Talk:Obesity/Archive 5

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Calcium and Obesity

There seems to be no mention of the role that dietary calcium deficiency plays in the development of obesity. Peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates that if calorie intake falls below weight-maintenance levels, then it is the level of calcium in the diet that controls fat burning. For example, on a 1600 calorie/day diet plan, if calcium levels are maintained at 1200mg+ per day, then stored body fat is burned preferentially. This has the effect of increasing overall energy levels, and allowing weight loss to occur.

Due to the war on fat in the diet, which began in the late 1960's, all dairy products eventually came to be considered high-fat or fattening. While it is clear that if food consumption is excessive, then consuming more calcium in the form of dairy will only add to weight, what is missing in this article is the reverse: If calorie consumption is maintained below weight maintenance levels, and a calorie deficit occurs, then dairy products have a significant role to play in enhancing fat burning.

At a thermodynamic level, we can say that the development of obesity (which is simply overeating) occurs because energy is not being transformed properly in the human body. By cutting calories and getting adequate calcium, preferentially through low-fat dairy products as shown in peer-reviewed research, energy is easily produced and overeating can be stopped. The role that calcium plays was discovered through research into blood-pressure control. Adequate levels of dietary calcium cause intra-cellular calcium levels to drop across all cells of the is as if the body is trying to conserve calcium in cells during shortages in the diet, and then releasing calcium from cells when dietary levels are adequate. High calcium levels in blood-vessel cells lead to high-blood pressure, while high calcium levels in fat cells lead to greatly reduced fat burning.

This article should be updated to reflect this peer-reviewed research.

Genetics of Obesity

This article only talks about diseases and specific genes, rather than the overall strong genetic component of obesity. Studies show that BMI is 70% genetic. From reading the article you might get the impression that obese people simply lack the willpower to diet and exercise. In reality the amount of willpower this would take for many obese people would be akin to intentionally holding your breath until you passed out. How many people can do that? The article should not perpetuate the diet/exercise myth. Check out this NYtimes article: ( 16:59, 9 May 2007 (UTC))

I don't believe that your claim is true. Unfortunately it's not possible for me to read this article since I'm not registered and I don't wanna take the risk to get even more spam in my mailbox ;). As a medical student I have had lessons from a nutrition professor (at the catholic university of Leuven) who told us that genetics only determines obesity for less than 5%. It shouldn't amaze anyone since obesity wasn't a big issue a few decades ago. I am not biased in any way. I have struggled a lot with my weight (my BMI was 32). Yeah, I have to sport more than others and I have to be careful with my food to maintain a healthy weight but as long as I do that it's not a problem. With all due respect, your analogy with holding your breath strikes me as odd. I guarantee you that I don't suffer because I have to sport more and I have to eat healthier. To defeat obesity you do not only have to posess a good will power, you also have to change habits and you have to find different emotional coping mechanisms then by eating food. When you succee in that your global health will increase, not only because you lose weight. Though genetics have a slight influence on one's BMI it's the behaviour which determines the outcome. From a medical point of view: what good does it do, even when it would be mainly a genetic problem which is not the case? What is important is how you can get rid of all that excess fat. Albert, 11 july 2007

It is interesting that you would make this comment without even reading the source information. The study was conducted by a research physician at Rockefeller University, and reflects recent evidence indicating that obesity is indeed closely related to genetic factors. Carefully controlled experiments were repeated at Columbia University, the University of Vermont, and the University of Pennsylvania; results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. As to your statements regarding a nutrition professer; I am not surprised, as most nutritionists have very little understanding of the underlying causes of obesity. The two nutritionists I have dealt with simply regurgitated what they learned in school: the "eat less and excercise more" mantra which obviously is not effective. The quote regarding holding one's breathe is; “Those who doubt the power of basic drives, however, might note that although one can hold one’s breath, this conscious act is soon overcome by the compulsion to breathe.” Dr. Friedman wrote “The feeling of hunger is intense and, if not as potent as the drive to breathe, is probably no less powerful than the drive to drink when one is thirsty. This is the feeling the obese must resist after they have lost a significant amount of weight.” The article goes on to report the results of the doctor's research which pretty conclusively demostrates the effects of genetics on weight gain and loss. It is very unfortunate that medical schools are turning out students such as yourself with absolutely no understanding of how to deal with obesity other than "sport more and eat healthier." That advise, according to the U.S. National Institute of Health, fails 95% to 98% of the time. How the medical establishment can continue to recommend a treatment program that fails 98% of the time is beyond me. If that same statistic was applied to cancer, AIDS, or any other illness, heads would roll. 06:29, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Please! This is not any form of actual scientific research! If you read to the bottom of the article it is clearly an excerpt from a diet book! "This is an excerpt from Gina Kolata’s new book, “Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss — and the Myths and Realities of Dieting” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).". There is absolutely no evidence to suggest obesity has a genetic component anywhere near 70%, 5% is more correct. Ironick 09:00, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
The book cited is NOT a diet book. It is an investigative piece in which Gina Kolata, noted science and medical journalist and senior writer for the NY Times, reports on the current research and findings in the medical world as regards the effectiveness of dieting and in particular the relation of genetic factors. Ms. Kolata cites references from numerous medical experts and scientific research studies to support her thesis.
As is true in many other areas of science and medicine, when studies prove the current thinking about genetics and dieting to be erronous, many (even the well-qualified) refuse to accept the new information, continuing to parrot the conventional methodology which has been proven time and time to have a long-term failure rate in excess of 95%. 21:35, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Venus figurines

This section under the history header needs to be deleted. The consensus amoung archaeologists it that these figurines represent pregnant women and not women who are obese. I've done a significant amount of work on the subject, and the whole paragraph contains misleading if not totally inaccurate information. I can provide scholarly references if requested. Sp1391 20:29, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Venus figurines are considered by many anthropologists to be depiction of women with Steatopygia (some of them pregnant), which is a high degree of fat accumulation in and around the buttocks. Steatopygia in both sexes was fairly widespread among early human populations. There is a recorded history of this characteristic in several populations around the world: Andamanese Negritos, Khoikhoi, Onge, and Pygmies. Their widespread use throughout pre-historic Mediterranean and European cultures suggests that... this was a common characteristic of the population of that time, a characteristic which remains in some isolated tribes to this day. Please remove this unsubsantiated and speculative section: "...suggests a central role for the obese female form in magical rituals, and suggests cultural approval of (and perhaps reverence for) this body form". (talk) 23:48, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Cartoon Reference

Under the section relating to the comedic use of obesity in cartoons, is it worth mentioning that what are arguably the three most popular animated sitcoms (Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy) all feature an obese person as the most popular character (Cartman of Southpark usually ranks highest in polls for that show)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:38, 5 April 2007

Missing painting

An obese man from the painting, "The Tuscan General Alessandro del Borro", 17th century.

I visited this definition a few weeks ago and it had a LOVELY Renaissance painting of an obese man. I came back today and was very sad to see that painting gone. What happened to it? How can we get it back?

