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large johns
December 23, 2004 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Big John vs. Great John.
posted by me3dia (83 comments total)

 
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posted by jpoulos at 8:03 PM on December 23, 2004


The link in "vs." is the most interesting of the three.

"Big John" and "Great John" are completely ridiculous names for extra-large toilets. It's like the marketing people aren't even trying.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:15 PM on December 23, 2004


The mostly blandly disturbing GIF I've seen in a while: http://www.greatjohn.com/seedifference.html
posted by VanRoosta at 8:16 PM on December 23, 2004


Are we allowed to talk about this yet?
posted by interrobang at 8:16 PM on December 23, 2004


DO NOT WRITE BELOW THIS LINE


posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:17 PM on December 23, 2004


Seeing as this is meant for the "sponge on a stick" crowd, I'm just amazed that these don't also incorporate that sort of "auto-bidet" feature that's becoming popular in Japan.
posted by LairBob at 8:17 PM on December 23, 2004


Some people have bigger asses than other people.

Some people ARE bigger asses than other people.

The remainder of this thread will show who is who.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:19 PM on December 23, 2004


Fuck, I'm talking about it. I don't love the FPP itself, but the link to the contracting industry magazine puts it way above the Fark level--it's not just "ha, ha, toilets for fat people", but "H'm. Apparently, the contracting industry is devoting some energy to issues around toilets for extremely obese people--so much so that there are two competing products with very silly names and a lot of contractors thinking about how best to serve their extremely obese clientele."

Now, speaking as someone who would actually like a custom toilet (both my husband and I are tall and long-legged--34" inseam--which makes the conventional 16"-high toilet less than comfortable), I don't scorn people for wanting a custom toilet that suits their much-larger-than-average physique.

It is a little alarming, though, to think that people who need a toilet that can support people of up to 1000 pounds represent a significant market niche. Because although I think everyone should be free to have whatever body size they have, 1000 pounds can't be healthy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:24 PM on December 23, 2004


mr_crash: you can see commenters' asses? How do I do that?
posted by zelphi at 8:25 PM on December 23, 2004


zelphi, you need the Firefox "buttviewer" extension.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:27 PM on December 23, 2004


People show their ass here more often than you'd think.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:29 PM on December 23, 2004


I had a very unpleasant encounter with an "auto-bidet" toilet in a Japanese restaurant in New York. If I could remember the name of the restaurant, I would warn you against it, but I can't. I do, however, remember the feeling. When you're not expecting it, it can be very very unsettling. Euuggghhhh.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:36 PM on December 23, 2004


OK...I'm sorry there, I'm sorry here...I really was trying to make the point that I thought these products would serve their intended audiences even better with the added technology, and just tossed off the idea with a phrasing that came off much harsher than I intended. I'm no Slim Jim, myself...no broad slur intended, really.
posted by LairBob at 8:37 PM on December 23, 2004


I know people of average and below-average size with mobility issues who use those "sponge on a stick" things and bless the people who invented them.

I can also imagine that these toilets would be a lot easier for someone in a wheelchair to get onto and off of than a standard-sized toilet. They should think about doing some cross-marketing.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:42 PM on December 23, 2004


"King John" would be a much better name.
Any cat can man the throne.
posted by kenko at 8:45 PM on December 23, 2004


I'm sure they do, SidheDevil. I really _was_ trying to make my point matter-of-factly (although I can definitely see how it could be read differently).

Basically, if someone's so large that the structural design of the toilet is a problem, then they've got a lot of other issues they're dealing with above and beyond that. The "auto-bidet" thing in the mass market seems to basically be meant to deal with squeamishness, and here's a place where the same technology could fill a lot more practical need.
posted by LairBob at 8:50 PM on December 23, 2004


I don't know how well they'd sell for the home market, but I think businesses with a lot of traffic in and out of their restrooms should definitely be considering them for their handicapped-accessible johns, just because of the extra strength of the hinges. I'm not sure whether the additional size would be a help from a wheelchair, but the seat not being broken sure would...
posted by cookie-k at 8:53 PM on December 23, 2004


Big Bad John
"At the bottom of this thread lies a helluva man."
posted by wendell at 8:54 PM on December 23, 2004


