Fat shaming vs. necessary dialouge on obesity

Yan007

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I know my opinion on fat shaming is not popular, but here goes. "Trigger alert", I guess. XD

I see fat shaming the same way I see smoking shaming. I don't think anyone is losing any sleep over shaming smokers for their unhealthy and disgusting habit and I think fat women (because let's be real, the fat acceptance movement is a movement about accepting fat women for the most part, fat guys have always been the butt of jokes) should not be beyond public scrutiny.

Not saying you should be an ass about it, but when and if someone makes a comment about "fat and healthy" or "fat and beautiful" (or any variation tbh), I think we should make it clear that fat is NOT healthy and also NOT beautiful. Smokers smell awful and it would be ridiculous to suggest otherwise because "being a smoker is not a choice", "quitting smoking is too hard/impossible", "smelling good comes in a wide variety of different smells" or "my girlfriend is a smoker, can't quit, and I love the fact her mouth smells like an ashtray."

Yes, I'm also one of these guys who thinks the fat acceptance movement is doubling as a proxy for shaming male sexuality and preferences. I'm really tired of "curvy" girls telling me they are big and "beautiful". Please. I can accept there is a sliding-scale of what is beautiful and everyone has their own, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is where the fat acceptance movement is getting on my nerves: it is legitimizing the rejection of healthy standards and trying to impose a larger (hurr hurrr hurrr) spectrum of what men OUGHT to like about women. You're free to try and convince yourself otherwise (aka delusion), but don't try to impose your delusion on me. People can lie about fat being beautiful, but there is one thing that won't lie to you: a man's erection, or lack thereof.
 

giles

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Ninmecu said:
And yet everyone seems to be completely glossing over my points and disregarding me out of hand. This must be what it feels like to be Gary Taubes.
I read your posts, but it's they're so full of rhetoric and so lacking in substance... also the way you phrase them (in the whole "THE NAYSAYERS DONT WANT TO HEAR THE TRUTH" kind of way) makes you sound like some conspiracy theory lunatic. Or just some random dude who just repeats what a book he read once said.

Try giving actual evidence rather than writing an opinion piece and people like me will be overjoyed to hear you out.
 

Batou667

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chikusho said:
There's also fat because both. I guess I'm not seeing the point here, or how it counteracts my argument.
It's a key distinction because although the end result is the same, it's the contributing process that we're trying to understand. It's like the difference between dying of an incurable brain tumor and dying of a curable brain tumor - in the second case, we'd have to ask "So why didn't they operate?" - it wouldn't be satisfactory for the doctors to reply "Oh, well some brain tumors are inoperable, so we assumed this one was too" or "Everyone dies, so the end result is the same".

IF obesity was purely genetic it MIGHT lend weight (no pun intended) to the attitude that obesity is incurable. We're nowhere near that kind of conclusion in reality though, but people choose to believe genetic determinism - mostly, I suspect, because it takes away their responsibility and accountability for their actions.

chikusho said:
So what you're saying is basically that everyone could be thing if they were just eating protein. There's also no evidence for this being a reliable method of dieting, or if the people engaged in it are able to control their hunger that way.
Nope, I'm saying that it's been known for a long time that a positive dietary change often involves switching low-satiety carbs (especially refined carbs like white grains and sugar) for high-satiety protein. I'm not sure if by "just eat protein" you meant "simply eat protein" or "eat protein exclusively", but if the latter, nobody's suggesting that. Fats and carbs are important too. It's a proven aid to appetite control (alongside advice like drink more water, eat more green vegetables) - it may be that some people are clinically addicted to sugar, which would complicate things, or simply lack the willpower or desire to change the food items they're eating.

chikusho said:
I've never made that argument.
You can't choose what your body is going to do with what you put inside it, and people will get fatter or not as a result. Not enough to cause obesity, of course. There's plenty of eating that needs to be done in order for that to happen.
You said that somebody who's obese won't lose weight through starvation, and in fact will probably die at the same weight they were when alive. That's just plain incorrect.

I acknowledge that as humans there's variation in metabolic rate, food intolerances, etc, and that contributes to weight gain/loss. However, outside of a handful of legitimate medical conditions, us humans are similar enough to be able to predict pretty damn accurately the likely effects of putting a certain quantity of a certain substance inside of us - that's the basis of the entire field of medicine, after all. The Fat Acceptance movement likes to push the idea that we're all individuals with completely different body chemistry, but that's just willful ignorance dressed up in the appealing language of liberalism and individualism. Imagine living in a world where you had a headache, but taking an Aspirin had an equal chance of a) curing the headache, b) giving you a migraine instead, c) producing the effects of Viagra or d) killing you - hey, we can't tell, because everybody's body is a beautiful mystery that means we can't predict any biological outcomes! That's just not the case.
 

chikusho

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Batou667 said:
You said that somebody who's obese won't lose weight through starvation, and in fact will probably die at the same weight they were when alive. That's just plain incorrect.
I'm sorry if I expressed myself unclearly. I never intended to propose that caloric deficiency wouldn't work. What I'm saying is that, as an addiction, it's not just something you can quit.