I replaced it with a scientific illustration of obesity. If anyone still wants to use this painting in some 'cultural' section, here it is, with the original caption.--Pharos 18:51, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

"Contemporary culture" section

As support for the contemporary negative view of obesity, gluttony (as one of the seven deadly sins) is mentioned as a view that overeating is evil. The seven deadly sins are not a modern invention, and this claim contradicts what is said in the previous ("History") section about obesity being seen as a status symbol during the "early modern period in European cultures." It's possible that the seven deadly sins, in this case, were part of a class division, pitting the lower classes against the aristocrats (hence the presence of greed/avarice in addition to gluttony). If this is true, though, the early modern period cannot be said to have had a single (positive) attitude toward obesity.

Ignoscient 18:56, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

There is a fact error in the second to last sentence of this section. The BMI range for overweight classification is listed as 25 - 25.9. It should be 25 - 29.9.

morbid obesity

This article needs a section on morbid obesity! I was redirected here after clicking a link to morbid obesity and was sorely disappointed. if you are going to redirect people you should at least have information their looking for. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:03, 8 April 2007 (UTC).

I prefer the term Super-Obese. --Jason Palpatine 14:19, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Isn't Morbid-obesity the proper medical term? -- 13:57, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I have added it to the history section. Feel free to tweak the wording of the description. Pcu123456789 01:23, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Morbid-obesity is a proper medical term, yes. But the term Super-obese is also valid and widely used -- often in news articles on the subject. One such article appeared in my local paper (The Philadelphia Inquirer) many years ago. A number of people who were Super-Obese were interviewed. One man weighed in excess of 2000+ pounds. His knees had been fat-locked so they couldn't bend -- he had to waddle like the cartoon pig pictured in this article -- and had to bathe using a plastic kiddie pool. This was printed before the internet era -- and I didn't retain it. Sorry.
Do a serach on the web, though. You'll get a lot og hits. --Jason Palpatine 07:11, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Morbid-obesity is the official medical term, so we better use that term. Medical subjects are already complicated enough with the official medical terms ;) Albert, 11 July 2007

America vs Europe

This article would do well to go into some of the details surrounding the reasons why America has much higher obesity rates than Europe. Part of it could do with poorer diet but it seems to also be closely linked to the fact that most modern US cities are built like sprawling car parks. It is basically impossible to get anything substantial done without a car. Much older European cities do not suffer from this poor lack of planning and the lifestyle choices that go with it. Jarwulf 18:36, 10 April 2003 (UTC)

I would find that very interesting. I am from Europe (Netherlands, Belgium) and I can give a few possible explanations. In the Netherlands and in Belgium we simply use the bike a lot. Most high schools, shops, cinema's, bars, restaurants and other facilities are less than 10 kilometers away, a distance which you can cycle very easily. Many of us use the bike for those distances unless it rains. In the USA most kids go to school by car or by bus. I know a Dutch guy who studied in the USA. The distance from his room (where many other students also lived) to the university was only 5 kilometers. He was the only one who use the bike. There's also a striking difference in food. In the USA you guys buy everything in huge quantities. I can imagine that because of those huge quantities it's more tempting to eat more.

Unfortunately, also in Europe the incidence and prevalence of obesitye grows. One reason is that we exercise to little. Think about the small stuff: it happens more frequently that kids go to school by car because the parent find cycling to dangerous, we get more escalators and elevators, playing outside gets more difficult for kids because of traffic, many kids don't have a decent breakfast and eat a lot of junkfood at school, many kids demand all that sugar-rich 'food'. So, I guess that in America these factors already played a more prominent role in past. Albert, 11 july 2007

That is a myth. The rest of the world is actually on par with the US in obesity rates. Use this BBC article for reference: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:39, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Public Health Policy

This article, when it talks about public health policy, has a very American perspective. It would benefit from also having a more international perspective, such as some European or Australian ideas about public health policy. Civil liberty taking precedence over social responsibilities seems to be very American to me. (Paul, 1/5/7)

I made significant changes to this section. Public health and policy responses to obesity should be spun off into an entirely separate article. They are complex and entirely different from the overly clinical and biologic approach in the main article on obesity. pihp 02:33, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

FTO gene

Has anyone seen the academic ref for those results made public by the UK Peninsula Med School and Oxford? I can't stand it when researchers run to the media before their paper is accessible to colleagues. JFW | T@lk 13:50, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


After reading this article for a research project, I noticed much of the article sounds quite hostile. Not politically incorrect, simply negative towards obese people in many ways. Any thoughts on the use of the term 'obese' instead of simply 'fat'? MDAmp 14:41, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Obesity is a well-defined medical term. Fat is not; indeed very many people called "fat" do not have the medical condition of obesity. Do you have any other specific concerns about the tone of the article?--Pharos 19:29, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

It is hostile to obesity, not those people who are obese. After all, one would be hostile to any condition that increased morbidity and mortality. JFW | T@lk 21:25, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Adding to this, I looked through the article myself and only in the popular culture (where the use of the slang term fat is defintely relavant) and one usage in environmental factors, I cannot see the use of the word "fat" where obese should replace it. - Boochan 17:44, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Is it wikipedia's responsibility to be hostile towards anything? Especially something in which it's own article states the relationship with morbidity may not be direct, instead both conditions stemming from other factors(i.e., inactivity) 20:56, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Society generally regards obesity as harmful, for various reasons, and thus much of the public discourse is focused around it as a social ill. That much of the article refers to it as a problem only seems appropriate in light of this. Having said that, the article probably could benefit from noting some of the opposing views (e.g. Paul Campos's work) on the subject; some prominent folks do believe public health concerns about obesity are overhyped/misguided. --Soultaco 21:57, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
That society regards obesity as harmful is certainly understandable; I believe most obese individuals regard their condition as harmful. The real questions is, since there is no effective treatment for obesity, how should obese individuals be looked upon by greater society. 06:39, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Haven't you heard of diets? Ian 13:05, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Diets? Oh yes, that fabulous treatment program that works long-term, what, 5% of the time?? (per NIH). Seeing as how half the population is reported to be on a "diet", obesity must not be a problem in the US, right? 00:33, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like someone is in denial, cheeseburgers all round!

