The Oxford scholar Christopher Fairburn would have to be considered one of the world's foremost authorities on eating disorders. His bio includes: twice a fellow at Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences; a governor of the Wellcome Trust, the largest international biomedical research foundation; recipient of the 2002 Outstanding Researcher Award by the Academy for Eating Disorders.
Another tenet of my argument (see prev. post) is that insurance-supported rehab must be available to food addicts in the same measure as it is for other addictions. I reached that conclusion via experience: I was in the eating disorders unit of a psychiatric hospital in 1991, and it remains a cornerstone of my recovery, which is in its 20th year.
A tenet of my argument about obesity is that Americans don't lack for knowledge about nutrition, but choose not to apply it because nutrition is for sissies.
I could be wrong about that.
A poll by Consumer Reports Health says that 9 out of 10 Americans consider their diet "somewhat," "very," or "extremely" healthy. Yeah, right. Fattest nation on earth, one of whose chief cultural exports to the world is fast food.
So what does God have to do with obesity? Obviously, what God has to do with anything is a huge, confusing, inflammatory topic — and above all hopelessly inconclusive — and yet I proceed:
A lot, I say.
As many readers know (and perhaps are tired of hearing), I was overweight for 30 years-plus, topping out at 365 in 1991. I've now been in a normal-size body for almost 20 years, and one of the most significant changes underlying that transformation is that I let go of my arrogance around the question of God's existence.
A European Commission report says that half of Europe is either overweight or obese, and that in most member states, rates have doubled in the past 20 years.
They've got nothing on the US, where two of every three American adults — about 145 million — are considered in one of those categories, but they're gaining.
Motivated by this post, I'd like to revisit a very important point about food addiction, as I experience and understand it: Getting the diagnosis, which in almost every case is a self-diagnosis, did NOT release me from responsibility for what I eat.
I'll repeat: Nobody ever held me down and forced food into me. I was totally, completely responsible for what I ate — and, I still am!