Fat shaming vs. necessary dialouge on obesity

Eddie the head

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senordesol said:
How'd she 'get away' with anything?
I'm sorry to butt in on this, but frankly that's not the point. It's that she tried to use it as an excuse(emphasis on excuse) to get away with anything.
 

Ninmecu

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Mike Lemond said:
thaluikhain said:
What is this "necessary dialouge" the title mentions? That fat people are a disgusting blight on society and shouldn't exist?
More accurately, obese people are a disgusting blight on society and shouldn't exist.

Nothing wrong with having a few extra pounds, but when you get into the obese territory, there's no reason for it. People should have at least enough respect for themselves to not neglect their own bodies so flagrantly.

If you like to go with the argument that most obese people are genetically predisposed to be fat, let me stop you right there. According to Wikipedia, the obesity rate in America in the 60's was 12%. In 2010, the obesity rate was 35%. Did all those people gain the "fat gene" within two generations? Are only obese people breeding? I am no statistician, but I would guess the answer is no to both questions.

The decisions you make affect not only yourself, but the people around you. Your friends and family, the people at work or school, etc. Obesity is a decision, and one that no human being should consider.

tl;dr: Put down the French fries, spend a few minutes on the treadmill.

I love it when people throw that statistic around but never bother to do any research into the changes that occurred during that same time frame. In the 1960's there was a lobby reform based around the observational study done by one Ancel Keys, which stated with a graph that the higher dietary fat in a countries population, the higher the heart disease rate. It was a clearly unmistakeable line pattern. The hook? He threw out 16 countries in his 22 country study because it didn't show the direct correlation that he wanted to put forward. His reward for this bit of scientific voodoo, was to become a part of the American Heart Associations board of directors, meaning suddenly overnight the AHA decided the "Heart Healthy Benefits" of a low fat high carb diet would be spread across America. The problem? No clinical studies have ever shown a direct correlation between Dietary Fat intake and increased CHD and CVD.(Heart Disease and Cardiovascular disease.) So suddenly overnight we went from a population that ate high fat and restricted carbohydrate intake to the occasional treat, to basing our entire diets on it.

I'll fully admit up front this is a grossly over simplified explanation and I intend to create a forum topic on the subject at a later date because the amount of misinformation being spread these days is honestly horrifying. We all like to think we know what's what but very rarely do any of us put in the effort to read up on the history that lead to a certain theory becoming Dogma.
 

mrdude2010

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I think it's good to leave an obese person alone as long as they know they're fat, and are either comfortable paying a huge price increase on health insurance premiums, the way a heavy smoker might, or are actively working on improving themselves.

You have to disillusion some people though. It's not an "image" thing, it's a "you're going to die because you're horrifically unhealthy" thing. At a certain point, it's not about society's image of beauty, it's about being the increasingly narrow diameter of your arteries. I get that it's harder for some people to find the motivation or results they want, and there are a few conditions which cause essentially uncontrollable obesity (a lot of the fat people you see on carts were thin, lost the ability to exercise, and gained a lot of weight; they're fat because they're disabled, not disabled because they're fat), but if you don't have one of those conditions, I can't see how you can justify being that unhealthy and not trying to do something about it. I gained some weight when I was depressed, and I hated walking by mirrors. One of the first things I did when I could regularly get out of bed was start exercising again.
 

The Lunatic

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Remarkably, the laws of thermodynamics apply to all creatures.

Energy can neither be created or destroyed.

If you eat something, anything that energy has to go somewhere.

Be it used for movement of subsistence or stored as fat.

Fat has to come from something, it cannot just form. You cannot just gain weight from eating 1500 calories a day. It's simply impossible.
 

Blow_Pop

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I have the problem with that video that it's a very one dimensional video that basically seems to say "if you indulge in food you'll get fat and die" as the underlying message. And that's not the only thing that will do it. Not to mention that a lot of doctors unfortunately still use BMI charts to tell if someone is obese or not when they are inaccurate as shit. If I lost the weight that I "SHOULD" be at, I'd look like I'm starving myself and not eating enough. Like you'd see my ribs in detail. And I wouldn't look nor feel healthy (been there, done that though I was still technically "overweight" because muscle isn't counted in that and I had a shit ton of muscle back then, still have a fair bit but....).