Calculations concerning overeating

"To illustrate, an obese 40 year old who carries 100 lb of adipose tissue has only consumed about 25 more calories per day than he has burned on average - or the equivalent of an apple every three days. In comparison a very lean 40-year-old who carries only 15 lb of body fat will have exceeded his daily energy expenditure by about four calories a day - the equivalent of an apple every 18 days." -- I don't think this calculation makes any sense, if you eat more, your metabolism will change, so it's not like "if I ate one additional apple every three days, I would be obese now". If you weight 100 lb more, you will burn different amount of energy (I would say more, but apart from making it harder to move fat also protects body heat). I suggest removing this paragraph. Cosmi 23:48, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

No one objects and there is [citation needed] so I am gona remove this part. Cosmi 10:07, 7 May 2007 (UTC)


This article severly lacks photographs of the most important subject matter when it comes to obesity, which is a photo of an obese human. JayKeaton 02:09, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

If you check the history there has been a fairly controversial history on photos on the article. I myself have some obesity photos (I myself, as explained earlier in the article am very obese) on the Commons, but I don't want to appear that I'm pushing my own pictures onto articles. - Boochan 08:52, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
And the picture of the chair (with no context) isn't helping the article. At the very least I think It need to be said that the oversized chair is found in the Bariatrics department, not placed everywhere in the hospital.-- 14:04, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
True, this article needs a picture of a semi-naked obese man/woman to demonstrate exactly what obesity is. Christopher Connor 20:44, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I say go for it. Best would be just an obese person standing against a white background with no clutter. Whether to cover the pubic area or face is up to you. Joie de Vivre 21:50, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I am up for it, but I am only going to do it if requested by sufficient people on the article. I have a picture already on the commons, but I don't believe its a very good one. - Boochan 13:36, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
I do not understand the constant push for a photo of an obese person. It appears to me that at least several of the posters advocating such a photo are merely doing so to demean obese individuals in general (such as the person who could not figure out that a picture of Porky Pig might be offensive). This article already has a diagram illustrating overweight and obese body types, along with the painting of the Tuscan General. I do not see or notice any requests for photos of someone with late-stage AIDS in that article, nor does the article on breast cancer have a photo of a naked woman showing the effect of cancer. To view a photo of a naked obese person may be interesting, entertaining, or humorous to some, but to many individuals struggling to overcome obesity and living in a society where discrimination against the obese is pervasive, such a photo would be simply mean-spirited and hurtful. 16:18, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't totally agree though I feel sympathy for your concern. It would be interesting imho to post several pictures or animations to differentiate between the gradations (overweighted, mild obesitye, severe obesity). Just so the reader comprehends it better, since pictures/animations tell more than numbers. Albert, 11 july

That's exactly what the illustration at the beginning of the article is for. 00:23, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

I've seen medical photographs which show how fat looks under the skin in an obese person and in a person of average weight, for comparison. The right images like that could be very educational. The ones I saw did not show the face, so privacy was not as much of an issue.

A thought...

Should we have a separate article for the social aspects of overweight/obesity? This stuff seems sort of out of place in a medical article.--Pharos 21:07, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

It's not really a medical article. It is meant to approach the problem from all angles - medical, aesthetic, social, political etc. JFW | T@lk 21:19, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure it makes sense to have an "all angles" approach to an article on a recognized disease (see all of the medical codes at the top of the article ). Besides, the social aspects aren't really about obesity per se, but cover overweight as well.--Pharos 05:12, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Articles about genetics and obesity

I think this is an interesting article from the New York Times with information could be added into the article. It's basically about the causes, genetics or social?

Found from here:

Another interesting one, about slim people who still may be at risk of 'fat' diseases because they store fat differently: —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:58, 11 May 2007 (UTC).

bully example

"A common stereotype is the obese character who has a warm and dependable personality, but equally common is the obese vicious bully. (Dudley Dursley from the Harry Potter book series is a perfect example of this.)"

i think that is inappropriate. i could name a few better examples then that fillup character from harry snotter. (eric Cartman, nelson MuntzLygophile has spoken 04:57, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

erectile dysfunction

there was nothing about this. i added with proper references. user:Jfdwolff reverts it just like that instead of somehow adjusting with it. ED is equally serious problem as heart disease and diabetes. any doubts/issues about fact are welcome. — vinay 13:57, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Ah, I'm glad you've taken to the talkpage. I like WP:BRD.
ED doesn't kill, while diabetes and heart disease do, so I disagree with your point that it's "equally serious". I do agree it needs to be mentioned, but not quite in the way that you've done it. I can either rearrange your entire contribution or leave it to you to improve it. Perhaps it is better to list ED as a complication here, and discussing the treatment on erectile dysfunction - even if that happens to involve weight loss. After all, ED can be treated in other ways (sildenafil/PDE5-inhibitors, apomorphine intracavernously etc), especially when weight loss turns out to be difficult. In the end, only about 1/3 of obese men with ED improve with lifestyle measures[1].
I've added ED to the list of complications, with a good solid academic reference. The Canadian Family Practicioner link you offered is actually a review of that study. JFW | T@lk 17:45, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

this article should be more for a common man than a medical article. you can create section or new article for medical science of obesity. im planning subsections in health effects which is more relevant to a common man and with terms that he can understand. when there is no use of living its better to die, hence ed is equally serious.— vinay 03:49, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I would appreciate if you could discuss major planned changes here first. I think all listed health effects are extremely relevant to "common man". At the same time, having subsections about every health effect is probably a bit over the top, as these are best discussed on the pages about these disease entities. JFW | T@lk 21:55, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

maybe relevant to common man, but he cant understand terms in that section (and he dont wish to read full article of each effect). all he expects is short detail of each effect, related only to obesity. i am a common man not medical one so telling this. subsections because: this is important and prominent section and should show subsection in contents at top. thanks for taking care of article, and i will discuss here if and before i change. (-vinay) 06:37, 31 May 2007 (UTC)


There is currently data from the physicians' health study cohort which looked at 99 253 male doctors for approximately 5.7 years. It showed that men with a greater BMI were significantly more likely to report a history of hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. They also consumed less alcohol and were less physically active than men with a lower index.

Men with a BMI less than 20.0 had a relative risk of death of 0.88 (95% confidence interval 0.56 to 1.40) compared with men with indices 22.5-24.9. Men in the overweight range—with indices 25.0-29.9—had a relative risk of death of 1.20 (1.05 to 1.38) compared with men with a normal BMI (less than 25.0). The relative risk of death in men with a BMI 30.0-34.9 was 1.45 (1.10 to 1.91), rising to 1.62 (1.12 to 2.35) in men with an index greater than 35.0.

I suggest that this merits inclusion?


Being overweight, as well as being obese, increases risk of death, according to a long term follow-up study of nearly 100 000 male doctors. International Journal of Obesity. 2007 doi= 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803564
BMJ 2007;334:607 doi=10.1136/bmj.39160.651157 (news summary)

--Gak 05:00, 22 May 2007 (UTC)


The following was added to the article:


There has been some interest in developing the Narcolepsy drug modafinil (Provigil) as an anti-obesity drug.

A few studies have indicated that modafinil may have an appetite reducing effect on some people, leading to weight loss.[1]
In experimental studies, the appetite reducing effect of modafinil appears to be similar or better than that of amphetamines, but, unlike amphetamines, the dose of modafinil that is effective at decreasing food intake does not significantly increase heart rate.[2]
An article published in the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, presented the case of a 280 pound patient (BMI= 35.52) who lost 40 pounds over the course of a year on Modafinil (to 30.44 BMI). After three years, his weight stabilized at a 50 pound weight loss(29.59 BMI). The authors conclude that placebo controlled studies should be conducted on using Modafinil as a weight loss agent.[3]

This is all fascinating, but modafinil is not registered for this indication, not recommended (yet) in any professional guidelines, and only one of a legion of drugs that has been investigated - from amphetamines to zonisamide. I strongly suggest we don't devote too much time to experimental data until well-designed large phase III studies with realistic end points have been conducted. Otherwise this article is likely to get flooded. JFW | T@lk 05:52, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Just-so theories


Certain populations and individuals may be more prone to obesity than others, and the ability to take advantage of rare periods of abundance and use such abundance by storing energy efficiently may have been an evolutionary advantage in times when food was scarce. Individuals with greater adipose reserves were more likely to survive famine. This tendency to store fat is likely maladaptive in a society with adequate and stable food supplies.