This all sounds like a reasonable idea to me, and the "vs." industry article was an interesting read. Bigger, heavier people need bigger, stronger products. I only weigh about 230, and even I've broken a couple of poorly-made toilet seats in my time. Perhaps, instead of fat-bashing, we can turn this thread into a bitch session about poor plumbing design?
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:54 PM on December 23, 2004


My experience with maneuvering people onto toilets from wheelchairs is limited to my Candy Striper days and my mother-in-law's recent illness. My sense is that slim-but-physically-debilitated-people slide around a bit as they're settling onto the toilet, and the larger seat area would be a plus. But I don't have any, er, end-user experience.

You know, this isn't the only toilet controversy bedevilling US contractors. The anti-low-flow-toilet folks are starting to organize. Some are taking up smuggling and black market trading.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:00 PM on December 23, 2004


And the thread wouldn't be complete without a reference to the Love Toilet, now would it?
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:07 PM on December 23, 2004


Our toilets are tested to 2000 lb.

(Wipes tear from eye, salutes American flag...)
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:14 PM on December 23, 2004


As long as we're sharing toilet sites, here's some toilet pictures from around the world, and don't forget Thomas Crapper.
posted by marxchivist at 9:19 PM on December 23, 2004


"(Wipes tear from eye, salutes American flag...)
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:14 PM MST on December 23 "

posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:21 PM on December 23, 2004


Incidentally, the inspiration for this post was a visit to a kitchen & bath supply store, where they were just putting in a display model for the Great John. It is incredibly large -- too big to easily fit in an urban bathroom.

The price was $1700.
posted by me3dia at 9:26 PM on December 23, 2004


posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:21 PM PST on December 23

The majority of Americans aren't needlessly obese? Am I not allowed to express my incredulity with this fact? Please tell me the rules, Mr. Davis.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:34 PM on December 23, 2004


i bet it'll fit easily in a suburban mcmansion though.
posted by keswick at 9:36 PM on December 23, 2004


In all seriousness I blame 30 minute lunch breaks. Does that give you time to really order something or cook? Bullshit it does.
posted by Keyser Soze at 9:44 PM on December 23, 2004


Alex, did you follow the link crash left for you? Did you read it?

Keswick, that's true. The store and I were in the city, though, which I should have mentioned.
posted by me3dia at 9:45 PM on December 23, 2004


Alex, did you follow the link crash left for you? Did you read it?

Yes, and I not only find it ridiculous that this technology is being marketed in such a way that it make fat people into victims, rationalizing obesity, but that such a product has been tested with such an open-ended scale.

This is being said by someone who lost a fair amount of weight over two years. I empathize with the struggle to lose weight. I just have no sympathy for people who decide to remain overweight.

This product makes obesity mainstream and acceptable, just like slings and oversized beds in hospitals and oversized airplane chairs.

When society is built around accomodating poor behavior control, I have an opinion about it. What exactly about this is unacceptable?
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:00 PM on December 23, 2004


That is the comment you should have made, then, not the vague snark about saluting the flag. It didn't contribute to the discussion and certainly didn't communicate your opinions.
posted by me3dia at 10:06 PM on December 23, 2004


My point had nothing to do with making fun of fat people and did not require a snarky Metatalk comment that had no context. How you interpret it is your prerogative.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:11 PM on December 23, 2004


The perfect accoutrement for the upwardly mobile individual awaiting evcuation from his home via very special ambulance.

Decadent toilet seats for a decadent nation. huzzah!
posted by killdevil at 10:14 PM on December 23, 2004


'Big John' was a Stevens Institute of Technology tower built years ago to test plumbing for the World Trade Center.
posted by humannature at 10:25 PM on December 23, 2004


Does anyone else find the toilets in the handicap stall to be slightly higher on average than the toilets in the regular stalls?

Also, I can definitely see how these would be useful to a disabled person who can't use their legs for balance.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 11:12 PM on December 23, 2004


MetaFilter: Now available in cream.
posted by greatgefilte at 11:54 PM on December 23, 2004


Sidhe, it's not enough to complain about the names - you must offer a better alternative. I will submit for your approval "Commodious".
posted by taz at 12:03 AM on December 24, 2004


Does anyone else find the toilets in the handicap stall to be slightly higher on average than the toilets in the regular stalls?

