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The Amish, not a representative sample.

September 9, 2008

I don’t even know where to begin…. so i’ll start at the beginning:

Maybe you CAN blame being fat on your genes. But there’s a way to overcome that family history — just get three to four hours of moderate activity a day.

Sound pretty daunting?

Not for the Amish of Lancaster County, Pa.,

Seriously, the Amish? I mean, I respect the Amish and their lifestyle. I think there are definetly things to be said in favour of a less disposable lifestyle. This post is not intended in anyway to bash the Amish. (Though it’s not as if they would know….. 😉 )

So yeah, not shocking the fat gened Amish are thin they lead a much more work intensive lifestyle. They actually burn calories while cooking their own dinner. Crazy stuff. Even the laziest Amish person does not get paid to spend 8 hours a day sitting on their ass. Unfortunately, that is exactly what millions of Americans get paid to do.

The study writers even acknowledge how unrealistic this lifestyle is for most americans:

Study co-author Dr. Soren Snitker of the University of Maryland acknowledged that it’s unrealistic to expect most people to shun modern conveniences and return to a 19th century lifestyle for the sake of staying trim.

When I saw this article over someone’s shoulder on the train this morning and I thought to myself YAY. Finally, they realize just how much activity it would take to keep fatter people thin, surely they will realize how difficult it would be for Modern Americans to find 4 hours of activity a day. Surely this study will cause people to day “Hey, maybe we’re placing to large a burden on fat people, 4 hours, that’s a lot of time, maybe they should just be allowed to be fat.”

“But he said every little bit helps, and that adding an extra few hours of activity daily might not be as hard as it seems.

Instead of watching TV for a few hours at night, take a brisk walk, he suggested. Or use stairs instead of elevators, walk instead of driving, or take up a structured exercise such as swimming.”

Can someone please tell me approximately when this whole youthful idealism phase is going to end?

I love how at the end of the article they even shame the fat fat fatties who might think they don’t have this gene variant. (Because obviously, we’ve all had our genomes mapped just so we know exactly how long we’re allowed to be lazy fatties.)

Dr. Joel Hirschhorn, a genetics and obesity researcher at Children’s Hospital Boston, said people should not interpret the study to mean, “I don’t have this gene variant so I don’t need to be physically active.”

He noted that other obesity gene variants might also be affected by physical activity, which has benefits beyond helping people stay trim.

Yeah, whatever you do, don’t interpret this study to mean anything about how it might be unrealistic to expect every person on earth to be thin while living a modern lifestyle. We still expect you to be thin because we’re sick of looking at your fat fat ass. How dare you try to excuse yourself from 4 hours of excersize a day by saying the reason for your fatness has nothign to do with the gene that we’ve mapped. Bad Fatty BAD!

I’m pretty sure I have this gene variant. I spent 2 weeks at summer camp one year doing nothing but walking and riding horses and I lost 30 pounds. So yeah, pretty sure. Since I have “no excuse” here is my new life schedule:

6:30am: Out of bed Lazy

7:00am: Walk, briskly, to bus

7:20am: Walk, briskly, from bus to train

8:10am: Walk, Briskly, from train to office, take stairs 12 floors, arrange to have someone wait at the top to let you out of the locked stairwell.

8:15pm-4:45pm: Do Math

4:45pm: Walk, briskly, to the train

5:45pm: Walk, briskly, home

6:00pm-9:00pm: Walk Dog, briskly (this assumes that an additional hour of activity has been completed between walking to transportation and climbing stairs, if not, extend till 10pm)

9:00pm-10:00pm: Spend time with boyfriend and cats, eat dinner, read, play video games, crochet, practice for voice lessons/show, do laundry, catch up on work, study for GMATs, pay bills, plan financial future, talk to friends on the phone, check facebook, blog, check myspace, go to grocery store, go to pet food store, go to hardware store.

10:00pm-10:30pm: Watch the Daily Show

10:30pm: Sleep.

It is going to be interesting. I have a lot of thin neighbors that I know wont be doing this, you know, they don’t have the fat gene, so they get to spend all of their free time doing what I”m going to have to cram into about an hour. But that’s the price I must pay for being Genetically Evil… I mean Fat.


From → Scienterrific

  1. Miriam Heddy permalink

    Got nothing to say but “word.” And also stfu to the idiots who can’t reason their way out of a paper bag and/or connect the dots on their own study.

  2. KarenElhyam permalink

    I like how much you have to squeeze into the 9 – 10 hour block. ^^

    Yeah, I read this article, and just hoped that some non-FA folks reading it would realize “Wow, maybe that person who is fat isn’t lazy, maybe he or she just has a really busy life doing other things!”

    Maybe that’s optimistic of me, but I can dream!

    Also, briskly walking isn’t the same as hard aerobic exercise, but I don’t think the article makes the distinction with the recommendation of 3 to 4 hours. I need to look into that, because that bullshit “Take the stairs!” advice drives me crazy.

  3. Fat people, who get a moderate amount of exercise (like 30 min four times a week of brisk walking), can be as healthy and live as long as thin people who get the same amount of exercise. (look it up, there’s at least four or five major studies which show this. Search Sandy’s site)

    So….why am I exercising four hours a day, again?

    Oh yeah.

    Because some assholes are disgusted by my fat.

