Blogs > Liberty and Power > Tierney on science and neo-puritanism

Apr 25, 2005 1:39 pm

Tierney on science and neo-puritanism

I was delighted to learn a couple weeks ago that John Tierney would become the new NY Times op-ed columnist. Today's column is a great example. I apologize for using the reg-required link; I can't do the magic blog-friendly linking trick from my home computer. On Monday, I'll update this blog entry to include the non-reg link, but NYT reg is free, and many readers may already be registered, so go read this.

UPDATE - as promised, here is the blog-friendly no-reg link.

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Keith Halderman - 4/25/2005

I think there is more than research dollars involved. The real prize is the tax on the foods that are supposedly unhealthy and the big government types who are pushing the obseity issue will not stop until they get it, science be dammed. Which foods that are considered taxable, will depend on who plays golf with Senator so and so.

Jason Kuznicki - 4/24/2005

One point often made by fat-rights activists (sadly, these are necessary now that the government is at war on fat) is that fatness does not equal inactivity either. A person with much body fat who also exercises regularly has relatively low risk of heart disease. It's inactivity, not heaviness in muscle or in fat, that really presents a problem.

Max Swing - 4/24/2005

I am also on the thin side, but I regard this article as problematic, given that he equals thickness with being not into sports. I think that being sporty can make a difference, and weight goes also up, when you make more sport, but this time it is not fat, but muscles.

I think that both extremes are dangerous to health (being obese and being overly-thin). The problem is not that you have 10 kg more on your body, but rather if you have a weight of around 130-170 kg. This is not natural and has no good effect on you feeling good, except when you try to compensate by keeping you body fit. (These are not antagonistic things, to be fat and sporty!)

But in the end, everyone must decide for himself, whether he feels good being thin or fat or whether he wants to change something in his life-style.
I certainly won't.

On a fiscal note:
This study could also make an impact on "health insurance", because usually fat people got worse contracts than thin and sporty ones. Perhaps this can change now.

Sheldon Richman - 4/23/2005

The risk of dietary fat and cholesterol. That's my bet. The establishment's own numbers don't support their hypothesis.

Jason Kuznicki - 4/23/2005

It's very good stuff, yes. And I say this as someone who is very much on the thin side.

I wonder what other risks have been so exaggerated by the chase after federal research dollars?

Sheldon Richman - 4/23/2005

It's an excellent article. There's also a nice plug at the end for a related Reason article by Jacob Sullum from a few years ago.

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