Just-so stories should always be attributed to a source. Someone please cite and attribute this info Brentt 05:53, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

This applies, mutatis mutandis, to the entire field of evolutionary psychology. JFW | T@lk 23:19, 2 July 2007 (UTC)


The section on Therapy should start out explaining that there has been no effective, long-term treatment developed by the medical establishment to counter obesity without resorting to surgery. 17:35, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Are there any effective, long-term treatments not developed by the "medical establishment"? What is your point in using that vaguely offensive term? JFW | T@lk 19:21, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
The answer to your first question is no. No effective treatment for obesity has been developed, period (except for bariatric surgery). I made the comment for two reasons: to counter the oft-cited statement that it is "easy" to lose weight (such comments can be found in the dicsussion archives for this article), and that an obese person is simply unwilling/unmotivated/uneducated/etc. enough to implement the easy steps that it takes to lose weight; and second, to point out that the medical establishment is basicly advocating a treatment system that fails 95% to 98% of the time. Now, that's offensive! 00:36, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Except that surgery isn't a sure thing either. Far to many surgeries end up with revisions for it to be considered a cure... or even an effective treatment. In the end, the only cure or treament is lifestyle change. That's not to say such a change is easy, but it is the only effective long term solution to obesity... and it has nothing to do with the medical establishment. Runwolf 14:13, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
It may be that lifestyle change is a long term solution; however, it certainly is not effective - a method that fails 95% of the time cannot possibly be considered effective. 16:54, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Not having the will power to not eat 6000 calories a day while doing nothing but watch tv can hardly be considered a failure on the part of the "treatment". If you fail to take the drugs prescribed to you by your doctor just because you dont like taking them, does that mean the doctor was wrong? Sheesh, there's something called being RESPONSIBLE for your own actions. (talk) 14:43, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I suggest an email to the medical establishment. JFW | T@lk 21:58, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Additions or improvements

We've had some additions today from Mherr (talk · contribs) and Zamkudi (talk · contribs). Their improvements are very useful. However, I think we need to agree on a few things:

  • At the moment, the article needs not more information but higher quality additions.
  • When choosing sources for medical findings, newspaper articles tend to be inferior to direct citations of the medical journal in which these were published, as per WP:MEDRS.
  • Comments are invited as to how we can improve the article in the general sense. For instance, we should try to reduce "lists of facts" as much as possible. JFW | T@lk 12:35, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
I submit that the 1998 NHLBI guideline 98-4083 and the 2006 UK NICE guideline are important documents to consider for this article. Some of the NHLBI material has already been integrated, but nowhere near as good as it could be. These are major scientific organisations charged with the appraisal of an enormous body of published research. We ignore their work at our peril. JFW | T@lk 13:45, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
And of course PMID 11234459 - WHO Technical Report Series 894. JFW | T@lk 14:09, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Is it really PC to say "obese American subjects approximately half as wealthy as thin ones." Shouldn't that read Americans of normal weight, or Americans with lower BMI. Thin indicates that the intention is to be underweight, which is as unhealthy as obesity.

  • Actually being 'thin' or 'underweight' is nowhere near as unhealthy as being obese. The average human body can deal much easier with being, for example, 3 stones underweight than 3 stones overweight. Marcus22 20:15, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

I removed a paragraph under History that suggested that ancient peoples of the Mediterranean found obese women attractive, simply because there were many small figurines. It is a greatly documented occurrence, but has nothing to do with obesity; rather, these were statues and figurines of the Great Goddess and her ability to create life. To the "person" who added that: look it up next time before you guess. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sephknows (talkcontribs).

Firstly, don't be rude. The addition was made in good faith. If it is so greatly documented, could you provide a source for your views. The point of the paragraph obviously is that obesity is to some extent a function of cultural acceptance, although we know now that excessive body weight has health risks. I see little wrong with the paragraph in question. JFW | T@lk 10:57, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Someone should remove it again, with Venus of willendorf and "Classical Mythology: Images and Insights" (by Stephen L. Harris and Goria Platzner) p.145 specifically, as two sources. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sephknows (talkcontribs) 17:58, August 23, 2007 (UTC).
At the risk of quibbling over trivia, there is no more evidence that the Venus of Willendorf was made to depict the "Great Goddess"'s fecundity than because the maker found rotundity erotic. Zero evidence. We can find published opinions claiming both, but no evidence to settle the argument. Don't pretend Gimbutas' theories are anything more than that. We can certainly cite modern cultures that value adiposity: [2] alteripse 20:46, 27 August 2007 (UTC) P.S. Why cite a handbook of classical studies for an interpretation of a piece of art that is 10,000-20,000 years outside of the classical era? alteripse 20:48, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Affordable petrol?

Under enviromental conditions it said that a possible cause of obesity is that unlike in the 70's gas if affordable enough for anyone to drive anywhere. That's bullshit, gas is higher then i've ever seen it before, not to mention it's been alot higher a few months ago, that sentence is a lie, driving isn't even a little bit affordable. Maybe i should change that now. TostitosAreGross 02:05, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

The statement is based on the inflation-adjusted price of gasoline. 22:19, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
the inflation adjusted price of gasoline - in the united states, mind you - has been marginally the same since about 1900. obviously there have been some significant fluctuations, but longterm, its centerline is right about where it is now. as to the effect on obesity, it's not a valid claim, it's just pure speculation. a more reasonable argument could be made in terms of overall affluence, not on the cost of a particular commodity. otherwise, we could blame all obesity on cheap twinkies. Anastrophe 22:33, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

removal of unsourced material

There are few wp articles in which every assertion is referenced. Many of us are slowly adding references. We need people adding references, not removing material that is probably correct but unsourced. Truly controversial material deserves to be questioned here. I put a longer comment on user:Anastrophe.'s talk page. alteripse 17:16, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