Then there's the individual everyone thinks obese as different things. My doctor tells me I'm perfectly healthy minus my cholesterol being a touch on the high side (i've modified my diet some to help bring it down) however, that said, I've been told numerous times by (both health professionals and non health professionals) people that I am grossly obese because I'm bigger than a size 10 in women's jeans (but that's neither here nor there since I don't wear women's jeans anymore because they don't fucking fit properly anyway). Part of that is because I live in Southern California. An hour and a half away from Los Angeles. So because I'm not really thin with huge boobs I'm "obese" to the general population.

It fails to address the fact that mental health can contribute to obesity (I have depression I go from eating nothing to eat all the things because my brain's fucked up). And that your family history can contribute to obesity. Not only that but there are diseases and things that can cause it and no amount of exercise and diet will fix. It's a terribly one sided video feeding into the stigma/stereotype that people have about obesity.

Now, all of that aside, it's hard to work to change a routine. Sometimes people can't (mental health issues etc). Some people can. However, it's not something you should bring up. Someone's weight is between them and their doctor. Not you. Unless you're their spouse. I can't tell you how many times that I've been accosted in public and given weight lectures. Its fucking demeaning. I'm doing things that my doctor and therapist both say are good for me. So what if I don't go to the gym regularly or even have a gym membership? So what if YOU never see me exercise. My routines are MY business. I do more than people give me credit for.

So for me, this is a very iffy topic. I know a lot of people who have chronic illness conditions that make them unable to exercise or do this thing or that thing. They appear as obese to most people, however (and these are open people who blog about their doctors appointments and stuff and sometimes text me updates), for them they are as healthy as they CAN be. But because of the culture we live in they constantly get the "necessary dialogues on obesity" which usually wind up being lectures on their weight from people they don't even know who don't know them.

For that matter, why do we have such the major focus on obesity and not other eating disorders which are just as, if not more deadly, than obesity?

giles said:
And you know what? It makes me a lot happier.
That's great for you, it doesn't do that for everyone

You know what? It feels good to be fit. It feels good to be strong and muscular. It feels good to exercise, precisely because it's hard. It's satisfying to push through. This is something you have to LEARN when you pick up exercising - don't listen to the voice that tells you to stop. It's a lie, your limit is way higher.
While that's great and fine for you, it's not for everyone. It doesn't feel good for me to exercise. It hurts and aggravates my bad knee and ankle and prior back injuries I've had. It aggravates my asthma. Anything that makes it hard to breathe and not only that but HURT to breathe doesn't feel good to me. I do have things that make me feel good (like what I had for dinner--frozen grapes) but none of them involve exercise. I understand there are people like you who have this mindset but not everyone does. As stated above, I suffer from depression. Do you know how hard it is to NOT listen to that voice in your head telling you how worthless you are, how much everyone hates you, and how no matter what you do even exercise that you're never going to achieve your goals and you should just kill yourself now and save everyone the pain is? Some days, getting out of bed deserves a damn achievement because of how much I have to fight myself to do so. But depression is one of those things that can contribute to weight issues.
 

MoltenSilver

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It's been briefly touched on by a few other posts, but the thing that I can't help but notice is how little the part endorphins plays in this has been brought up; if someone gets their joy from eating, then you are only going to get them to change by 1) finding some replacement that provides the same feeling, or 2) over their dead body. Speaking as someone with clinical depression (not related to weight issues, but I think it can still demonstrate a point), I know that feeling; if you placed a person who relies on food for their endorphin rush in a world where suddenly it was impossible for them to consume those brain-tingling foods, either one of 2 things would happen: in the best case they'd pick up another vice or in the worst case they'd just shut down mentally. It is incredibly easy to fall into the point you start saying to yourself "I enjoy nothing about my life. Why should I put effort into anything, heck why should I even get out of bed, I don't get anything out of life."

Almost no one is ignorant of the health effects of obesity at this point, much less the way society judges them. Everything we do is for a reason, including people continuing to overeat and not work out: it's filling a need for them they're not getting elsewhere. This applies equally to time-management: even 'wasting time' is filling a need. You can't just 'squeeze in' time to exercise, there's only 24 hours in a day and making time for exercising means giving up something else.