Yes, they are, in order to ease the transition from wheelchair to commode.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:18 AM on December 24, 2004


This product makes obesity mainstream and acceptable, just like slings and oversized beds in hospitals and oversized airplane chairs.

When society is built around accommodating poor behavior control, I have an opinion about it.


That is stretching things quite a bit. Slings hardly make morbid obesity mainstream. Do you think the sight of a 600lb person in a sling is going to make anyone think it is ok to be woverweight? Frankly the sight of a morbidly obese person always invokes pity in me accompanied by a steely resolve to diet and get more exercise.

The morbidly obese are aware of their size every second of the day. Everything they do is more difficult-- even humiliating--because of all the flesh that is in the way. Being able to buy a toilet that won't break on them (provided they have both the space in their bathroom and the cash) is hardly going to enable them or cause them to scream out "Screw the diet, a dozen double cheeseburgers to go!"

Do you also think that clothes should not be manufactured to fit them? Do you want the morbidly obese to run around naked or clad only in bedsheets?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:53 AM on December 24, 2004


Do you want the morbidly obese to run around

Oh, come on. First "Faint of Butt" posts about breaking toilet seats and now this? It's entrapment.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:03 AM on December 24, 2004


These should probably be added to the urinal gallery here.
posted by the_bone at 7:49 AM on December 24, 2004


For this reason GJTC engineers, medical doctors and artists took to the task of creating a NEW GENERATION of products satisfying the needs of today's customers. Our goal was to create the most comfortable and safe toilet for Large-Size people in the market.

Sounds like these will go over gangbusters with our friends Down Under, with their fancy counterclockwise flushing.
posted by dhoyt at 8:15 AM on December 24, 2004


That was a straight forward response to AlexReynold's opinion. He said that making "specially sized" items is enabling the obese. My response is, "Somethings, like clothing, are basic requirements. To me the category of a place to relieve yourself is another basic requirement. A bed in a hospital would definitely be another. As would a casket.

To deny people these things under the guise of not wanting "to enable" them is ridiculous.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:18 AM on December 24, 2004


Isn't one of the advantages of these larger toilets that they floor mounted instead of wall mounted? Aren't most, if not all U.S. residential toilets floor mounted? I'm wondering what the advantage would be for residential use. Would it just be the larger seat size?

I think that this is interesting because I was faced with correcting a related problem a few years ago. I bought a older home from a woman who was fairly large. I'm guessing that she was probably in the 350+ range. I have absolutely no problem with her size, hey it's her body, her life, etc. But, her size did have an effect on the home that I bought, specifically the bathroom.

It seems like these toilets, though not marketed for residential use, would be a good investment for larger people. They would be more comfortable and would also protect the structual integrity of their homes. And even if someone is working hard at losing weight, it doesn't come off in a day, it can take years.

The toilet literally rocked to and fro. The bolts that connected it to the floor had become loosened and the actual floor around the toilet was sinking (old house, wood subfloor). My realtor made some not very kind cracks about the seller's size. I made it very clear that I didn't appreciate his comments and by the way Mr. Super Realtor, your no slimjim yourself. But I worried how I would repair the damage and if it had effected the actual structure of the home.

We had to have a contractor come in and replace part of the floor and re-mount the toilet. That seemed to take care of the problem. I wonder if that lady had the option to purchase one of these Big Johns, if it would have made a difference for her and for her home. Would the floor still have suffered the same damage? Or, would the floors be reinforced when the toilets are installed? No doubt that she would have been more comfortable using the toilet as I can't imagine that she felt safe with it rocking while she used it.
posted by Juicylicious at 8:56 AM on December 24, 2004


I don't know what happened in that post, but the paragraphs are misplaced. The third paragraph should actually be the last.
posted by Juicylicious at 8:57 AM on December 24, 2004


The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 30% of Americans are obese and another 34% are overweight, making almost two-thirds of the population obese or overweight. These numbers have doubled since 1980. Just as alarming is the fact that 3% of the population is now morbidly obese (more than 100 lb. overweight), a number that has quadrupled since 1980.