and as my talk page clearly states in bold backed with bright yellow, leaving messages on my talk page is generally non-constructive. the bulk of what i removed was pure speculative junk. unsourced. WP:OR. WP:SYN. the article is not helped by filling it with personal speculations by random editors. there is a TON of sourced material in the article - that's good. does this other unsourced material hold some special sway, does it have some special deferral from wikipedia policies? i'm unaware of any specific policy within wikipedia that grants a 'pass' to junk just because it's been in an article for a long time. wikipedia is harmed by leaving this crud in articles. the suggestion that my removal of unsourced junk constitutes 'vandalism' (as you dumped on my talk page) is offensive. deleting junk is most certainly not destructive, it is constructive to the overall quality of the article. this concept appears to be lost. Anastrophe 17:51, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I am going to guess off the top of my head that you have not actually written any articles. Am I right? Wikipedia seems to be blessed with many more people willing to tell actual contributors how to do it than there are willing to actually write material. What is amazing to me is that you can do so with no sense of humility, appreciation, or even civility, toward those who took the trouble to actually write the articles here. Understand that I have not written any of this article and am not even defending the removed sentences as perfect prose or completely accurate. Just that most of what you removed did not deserve to be referred to as "crap" and "junk" and could be found in most general discussions of obesity for a general audience. I have suggested elsewhere that editors like you be required to source, say, 5 unreferenced sentences to earn the privilege of deleting one. Would that change your attitude or would it drive you away? Criticism is cheap-- how about actually contributing something? alteripse 22:40, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
well, that's rich. you speculate about how much i've contributed - weighted towards your predisposition to believe i'm just a useless deletionist - yet my edit record is here for all to see, just as yours is. your 'suggestion' is meaningless - until such time as wikipedia drops its utopian 'the encyclopedia anyone can edit'. your response above doesn't counter a single point i made, but you sure provided an impressive "i'm better than you are" bit of schoolyard prose. Anastrophe 22:53, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I had looked at your recent contributions to see if I was mistaken but I only looked at a few and I have seen this pattern too often. I asked you with the intention of apologizing and retracting my supposition if you have actually contributed a significant amount of text or references. Your fallback to the "isn't this the encyclopedia anyone can edit" defense pretty much admits the validity of my points above, doesn't it? I was actually hoping you would modify your attitude and start contributing a bit more constructively, but perhaps I was a little too blunt for you. Sorry. alteripse 01:24, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
translation: more useless, overwrought verbiage that doesn't counter a single point i made. and, unclear on the concept: i'm not "falling back" on the fact that it's an encyclopedia anyone can edit, i'm pointing out the uselessness of all of this banter absent actual, substantive changes to wikipedia's policy. i long ago railed at the fact that people can edit anonymously; even the most basic of user vetting policies would reduce vandalism by 90%, but WP persists with delusional, utopianist policies that encourage vandals rather than hampering them. But this is wasted breath. clearly you prefer to have wikipedia littered with unsourced, unreliable, synthesized crap, on the grounds that somebody put effort into it, so leave it alone. if a vandal added "fat people are ugly", it would be required to stand, per Jfdwolff's assertion that it is 'blatantly obvious' that obesity is mainly a cosmetic concern. how great is that! Anastrophe 01:52, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
What I have not done is misrepresent your arguments as you have just done to mine. In one of the earliest posts, I suggested exactly what might be better choices in response to unsourced assertions. Most of us have no problem distinguishing vandalism from unsourced but probably valid assertions, and from unsourced and probably invalid assertions. Don't suggest I do not discriminate. I have reverted without mercy or negotiation more nonsense than you have in the last 3 years, but I am a little gentler with well-intentioned but probably incorrect insertions, and I have been here long enough to realize that adding a reference to an unsourced assertion is infinitely more constructive than simply deleting it if is arguably true. However, I do acknowledge that adding the citation notices is an improvement over mass deletions. Thank you for bending at least that much. alteripse 02:22, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

(reindent)my apologies, to both you alteripse and jfdwolff. i've been down this path before, i'm old enough i should know the signs that i'm heading into this 'state', and i should have the depth to control it, but i don't. frustrations elsewhere bottle up and burst out five miles away from the source. time for a wikibreak, sigh.....Anastrophe 03:18, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Anastrophe., please relax. I find your attitude both here and in your edit summaries[3] hostile and unconstructive. I agree that sources are needed, and I have been pushing for that for several months (as evident from this talkpage). You may be able to find sources yourself with Google and PubMed, rather than instructing others loudly to do so.

My assertion "obesity itself is mainly of cosmetic concern" is blatantly obvious. What, pray, are the symptoms of those 1,000's of people who are obese? I am aware that obesity is classed as an "illness", but in reality it is just as easily regarded as a risk factor. What remains is its cosmetic dimension. I don't think this is "ridiculous" at all. JFW | T@lk 22:43, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

the assertion is silly. obesity is obesity. i'd wager that there are hundreds of millions of people around the world for whom obesity has no meaning whatsoever as a "cosmetic concern". perhaps from the narrow scope of western 'too rich or too thin' mentality, obesity is cosmetic. for most people, all it means is they can't see their own feet. Anastrophe 22:53, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

The article already states this point-of-view. If you read the sentence correctly, it says that its only direct concern is cosmetic. That does not mean that every obese person looks in the mirror and shrieks every morning. But it does mean that not every obese person is ill; what it means is that obesity is a massive health risk much like high cholesterol, smoking and high blood pressure. None of those are "diseases" sec. I hope you can agree with me on this count, because I think there aren't many differences between our POVs. JFW | T@lk 07:03, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Marcus22 (talk · contribs) has again removed the line we've had such heated debate about. His view is that obesity is "a cause of serious health issues". Exactly. The article makes that very clear. At the same time, not every obese person has these health issues, and some live to a ripe old age with not as much as a single problem. I totally agree that this is not very common, but it would be utterly wrong to remove the notion that while obesity is a cause of much ill health, it is not in itself a disease. Its only real symptom is not fitting in your clothes and being bullied about it. The rest comes later. JFW | T@lk 19:53, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
i think however that you've hit on exactly the appropriate wording yourself. rather than stating that "obesity itself is mainly of cosmetic concern", it should simply state "obesity is not in itself a disease". it is debateable what the 'main concern' of obesity is outside of disease. for some it is cosmetic; for others it is utilitarian ('i can't tie my shoes any more'), for others it is bullying due to appearance, for others - there is no concern at all. Anastrophe 20:36, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
It is true that people can have all sorts of problematic conditions but not suffer. A hole in the heart would be another example. But it would be pushing things to not describe such conditions as primarily a health concern. Cosmetic concerns etc.. are very much secondary. So I agree with Anastrophe. Reword it as "Obesity is not in itself a disease but...". As it stands the statement is insufficient. Marcus22 20:56, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
All very nice, but there is a medical consensus that while obesity often causes no symptoms on its own accord, it is still to be classified like a disease (ICD-10 E66, for those who are interested in such things). I personally disagree, but it would be a failure of WP:NPOV to push this view. Rather, we should say things exactly like they are. I'm willing to take on board Anastrophe.'s concern that cosmesis is not the only practical concern, but I disagree with Marcus22's version.
I'm willing to entertain any other version that bears out the points that I've been making. JFW | T@lk 22:47, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Whatever. Just get it changed from what it is now. Marcus22 11:46, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm quite happy with the way things are now. The onus is on you to come up with something better. JFW | T@lk 16:47, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

