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Dieting Kills Army Recruit

Via Jezebel.

The Chronicle-Telegram, an Ohio paper, reports that a local man died after being encouraged to crash diet by Army recruiters- Death from dieting: Coroner says crash regimen to make weight killed Army recruit.

Wilsey, 20, died on March 3 of acute cardiac dysrhythmia from an electrolyte imbalance caused by extreme dieting that included binging and purging, according to Lorain County Coroner Paul Matus.

Wilsey’s mother, Lora Bailey, said her son was determined to join the Army and lost about 85 pounds in 3½ months in hopes of fitting into a bomb disposal suit.

Midway through the process, her son, who was more than 6 feet tall, was told to step up his efforts, she said.

He went on an 800-calorie-a-day diet and began an intensive exercise regime that involved wearing a waist band as well as garbage bags or a scuba suit under two sets of sweat pants and a sweat shirt while he exercised.

“At that time, he was also told, coached, suggested, prodded — whatever word needs to be used — that ‘If you eat a big meal, it is OK to vomit that back up,’” she said.

He was a football player and wrestler in high school, and he did so well on the army entry exams that the recruiter wanted him to enroll in a training program for an elite bomb squad rather than training as a medic, as he had intended.

This was a fit, intelligent young man who wanted to serve his country by saving lives rather than taking them. What a horrible, senseless loss.

I wish I was joking...

I saw an ad for this show Mike & Molly during How I Met Your Mother last night. At first I was excited...look! Actual fat people on TV! Then I read the premise:

"Police officer Mike Biggs knows his way around the Streets—and the donut shop. As a cop, Mike’s not scared of anything—except dating, so he’s joined Overeaters Anonymous® to lose those extra pounds and gain some Much-needed confidence. When he meets Molly at a meeting, the attraction is immediate, and suddenly Mike is excited about the prospect of a new life. But now he must find the willpower to give up his beloved junk food for the apple of his eye."

Oh BARF. Anyone seen any more of this tripe? Comments?

Geez America, why can't you be more like your sister Japan?

Check out this article on Japanese attitudes towards weight. I feel almost like the author is saying "Gee, if Japanese women can lose weight and keep it off, what's wrong with Americans?"
They say the rates of anorexia and bulimia aren't any higher over there than they are here, but I have to wonder if that's because the idea of an average-sized woman not eating because she wants to be thinner is so widely accepted as normal. Certainly the act of specifically not eating or eating only vegetables when you are hungry for more is something of a disorder, whether it's officially anorexia or not.
Anyone have any other ideas about what might cause the disparity between our attitudes toward weight and that of Japanese women?

Is it okay to be fat?

This is the question posed in the Nightline debate linked to in withoutscene's posting below. The way I see it, when we ask "is it okay to be fat?", we're really asking a bunch of other questions:

  • Is a person allowed to have and maintain a body that is larger than average?
  • Is being fat a health problem?
  • Is a person with a health problem allowed to choose to not treat that problem?
  • Is fat caused by lifestyle choices?
  • Is a person in a group health plan allowed to make choices that might cause them to need more health care in the future?

When you break it down to what we're really talking about, I don't see how any rational person could conclude that it is not okay to be fat. What are your thoughts?

Ye Olde Double Standard

Sorry to devolve into TMZ territory for a minute, but I was just struck by this article about Leonardo DiCaprio being asked to lose weight for a role. Imagine for a second that the article is talking about a female starlet who happens to be 30 pounds heavier than a director wants her to be. I bet we wouldn't be hearing about how she's beautiful "at any weight" and how after the shoot she will hopefully gain back to a "healthy" weight. It would either be about how rightly ashamed she is that her body displeases someone or how she foolishly chooses to love her repugnant fat body as it is. Silly women, with their misguided self-love.

Logic? What's that?

Okay you're telling me that people who are fat in middle age and then lose weight have a higher risk for health problems when they're old? And it doesn't occur to you that the weight loss itself could be causing the health problems? Aren't you, like, a scientist? Cause and effect? Ring any bells?

Thanks Jean!

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