Those numbers are just plain scary.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:21 AM on December 24, 2004


I read the linked websites, and there are a couple of improvements that can benefit even the non-obese:

1) The 'Great John' has an extra six inches of space in the front 'especially for males.' I don't care how much you weigh; when you have a penis and you have to sit down on a public toilet seat, you want to mimize the chances that any part of you is going to come in contact with the porcelain. This is a Good Thing.

2) Both the 'Great John' and the 'Big John' include extra grips to prevent the seat from sliding one way or the other. This addresses another sanitation issue. You're on a public toilet seat, you shift your weight a little, and suddenly the seat slides to the side, and part of your ass is directly up against the rim of the bowl. What do you do, walk to the public sink with your pants down and wash yourself off?

People don't like to talk about these things, because they're gross and embarassing, but they happen to the best of us, and if there are toilet manufacturers who are addressing these issues, then more power to them.
posted by bingo at 9:32 AM on December 24, 2004


You're on a public toilet seat, you shift your weight a little, and suddenly the seat slides to the side, and part of your ass is directly up against the rim of the bowl.

That is definitely an Ewwww moment. It usually happens (to me at least) in people's homes, instead of public restrooms. But anything that would lessen the chances of that happening is a good thing (including some basic home maintenance).
posted by Juicylicious at 9:39 AM on December 24, 2004


Bingo, they are not "grips". They are called Anti-side movement fins. You gotta use the right terms.
posted by c13 at 9:47 AM on December 24, 2004


"One basketball player sat down on a toilet in the showroom and showed me how his knees ended up higher than his head,"

I have to wonder how tall the guy you have to be to have your knees reach your ears when sitting down? yikes!

I second Secret Life of Gravy's sentiments. Making toilets for people who don't fit the societial norm is enabling someone to be fat? wth?!
posted by squeak at 10:25 AM on December 24, 2004


Do you want the morbidly obese to run around naked or clad only in bedsheets?

I've seen the Guiness Book of World Records. Morbidly obese people are not doing much running, naked or otherwise. You probably mean those who are unhealthily obese. That said, since this is MeFi, read the links. Here's a juicy quote:

ADA Compliant

And another:

A regular toilet has a terribly small seat. This creates very uncomfortable pressure points, consequently producing numbness in the legs and thighs from lack of proper blood flow.

Firstly, since when did choosing obesity become a disability? Being blind, deaf or paraplegic is often not a choice. Those are real disabilities, when you have functions and faculties taken from you without your choice. Obesity is not a disability and this kind of federal-level specification enables the obese to see themselves as victims who deserve special treatment. I'm sorry, but that's just nonsense.

Secondly, toilets are designed for normal-sized human beings. This is another ridiculous example of expecting the world to be redesigned for those who choose to be obese and writing product literature like it it the fault of normal-sized humans.

When I commuted to work for five years, I noticed it becoming increasingly difficult to sit three people in a bench meant to seat three people. It would often be two people and one person (me) squeezed in somewhere. What was funny was when I was the one who would get dirty looks from the two overweight people, when I'd want to sit down.

Selling clothes to the obese is a poor retort. That has little to no effect on normal-sized folks. Redesigning public spaces with the obese in mind affects services for normal-sized folks in a negative way. Assigning disability compliance statutes to products for the obese makes it harder for legitimately disabled people to get access to services.

Enough with the victim mentality, already.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:29 AM on December 24, 2004


Toilets aren't really designed for normal-sized humans. For starters, they are too short.

Part of me is tempted to believe this is just natural progression, and that being upset as Alex is as foolish as being upset that the population has a taller average height as compared to the past.

The other part of me is simply appalled that our society is becoming so unhealthy. What the hell are we (collectively) doing to ourselves?!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:51 AM on December 24, 2004


Redesigning public spaces with the obese in mind affects services for normal-sized folks in a negative way.