OK. I have. I have removed the point on the grounds that it is i. contentious ii. it contradicts much of the rest of the article iii. it is an unsupported statement purporting to be a fact and iv. it is nonsense. Obesity is NOT primarily a cosmetic concern it is primarily a health concern and, as you yourself say, it is even to be classified as a disease. Diseases are, primarily, health concerns, are they not? Or would you have, for example, buboes listed as 'a cosmetic concern' rather than significant indicators of a major disease? If so, I do hope you are not a Doctor. Marcus22 18:08, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

What is the point in deleting it if consensus has not been reached? Please avoid personal attacks and carefully read WP:POINT. If you had bothered to check my other contributions to this article you would have come to a completely different conclusion. JFW | T@lk 19:05, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
i've revised it. the point is that obesity itself is not a disease. there are diseases that can arise as a result of obesity; there are diseases that can be exacerbated by obesity; there are diseases that can cause obesity, but being obese, alone, is not inherently and explicitly a disease. the contentious part was the claim that aside from diseases, obesity is primarily cosmetic, which is unsupportable (unsupportable encyclopedically, that is, good luck finding a citable, reliable source that supports that claim). Anastrophe 18:28, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Not sure I agree, but it's better than the woefully misleading claim that obesity is primarily of cosmetic concern. (Must tell them that one down the GH next time I'm there...) Marcus22 18:54, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

What's the GH? In any case, Anastrophe.'s version disregards the prevalent view that obesity is indeed an illness. I have tried another revision and I hope that this will settle the issue. Can we now continue with more important things? JFW | T@lk 19:05, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
you are writing contradictory claims, i just don't understand this. the original sentences you've said are accurate are "While obesity itself is mainly of cosmetic concern, a large number of medical conditions have been associated with obesity. Disease associations may be dependent or independent of the distribution of adipose tissue. ". yet the text you just posted reads "While obesity is regarded as a disease, many obese people may not have any specific symptoms or experience only practical problems (such as difficulty finding suitable dress sizes). A large number of medical conditions have been associated with obesity. Disease associations may be dependent or independent of the distribution of adipose tissue.". the first text suggests that obesity itself is not a disease, your second revision suggests that it is a disease. the problem with the former is that it is unsupportable. you may consider it mainly a cosmetic concern. you are reflecting your view of it. there are many cultures where being fat is not looked down upon, it is rather admired. that's a different view. specifying your particular POV is not how it works here. my text makes the point that the existence of excess adipose tissue in and of itself is not a disease, without supporting it with my own world view. there is not consensus in the medical community that obesity in and of itself is a disease, so the wording is accurate. i'm not clear what "more important things" you are referring to. can you clarify? Anastrophe 20:57, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
You have managed to misunderstand me. I never said that obesity is not a disease (or rather, I have stated my personal doubts within the context of medical consensus); rather, many people have no symptoms. My version (which you felt necessary to undo) reflected the prevalent medical view that obesity (a pathologically high weight) is a disease. "More important things" are the addition of sources and factual content to the article, rather than mindless bickering and hairsplitting over a few words. I echo Alteripse's reaction above - have you contributed any content to this article? JFW | T@lk 21:03, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
i wasn't aware that wikipedia was a contest; in fact, i'm sure it's not. please spare me the personal attacks, i'm not attacking you, i'm attacking the quality and accuracy of the content. please defend "while obesity itself is mainly a cosmetic concern". you formerly insisted that this was a valid claim. do you no longer? please explain how that sentence supports the "prevalent medical view that obesity is a disease" (my emphasis, obviously). this isn't bickering and hairsplitting over a few words, you made an unsourced claim, insisted it was perfectly valid, now you're changing the text to a completely different and contradictory model. yes, lets move to adding sources - cite your text, or it will be reverted. that's not a threat, that's simply a description of how wikipedia is supposed to work. Anastrophe 21:13, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

I haven't suggested Wikipedia is a contest, and I never accused you of making personal attacks (that was aimed at Marcus22, who felt it necessary to conclude his post with "If so, I do hope you are not a Doctor"). I have already explained my points several times over. Sources that obesity is regarded as a disease are abundant - the WHO has classified it in ICD-10 (E66) as I believe I already stated above.

Anyway, I have now removed the few words that caused so much discussion. I'm going to move on, if you don't mind. JFW | T@lk 09:14, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


Even being overweight (BMI 25-29.9) is independently (and through blood pressure and cholesterol) linked to cardiovascular disease. The association is modest (17% increased risk, or 32% if hypertension/cholesterol are included) but cannot be ignored. This is based on a 21-study meta-analysis with 300,000 people included. URL. JFW | T@lk 21:33, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

This of course in contrast to the Sorensen study that I recently removed after I discovered its significant criticism by Meir Stampfer. JFW | T@lk 21:34, 10 September 2007 (UTC)


Somehow someone has moved Obesity and the associated talk page to "Michael Gemmink". Looking at the user's own page where they say their own name is Mike, it strikes me that someone's gotten hold of the password for the account and performed this vandalism. Can someone with the appropriate access privileges correct this?

Defter dwain 16:04, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I have moved the pages back. --Mysdaao talk 16:11, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
haha im sorry to michael gemmink and all you humorless wikifags but that made me laugh (i didnt vandalize it, but i find it funny that somebody did its totally LULZY and i give whoever did it 2 thumbs up while being butthumped (^_^8====Dd(^_O)b —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Delightful, a lovely Encyclopedia Dramatica user has graced this page. I'm sure he's going to leave tons of other intelligent comments. Take your 'lulz' elsewhere, please. Wikipedia is a serious endeavor, and your humor isn't welcome here. You have your own wiki to vandalize, so leave the others alone. Or at least go troll Wookiepedia instead. (talk) 09:53, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

NEJM paper reference in "Social Determinants" section

The final paragraph of the Social Determinants section references the recent (and highly publicized) paper in the New England Journal of Medicine regarding social causes of obesity. The paragraph says that "people risked being obese if their friends, siblings or spouse were." While this statement may be true, it is not the main conclusion of the study. The study in fact goes further and shows that a person's risk of becoming obese increases if a friend, sibling, or spouse becomes obese first. The study showed a causal effect rather than just that obese people tend to have obese friends. A small difference in wording, but a huge difference in meaning. I would make the change myself but I don't have an account and the page is protected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

[[who comes up with all of this stuff scientist or just people that think they know all about obisity thats what i'd like to know. not to be rude its just they think they know everything about everything and sometimes theire wrong the whole time and by the way im super super skinny!]]


I've added a illustrating image of G. K. Chesterton, who appeared to be rather fat in his later years. -The Bold Guy- 12:30, 30 September 2007 (UTC)


It gets a little old that on Wiki, where the "Do It Yourself" spirit is what makes it a Wiki, that Wikipedians "Doing it Themselves" is used against their contributions. This arguments has been raised against my photography ("You took the photo, please don't keep inserting it") and now we have Jfdwolff using it against significant interviews as well. This sort of argument is typically used by page owners, who want every addition vetted on a Talk page instead of the WP:BOLD move of having it put on themselves.

