HI! I'm actually headed out the door to work, but I wanted to put some food for thought up because this subject is so near and dear to me. I flip-flop between being overweight and obese (as defined by being 26% body fat or more) and it's a constant struggle. I work out 5 or 6 times a week and average 4500 calories a week being burned at the gym, but my problem is avoiding the constant barrage of sweet and fatty foods. I don't buy them but especially with the holidays, friends, family and neighbors have dropped of goodies. As far as the idea that i contribute to global warming because it takes me more gas to get around, I'd have to ask "where do i put the gas in my bicycle?" that's just a load of bollocks.
Fat is killing more Americans than smoking now. I can't make any comments about your size but you feel fine coughing around me when I light up?
It is a disease.
It does kill.
Do you empathize with my smoking?
I would like to ask this question. In the concentrations camps of WW2 both fat and skinny people were sent there. But, as archived news photos proved, only skinny people left. Does this not indicate that food has something to do with weight?
Hello I'm 12 years old and I'm am 65-70 lbs and I have been skinny all my life and I eat very heathy, I wanted to know what goals did you set for your self?
I just heard two guests talk about not liking the word Obese because it is a "medical term." This really surprises me. Are they not obese? Did they go to a doctor and have that doctor say "no, you are not obese."
Also, since these people have been able to become obese, do they not have some knowledge of what kinds of food people should stay away from? One of the guests said they eat better than non-obese people. I have been told that I am close to being obese (31 years old, 6'1" & 195 lbs) and I would really like to know how to stay away from the medical issues related with obesity. Is it beans, carrots, celery, lettuce, or tomatoes that are the culprit? Please help us all out.
Hi, I had to sit down and login after hearing the emailed comment about being the same weight as in High School and scolding the Fat for costing him money. I am a 61 yr old male and I too weigh what I did when I graduated HS in 1965 and have the same waist size. I can thank 35 years of being a vegetarian, a fast metabolism, close scrutiny of the content of what I eat, some self-control and that old favorite - stress induced loss of appetite. However, I do not share his feelings AT ALL! In grade school, before I "hit" puberty, I was overweight and have never quite forgotten being called "fatty, fatty, two by four...". Puberty changed things for me and I became taller and slim. When I see obese and especially morbidly obese people, I empathize with them and fear for their health and longevity, but, I DO NOT castigate them. You should worry about our health system as described by Michael Moore in "Sicko", not petty attack. You are missing the 'forest'.
I am like a caller who gained excessive weight as a consequence of taking prescription mediation. I had never been overweight in my life until age 50 years when a physician prescribed Progestin and Prozac for me. Within the next 12 months I gained over 100 lbs. Although I stopped taking this medications about 2 years ago. I am now 66 years old and although I work out at the gym 3 x/week and swim 3/4 mile 2 x/week. I am generally healthy but disgusted with my appearance. I am depressed about how I look but I will never agree to taking antidepressants again.
I agree with the comment about the poisen food that we are surrounded by. It takes major effort to find foods that are truely healthy for you.
96% of what is at a grocery store is not healthy. The contents of restaurant food is absolutely disgusting. Much is engineered to taste good, using the cheapest ingredients possible. No one talks about alkalinity and how the pH balance of your body creates disease and traps fat. Most common food is extremely acid. Each person must educate themselves and not assume that even organic food from Whole Foods is good for you. Get alkaline pH and lose fat and disease. News flash: It will take effort - but be worth it.
I listened with interest to the people on the show who all mostly agreed that being fat is not a choice. I realize that for some, genetics play into it, but you still have a choice. Every time you park as close as possible to the store instead of walking from the back of the parking lot, that's a choice. Every time you take the elevator instead of the stairs, that's a choice. Every time you eat a burger instead of a salad, that's a choice. Small changes over time can make a huge difference. I speak as someone who is currently overweight and has been for about 5 years now. I have lost weight at times by making these small changes. It is hard, but it can be done with lots of support from your loved ones. I am currently overweight again, and it is a choice. I choose to eat a hamburger and drink a beer instead of having a salad and water. I choose to play with my kids instead of going to the gym alone. I am happy with these choices. I come from a family of almost 100% obese people, and know that I am genetically predisposed to that body type, but if it's important enough to you, most people can do something about it. It's up to you to be candid with yourself if you want to go through the effort or not. Be fat if you want (like me!), but be honest about it.
