a: a cure for any of the thousands of diseases for which we don’t have a cure
b: figuring out why lesbians are fat
Readers including Natalie, Darryl, and others let me know that the National Institutes for Health actually chose b. Seriously.
According to the good folks at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., (BWH) who will be wasting $1.5M, 75% of lesbians are overweight or obese, 25% higher than straight women. Gay men are 50% less likely to be fat then heterosexual males. The BWH researchers, having perhaps too much free time and more money than brains thanks to the generous NIH grant, want to figure out why.
I, as you might imagine, have some questions around how this qualifies as research deserving of funding:
Where in the hell are they getting the data on obesity numbers within these populations? It has been my experience that a lot of the data around how many people are fat in any population are highly suspect at best.
As a bi woman am I counted as 1/2, or not counted at all, or is it a percentage based on my Kinsey scale score? Don’t get me wrong – I’m quite happy for them to ignore me in this particular instance, I’m just curious.
Why not just treat this like almost all the rest of obesity “research” and jump to a pseudo-logical conclusion: “sex with men is the key to thinness.” Good, we’ve got sorted, now let’s put that 1.5 million dollars toward research that isn’t patently ridiculous and go on our merry way.
If they find out that it’s because of negative issues within the “thinner communities” – for example, perhaps disordered eating is much more prevalent in straight women and gay men – will this turn into research to help those people or are they committed to just thinning out the fatties?
Are they trying to create more oppression for queer women and fat women and fat queer women or is that just a side effect?
Ok seriously, what the effing crap? We are spending 1.5M in tax dollars to figure out why more lesbians than straight women are fat and more gay men than straight men are thin? Considering the fact that queer people are estimated to be at most 10% of the population is the idea to spend tons of money for lesbian-specific obesity interventions, or are they just hoping to tell straight women and men what not to do?
And finally, if this doesn’t make us realize that we have gone really far down a bad road with the war on fat people what will?
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