Of course, the most common response to this is the "runner's high", but the fact is that's just not good enough for most cases. They don't come immediately, and they don't come at all for some people. As stated above, endorphins are a need for your brain to function, just like air and water; you can't just 'go without them' for a time on the vague hope at some intangible point in the future exercising can replace it.

So, on the one hand we have the loss of endorphins overeating gives, and on the other hand we have the pain of exercise. Is it any wonder countless people wake up, weigh the nebulous (of course from a theory-crafting standpoint its very real, but your brain just doesn't care) concept of health against the very real concept of desire, joy, and pain, think about what activities they have to put aside to get healthier, about how they're going to suffer for the rest of their life for minimal results, and just think "Fuck That."?

On a personal note, while I agree that obesity can't just be ignored in the same way you'd prompt someone bleeding to get medical help, there is some degree of tact that needs to be taken when addressing the issue, even in the positive end: I wound up losing a lot of weight due to my depression due to the fact I just plain stopped eating a lot of the time. Being complimented on losing weight when the reason is because you're doing something just as unhealthy tends to perpetuate said unhealthy behavior.
 

Batou667

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Could I just interject and ask if anybody has a concrete definition of "shaming", as it relates to "fat shaming"? (No, not a snarky copy-paste from dictionary.com, I'm capable of doing that myself). Because as far as I can see, in this kind of discussion, "shaming" in the social justice sense of the word seems to be a catch-all descriptor for literally any unwanted, inconvenient or embarrassing comment, sentiment or information, regardless of the intent, veracity or helpfulness.

Personally I found the video quite effective and certainly less cheap and sensationalised than I had been led to believe. I get that it could make some people acutely uncomfortable about their own lifestyles, but that's kinda the point. As a YouTube commenter for that video puts it: "Yes, this video's real purpose is to scare people into being healthy. Do you know why? Because being nice isn't cutting it." I think that's crucial: for all the Fat Acceptance movement's talk about how the mildest criticism makes fat people comfort-eat to excess (they were doing that before the criticism, too...) people need a wake-up call if they're going to make substantial and long-term changes.

Obesity is a disease and Fat Acceptance are anti-vaccers.
 

chikusho

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Something to remember is that it's almost impossible to be cured from obesity.

The only known ways of curing it is basically surgery, or developing an eating disorder on the opposite side of the spectrum.
People who go from being obese to maintaining a healthy weight are a disappearingly small percentage. In fact, over 80 percent of people who try both with exercise and dieting will weigh more than their starting weight after five years.

That's of course no reason not to make an effort of living healthier. But it's important that people know about this before passing judgement.
 

giles

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chikusho said:
Something to remember is that it's almost impossible to be cured from obesity.

The only known ways of curing it is basically surgery, or developing an eating disorder on the opposite side of the spectrum.
People who go from being obese to maintaining a healthy weight are a disappearingly small percentage. In fact, over 80 percent of people who try both with exercise and dieting will weigh more than their starting weight after five years.

That's of course no reason not to make an effort of living healthier. But it's important that people know about this before passing judgement.
Got anything to back that up or are we just making shit up now?
 

Tsukuyomi

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That PSA....is...not anything bad. It's a good thing to point out not just to the parents but to those of us who are overweight ourselves. I am, and unfortunately it's proving difficult to start being better about things. That's not 'fat shaming' or anything else like it. It's a simple message with a good point.

Now yes, there's something to be said about conforming body-types and whatnot, but that's not what the thing is saying. The thing is talking about the argument you CAN'T shift aside by complaining about societal standards on body types: the health risks. Which the health risks are something worth talking about and something that NEEDS to be talked about.

I know I'll never be skinny, or at least that it seems unlikely. But losing SOME weight would probably be very good for me, and if I had the time and money I'd be kicking my own ass across the gym five times a day if I had to for that to happen. I'm aware I have a problem, and I DO want to fix it. This doesn't shame me, it doesn't make me feel guilty. It reminds me of something I already know and is already in my mind and I'm thankful for the reminder. Who's fault it is, when this started, all that stuff....for me, it's stupid to focus on that. That doesn't matter right now. What matters is making a change. Piss on who to blame, put your emphasis on how to fix things. It's not doing it for society's standards, it's doing it so you live longer and better.
 