Regarding the interview: There are not many voices in the Fat Acceptance/BBW movement, but this is one. A BBW who I met at the Tribeca Film Festival when I was there photographing for Wikipedia, Nerusskaya talks about what it means to be a 5'4, 313 pound woman in today's society, what issues there are for fat women today, the movement itself, the obesity epidemic in the United States, the sexuality of a BBW, and significant cultural issues. She's a BBW doing a documentary on obese people. This interview, done over at the Wikimedia sister project WikiNews, is entirely appropriate on the Cultural issues section of the Obesity page. Instead of coming up with any sort of logical reason as to why it should not be included. It is not against policy or guideline to include opinions of off-wiki people, especially when they flesh out the subject for our readers. This isn't new, this isn't even pushing the limits of policy or guideline. It's typical. And it's also a perspective that people should hear. --David Shankbone 12:36, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

It also happens to be a good interview IMO, and a view that needs to be at least linked to from this article. It can't just be all "doom and gloom" articles when there are people around that actually accept it, especially an interview like hers where her opinion doesn't really sway either way.. shes just big, and likes it. - Boochan 13:31, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
DavidShankBone, I don't need to be lectured on Wiki spirit, but I find the interview a typical case of WP:UNDUE for this article. The fat acceptance movement is very small indeed, and you have yourself aknowledged that your interviewee is one of the very few voices. You are trying to sell as "news" what is actually an interview the impact of which has not been determined, and comes very close to WP:NOR. It may be a useful link on fat acceptance movement, but I urge you to remove it from this article. JFW | T@lk 15:48, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I completely disagree. There is not "one view" on fat acceptance, and if we are here to present all side of the coin on this project, having a documentary filmmaker who is herself a BBW, and stating that she has no problem with it, isn't NOR, it's NPOV. We aren't here to denounce as "bad" that people are fat, we are here to give all sides of the picture. The Fat Acceptance Movement is part of this article, and fleshing out what they believe to the reader only furthers the interests of this project and its goals, which are to educate. You want to decide that it's a "small minority" view, but do you really know how small that minority is? If so, please supply evidence that "Very few fat people accept their obesity." Doing interview with people to flesh out the subjects we create only helps our efforts on here, especially when they are notable in some realm, or are doing notable things. I just interviewed Senator Sam Brownback, who is running for President. Doing these interviews with these people, if anything, is the best response we have to Citizendium. We need to be fleshing these topics out more not less; Obesity, as a topic, is only served by not having it completely denounced, but showing that other people don't mind their obesity. Frankly, it's surprising you take issue with what amounts to a small box leading to a sister project's work. I encourage you to change your POV on this. --David Shankbone 16:58, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
And almost every issue on this page is addressed in that interview from a knowledgeable subject. --David Shankbone 17:01, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I do not deny the fat acceptance movement a place in the article, but I find an interview conducted by yourself less useful than a book, journal article or other source that doesn't smell of WP:NOR. Fleshing out topics is not the task of Wikipedia vs Citizendium. It is Wikipedia's task to be an encyclopedia. JFW | T@lk 18:45, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
And that's exactly what we are all doing, and I don't think my contributions have taken away from Wikipedia's goal as an encyclopedia in the least. The interview is good, it expounds upon the topic, it addresses the issue, and from someone within that movement. --David Shankbone 22:13, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

As I have stated, there are more authoritative sources that provide exactly this information. Don't you think there may be a WP:COI problem in you adding links to your own work without discussion? JFW | T@lk 20:29, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi guys,

although I might have a loyalty conflict here, I have to agree with JFW on this one: we can't have wikinews interviews on every related wikipedia article. Two points here:

  1. although a specific wikinews article is sometimes linked from the body of the text, I think in this case it is more appropriate to have a link under "external links".
  2. I don't think this interview should be linked specifically: we should just have:

David, am I sounding reasonable here? --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 23:24, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Not particularly. You don't list why you think in this case it is more appropriate and actually give any reasoning for your thoughts. My reasoning is stated above in full detail: we have a documentary filmmaker who specifically discusses, in detail, the issues surrounding the Fat Acceptance movement. If a person was to read that section and want to know more information, especially from someone who is involved with that movement, it is not clear to them that this material is available on a sister project and just having the amorphous "Obesity" category on Wikinews doesn't enlighten them to this fact. Having a Wikinews "Pope John Paul" category on the Pope John Paul page makes sense; here it doesn't. Our goal is to educate, and having a small box next to a concept with someone who is a voice in the community furthers the goals of the project. What you propose obfuscates. --David Shankbone 17:49, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, she is discussing the Fat Acceptance Movement. I think a direct link to the interview is appropriate on the article Fat acceptance movement, but not on this article. As a medical student, I don't think an article like yours is appropriate for such a high-profile general topic. If people are going to be interested in this, let's put a link on Fat acceptance movement. My arguements are of the slippery slope-type: we can't have links to Wikinews interviews all over Wikipedia. If anyone is interested in news, they'll click the category-box. If anyone is interested in fat acceptance, they'll click on that wikilink and should be directed to the interview through that article. I agree with promoting Wikinews as a Wikinewsie, but as a Wikipedian I think this is trivial, so I disagree. BTW I have no idea what "obfuscates" means. It would be better if more people weighed in on this discussion though. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 21:28, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm leery of trying to head off problems that are not problems, and we currently don't have a problem with an over-abundance of Wikinews links. Let's address issues when they become issues. Just because a link is appropriate in one place does not mean it is inappropriate in other contexts, including on the Obesity article under the "cultural" section. --David Shankbone 21:36, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Obesity as attractive image in , South Africa

It should be added in the article that in Mali and South Africa, obesity is not seen as unattrative or unhealthy. See the article on Mali and South Africa article. In the USA, the perspective on obesity too is altering. Please include this in the article.

Thanks, 11:36, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree we should discuss some African (and other) cultures where obesity is seen as an ideal. The idea that "In the USA, the perspective on obesity too is altering" seems like a non sequitur, though.--Pharos 20:53, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

History section

I added a cleanup template to the history section. I think most people who read it will agree it is rather unclear and could do with some rewording to remove the awkwardness.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 07:23, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

FYI, If we need pics.

I have added more pictures (that have been uploaded for a while for User:MalcolmGin's body morphology project) to the obesity category on Wikimedia Commons. I'm quite sure one of these pictures should be suitable for placement in this article. Yes, to those who may have seen me before here tout a picture 1 to 2 years ago, I have many pictures uploaded for a long time now for these specific purposes that are in use. - Boochan 12:41, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

What should those pictures be showing? I think we need some graphs showing the relationship between obesity and mortality. More cartoons probably detract. JFW | T@lk 07:10, 7 November 2007 (UTC)


Cause-specific mortality in JAMA out this week. JFW | T@lk 07:10, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Some professor

Chendy added links to two newspaper articles, both covering a conference in 2006 where speakers made some headline-grabbing statements on the worldwide prevalence of obesity.[4] What worries me is that we are linking to news articles that give no information at all on where these professors got their information from - guesswork, population studies etc. I would strongly suggest that we try to give academic citations for this kind of pronouncements. JFW | T@lk 06:51, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

PMID 16895874 may contain the information we need. I'll read it at some point. JFW | T@lk 07:00, 20 November 2007 (UTC)


Arch Surg - another study that indicates an excess of suicide after bariatric surgery. How odd. Amazing how little we know. I suspect the sudden changes in ghrelin etc do interesting things to the hypothalamus. JFW | T@lk 14:41, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

UK policy responses

I added a short section on the last 5 years in the UK with regards to policies. Needless to say, several august bodies have now produced reports, but that doesn't mean the recommended policies are actually implemented.