    And also, it’s fun fun fun to create and inferior underclass who doesn’t have the luxury time to pursue any higher aims except walk-walk-walk! until they die.

    But hey, at least they be somewhat thinner.

    Now mush, fatties, mush!

    Garrrr. 😛

  4. A couple of years ago, when I happened to mention on Fatty McBlog that it took me starving myself coupled with five to eight hours of exercise to maintain a societally acceptable weight, I was told by several concern trolls that I was lying, delusional, or doing it wrong. I rest my case.

  5. Kate, People are fucks.

  6. And then you have obnoxious people like me who like to stand up (even if only figuratively, sometimes) and say “gee, it’s a good thing this article doesn’t promote able-ism in any way!”.

    Or um. Yeah. ‘Bout that.

  7. You know, those researchers may be on to something! If I had to churn my own butter, it would be much harder to shove the whole sticks in my mouth like I do now.

  8. No, wait! I have the perfect solution! We should all get jobs waiting tables! That way, we’ll be run off our FEET for at least 3-4 hours, and the pay is so bad, we won’t be able to afford groceries. Ta-da! Lots of exercise – food = no more fatties! And that will ALSO solve the “problem” of how all those fat folks are Weapons of Mass Consumption, plundering the earth and ruining it for all the thin folks!


    The other part I liked was that housecleaning was also mentioned. Am I the only one who believes that when they start throwing around housecleaning as a way to burn calories, they are probably NOT talking to the men anymore? Size-ism and sexism, all in one neat package! ARGH.

    (I posted almost this same comment on someone else’s blog post about this same thing – is that bad blogging manners?)

  9. Elizabeth permalink

    Just a note of fat fact: there ARE fat Amish people. So. Yeah.

  10. At the apex of my exercise obsession, I averaged about 4-6 hours a day (on a treadmill, with wrist and ankle weights, on an incline), My BMI still put me in the overweight category. I was also constantly exhausted, had no social life, and hated myself. My life revolved around working out, in between working and going to school. How is this a good thing, just because I wasn’t as fat as I am now?

  11. I was a waitress/busperson for….47-18=well let’s just call it thirty years, and I ran my ass off for 7 hours a day, and not only was I fat, but two other waitresses worked with me , who both worked MORE DAYS than I, who were both in the 300 pound range (and both had terrible leg and foot pain to boot, which they just had to, you know, suck up as their punishment for being fat). So, FWIW, waiting tables and being poor won’t “fix” your fat body either.

    I personally think that it might be time to lay the blame where it REALLY belongs (and No I am not being snarky or sarcastic). Medical science and medicine. Because if you are active and eat a reasonable diet and are still uncomfortably (for oneself not others) heavy, then there is probably a glandular imblanace that isn’t being addressed. Medical science needs to (and probably shall in the future) figure out this set point thing and learn how to treat a set-point that has set at a weight that interferes with happy living; I think the onus should be complettely removed from the sufferers here and placed on the failures of science, and they need to get busy.

    I probably wouldn’t be so SORE about it, except, I have been struggling with exhaustion and weight gain for ten years, and JUST started taking thyroid medicine, and have been FUCKING REBORN. I now actually have energy to live my life, and even though my appetite has grown sharper, I am losing 2 pounds a DAY from just having a normal metabolic RATE. Did any doctor ever even ASK me about my obvious symptoms? No. They just told me to diet and exercise and quit being such a hog.

    I think it is pretty likely that there is a medical basis for many fatties fatness, probably metabolic, and we are all just getting blamed for what is actually a failure of medical science. Even though all the studies show that fatties eat the same as skinnies, for the most part.

  12. Piffle permalink

    Yep, I boggled too; and I am a stay at home Mom, with rather more free time than a working mother. Four hours is a ridiculously high amount of time to spend exercising, do they honestly expect people to go swimming four hours a day? Gah.

    Did you see the new article today about how crime shows make us all eat more food or buy more clothes? Of all the silliness out there where can we even start?

  13. KMTBerry, I hear you. (I hope you know I wasn’t actually being serious about waiting tables and starving – I waited tables for a long time and actually liked doing it.)

    And AMEN on the thyroid stuff. I got diagnosed earlier this year, and at my check-back appointment my doctor laughed when I told her that I honestly didn’t realize that other people weren’t exhausted all the time. I thought everyone was always tired and that I just couldn’t handle it as well as everyone else. So, yeah. “FUCKING REBORN” is the perfect assessment of that. 🙂

  14. katie permalink

    And don’t the Amish often marry within the religion? So, maybe they don’t have as many “fat-gened” people to begin with… regardless, you are right. Though I do like your new schedule. Your dog would be really skinny, as well!

    And I’m jealous that you get Daily Show at 10. I have to stay up until 11!

  15. I don’t think there’s enough words in the world to cover the stupidity of this article. But we can still try. Another great post, shinobi! 😀

  16. The study is perfectly correct and yet their conclusion is ridiculous. I spent the better part of my twenties working “active” jobs. I lost 35 lbs the summer I worked as a park ranger on Mount Rainier, but I can’t pay off my student loans working “active” jobs, so I have had to settle for getting 30-60 minutes of exercise a day and have remained fat.

  17. Can someone please tell me approximately when this whole youthful idealism phase is going to end?

    hahahahahahahahahahha!!! No kidding.

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