(Sorry for the yelling, I just finished making some signage, and I'm still sort of thinking in caps.)
I don't need to find the studies, do I, that show correlations between fat and health problems? There are lots of them. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke. Everyone knows that. What I find stunning is everyone's assumption that there is causation between being fat and having health problems. Correlation =/= Causation. Isn't that basic science?
I mean, no one seems to think that liposuction actually makes anyone healthier, right? If it were the presence of fat cells on the body that caused the heart disease, diabetes, etc., then liposuction would do the trick. But no one says that. Everyone says: diet and exercise. So why are the same people who advocate lifestyle changes to solve the problem also saying that the problem isn't lifestyle?
No one says the US has a "sedentary epidemic." Or a "cholesterol epidemic." It's an "obesity epidemic." A doctor told me that losing 10 pounds would give me X more years in life, or maybe it was X better chance of not getting Some Terrible Disease. He didn't say that if I exercised X more hours a week, or cut down on fatty processed foods. He didn't say, "treat your body right." He said, "lose weight." Pounds = health.
And I get that it's easier to see pounds than blood sugar levels. We can't judge someone walking down the street on how much they exercise a day, because we don't know. But we sure as hell can judge them based on how they look. I'm not surprised that lots of people believe in the obesity epidemic. I'm surprised that it seems like everyone does.