Tuesday, September 14, 2010

persistent organic pollutants and long-term weight loss

Study results released recently show that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are "significantly" higher in people who had lost weight, and more so the more weight lost/longer it was kept off. As far as what that might mean, "Researchers say the findings may help explain why some studies have suggested, though not proven, that the risk of heart disease, dementia, or death may sometimes increase after weight loss." Moralizing context of every kind aside, it is very interesting straight-up data about what weight change actually does to the human body, something we still need more information about. Change being the operative word here. There is a huge pressure to change, to always be changing, with regard to weight and size, for almost everyone, ultimately. Do we even know what that means?

Just about every version of this story began with a lede like this: "There may actually be an unhealthy downside to losing weight" (WebMD); "Can making pounds melt away actually pose some health risks?" (Washington Post); "Losing weight may actually harm your health, claim Korean researchers" (ABC News). We know weight loss, especially rapid weight loss, brings its own risks, but the health media pushes everything to one side or the other with sudden memory loss when it comes to stories about weight, so committed are they to the idea that one is bad and the other good. The AOL news take on the study is floundering and sweaty, demonstrably grappling with how to report this seemingly "contradictory" news: "But before you order the fettuccine carbonara for lunch, hold on . . . " Blah blah. Why so much agenda? Just let facts be facts here.

The report makes me feel bad for us humans, struggling along in our messed-up industrial world.

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