Could you please elaborate on how this is so? A bigger toilet seat doesn't prevent a normal-sized person from using it in any way whatsoever that I can see.
posted by beth at 12:35 PM on December 24, 2004


The bigger toilet does not. But a bus seat that has been modified to accomodate two people instead of the previous three does.
posted by c13 at 12:47 PM on December 24, 2004


Being blind, deaf or paraplegic is often not a choice.

often not a choice? sheesh.

That is the inherent problem with your argument. You seem to think this is just a matter of choice and no way on this green earth could there be mitigating reasons for a persons obesity. I think your projecting too much of your personal bias on the issue in general.

I think it is highly unlikely that all toilets are going to become "big john" toilets. Accommodating a portion of the population for various reasons including safety and making it easier for the caregivers isn't "enabling". Just as we accommodate people who use wheelchairs in restrooms. Where is the harm in providing a toilet for obese people in a hospital that cares for them? How exactly will this effect people of a normal stature?

On the other hand pointing out something is ADA Compliant and trying to suggest this is making them "victims" is nuts. Fixtures that are used in a public space need to be ADA Compliant, doors, hallways, access points into buildings etc. Believe it or not but these toilets *shock* might have to be used by other people who may or may not be disabled and would require ADA compliance lest a paraplegic, for instance, needs to use one of these toilets.

On preview: perhaps c13 but one could argue those new buses with the ability to hold wheelchairs and consequently takes up space for seats for people negatively effects "normal" people too because there aren't as many seats for them.
posted by squeak at 1:20 PM on December 24, 2004


Oh please! I also eat little babies and support slavery. I, for one, don't think that being blind, deaf or paraplegic is a choice. Should we accomodate those people? Of course. I however do think that being obese IS a choice. Just like smoking and getting lung cancer, or having a shot liver from alcoholism. Installing big-ass toilets or bus seats is not a problem, if anything, it makes aiming (in case of the former) easier. Health care costs and consequently higher health insurace payments caused by all of the medical problems associated with obesety ARE a big problem. And please don't give me the whole "but its a medical condition, its in my genes" crap. That might be the case for some people, but not for two-thirds of the country.
posted by c13 at 1:42 PM on December 24, 2004


It is incontrovertibly true that people whose height/weight ratio classifies them as "morbidly obese", "extremely obese", or "obese", as a group, are not as healthy as people whose height/weight ratio classifies them as "healthy" or "overweight" (there is actually some debate about whether the group of people with BMI 20-25, the WHO "healthy" range, or the people with BMI 25-28--who fall into the the lower half of the WHO "overweight" range of 25-30--have the lowest mortality and morbidity, which I find interesting).

However, people who are, indeed, morbidly or extremely obese, even if they are doing everything in their power to attain a healthy weight for their height, and improve their muscle to fat ratio, are not going to accomplish this overnight. Having an uncomfortable or broken toilet is not going to speed their progress, either.

I agree that people should be encouraged to improve their health. Accommodating those people who haven't yet attained their fitness goals will not keep those people from doing so. Inconveniencing and causing physical pain to those people is unlikely to inspire them to attain their fitness goals, either.

On preview: c13, the statistic isn't that 60% of adults in the US are OBESE, the statistic is that 60% of adults are ABOVE THE "HEALTHY" WEIGHT RANGE. The majority of those are in the "OVERWEIGHT" range, which may or may not put them at greater risk of morbidity/mortality.

"OBESE" and "OVERWEIGHT" are not synonyms. Sorry for shouting, but I hate hate hate it when people conflate the two.

posted by Sidhedevil at 1:52 PM on December 24, 2004


AlexReynolds: I have to laugh when I see the word "normal" in this context. Didn't we just establish that over sixty percent of Americans are fat? That's a majority. Who's normal now, skinny?
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:54 PM on December 24, 2004


Where is the harm in providing a toilet for obese people in a hospital that cares for them? How exactly will this effect people of a normal stature?

Bigger beds means fewer of them. More worktime spent on special care for the obese means less on everyone else. We have enough trouble providing healthcare in this country without reducing services for a growing number of people who have no need to control themselves, because we make it easy and convenient to gorge and purge, with fewer and fewer consequences.