I was in limbo whether to include a recent report by the fascinatingly named "Foresight / Horizon Scanning Centre" body (apparently supported by Sir David King) which more or less removed obesity from the sphere of personal responsibility with its conclusions on the multifactorial causes etc. Here's the URL for whoever is interested.

It is actually shocking that the same paragraph still does not provide any references about the American situation. Why are we not mentioning that Colorado has a very forward-thinking obesity policy and is actually the slimmest of the states? JFW | T@lk 23:47, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Lancet review

I have added HaslamJames, a reference to the 2005 Lancet seminar on obesity. The authors are the chair of the National Obesity Forum and a respected scientist, respectively. I am re-reading it and plan to work much of its content into the article, especially the presently very poor sections on epidemiology.

I'm not sure what else we could do to improve sections such as "history" and "popular culture". I have already left messages with the Sociology WikiProject to ask for assistance, but none was forthcoming. Any help would be appreciated. JFW | T@lk 19:57, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Fat cells

The number of fat cells in the human body never increases, the individual cells simply get larger. This article states under Effects on health that "Health consequences are categorised as being the result of either increased fat mass (osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, social stigma) or increased number of fat cells (diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)." The source referenced does not mention an increased number of fat cells, it only mentions enlargement of the cells. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:09, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

This page still needs a lot of vetting

Many inaccuracies on this article. Aside from any number of dubious statements which still need citations. The more intractable problem is that just citing a reference appears to be no guarantee that the citer has actually read the reference in question, let alone can summarize it intelligently. I corrected the errors in one small section on the social networking study which I'm very familiar with and could quickly fix. Those errors were not trivial.

It would take an immense amount of time and effort to crosscheck this whole entry for accuracy. That would still leave you with the problem that the selection of facts and data cited - out of the wealth of obesity research out there - appears to be overly driven by press coverage or personal agendas. I doubt that problem can be easily solved, given the nature of the topic, and I don't want to underestimate the obvious serious effort that has been made here to create an objective reliable entry. Nor can I find a simple solution. I just want to state clearly as a reality check, that this entry is still deeply problematic. Arma2 (talk) 20:52, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

What personal agendas?
Why do you think that this article in particular suffers from incorrect citations? Just casting random aspersions won't get you anywhere.
You are free to make corrections as you see fit. I can state for the record that I have read every paper that I have added. JFW | T@lk 11:03, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Separate section for Childhood obesity

Shouldn't there be a separate section dealing specifically with Childhood obesity since there is an article on this very subject? A brief review of the topic should be added with a wikilink at top of section redirecting to full article --Phenylalanine (talk) 11:18, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Please unlock this article

I want to vandalize it, can you please allow editing so this would be possible? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:31, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

It's people like you who mess up carefully drafted content and generate more work for hardworking volunteers. Go away, troll. JFW | T@lk 11:01, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Obesity in Mexico

Mexico is currently the second most obese country in the world, but there is no inforamtion about it. I was wandering if anyone could add anything about it?

Have a source? We can certainly mention it. JFW | T@lk 11:01, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, according to that graph about obesity in OECD countries, Mexico ranks second, and I see paragraphs and paragraphs of info about all other countries except for Mexico. There is a-lot of sources, just go to google and look up "obesity in Mexico" although I cannot post because I am not a registered user. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:05, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


I think it was a mistake protecting this page. I mean, people looking for fatass would expect to find information about obesity. Pages should NEVER be protected from recreation unless there is no relevant article. But Obesity is relevant to me. So can someone please make a protected redirect to this article instead? I have yet to see one damn good reason why it shouldn't be redirected here. TheBlazikenMaster (talk) 15:39, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Fatass is not a synonym of obesity. Someone can have a normal body mass index yet accumulate adipose tissue around their nates. Some research suggests that having a fatass is better than having a huge gut.
Which Wikipedia policy states that "pages should NEVER be protected from recreation"? Clearly someone felt this was a good idea, and you'd be better off speaking to that person rather than complaining here. JFW | T@lk 11:01, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
It still makes no sense to protect it from recreation. There are some curse slangs or slangs from bad words that are used as redirects, examples: Human Shit, ass fucking, dickhead, I can name some more examples. So why the hell was it protected from recreation? I really don't get it, yes, it's a good idea, I will ask the one that protected it. TheBlazikenMaster (talk) 14:43, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I protected the page simply because I was deprecating an old protected titles system. No comment on the validity / merits of this page. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:46, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
This is getting nowhere, can somebody suggest a place on Wikipedia where more people will notice? TheBlazikenMaster (talk) 20:20, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Take it to Deletion review. Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:48, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Protection from VTE

In people with DVT/PE, obesity protects from death by 50%! I wonder where the confounder is - surely they have corrected for mortal illness that causes low BMI, such as cancer. doi:10.1111/j.1538-7836.2008.02907.x JFW | T@lk 11:01, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

High Fructose Corn Syrup

I'm surprised to see absolutely no mention of the role that high fructose corn syrup may play in the "obesity epidemic" in America. Since other dietary causes are touched upon, including the whole carbohydrates versus fat (and protein) debate, I would expect this popular highly-refined sugar to receive more attention. But I don't have citations and am lazy, so I'm not going to add it myself. :) (talk) 22:07, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Source, please? I think we are underrepresenting dietary trends in this article, and I have been talking to YechezkelZilber (talk · contribs) about this (on my talkpage). Much of this is an area of intense speculation, and having this discussed up-to-date here would be hopeful. JFW | T@lk 09:18, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


The BMJ "head to head" this week is about whether the "obesity epidemic" is overrated. One of the disputants quotes doi:10.1093/ije/dyi260, a nice editorial by Katherine Flegal discussing the terminology and the data. JFW | T@lk 09:18, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Image gallery of female body weight

A dingbat font called "Mannequin" contains images of females of diverse body weights. The black-and-white vector drawings are anatomically accurate, but much less provocative than photos would be.

The images are available online for free preview, and I (as the author of the font) can give permission for their use on wikipedia pages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oligopiste (talkcontribs) 16:51, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ Efficacy and Safety of Modafinil Film-Coated Tablets in Children and Adolescents
  2. ^ Makris, Angela (April 2004), "Wake-promoting agents with different mechanisms of action: comparison of effects of modafinil and amphetamine on food intake and cardiovascular activity", Appetite, 42 (2): 185 
  3. ^ Henderson, David (April–June 2005), "Modafinil-Associated Weight Loss in a Clozapine-Treated Schizoaffective Disorder Patient", Annals of Clinical Psychiatry;, 17 (2): 95–97