Head over to Shapely Prose where Kate gives an insightful critique of extreme dieting or CRON, which adherants follow in the belief that it will increase their lifespan to maximum.
Hey, here’s a scientific fact: We are all going to die. And in the meantime, we all make decisions about the kinds of lives we want to live. Some people eat as little as possible in the explicit hope of outliving this silly, primitive limitation known as mortality. Other people eat less than they want to in hopes of living a little longer than people who “indulge themselves.” And other people eat what they fucking feel like eating, because to them, chronic restrained eating would — unlike obesity — indeed be a “huge risk factor for… a life of misery.”
And in those last two categories, at least? There are people of all sizes. People who are unequivocally fat despite consistently eating less than they want to, and thin people who seem to have the proverbial hollow leg. There are even, horror of horrors, fat people who eat whatever they want. Because they’re grown-ups, and they’re allowed. What a concept.
Kate also touches on the “it’s not fair” reaction when people see someone who has gone to the effort of dieting and doing the ‘right thing’ die an early death but observe fat people (who evidentally are just lazy slobs who can’t be bothered) living to 80 or more. How dare you eat and not die at 40 like you are supposed to?
On another note, I also suspect that adherants of CRON have predispositions to eating disordered behaviour, even if they are in denial (“I’m not anorexic because I’m not doing it to be thin and I balance my nutrition”).