SHMBO is currently watching a program on BBC2 about dieting and the dieting industry called “The Man who made us Thin”. It transpires that back in 50’s America, an insurance assessor, Louis Dunbar, was looking through his records of people insured with them. He took a note of their weight range, between those in their 20’s and those in their 60’s, retired etc. HE decided, with no scientific backing and no scientific knowledge, that most of their customers were over weight. He drew up a range of tables, showing ‘ideal’ body weights for each age range. Remember, this was completely arbitrary, and enabled the insurance company to raise the premiums of those they considered ‘over-weight’.
Unfortunately, this pseudo-scientific data was taken up by the American Health people and without as much as any inquiry, they adopted it as a bench mark for everyones health. This of course migrated over the Atlantic in double quick time and so the diet industry was born both here and America. And a multi-billion dollar/pound industry at that.
A couple of talking heads, who do do science, have stated on the program, that it can’t work, cos basically, any diet screws up your metabolism. As soon as you come off the diet, you actually, in most cases, put on more weight than when you started. These talking heads, who have been in the Health Service in America for many years, have made their findings available, but they have been ignored. They also stated that the tables are a crock and have raised concerns, but again have been ignored.
So the next time you go to the hospital/doctors and they tell you you are over-weight, just let them know that you know their tables are a crock, and if they base the rest of their diagnoses on the say-so of an insurance agent, then you’ll get a second opinion.