I acknowledge that as humans there's variation in metabolic rate, food intolerances, etc, and that contributes to weight gain/loss. However, outside of a handful of legitimate medical conditions, us humans are similar enough to be able to predict pretty damn accurately the likely effects of putting a certain quantity of a certain substance inside of us - that's the basis of the entire field of medicine, after all.
Considering the differences in how people react to medicine, applying that same presumption to food shouldn't really be that foreign.

The Fat Acceptance movement likes to push the idea that we're all individuals with completely different body chemistry, but that's just willful ignorance dressed up in the appealing language of liberalism and individualism. Imagine living in a world where you had a headache, but taking an Aspirin had an equal chance of a) curing the headache, b) giving you a migraine instead, c) producing the effects of Viagra or d) killing you - hey, we can't tell, because everybody's body is a beautiful mystery that means we can't predict any biological outcomes! That's just not the case.
First off, see above. Secondly, fat people are like a minority that isn't defended by any legislation. The social pressure alone would be enough for some people to kill themselves. And to that you might add a fat family which not only would encourage eating unhealthy, but also ridicule any effort to get thinner. The obesity epidemic has a lot of causes, some genetic, some environmental. But none of them are helped by the kind of fat shaming discussed in this thread. You don't just kick an addiction by stopping. Because if it was that easy, everyone would be straight and sober for all of eternity.
 

Yan007

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chikusho said:
The social pressure alone would be enough for some people to kill themselves. And to that you might add a fat family which not only would encourage eating unhealthy, but also ridicule any effort to get thinner.
Ironically, fat people are already slowly killing themselves so we might as well try and do something about it.

The biggest victims (hurt hurrr hurrrrr) of fat people are their children though. If I walked around with a needle poking children and making them weak, giving them diabetes and shortening their lifespan by tens of years I'd rightfully be called a monster. It's funny though if I did the same using a fork and cakes then I'm in my right to do so and telling me otherwise would hurt my feelings.

Fat people create more victims (their children). Let's stop the abuse together.
 

ILikeEggs

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giles said:
I read your posts, but it's they're so full of rhetoric and so lacking in substance... also the way you phrase them (in the whole "THE NAYSAYERS DONT WANT TO HEAR THE TRUTH" kind of way) makes you sound like some conspiracy theory lunatic. Or just some random dude who just repeats what a book he read once said.

Try giving actual evidence rather than writing an opinion piece and people like me will be overjoyed to hear you out.
Here are some articles.

Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet:
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0708681

Low-carbohydrate diet burns more excess liver fat than low-calorie diet:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/newsroom/news-releases/year-2009/low-carbohydrate-diet-burns-more-excess-liver-fat-than-low-calorie-diet-study-finds.html

Effects of a high-protein, low-carb ketogenic diet vs. a high-protein, moderate carb non-ketogenic diet:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18175736
After reading this one, just imagine how much worse a high-carb calorie-restricted diet would fare against the low-carb diet.

The human microbiome and obesity:
http://science.time.com/2013/08/29/you-are-your-bacteria-how-the-gut-microbiome-influences-health/

https://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/The_Human_Gut_Microbiome_and_Obesity
 

Ninmecu

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giles said:
Ninmecu said:
And yet everyone seems to be completely glossing over my points and disregarding me out of hand. This must be what it feels like to be Gary Taubes.
I read your posts, but it's they're so full of rhetoric and so lacking in substance... also the way you phrase them (in the whole "THE NAYSAYERS DONT WANT TO HEAR THE TRUTH" kind of way) makes you sound like some conspiracy theory lunatic. Or just some random dude who just repeats what a book he read once said.

Try giving actual evidence rather than writing an opinion piece and people like me will be overjoyed to hear you out.
Fine, pick your poison. Which kinds of evidence and in what forms do you want? I already posted a handful of videos, most articles on the internet are opinion pieces or interpretations of the science and quite honestly it does feel like people just refuse to hear the truth. I don't care how tinfoil hat it makes me sound, if you watch a handful of documentaries on nutrition and nutritional science they double talk so much and dance around the issues. It would be hilarious if it weren't for the fact that we've got an epidemic that can be traced back to the dietary changes pushed forward by the USDA.
 

