Normally when I’m investigating something I like to read well regarded books on both sides, in the hopes that the ignorance will cancel out. Finding a suitable counterpoint to Health At Every Size is hard, because its opposition is “everyone in the world”, and there has been no selective pressure to elevate the actual science away from the shame and aesthetic preferences.
For example, I spent a little bit of time on r/fatlogic which, as decisions go, was not my best ever. r/fatlogic frames itself as a criticism of horrible “fat logic”- things like “700 pounds is no less healthy than 200 pounds. Possibly healthier.” This is not a great start. I have a deep personal understanding of how frustrating it is when people are wrong, but I have found I am happier and a better person when I say “yup, wrong”, and then move on with my day. For the truly awful I might e-mail a friend making fun of it (thanks, Rachel!). Forming a whole club around criticizing people, especially people that are already having a pretty tough time in life, is bad for everyone.
r/fatlogic is even worse than that, because it has an extraordinary case of the cowpox of doubt. Wrong people keep insisting body fat is independent of calories consumed and exercise? Well then body fat must be solely dependent on calories consumed and exercise, and anyone who suggests it is affected by anything else is a fatty fat fathead making excuses for their fat. They are literally denying the possibility of individual variability in the translation of external environment into physical state. For bonus points, they invoke “but thermodynamics”, which is the same argument creationists use against evolution itself.
Here I tried several ways to explain exactly how wrong they were and how that was terrible, but then I decided to take my own advice and stop before I endorsed the hollow Earth theory. My current contender for an opposition book is Good Calories, Bad Calories, but I’m open to suggestions.