Lotet

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Batou667 said:
I get that it could make some people acutely uncomfortable about their own lifestyles, but that's kinda the point. As a YouTube commenter for that video puts it: "Yes, this video's real purpose is to scare people into being healthy. Do you know why? Because being nice isn't cutting it." I think that's crucial: for all the Fat Acceptance movement's talk about how the mildest criticism makes fat people comfort-eat to excess (they were doing that before the criticism, too...) people need a wake-up call if they're going to make substantial and long-term changes.
What I need is motivation, a good reason. Because I'm over 300 pounds with no heart conditions. My fat gives me low stamina and gets me ridicule but it also made me naturally stronger than anyone who didn't train their strength. I'm not saying it has made me particularly strong but I'm definitely stronger than I would be otherwise. With my physical labor job for over 5 years and the fact I had to walk to school for most my life gave me a workout without working out and, well, the thought that if I was skinny and weak like my brother seems so horrible. The thought that I wouldn't have been able to fight the bullies who picked on the nerds, how awful. I don't know how other people cope with being so powerless.

I'm an introvert who hasn't had any health issues(none related to weight anyway), looking good hardly seems worth the effort. What motivation could people give me to change my life so drastically? Maybe when I'm 50 I'll give it a second thought.
 

tehroc

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senordesol said:
Reducing the problem to "Put down the French fries, spend a few minutes on the treadmill." is bullshit. It's bullshit and you damn well know it!

It is that fucking easy dude. Secret to losing weight is to eat less calories then you use on a daily basis. Visit a Caloric Maintenance Calculator on the internet. Pay attention to your daily caloric intake (That can of soda you just had is 150 calories, that's over a mile for me on a treadmill). Get your intake to say 300 calories below your maintenance and you WILL lose weight.

It requires to change practically EVERYTHING about who you are. It requires you to give up just about everything you enjoy (Pleasure eating and sedentary activities); and replace it by torturing yourself with exhaustive exercise and unsatisfying nourishment (while your body fights you every step of the way). And you have to do this for years --for the rest of your life in some cases.
Keep telling yourself this and accept it, it's easier this way. Taking the easy route is most likely what got you into your overweight predicament. It's just straight laziness.
 

Piorn

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It really boils down to parents not keeping their kids in line, yeah.
If you teach a baby's body to prefer overly sweet, fatty and fiberless food, it's body will demand more and never stop.
If you can't say no to a child, you can't raise a child.
 

Batou667

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Lotet said:
What I need is motivation, a good reason. Because I'm over 300 pounds with no heart conditions. My fat gives me low stamina and gets me ridicule but it also made me naturally stronger than anyone who didn't train their strength. I'm not saying it has made me particularly strong but I'm definitely stronger than I would be otherwise. With my physical labor job for over 5 years and the fact I had to walk to school for most my life gave me a workout without working out and, well, the thought that if I was skinny and weak like my brother seems so horrible. The thought that I wouldn't have been able to fight the bullies who picked on the nerds, how awful. I don't know how other people cope with being so powerless.

I'm an introvert who hasn't had any health issues(none related to weight anyway), looking good hardly seems worth the effort. What motivation could people give me to change my life so drastically? Maybe when I'm 50 I'll give it a second thought.
It's great that you're physically active and don't have any health issues yet. However, I don't think we have to make a choice between "big and strong" and "little and weak" - in fact I think most people could probably benefit from getting more active, more strong, and packing on a bit more lean muscle, both for the health benefits and because it's aesthetically pleasing. And, excess fat will almost always hamper those kind of health goals once you get above a certain bodyfat threshold. It'll slow you down when you run or swim, it makes bodyweight exercises and calisthenics artificially difficult, it shortens your range of movement when weight lifting. You want to be big and strong, that's great, but fat is your enemy, not your friend.