I listened to your program this morning and it made me think of how obesity affects us in our lives.
I work with a man who is easily 550 lbs. if not more. He talks about how there are comments made about him when he is in public and how people stare at him. No one wants that kind of attention and I sympathize with him. When he talks about how he is picked on at work for not getting enough done and how our boss watches his every move, I draw the line. I have observed how his obesity has affected everyone in our work environment. Tasks take 3 times longer to do because he cannot move as quickly as an average sized person. He cannot stand for long periods of time, so uses a chair to maneuver himself around our work place. He calls in sick at least once a week, and often times sent home because of obesity related health issues (too disgusting to mention), thus in turn, others have to pick up his work load, putting a strain on the staff.
My husband and I have lived a healthy and active life. Unfortunately, my husband was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 44. When I mention that he has diabetes most people are surprised and then follow with "you guys eat so well and are very active!" Then I have to explain that he has type 1 and that is an autoimmune disease and that it was not caused by his life style. So, when I see my coworker, who is obese and type 2 diabetic, eat 2 breakfasts, 5 candy bars, 3 bags of chips (I'm not exaggerating), it infuriates me! He can or could have prevented this disease, my husband could not.
So with that, there is a rise in type 2 diabetes that correlates with the rise of obesity. How could obesity not put a strain on our insurance costs? It's not only the meds that cost money, but care. More then half the amputations being done in the states are because of diabetes. The stats on having a second amputation for a diabetic is 60% within 5 years after the first amputation. There are many other complications that go along with this disease, enough to scare you to a healthy life style.
I would first like to commend Emily and the staff at Think Out Loud for this excellent discussion. If one peruses down through the comments here, it is no surprise to see both the commonly known misperceptions and the resolutions to confronting this malady. What can be said that hasn?t already, about this condition? Possibly what was not said by the guests when asked directly why they are in this condition? I am sure other listeners heard it too; an evasiveness to respond as to the real cause and effect. Instead they seemed to avoid admitting how they could not walk far or do simple tasks in life, as simple as feeling comfortable about their appearance or even going as far to explain that they were just fine in an airline seat although half of their body was into the next seat and that they thought this was OK. They can make a wise choice and easily change this discomfort in living. Why do they choose the opposite and then accept the suffering? Because it is made easy today by society and food processors to accept this condition and then expect special attention for this behavior later in a talk show.
I for one am speaking from the other end of the spectrum. At 54, I am on the identical shape and weight as the day I graduated from High School 37 years ago. I have never changed in body condition. I rode a bicycle for many years as only for fun into the gorge scenic historic highway because it was near where I built my first home for my family. One caller did remark about the ratio of food taken in to exercise and that this must balance. Again this is no mystery and your guest would do well to learn it.
I never get a virus, or if I do once in many years, there none if little symptoms. Oh, my weight has fluctuated maybe 10 pounds, 168 ~ 178 on a 6?1? frame within that time period. I haven?t eaten a hamburger in 40 years. There is no law that states that you must eat junk food because, well, it is everywhere and that is what your parents taught you to eat. How about mayonnaise? Soda pop? Excessive cream and designer coffee? I have drunk it black for over 40 years. There is no crime in that is there? I have friends that will not drink coffee without artificial candied flavor creamers. They are all overweight. I won?t even mention the other disgraceful things they eat. Conversely, I drink a glass of red wine daily at evening dinner only and only one glass with food. There is no crime in that is there? Anything that is not conducive to healthy life when we consume can easily be chosen at free will. Conversely, I have many friends who are overweight. Men at age 40 that still drink soda pop with a fine meal in a restaurant, then ask me why their waist line is double the size of mine. They cannot order a sandwich without a cup of mayonnaise on it. I have watched many of my overweight friends over the years; the women are especially sensitive about it. I know a lady friend that whenever we went out, she would never order any less than beef and a double order to feed two. She had many internal and physical illnesses; the same as all my other overweight friends. They constantly complain about their condition but refuse to change their bad eating habits. Several of the younger women were able to change easier than the older ones. Some of the most overweight younger women changed their diets and became beautiful model-like or movie actress in appearance.
