Today there was a big NPR headline smack in the middle of my Facebook home page. I usually ignore intrusions by companies into my Facebook page on principle, but in this case I smelled a blog post topic, so I clicked away. I have a good nose!
Now, studies that discover new things about what different cells do in our body are great, and interesting. I’m glad scientists are studying what brown fat cells do in adult bodies. I also know, as a scientist, that to some extent everyone pads their conclusions to be relevant to hot topics where possible (origin of life and paleoclimate have been hot ones in geoscience for a while), because it increases the chances of getting funding. Hot topics are usually where the money is. So I’m not entirely surprised that the scientists who discovered brown fat cells are related to metabolism included some conclusions about the implications for weight loss. There is money in that these days.
Weight loss sounding like the whole motivation for the study (and implied follow-ups) bothers me more. Weight loss as a goal is bad for people. And the results of this study are a little bit terrifying. Next up: The Biggest Loser: Antarctica! Where contestants have to work out with their insane trainer in the miserable cold to activate what little brown fat cell activity they have!* And if that doesn’t work, well, by getting so damn fat they must have lost those cells, so it’s their own fucking fault. And everyone is getting fatter, so that’s a problem. Don’t you dare lecture me on causation, either, that’s a perfectly logical argument! Don’t talk to me about how fatness is inherited so there’s no blame to place, either. LALALALALA.
(Injecting people with fat cells sounds pretty risky to me. The article doesn’t talk about any of the potential risks. As a non-biologist and non-doctor, I’d like that information. That’s the kind of thing these articles always lack – you know, Science and stuff. But that would be boring. We have to tell people about weight loss!! Weight loss sells!)
Anyway, I’m being silly. After all, if people sit in cold rooms, they’re just going to eat more, and we all know that fat people just eat more and worse, and that’s why they got fat. Consumption totally correlates with body size. And cold. Everyone eats more when they’re cold. THAT’s at least true.
GAH. The stupid, it burns.
* I say that as a JOKE, but let’s just watch and see what comes out next season.