Dastardly

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senordesol said:
It seems like a rather strange obsession.

I'm a rather rotund gentleman myself, and I recognize that is going to be a medical issue at some point. That said, I'm able to function normally in every day society, I work, I go home to my family, I contribute, and I pay my taxes.

The hell are people so concerned about my waistline for?
Sorry to single out just your comment, but it's more the sentiment I'm addressing -

I don't think the honestly-concerned folks are worrying all that much about you in particular. The PSA in question is more about getting to parents (and teachers, too!) who may be allowing or even encouraging unhealthy habits. Kids are too young to know better, but habits established that young can feel nearly impossibly to break.

This PSA does not equate all "bigness" with obesity due to overeating/underexercising, but it highlights that one particular category. Parents who feed their kids junk and let them sit around and do nothing are, in fact, teaching their children a lifestyle that is pretty much guaranteed to lead to a wide variety of health problems.

The "being big" is just the most visible symptom. Vitamin deficiencies, poor balance, lack of endurance, sleep problems, and the "headliners" like heart disease and diabetes all result from that lifestyle (whether or not the individual in question *seems* all that "big").

So, this isn't about adults consciously and knowingly choosing how they will live. This is about adults unconsciously choosing how children will live, and about providing them information that might just lead to a healthier choice.
 

The White Hunter

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It's an education problem, like many of the problems that plague our society.

People need to be taught how to feed themselves properly and satisfy themselves without gorging on junk. As well as balancing in physical activities.

Eat tasty fruit and wholegrain stuff, granola and other such things can be good for this. More fruit, more vegetables, lean meat, etc. It's just a balancing act.

Yeah it can be more complex in some cases, but most people are just ignorant due to poor education structures. Thats changing in my country but schools are only part of the education process for kids. Obesity will become less of a problem, but it'll take a generation or two for it to really change.

senordesol said:
I can't have eggs, and I don't like fish. What else ya got?
Tasty juicy steak.
 

josemlopes

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senordesol said:
bjj hero said:
In that case youre the first person Ive met where diet and exercise are everything in their life. It does not make anything I said any less true.
I'm only suggesting one thing you said isn't true: the 'not that hard' part.

Are there things you do that keep you from going to the gym -things that you might enjoy? You'd better drop 'em.

Can't afford a gym? Better work harder so you can.

Like to unwind the end of the week with a burger and a beer? Not anymore, tubbo.

Going from big to fit requires a constant awareness, motivation, and discipline to make and *not* make certain choices each and every day. This cannot be argued. It requires the forgoing of many things you might have found pleasurable in favor of things that require considerable effort, time, discipline, and even pain.

Getting fit if presently unfit essentially becomes a second job, except it can take years to see any payoff.
You are basicly excusing the fact that just because it demands some effort its not worth doing for you.

You dont want to change your routine and already accepted that as your default way of living (one that isnt very healthy).
What about a mugger, having a job takes effort and time so are they should keep stealling because its easier for them?

Even I went through the opposite from being incredibly skinny to being average weight (never had much appetite and still dont, eating too much still makes me feel notious but I have to do the effort). And your previous comment "It's NOT that easy for everyone", I guess it isnt if you cant even drop a burger and a beer at the end of the week. The other guy was fat too but for some magical reason got it easier then you, I guess. Its like he simply bought a ticket and won the "Get fit" lottery.

Its even insulting because you are saying that the effort that he made wasnt even something to be proud about since it was "that easy".
 

zhoominator

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Yan007 said:
Ironically, fat people are already slowly killing themselves so we might as well try and do something about it.

The biggest victims (hurt hurrr hurrrrr) of fat people are their children though. If I walked around with a needle poking children and making them weak, giving them diabetes and shortening their lifespan by tens of years I'd rightfully be called a monster. It's funny though if I did the same using a fork and cakes then I'm in my right to do so and telling me otherwise would hurt my feelings.

Fat people create more victims (their children). Let's stop the abuse together.
Slowly killing themselves? Yeah, very damn slowly, in fact it barely counterbalances the increase in life expectancy of the last 20 years. Also, tens of years is making it sound a lot more than it really is. Hell, 10 years is generally the shortened span one would expect of a morbidly obese person. Not an overweight person, not even an obese person, but a morbidly obese person.

I also take issue with your assumption that fat people will also give rise to fat children. Why do you assume this to be the case? I imagine that it's because of the age-old assumption that people are fat almost entirely because they are lazy and eat poor quality food. It's this issue that I take offense to.