Our society and free enterprise food industries promote the sale of anything that makes fast money. The general society is easily affected by a strong mind control exerted by food industry advertisers. Low socioeconomic demographics studies have proven that the poor are generally in poor health. That also goes for poor thinking. They cannot physically work as hard, so they sit in front of TV?s first digesting the brain wash advertisers influence to sell junk food. The recipients staring at the tube [are] effected. There is no doubt about it. This type of thing has cropped up before and it is always due to human error. The person depressed is the most likely to be weakest to the quickest counter to pleasure to their depression. Eat fattening food that ingratiates. Foods high in oils, sugars, fats are what we crave when depressed.
One thing leads to another. It makes no difference if you believe what came first, the chicken or the egg; as it is all relative. I noticed when asked about changing, not to mention those who took elective surgery to quell their problem, the others seemed to evade their eating disorders. Intense tests with demographics and socioeconomic structure and medical studies have proven this time and again. But a person?s conscience is weak to the environment and bad food is to easily available to pleasure the depressed and out of control mind.
It is easier and lazier to succumb to the convenience of cheap fast food by force of technocracy. I became interested in diet when I took a randomly available job in an elderly convalescent nursing home for elderly as a teenager. I saw why people became overweight and died younger and in pain. There is no mystery about this. You can make conscious choices. Free will is absolutely free! Try some. I guarantee that it really works!
It has been commented that some average to thin people come from like families or genetics. This may be quite true, but then at age 19 I decided to also become a vegetarian and I never smoked as the rest of my family did. That is no longer the case as my first wife of 20 years and I gave up vegetarian in our early twenties; I got her to sop smoking and eating fat beef 7 days a week. Her family still continued and they all developed internal disorders, having partial removal of intestines, gall bladder, etc. I do not even want on comment on what I witnessed in their eating habits. The word obnoxious comes to mind. This also includes a lack of education which may not have been mentioned here in the discussion, although several of the guests claimed to have professional careers.
I?ll cut to the chase early here: Most of my friends I know over the many years who are [I?ll use the term overweight to approach this with a scientific and medical terminology] as there is good reason to stop the evasiveness and denial right up front; they are known to overeat and too much of the wrong foods. They rarely shamefully admit this at times to me then just continue the painful mistake of continuing with the same. Why do they not make a healthy choice to change? This has always interested me since my teen years working in an elderly care center to prepare the meal plates with their medical diet cards.
I have watched almost all of my overweight friends exhibit the same character flaws that lead to their overweight. Why am I putting off disclosing this? Look at any overweight persons eating habits. Look at their shopping cart in the grocery. I do not care to hear from those who claim that they say that they eat healthy but are still overweight. They can use any words they want to express what [they think] is healthy. That does not cure the problem. Oh, I was a criminal once by I?m getting better. Oh, I smoke cigarettes but I am trying to quit . . . for the past 20 years?
In closing, food should be thought of as a substance abuse or drug addiction. You can pay allot for an unnecessary operation or expensive diet clinics or you can simply change your mind at free will including making efforts to excercise. Good taste in eating can be quite tasteful. It could even save your life!
Mark Seibold, Artist-Astronomer
I just listened to the broadcast online, after hearing a tidbit a few days ago on New Year's Eve while en route to a party. I am always interested in the ways that communities of people who have experienced oppression or bias organize around their identities in efforts to make this ill treatment stop. The tool I hear being employed most in this fight against "size-ism" (I think this is the right umbrella term? Someone correct me if it doesn't quite fit.) is reclamation. Many guests and those who commented during the program talked about embracing labels like "fat" or "large". Many also spoke about their dislike for the "overly medical" term "obese".
