July 27, 2000
4:26 PM   Subscribe

Another chink in the armor of anti-fat bigots, haters and discriminators: Scientists discover common virus appears to cause obesity. Interestingly, it also seems to lower cholesterol at the same time.
posted by aaron (30 comments total)
That's just one cause for obesity; there's still plenty of character flaws that us anti-fat bigots can use when mocking the hefty.
posted by rcade at 4:48 PM on July 27, 2000

Armor? I didn't know fat bigots needed any. I always thought it was the hefty hefty hefty ones themselves that needed the armor.

Once being a lard-ass myself, I feel I have every right to knock on those who still deny the basic concept of exercise and proper diet.

Just 7 months ago, I weighed in at 290 lbs. How did I get that way? Fast food, beer, no exercise, sitting in front of this computer and/or the TV for hours on end.

Guess where it got me? Diabetes. Yup. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in January. Almost went into a diabetic coma with a blood-sugar of 750. Now, some people will argue that my diabetes is genetic, and they will be correct. Diabetes IS NOT a life-style disease. However, your life-style can trigger what's already there, or accelerate the onset of it.

What did it for me? Lot's of junk-food and non-diet pop. Upwards of a 6-pack a day.

Anyways, I started exercising, rigorlously, and did a severe diet change. Guess what I found out? I could lose weight, and keep it off just by doing both. And I could still have "bad" food every now and then.

But anyways... I understand that there are people that cannot help their obesity, but for the majority of the obese out there, their only problem stems from one thing: laziness. Unwilling to exercise and eat a healthy diet, they have no one else to blame but themselves.

But hey, that is probably the next lawsuit coming down the road. We are gonna have lard-asses suing McDonald's and other Fast Food joints claiming that their food was addictive and caused them irreversible heart disease and obesity. And I will just shake my head and wonder where the hell our country has gone...

*steps off soap-box*

By the way, I now run between 6-10 miles a day, and weigh 190 lbs. I also eat a lot of Subway :-P
posted by da5id at 5:24 PM on July 27, 2000

I have a question. Where do you see fit to criticise someone based on their weight? How is that any different than criticism based on somebody who looks a little different (ie punks, goths, fetishwear,etc) or doesn't hold the same beliefs as you? I'm overweight. But I'm healthy. I know the risks involved in being a 'lard-ass.' I regularly check my blood sugar, go to the gym, etc. Not to lose weight, mind you, but to stay healthy. I simply don't see the point in depriving myself of something so simple as an ice cream cone. Would you rather I become a chain smoker and bring everyone down with me?

I've never understood the logic of mocking people in and of itself, though...
posted by amandaudoff at 5:44 PM on July 27, 2000

It makes them feel superior, mostly. Sort of a self-eugenics project.
posted by aaron at 6:20 PM on July 27, 2000

Let's face it, making fun of fat people is one of the few socially acceptable forms of criticism, now that political correctness has run completely amok. It's not right, but it's not likely to change anytime soon.As someone who is pretty damn chunkified, I find it pretty silly to blame obesity on a virus, any more than I would blame my below average height on one. I'm trying very hard to get myself in shape, exercising more and eating less junk. Yes, it sucks, but I know I'll feel better and have more energy when I'm done. That's what's important to me. I could give a shit what other people think about my appearence or anything else (as you have probably figured if you've read my comments on Metafilter).Just for the record, if anyone makes fun of a person because if their weight in my presence, they are in store for one hell of a public humiliation. These losers are bullies and if anyone has the guts to stand up to them, they back down.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 6:21 PM on July 27, 2000

>>Just 7 months ago, I weighed in at 290 lbs. How did I get that way? Fast food, beer, no exercise, sitting in front of this computer and/or the TV for hours on end.

"Just 7 months ago, I was a homosexual. How did I get that way? Having sex with men for hours on end. Anyways, I started doing women instead. Guess what I found out? I could be a normal straight person."

posted by aaron at 6:27 PM on July 27, 2000

Really, that's all it is, knocking people who are different from you. Not long ago, most of da5id's arguments would be easily accepted against most hated minority groups. Gay? Why don't you just stop acting on it. Jew? Why don't you get converted? You could change, if you really wanted to. But you don't because you're weak.

And as for rcade ... well, at least he openly admits he's a bigot. More than many would admit.

And besides, da5id, the reality is that what, to your body, is "exercise and proper diet," won't work for a lot of other people. And it goes both ways; think of all the supermodels who brag that they eat like a horse and never exercise a bit, yet still look that way. It just isn't that simple for many.

As for the lawuits, things are actually going in the other direction. There are groups out there starting to campaign for extra taxes on any foods they consider "bad for you." Celery? Fine. Steak? 8%. The fat are getting blamed, not getting organized.
posted by aaron at 6:41 PM on July 27, 2000

Oh, and George Burns smoked like a fiend his entire life, and lived to 100. Smoking kills!
posted by aaron at 6:43 PM on July 27, 2000

As an Asian, I resent the use of the word "chink." My lawyers will be in touch.
posted by byun at 7:07 PM on July 27, 2000

Fat people have been trying to cobble together a movement, and have made great strides (NAAFA being the most notable) but there are many more miles to go.