My parents are both fat. Not morbidly obese fat, but still fat. Yet both my sister and I are average weight (well, my BMI says I'm slightly overweight but I also have a lot of muscle mass and my body fat percentage is very healthy). My parents didn't feed us junk and they didn't eat junk in order to be good role models for us. Thing is, my parents ate too much and exercised too little but is wasn't necessarily down to laziness. They spent every hour that they weren't at work with us or keeping the house. They are losing weight now, but that's prbably because neither of us live at home any more and thus they've been spending that time they've freed up becoming more active. Sometimes it's a matter of priorities. If it were a choice for them having an hour extra with us in a day or an hour in the gym, it would be us pretty much every time. And you try and tell me that they are shitty parents?

The other thing is that people talk about illnesses that factor into obesity but only ever talk about physical problems. Nobody does this with anorexia, nor do they refer to it as a "lifestyle choice" that is a drain on the system. They treat it for what it is, a mental illness. People forget that mental illness plays a significant part in obesity too. In the same way people get hooked on other substances, people can get hooked on sugar (hell, a lot of sugary products are designed such that people will develop cravings). People with anxiety and depression will often develop comfort eating habits which end up as hard to shake as the mental illnesses themselves because the two become linked (my mum, for example, has found that the thing that has helped most with her losing weight was seeing a therapist who has helped her understand the roots of her anxiety and over-eating). Although, considering how piss poor we are in handling mental illness in media and as a society, this probably shouldn't be shocking.

Another thing people fail to consider when comparing drinking and smoking is that shaming has become only a small part in the reduction of people doing it. In the UK you aren't actually allowed to advertise cigarettes almost anywhere (hell, you weren't even allowed to have people smoking on TV programmes for a time, though you are allowed to now I believe) and even where you are, they must be small ads which are covered in health warnings. I reckon this has had a big impact in this regard. Yet we don't see an restrictions for McDonalds or other unhealthy foods, hell until fairly recently they advertised frequently on KIDS channels. Could you imagine if they did that with smoking? There'd be an uproar! Not to mention any legislation that people try to push through about ANY health warning on packaging gets immediately beaten down.

People complain about double-standards with smoking being socially unacceptable and obesity being less socially unacceptable, but it's only really a double standard if all other variables are the same. If fast food chains and companies that produce junk food had the same advertising restrictions that smoking companies have, I could perhaps buy that argument. Oh, and don't bother telling me that advertising doesn't play a big factor in what people buy because you "don't really pay attention to advertising" because you'd be a liar. Unless most of what you buy is either unbranded or a barely advertised brand, that argument won't even hold water for you, let alone the population at large.
 

carnex

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Well, here is a word from a fat person. Now not so fat, but morbidly fat for a while (132kg, 174cm, heavy manual work at the time).

All this noise about people being fat shames is laughable. I was and am fat (thankfully my fat goes around so i can be morbidly obese and still very active. My knees payed the price tho, they snap now at smallest provocation) and I was laughed at and yelled at. And you know what, since I chose to be fat (i can bring my weight down, it's just that i love eating like a pig and it brings me emotional comfort in hard times which is bloody often) i have to deal with consequences. Just because I could carry 30kg packages on my shoulder up and down ladders didn't made me any less fat, just less prone to some medical complications coming from weight (and more prone to others, as I mentioned my knees already. My ankles fared a bit better but they know to hurt like MF too)

Being fat is both health and social determent. If anything, fat acceptance is BS. It' not that I'm advocating for shaming and yelling at fat people all day long. What I'm advocating is for people to take some bloody responsibility for their actions. Nobody can stop you from eating like a pig (on whatever basis people are overeating) but everything comes with a price. Social price in this case. From not being attractive to being seen as lazy (often true), untrustworthy (well I don't know about that), nice person (again mostly true) but unreliable (again mostly true) etc.
 

conmag9

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I'm definitely obese. I don't hate myself or my weight, but I do want to change that (purely in the interests of my own health. Society's obsession with beauty makes me smile bemused at the silliness). So I walk when I can, try and cut back on less healthy foods. Doesn't always happen, but progress is being made. My reaction to this debate is, as in so many cases on so many topics, based on the context of "advice" offered. If someone goes out of their way to give me excercise tips, I might be slightly annoyed at the intrusion into my privacy, but if they're polite about it and don't go any further, no harm done. If they're ranting about how my basic existence is a "disgusting blight upon society", yes, my reaction is going to be considerably more blunt. The idea that "you're just not trying" is a concept that needs to die in a fire. People have varying levels of willpower, and trying to undo years of bad living is admirable but difficult. It isn't going to happen instantly.