I am 24 years old, I lead what most would describe as an active lifestyle, and I have never been significantly overweight. I've been a size 12 for roughly 10 years, so I also don't know what it's like to fit the ideal the media, etc. holds up. But I have to agree with some others who have commented here on the website, that there was also an overall tone of denial and evasiveness in the commentary from many guests and callers. I was particularly taken aback by the comment from one guest who said she would undergo medical treatment to lose a significant amount of weight only if it added 10 especially active years to her life. Correct me if I am not understanding her, but 10 years is a long time! That's 10-20% of most Americans' lives! A willingness to sacrifice so much time seems indicative of a lack of joy in life now. If your life is only sufficiently satisfactory now that you wouldn't want an extra 10 years, how fully are you truly living?
"Obese" does strike me as a biting term with medical, or pathological connotations. And it IS getting thrown around in the popular media at an frenetic rate these days. But when the NIH is coming up with such high rates of overweightness and weight-related health problems, how can this alarmist media handling of the issue be considered wrong?
On the program, one guest compared being significantly overweight with motorcycle riding and wind-surfing in a discussion about large individuals being responsible for increased insurance premiums for the population as a whole. The mistake I believe this person is making is in correlating isolated acts of risk-taking with a risky lifestyle. I don't want to imply that being overweight is a choice, I use the term "lifestyle" in the sense that it is a 24-hour practice. You cannot kill yourself motorcycling while you aren't on a bike. You can't break your neck wind surfing while you aren't on the water. Time-wise, practitioners of what the general population considers risky hobbies, are carrying out these behaviors for much less time than fat people are being fat. Not to mention the fact that many insurance companies include clauses that preempt them from being financially liable for medical treatment whose necessity results from excessively risky behaviors.
At 5'7" and 155 lbs, I do not fit comfortably in coach class airline seats. I fly once or twice per year, and it's never my idea of a good time to rub elbows with the stranger next to me, be he or she 150 or 350 lbs. Perhaps this is the germ-o-phobe in my talking, but that's not the kind of contact people in our society generally find acceptable. Yes, it probably hurts to see someone so overtly offended by you that he loudly asked the flight attendant if he could change seats. The bottom line is that your comfort never necessarily equals someone else's. If at 350 lbs, you feel comfortable in a coach seat on a plane, good for you, but there's still only one 3" wide arm rest, and no one's arm is narrow enough to comfortably share that with a neighbor. While it's less awkward to sit next to my 6'+, 200 lbs + family members than a stranger, it's still not an enjoyable cross-country experience.
To conclude an admittedly long comment, no one deserves to be treated in a lesser way than someone else based on how they look. I imagine that organized alliances, activism groups, or like-bodied groups of friends provide wonderful, and deserved validation and support for larger people. As someone who has lost family members to conditions that are exacerbated by heaviness though, such as heart disease and diabetes, I petition the larger folks out there, however you identify, to not overlook the health consequences of weight. There are doctors who will treat you with respect, though they may be harder to find. There are activity groups or fitness centers who will not make you feel out of place; these too are not obvious but they are there. Everyone deserves to feel pride in their appearance, but no one should ignore the multitude of negative effects being very large has on most people.
I think a big issue here that is being overlooked is the subject of prejudice. Intolerance towards others because of differences or culturally transmitted expectations of beauty, is to me part of the problem I see overweight people having to deal with.
Something that struck me during this show was the interviewer asking one of the 'fat' women if she secretly wished she was thin. If there was a black or hispanic woman on the show discussing issues she faced as a person of color, would it be ok for the interviewer to ask her if she secretly wished she was white?
We can bring up the health issue and it is a valid one. However, being fat is not synonymous with being unhealthy and health problems are a private matter between a patient and his/her doctor or family. And a person, no matter what they look like, has the right to be treated with respect and equality. Bigotry isn't simply a matter of race, it is a matter of prejudice and intolerance against otherness.
I think it's unfortunate the people on the show had to almost defend themselves and give explanations for being fat. It's 2009, I think it's time we move beyond our 4th grade understanding of prejudice.
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