October 12th, 2010

Another small fat rant

I just read a translation of a Dutch newspaper article. The article starts with,
Every pound goes through the mouth. So whoever is too fat, should simply eat less and exercise more. Is what they say. But thanks to science, we now know so much more about obesity that we can no longer avoid the obvious: losing weight is just impossible.

Sensationalism anyone? I should have stopped reading right about the word "impossible", because the untruth of that word taints the rest of the article.

I'll grant you that most people who try to lose weight do not succeed over the long term. I don't think that "is impossible" is a logical conclusion to draw from "has failed", though.

An analogy. Imagine that I want to build a house. I happen to be in a town with a soap factory, and I can get factory imperfect soap bars for next to nothing. Cool, soap is square like bricks, right? I'll build a house out of soap. It'll be cheap. It'll be great! In the spring, I get a couple tons of soap, take it to my building site, and construct a humble yet comfortable abode. It even smells pleasantly of lavender, an unexpected benefit of my building material. Isn't this great?

And then come the fall rains. To nobody's surprise but my own, my house melts. Whoops! Well, gee, I failed. I'll just build another one. This time I'll use double-soap-wall construction for extra sturdiness. Guess what? Come fall, I once again have a pile of goo where my house was, only this time it's clove-scented. Strangely, no matter how many times I build a house out of soap, it doesn't last. I guess building houses that last is impossible.