The New York Times blogger, Tara Parker-Pope, blogged on Monday about “When Fatty Feasts Are Driven by Automatic Pilot.” She writes of a study that suggests new opportunities to control obesity with drugs that target the body’s endocannabinoid system.
The last line of Tara’s blog post reads, “but just because your brain is being hijacked, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to protect yourself,” seems, at least to me, to suggest that part of being responsible is existing in an atmosphere of body hatred and engaging in unhealthy behaviors, in this case, taking diet pills. And while not everyone develops eating disorders, this value system plays a critical hand in pushing the envelope for those who are vulnerable.
As time and science advance, we continue to learn more, define more and ultimately in some ways manipulate more, particularly in the vein of food, weight and shape. Societally we are drawn to the next quick fix. But what about the underlying motivations for our behaviors? When do we take the time to understand why we are doing the things we are doing and the emotional undercurrents that lie beneath? When will we begin to use valuable information about how our body runs well, optimally and healthily to honor it rather than use it to manipulate and strangulate our bodies and our selves? Perhaps at this juncture in time, this is more of a personal question within a culture of thinness.
I am not in any way suggesting that science halt any and all research related to body weight, shape and size. My point here is not to support or deny that, perhaps, in some cases the use of medication may be an important facet within a multi-faceted approach to dealing with obesity. My intention is to highlight how we, societally and privately, use this information. While we continue to push for society to strive towards health rather than thinness at any cost, you, we, all of us, have the opportunity to make empowered choices that match our own internal value system, which hopefully includes living a well-balanced life without excess or restriction.