A company is joining the legion of diet companies perpetrated a fraud by suggesting that they can produce lasting weight loss. In this incarnation, it’s shoes and a vest that make you cold. They claim that based on the research, being cold (almost, but not to, the point of shivering) will lead to weight loss. (Thanks to reader Elisabeth for letting me know about this.) How is this completely ridiculous? Let me count the ways.
The “science” that they point to includes a study were 24 men sat in a room cooled to 61F for two hours, a study where 6 men remained inactive for three hours while wearing a cold suit, a study where 12 men sat in a cold room for 2 hours a day for six weeks, a study of rats, and a Daily Mail article (none of which measured weight loss.) Oh, and an anecdote about Michael Felps during the time he was training for the Beijing Olympics. Because clearly the most decorated Olympian of all time is a statistically significant, widely extrapolatable sample unto himself. (And if they want to play a round of “anecdata” I know plenty of fat people who live and work in the cold who are still fat.)
So, based on the experiences of 43 people, one of whom is a 22-time Olympic Medalist who is still training for the Olympics, and none of whom lost any weight, we’re supposed to believe that this is an evidence-based weight loss “body hack” (They love to use the word “hack,” I guess “bullshit that doesn’t work” is just not as hip.)
And this is the state of “science” around weight loss – no matter how ridiculous the premise, no matter how weak the evidence, no matter how many embarrassingly lacking the scientific method may be, if someone thin says that they know how to make fat lose weight, we are all supposed to hop to and do whatever they say, and not ask any questions (because lord knows they don’t have answers.)
What’s sad is that there are real world applications for this technology, there are plenty of people who could use cooling clothing/shoes – those who work outdoors, athletes, people dealing with hot flashes, everybody who lives in Texas – but that’s not where the billions are.
The billions are in lying to people and telling them, even though there is not a bit of evidence that this will lead to long term weight loss, that they know how to manipulate people’s body sizes to move them out of an oppressed class, and give them better health. It’s snake oil, only colder. At least this isn’t likely to kill us, but it’s still unconscionable to prey on people who are the victims of so much oppression by lying and saying that you can change them to accommodate their oppressors.
Also, I just have to mention the sizing of this. It comes in men’s and women’s sizes, both start at XXS , the women’s go to 2XL, and the men’s to 3XL (though they claim that they can accommodate other sizes.) If you need further proof that our society is super messed up when it comes to body image, look no further than the fact that they are selling a weight loss device in size extra-extra-small. Not that it’s ok that they are selling it to fat people – it’s a crock of crap at any size. Unfortunately they can try to sell us whatever they want, but happily we don’t have to buy it.
By the way, big thanks to my Facebook friends for helping me decide on a title (it was between “Ice Ice Fatty” or “Fatties on Ice” or “Freezing Fat People for Fun and Profit”) In addition to helping me choose the title, they came up with some other suggestions and I didn’t want to deprive you of their comedic talents so here are some others that they came up with (feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.)
Fatties on Ice? That’s Not Nice! (a little play on the old Riunite ads)
You’re ass cold as ice
The Iced Fat Cometh
The cold always bothers me anyway…Let us goooooo
Do you want to build a snowfat?
Fatties on (Thin) Ice
Sometimes, when something is this ridiculous, I just have to laugh about it.
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