Reports in the media suggest that obesity is a growing danger. Too many people weigh too much and the numbers of such individuals have increased substantially over the last decades. Such excess weight is associated with a variety of diseases and other negative consequences, ranging from high blood pressure to inability to fit into an airline seat, from diabetes to coffins that are too small for obese deceased.
Yet such narratives of obesity are increasingly challenged. Critics point to evidence suggesting that rates have leveled off and may even be declining. They also question the extent to which obesity causes or is even associated with various diseases. They point to the dismal statistics regarding weight loss: some can lose pounds but very few can keep them off over a five-year period. As a result critics insist that weight should not be, in and of itself, the issue.