A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003 :::
Busy, busy day for A Mind That Suits, so just this thought:

The indispensible Wall Street Journal had a front page story this morning on the increasing use of stomach staples as a treatment for obesity--in teenagers.

Now, one thing that has been mystifying in the debate about teenage obesity and the obesity epidemic in general is the way that some conservative writers have dismissed this as hype. Now, A Mind That Suits has no truck with those who want to sue the fat food, that is, fast food industry the way they did the tobacco industry: the tobacco suit was just a way for lawyers to make 100's of millions of dollars and nothing else. It does nothing to improve people's lives. But conservatives are also the ones who are supposed to believe that society should set norms and that societal disapproval plays a valuable role in keeping our lives safe and secure. And when you are at the mall and every teenage boy in line of sight needs a bra, there is a problem.

Of course a large part of the solution is families, providing loving and strong support for troubled youngsters instead of cold, impersonal treatments offered by assorted "experts" in "behavior modification" classes or the operating room.

There has been an interesting development in the treatment of anorexia, and it comes from a suprising place, Sweden, land of the full frontal assault on the traditional family. They discovered that for some, indeed many, girls, the problem is really that they are teenagers and do not have the self-control to overcome their problems. Who does? Parents, enforcing such rules as not allowing the young sufferers to leave the table until their plates are empty. Imagine that: parents guiding teenagers, with the Swedes applauding. It doesn't work for all, but it works for a lot. A Mind That Suits suspects it will work for a lot of overweight kids as well.

And, as a colleague put it about how science is reinforcing the traditional understanding of human life, we are rediscovering the wheel.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 9:49 AM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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