And before someone thows the free-market syllogism out there, obesity is worst among low-income earners who are more likely to be on Medicare. Most of this is being paid for on a shrinking taxpayer's dollar. Worse about the ADA rating is that it brings products into "federal" compliance, which means government contracts, more largesse of a different kind.

one could argue those new buses with the ability to hold wheelchairs and consequently takes up space for seats for people negatively effects "normal" people too because there aren't as many seats for them.

I have no problem providing services for genuinely disabled people, and suspect others feel similarly. Ironically, obese people getting themselves classified as disabled makes things more difficult for people who genuinely need these services.

As much as I dislike getting scrunched into my seat because the fella next to me needs to eat a cheesesteak for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what's really worse is how this "disability" crowds out space for people who are truly disabled.

All the complaints I hear about "oh this is just another lets-make-fun-of-the-fatties" completely and utterly ignores the variety of other sides of this story.
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:02 PM on December 24, 2004


AlexReynolds: I have to laugh when I see the word "normal" in this context. Didn't we just establish that over sixty percent of Americans are fat? That's a majority. Who's normal now, skinny?

You're right. Let's all feed in the trough o' plenty.

(Wipes tear from eye, salutes American flag again...)
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:03 PM on December 24, 2004


More worktime spent on special care for the obese means less on everyone else. We have enough trouble providing healthcare in this country without reducing services for a growing number of people who have no need to control themselves, because we make it easy and convenient to gorge and purge, with fewer and fewer consequences.

You know what, AR? You're right. We don't need to provide health care for overweight people, since they did it all to themselves. And all those people who bust their knees and backs playing football and basketball-- they knew what they were getting into. No health care for athletes on my dime! Oh, and soldiers! They go into war zones, where they can be shot at! I'm not paying to take care of them; they should have realized the risk when they started.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:14 PM on December 24, 2004


Sidhedevil, fine, "obese" is not the same as "overweight". However, while not all overweight people are obese, ALL obese people are overweight, so I don't think the difference is big enough for shouting. Having said that, you are right. Be as it may, the proportion of population above the healthy weight range is growing, as this site illustrates. And readjusting the whole infrastructure to accommodate increased dimensions does not seem like a particularly good idea.
Since we are talking definitions here, I think AlexReynolds was using WHO definition of "normal". That's WORLD health organization, not US.
On preview, Faint of Butt, we treat obese people. Just like we treat smokers. But for some reason talking about unhealthiness of being overweight/obese is almost automatically makes one evil, while saying the same about smoking is perfectly acceptable
posted by c13 at 2:21 PM on December 24, 2004


But for some reason talking about unhealthiness of being overweight/obese is almost automatically makes one evil, while saying the same about smoking is perfectly acceptable

That's because being overweight is a symptom, not an independent factor that comes out of nowhere. We don't criticize people with lung cancer; we criticize smokers. It may very well be that the vast majority of cases of overweight are caused by overeating and lack of exercise, so let's lay the blame on the people who choose to eat too much and never move off the couch, instead of tarring every large person with the same brush.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:34 PM on December 24, 2004


You know what, AR? You're right. We don't need to provide health care for overweight people, since they did it all to themselves... It may very well be that the vast majority of cases of overweight are caused by overeating and lack of exercise

You finally get it. I will raise a glass of wine in your honor at my turkey smorgasbord.
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:40 PM on December 24, 2004


Faint of Butt, I really don't care to blame anyone. My initial point was about the wisdom of accommodating unhealthy behavior. We don't criticize people with lung cancer, but neither do we install oxygen masks everywhere (for those smokers who have emphysema). I might add that not being able to breathe is probably a lot more discomforting than having your leg fall asleep from lack of circulation caused by too small of a toilet seat.
posted by c13 at 2:49 PM on December 24, 2004


I think Faint of Butt is right on. Make way for the new majority, or be squashed.
posted by beth at 3:37 PM on December 24, 2004


I work with kids with Prader-Willi Syndrome, for whom obesity is incontrovertibly and irreversibly part of their illness. To be honest, I don't really care if most obese people "did it to themselves" -- I still think that these kids should have a place to go to the bathroom.

