Beginning my trip into 1984, I find this article that manages to sprinkle fat-hysteria throughout with this particular gem as to why they think fat people are more likely to die of the flu:
Seriously!? All fat people carry crushing belly weight that keeps them from breathing? SERIOUSLY!?
"Other studies have shown that pregnant women are at higher risk, especially in the third trimester when the fetus and womb compress the lower regions of the lungs. This makes it harder to breathe deeply and cough forcefully; it may also alter blood flow in the chest. A similar thing may occur in severely overweight people, some experts speculated."
After making my way down the google news feed, it seems every article on the 22 year old from Utah who just died from the flu mentions the potential complications with this or a similar quote:
"Authorities said the man was overweight and had chronic medical conditions, including respiratory problems and other health issues that put him at risk."
So the fact that he was fat is factored more heavily than the fact that he had a chronic respiratory illness?
Are they seriously this ignorant, or just trying to reassure the reading public that Swine Flu is only killing the fatties? Are news feeds so eager to get on the bandwagon that they'll find a way to slip weight into ANYTHING?
*Breaking news, Shark attack linked to victim's obesity....*
This head-banging-on-desk sort of logic. Unfortunately it offers a brand-new-trendy scare tactic for the media to fly. Instead of taking a breath and a pause (or even, I don't know, offering sympathy to the victim's family?) they capitalize on the double fear of flu and fat to grab readers and give them one more lash for non-conformity.
If this was an actual research study I'd give it a CDNEC award. As it is it's going to get the honorary cousin to the CDNEC, known as the "You're a complete dumbass" award.