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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 30, Issue 1, Spring 2016

Douglas Edward Barre
Pages 175-185

Obesity, Metabolically Healthy or Otherwise—A Word of Caution
A Reply To Robert Scott Stewart, Ph.D., and Sue A. Korol, Ph.D, “De-Signing Fat: Re-Constructing the Global Obesity Epidemic”

Stewart and Korol (“De-Signing Fat,” International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23.2 [2009]) contend that obesity is benign. In support of their position they have focussed on selected papers that do not take into consideration key realities. Their attempt to minimise the impact of obesity appears to centre on how difficult it can be to lose weight by diet alone (and its risks) and problems with measurements of obesity, while failing to acknowledge the specific and well-documented impact of deleterious biochemical alterations arising from central obesity. Stewart and Korol also do not point out the considerable controversy with the fat but fit (metabolically healthy obesity [MHO]) concept. Whether looping from above or below, nothing changes the biochemical realities of central obesity. Above all, Stewart and Korol never once mention the benefits of obesity prevention, rather focussing on the difficulties of losing weight. Thus, respectfully, a word of caution is put forward on the views of Stewart and Korol regarding obesity.