But, hell, screw 'em. Maybe they should have paid a little more attention when their neural crest was developing.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 3:41 PM on December 24, 2004


Hey, those sleeping legs hurt like a mofo, especially when they've been asleep for the half-hour it takes to evacuate three philly cheesesteaks. Jolly fat person stereotype aside, it's no laughing matter!

It may very well be that the vast majority of cases of overweight are caused by overeating and lack of exercise

It may very well be that the vast majority of cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking, and that a vast majority of other forms of cancer are caused by dietary choices.

It may also very well be that the vast majority of broken limbs are caused by participation in risky sports ranging from skiing to football.

It seems to me that drawing a line on health care is nigh impossible.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:44 PM on December 24, 2004


I'm not arguing about whether this has to do with choice or not c13. My irritation stems from the idea that these toilets "enable" the obsese and make them "victims" because like most publically used fixtures they need to comply with the ADA. Its not like there has to be a shiny "big john" © ® in every restroom across America. Vast generalizations irritate the heck out of me.

I have a friend who when he was 18 ignored the sign put up by the city warning of the dangers of jumping of the bridge for recreation. He is now a quadrapalegic. I have other friends who are adrenalin junkies and race motorcycles on and off the track and get into accidents. I know of yet another person who continually drinks and then drives, gets into accidents that involve others but despite societies wrist slapping he still drinks and drives. Stupid people do stupid things and we as a society accomodate for those actions even when there is a cost associated with the act of stupidity. So who's stupidity warrents "enabling"? My friends who like to race? My friend who ignored the warning sign on the bridge? It was his choice to ignore the warnings afterall. Who decides?
posted by squeak at 4:03 PM on December 24, 2004


I'm just wondering and certainly not trying to argue this point, but does anyone know the actual numbers as to the effect that obesity has on our insurance premiums?
posted by Juicylicious at 4:41 PM on December 24, 2004


But, hell, screw 'em. Maybe they should have paid a little more attention when their neural crest was developing.

So you're saying genetic disease is the major cause of obesity? Is that what you guys are saying now?
posted by AlexReynolds at 4:48 PM on December 24, 2004


So you're saying genetic disease is the major cause of obesity? Is that what you guys are saying now?

No. We're saying genetic disease is a cause of obesity, and that it's not fair to punish those who suffer from this because you're mad at people who eat too much. Are you just being contrarian?
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:52 PM on December 24, 2004


i think the crucial point would be closely tied to the results of a quick tally that goes something like "number of people who are morbidly obese by GENETICS v. number of people who are morbidly obese because they're GLUTTONS".

anecdotes about kids born with a gene problem that dooms them to obesity are sad and heart-tugging and make me just want to hug each and every one of them, sure, whatever, but what the fuck are we talking about them for when we've got (insert whatever percentage of the morbidly obese are NOT the cause of genetic abnormalities) of 'em simply choosing to have a jumbo-sized triple burger when they go out?

these people are victims of nothing but themselves and while i appreciate that they may really love this big man's toilet, accept that other folks, non-gluttonous folks, find this entire affair to be really, really sad and pathetic.

smoke, get cancer. you're not a victim.
binge drink, get liver disease. you're not a victim.
eat to excess, get fat and unhealthy. you are not a victim.

and more and more these days, i'm agreeing with everyone else who's sick of this seemingly-all-pervasive "victim" mentality. circumstances do not dictate your actions nearly as much as you'd like them to.

i will not tell you it's okay. it's not, really, and likely the fact that you can always find someone who'll tell you that it is okay enables you to secretly and quietly comfort yourself while you continue hurting yourself. it feels good at the time, sure, but most vices do.

i will not cut you some slack because your lunch break is too short. make an extra portion of whatever you make for dinner (you probably already are, let's face it) and put it in tupperware and take it to work with you. no tupperware? put down the hot pockets (roughly three dollars a pair where i live) and spend that cash on a couple cheap disposable ones. wash them when you're done and they'll last you long enough.

i do not believe you've really tried to lose it, either. it's hard, yes, no doubt about it and no one is trying to say that it's easy. truly. if you cheat on your diet/exercise regime to the point that you lose no weight, though, then you really ought to face up to the fact that you're being weak and foolish. instead, pick or build a routine you can honestly stick with. if that sounds like too much work, try cutting back on your TV watching. even one hour a night adds up when you start to think about that time being represented over the course of a week by, say, a whole night's sleep that you now have to do something else with.

