An article from BBC News announces that eating breakfast "keeps teenagers lean", quoting one anti-fat proponent as saying this revelation is "ironic". The researchers noted that those who ate breakfast were less likely to be lethargic and inactive, so their higher activity levels resulting from this morning fueling compensated for the calories eaten, and then some, leaving the breakfast crowd thinner than those who avoided eating breakfast.
What bothers me is that they were looking at how thin the subjects were, instead of how healthy they were. The message of "eating breakfast will make you thinner" is less important, in my opinion, than "eating breakfast makes you feel more energized, and lets you do better in school and other activities." The fact that they need to use the carrot of thinness to grab peoples' interest makes me very sad, because I know that, even if the researchers felt that feeling better is more important than being thin (and that's a BIG if), our anti-fat atmosphere really promotes thinness over actual health and well-being. In fact, thinness seems to be regarded as shorthand for health and well-being, even though that isn't really true.
What researchers really need to be looking at is whether or not something makes people feel better and live more fulfilling, productive lives. I can definitely argue that eating breakfast DOES do those things, which is a good reason to eat it. Instead, we're worried about what will make people thinner, and it's a neurotic obsession that drives people to waste their lives weighing food, deliberately going hungry in an atmosphere of plenty, and eat foods they don't actually enjoy. Even when we ask about quality over quantity, those seeking thinness claim that there can be no quality of life without being thin--and I, and all the other FA bloggers, want them to know that it is simply not true.
Believe me, I do understand that discrimination and cruelty affect quality of life--I do! But instead of torturing your body in trying to make it more acceptable, which is usually an exercise in futility, join us in fighting for social change. Know that you've got a whole group of smart, strong, outspoken fat folks who are ready to support you. Know that yours is a shared experience.
So ask this question when a new study comes out: How will this make my life better? Don't worry about whether it will make you thinner.