Tag Archives: food police

New Electronic Food Police can Cyber Bully You About Eating Habits

Ahhh, gone are the days where you could simply count on your Uncle George or your Mother to track every morsel of food you put in your mouth.  And past are the days where you simply penciled your sins into a small tracker page in your purse so you could pore over the results every week in your “Fat Bashers”(TM) meeting.  Now you can count on a digital plate to track how much you’ve eaten and a little wristwatch to track how fast you’re putting the food into your face.

The Bite Counter watch subtly clocks the movements between your wrist and your mouth, and is being developed by researchers at South Carolina’s Clemson University.  Here’s how they determined the effectiveness of this puppy.  They tracked 77 people for a week and determined that the average calories per bite were 17 for men and 11 for women.  (I presume, during the study that the women were either taking “petite”  bites or had teeny tiny forks.)  They multiplied that times 100 (a suspiciously round number if ever I heard one) and said that since 1100 calories and 1700 calories represented low calorie diets, 100 bites is the optimal number of bites for people trying to lose weight.

They also noted that those who counted their bites ate fewer calories than those who didn’t.  (At least during the short-term study).  And the researchers suggest that the bite meter could be used to measure the rate of speed at which the food was consumed–suggesting that eating more slowly leads to weight loss.

Another device used to measure how fast somebody eats is the new talking plate.  FANTASTIC.  Now I can have a battery operated widget to ask me if, “I really need to eat that?” and ask me why I haven’t finished my broccoli.  It’s like a digital gateway to disordered and non-intuitive eating.  YAY!  (Not.)  The plate also claims to measure my fullness (how I can’t imagine.)

Except all of this is based on some notably faulty assumptions.  Low calorie diets have not been proven to lead to long-term weight loss–ever–for all but a tiny fraction of participants.  There is absolutely no reason to believe that these gadgets wouldn’t fall into the familiar pattern of lose some weight in the short term, gain it all back in the long term, and then a little more.

But the thing that absolutely terrifies me about these new measuring devices is the probability that fat people will ultimately be shackled to them by insurance companies and corporate wellness programs in the name of cost cutting and discrimination–oops I mean better health.  The research behind them is shaky and has been called out by other scientists in the community, the reasoning behind them is flawed in a way that seems obvious even to the most casual observer.  But I predict, that in short order, we’ll have fat people on food oriented house arrest in order to keep their corporate insurance policy.

Big Brother is here and he’s watching you–eat.

Want to learn new ways to fight against injustice for fat folks?  There’s still time to register for the Fat Activism Conference!

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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Why do we pay good money to feel bad?

Look, you can buy your very own "Food Police" cookie jar.  Click to watch the video...

Look, you can buy your very own “Food Police” cookie jar. Click to watch the video…

Okay, I was reading through my email and I came across a wonderful new app that checks your BMI and hurls insults at you if you gain weight.  Yup, drink an extra glass of water and this wonderful app might say things like, “Greetings, chubby human,” “Smile, meatbag” and “Prepare yourself to be judged”.  Please note that there is NO WAY I’m going to link to this app or even tell you the name of this app on my blog.  The dude who created this nonsense is already getting way too much attention and I won’t add to his traffic.  But I’ll just drop off this here screen shot to give you an idea about just how awesome this thing is:

meatbagNice.  And this bozo (who conveniently places his press kit front and center on this site) is actually charging cash monies for this.  Now I recognize a good attention-grabbing publicity stunt when I see it.  And this “bad boy” has already garnered plenty of media attention.  I’m not sure that he really has any intention of helping people at all.  However, this approach to health and wellness is hardly new.  Just check out the talking “cop” cookie jar in the video above.  When you open the lid, the cookie jar says, “Stop!  Step away from the cookie jar!”  (Click the photo above to see the video).  Wow, your very own, battery-operated, food police–available 24-7 from your very own kitchen.  You can also get a pig-shaped cookie jar that oinks at you when you open it.  And now you can even buy bed linens that fat shame you.  How neat!

Yay, fat shaming while you sleep!

Why do we do this to ourselves?  As I have said, literally a gazillion times on this very blog, shame does not make us happier, healthier or thinner.  Shame makes us gain weight and engage in more dangerous behaviors.  So why do we pay for the privilege of being electronically shamed?  It’s not enough to face shame from friends, family, coworkers, medical professionals, the television shows we watch, the magazines we read, and virtually every other corner of the entire universe?

And even if we refrain from buying fat-shaming apps and cookware, are we free from paying good money for shaming ourselves?  How many of the magazines we subscribe to have fat shaming messages in them?  How many negative body images come to us each day as a result of the cable subscription?  And even if we aren’t paying for those things, how often have we purchased expensive healthy foods, extensive long-term gym contracts and overpriced and cumbersome exercise equipment with the notion that if we pay for it, we will feel guilty enough to use it?  How did that work out for you last time?  Still drying your unmentionables on the treadmill downstairs?  You’re not alone.  You almost can’t give away a used exercise bike or treadmill on Craigslist any more.

And in case, somehow the previous gazillion mentions were in some way unclear, here it is again:

Shame does not help.  Not at all.  Not even if it talks to you in a hokey electronic voice.  Not even if you pay good money for it.

Love, Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)

By the way, if you want to buy a fancy cookie jar, I recommend the Tardis version (because it’s bigger on the inside!)  And if you’d like a shame-free approach to fitness, may I recommend:

The Fit Fatties Virtual Events  (Early bird pricing ends soon!)\

My book, “The Fat Chick Works Out!”

or

My DVD  (all of which make wonderful Valentine’s Day gifts to yourself!)

And if  you book me in February, you can receive 25% off my speaking services.  W00t!