like figure out what you can do to fit in public spaces again.

people have been saving themselves and improving themselves and challenging themselves for thousands of years. vikings sailed longboats into the horizon just to see if they'd ever hit something. you can get back down to a human-appropriate weight by paying attention to what you eat and shaking your tail feathers a little bit. and if you're a victim, then you're also the culprit.

full disclosure : i am a smoker. i do not harbor any delusions about getting money from tobacco companies when i get cancer, though. no one forces me to smoke, and i will not think of myself as a victim should this be the death of me. i do not ask for special treatment from society to help facilitate my decision. i accept the terms of the agreement.
posted by radiosilents at 7:40 PM on December 24, 2004


"the cause of genetic abnormalities" = "caused by genetic abnormalities". dammit.
posted by radiosilents at 7:43 PM on December 24, 2004


no one forces me to smoke, and i will not think of myself as a victim should this be the death of me. i do not ask for special treatment from society to help facilitate my decision. i accept the terms of the agreement.

Yeah, but does that mean you'll forego costly treatment and hospitalization when the time comes, thus saving your poor risk-pool cohorts whose medical premiums would be paying your bills?

Modern society with cheap fatty food a-plenty is completely abnormal for our species. So some people go overboard, quite naturally according to how their appetites are designed to function.

Just because some people are able to easily diet and lose the weight doesn't mean all people are. Some of you make it sound like a moral failing, just because for you staying thin isn't ridiculously difficult.

People aren't going to just magically change because you hate them for the way they eat. You're not helping the situation one iota. In fact, you contribute to the environment that makes some fat people even more depressed, causing them to eat more, ad nauseum - making you part of the problem. Chew on that.
posted by beth at 7:56 PM on December 24, 2004


"Just because some people are able to easily diet and lose the weight doesn't mean all people are."
That's not the point. The point is not to gain all that weight in the first place. A double whopper with king size fries and king size coke is just as bad for a skinny person as it is for a fat one. The point is that you DON'T HAVE TO diet in the first place.
"People aren't going to just magically change because you hate them for the way they eat. You're not helping the situation one iota. In fact, you contribute to the environment that makes some fat people even more depressed, causing them to eat more..." OK, Beth. But I could just as easily insert "smoking" or "drinking" in what you've said. So what? Should we just accept the results? Why is it that when someone chooses to smoke, it's his own damn fault, but when someone stuffs himself with shit its "he quite naturally went overboard according to how his appetite was designed to function"? Designed by whom!?
posted by c13 at 9:18 PM on December 24, 2004


Evolution.
posted by beth at 9:59 PM on December 24, 2004


We've got millions of people starving in the world, we've got millions upon millions of people living on less than a dollar a day. But we should be sensitive to fat Americans that consume %25 of world resources (what is it, 250 million out of 6.5 billion?) and accommodate them by installing $2000 dollar toilets so that they can take a shit in comfort, so that they don't become more depressed and eat even more.
posted by c13 at 10:29 PM on December 24, 2004


Hey, now you're starting to get it!

What's the alternative? Ripping the double-cheeseburgers out of their chubby hands? I'd like to see you try it.
posted by beth at 10:34 PM on December 24, 2004


There's fat people the world over. A lot more in America, I grant you. White sugar's the problem. I've seen the difference it makes in just two generations in various places throughout the developing world. Asians over 40 are generally thin; Asian under 20 have twice the obesity rate. White sugar. Hate the sin, not the sinner.
posted by squirrel at 7:46 AM on December 25, 2004


Seems like not eating white sugar would be a simple solution to that problem. (I eat almost none myself.)
posted by Vulpyne at 7:03 PM on December 25, 2004


Watch out for the HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), too. It's in just about everything these days.
posted by beth at 8:22 PM on December 25, 2004


Yeah, me either, Vulpyne. Stand back, fatties, and bask in our superiority!
posted by squirrel at 7:32 AM on December 26, 2004


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