I don't believe in "scare them straight" tactics. To those with lower self-esteem, that just sets off self-destructive spirals, generally places people in a bad mood, and aren't necessary for the vast majority of people who DO have the self-esteem to take the advice properly. Instead, emphasize the positive aspects of loosing weight in a subtle way. Don't use sledgehammer tactics of "eat better, more energy" or whatnot, but be supportive of efforts to loose weight, help establish reasonable goals, and most of all only get as involved as you are wanted.
 

maxben

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Ihateregistering1 said:
maxben said:
Ihateregistering1 said:
Now, for all of the people who keep saying "well it's none of your business if someone is fat or not!": sorry, but BS. If you live in any modern nation on the planet, tax dollars help pay for your healthcare (and yes, this includes the United States), and in some they literally pay for all of it. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more established and well-documented scientific fact than "obesity increases the risk for multiple diseases and health issues". The obese rack up larger medical bills than the non-obese (yes, even with shorter lifespans), they are twice as likely to file disability claims, and miss an astounding 12 times as many work days as the non-obese (US data at least). Everyone pays taxes, therefore it is everyone's business.
That's ridiculous. You pay tax money in general, but you don't get to have a personal say in which roads get fixed. Just because rural roads are less useful and cost more to build and maintain, you don't get to whine about it (I mean, you can, freedom of speech and all that, but you are not morally in the right). That is just not how taxes are meant to work. You should never use taxes to undermine individual freedom in this way, that is ridiculous and just goes to prove the libertarian position and is anti-liberal.

And anyhow, I personally would like old people and disabled people to be refused medical attention for money reasons first. Sure they didn't choose it, but if you're telling me that the point is the bottom line of me having to pay money for it through my taxes then it should be my business if they receive healthcare.
You're confusing a few things here.

"That is just not how taxes are meant to work. You should never use taxes to undermine individual freedom in this way,"
This would work if individual freedom wasn't already infringed upon quite regularly by Governments. If we lived in a truly libertarian society, your tax dollars would only pay for the Military, Police, Courts, and Basic Infrastructure. Your logic, for example, says that people have no right to know how welfare money, or food stamp money, or public education money is spent. Yes we do, it's OUR money.

Likewise, I never said anything about "undermining" individual freedom, like banning fatty foods or penalizing the overweight, I simply pointed out that, when you do something that costs taxpayers more money, it is, in fact our business. And I'd make the same argument with smoking, extreme sports, excessive alcohol consumption, etc.

"And anyhow, I personally would like old people and disabled people to be refused medical attention for money reasons first"
Pretty much irrelevant. There is nothing anyone can do to stop from getting old (short of suicide) and for the most part there's not much people can do to avoid being disabled. On the other hand, the vast majority of people who are obese cannot lay the blame on genetics or disease (the most liberal estimate I've ever seen of this is that around 8% actually have legit medical excuses for obesity).

So interesting question: since we don't decide how every dime of tax money is spent, but we do elect the representatives who spend it, if we elected a representative who ran on the platform of denying Government provided healthcare to obese people, would you therefore say that's ok? I mean, we're spending the tax dollars the way a representative government should (by your definition), correct?
You're confusing a few things. In a libertarian society no one pays taxes, and I am sorry but the majority of people do not want your society. Government is not infringing if it is welcome, and it is no matter what extremists say. Sure we all whine about it, but the majority have no interest in dismantling it. And no, I think you should know in general how the pie is cut up but I don't think you should be allowed to vote on how welfare money is spent because what do you know about the proper way to spend welfare money? If you aren't on the dole, your lack of interest ruins your objectivity (I know that this sounds weird because interest tends to ruin objectivity, but we all know the reality of this).

It doesn't matter, if the bottom line is the ethical boundary than whether you are costing money by fault of your own is irrelevant to the moral calculus. I don't see how you can unite fault and bottom line into a consistent moral/political position. However, if you want to accept that you are inconsistent go for it. The majority of political thought is incredibly inconsistent. By itself it does not "disprove" your opinion, though I don't think anything can disprove an opinion.

Lastly, are you kidding me? I never said anything about a representative government. Most Western governments have a concept of their existence to ensure the good of all citizens. It is often part of Constitutions, but in a liberal democracy it is inherent. Would I support a government refusing to build infrastructure for rural populations? No, because thy are undermining their basic directive. How they choose to do that, what companies they use, the timelines they build, it is up to them, and it is up to affected populations to tell the rest of us if their needs are not being met.