thin celebrities to comment on how "gross" it is and how it makes "us want to puke" are very good for people with body dismorphic disorder.