What motivation could I give you? Possibly nothing particularly immediate. It's true that there's no such thing as somebody who's both obese and healthy, it raises your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, and although you might be young and fit now, one day that'll catch up with you. Another motivating factor might be getting into great physical condition and building a strong, functional and attractive body - even if you're an introvert, you must surely get some satisfaction from improving yourself; even if the only person who sees you naked is yourself, even if you work out alone in your garage. And heck, if one day you decide you want to meet new people and try new activities, being healthy and in a normal weight range will give you the broadest possible choice of activities you can do comfortably, not to mention having an athletic build makes a great first impression.

Ultimately any lifestyle change has to be for yourself. If somebody doesn't want to change, that's fine. I only have a problem with the people spreading misinformation and downplaying the very real risks of obesity, legitimising childhood obesity, etc.
 

BiscuitTrouser

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See i think the core of the "fat shaming" movement has a good point:

Not everyones body should look the exact same to qualify as healthy. Some people are bigger than others, not moving into obesity, but generally normal looking people who are slightly larger than the mannequins and advertising models lead us to believe is "ideal". Primarch had protuding ribs on its mannequins a while back. Thats the attitude the anti fat shaming movement is trying to fight. Telling people to be SKINNY SKINNY SKINNY isnt the way to combat obesity. You just create a huge range of other body issues.

What anyone SHOULD do is:

Ask themselves if they are a healthcare professional
If they are not, consider if the person they are judging is blatently 100% obese to the point of a health issue.
If the issue isnt cut and dry recommend they SEE a doctor who can properly evaluate the ideal weight for that person.
If the issue is cut and dry STILL recommend a health professional to address the problem constructively and whose JOB it is to find a method that helps the patient rather than "lose weight fatty".

The point of anti fat shaming is if your BMI is 25 you wont resemble mannequins or models at all, yet your BMI is perfectly fine and in the borderline healthy range. Theres no need to make these people feel awful for not being the pinnacle of fitness. Making obese people hate themselves is also a sure fire way to reinforce the comfort eating cycle as well. The emphasis on anti SHAMING is important. Fight obesity by all means, encourage better dialogue with health professionals to do so. Dont make someone hate themselves to try and motivate them. Its probably not going to work.

If all this fails and someone just doesnt give a fuck? Move on and find someone who does, let them realise the error of their ways personally. You cant force someone to care against their will.
 

Souther Thorn

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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?
Because we love you and don't want you to end up being taken from your family in an ambulance or having to go on a drastic program to correct diabetes. That might be your business, but I want you to look at your children (if you have any) your SO (if you have one), and tell them 'I know this is going to be a medical issue at some point, but I'm managing and it's no ones business but my own' and then repeat it if/when you're on a gurney and if/when you're in the hospital.

I think you're worth more than that and I don't even fucking know you.
I hope you think you're worth more than those possible outcomes.
 

Batou667

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senordesol said:
Reducing the problem to "Put down the French fries, spend a few minutes on the treadmill." is bullshit. It's bullshit and you damn well know it!

...

It requires to change practically EVERYTHING about who you are. It requires you to give up just about everything you enjoy (Pleasure eating and sedentary activities); and replace it by torturing yourself with exhaustive exercise and unsatisfying nourishment (while your body fights you every step of the way). And you have to do this for years --for the rest of your life in some cases.
Losing weight may not be easy, but it is simple. Eat less, or move more, or ideally both.

Would that change "practically EVERYTHING" about you? If you define yourself primarily by how much you eat and how little you exercise, that's pretty damn sad. Do you consider the volume of food you consume to be a personality trait? One of your defining values? Is it one of the most interesting things about you? If so, that's sad.

Torturing yourself with exhaustive exercise? Oh please, where's that tiny violin when you need it. Firstly, exercise can be anything from hiking to cycling to dancing to martial arts to weightlifting. I guarantee you there's SOMETHING you'd enjoy doing. Secondly, things that are worth doing are seldom fun all the time. Thirdly, a one-hour workout represents 4% of your day - everybody has a spare hour they could be putting to good use.

Yes, being healthy and active is a lifelong pursuit. What were you expecting, a magic pill? Perhaps you should think less in terms of instant gratification?