Whether it's a virus or not, making fun of people's obesity is the lowest blow you can "get away with" nowadays. People don't think twice about fat jokes. It's got to stop.
posted by hijinx at 8:05 PM on July 27, 2000

I think we need to quarantine all the fat people before the virus spreads any further.
posted by PaperCut at 8:35 PM on July 27, 2000

Well, I am happy you can be a normal straight person. So can I.

Ask yourselves this though... How many of you ever in your life looked at a fat person and snickered? How many made fun of the fat kid in school? If you answered yes, then shut the hell up, cause I was that person you were making fun of, and many of you still do.

Do I make fun of fat people? Sometimes... but mostly, I pity them. They are a constant reminder to me of what I was, and don't ever wish to be again. They are my motivation to go out and run when I just don't feel like it. I pity most of them. Especially the ones I work with. The ones who eat constantly, and have trouble breathing from just walking.

As for the super-model crap, yeah yeah yeah... I also hear a lot of them talk about how they don't eat ANYTHING. And a lot of them are drug-users which helps suppress their diets.

Face it America. We are getting FAT. Heart disease is on the rise as is Diabetes, Cancer, High-Blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc... all of which is linked someway or another to our diets and health.

Yes, there are a few exceptions to the rule, George Burns, that old lady down the street, who smoked, drank whisky, and had her steak and potatoes every night, and lived to be 107. But those examples are the exception, and not the rule.

Everyone is looking for an excuse for anything that is considered "wrong" with them, when all most of them have to do is look in the mirror.

Criticize me all you want, but I am like the smoker who quit, and criticizes those that still do. I was fat, and now I am not. And I know a lot of those that still are, can do something about it.
posted by da5id at 8:57 PM on July 27, 2000

I think Raphael Altman sums it up best ...

"I SUPPOSE THERE IS AN ISSUE of personal taste and preference for particular types. The taste for lovemaking with a fat partner, whether by spontaneous inclination or cultivation, opens up a world of (apparently) unending delights. The special sensual allure, feel, texture, and fascination of a fat lover, together with the myriad physical possibilities unavailable to thinner types, makes for voluminous, voluptuous feasting."
posted by alana at 9:04 PM on July 27, 2000

"Gay? Why don't you just stop acting on it. Jew? Why don't you get converted? You could change, if you really wanted to. But you don't because you're weak."

That's exactly right. I know you were mocking that position, but it is entirely correct. If you have a problem, then you CAN change it. And don't get me wrong-- I accept the value of diversity, and I accept people's right to go to hell in whatever way they please.

But, I also believe in the fundamental ability of people to change and adapt. And if somebody realizes that they have a problem but takes the copout approach and says, "Yeah, I'm gay, but I can't help it"... no. You can help it.

So if somebody persists in a stance that is essentially wrong, then I reserve the right to mock them for it. I have an uncontrollable urge to mock idiots-- it's not my fault, I can't help it, so don't blame me for it.

And I'll bet aaron's fat, too. *snicker*
posted by fable at 9:11 PM on July 27, 2000

I also highly suggest that you all read this:
Cigarettes by Patrick Gliddon.
posted by fable at 9:15 PM on July 27, 2000

More so than I would like, yes. But that's definitely preferable to being someone who's openly bigoted in more ways than one. You heard him yourself people, gays can change! They're essentially wrong!
posted by aaron at 9:41 PM on July 27, 2000

"And I'll bet fable's black, too. *snicker*." Wonder how many MeFis would let someone get away with a statement like that.
posted by aaron at 9:48 PM on July 27, 2000

Most of us fat people got this way through our own behavior. I think it's a shame that some people are mean to us, but comparing it to the mistreatment of Jews, homosexuals, or anything similar is a bit much. Everybody's gotta feel like a victim these days. My victimizer isn't a hateful person, though. It's that fucker Ronald McDonald.
posted by rcade at 9:50 PM on July 27, 2000

{sarcasm, but truth}

I'm a 5'4" 180 pound bisexual Jewish girl who talks oddly. Let the harassment commence.

...oh. And I wear glasses, dress up goth to go out and am a complete klutz. Have fun.

{/sarcasm, but truth}
posted by amandaudoff at 9:57 PM on July 27, 2000

Yes, I am a bigot. I don't love everybody. I hate the people with the victim mentality, I hate people who can't take a joke ("And I'll bet aaron's fat, too. *snicker*") even if it does hurt. And I really hate people who make everyone else feel so sorry for them that they gain power on the basis of their weakness. I hate welfare and political correctness. I hate anybody who abridges my freedoms so they can indulge theirs.

So-- do I hate fat people? No, I hate fat people who whine and say they can't change it. Do I hate gays? One of my best friends died of AIDS. Do I hate Jews? As much as I hate Christians, Muslims, Scientologists, etc. Do I hate blacks, hispanics, Asians? Not in the slightest. Do I hate putting them on a pedestal (affirmative action)? Yes.

Did I say that any of them were essentially wrong? No. I said that the idea that they can't help it, so we should give them red-carpet treatment, is.

Am I an asshole? Probably, but oh well, I can't help it.
posted by fable at 10:29 PM on July 27, 2000

There's a difference between acceptance and bigotry. You can accept who someone is without agreeing with the circumstances surrounding them. To be a bigot is to hate someone merely on the basis of their differences.
posted by amandaudoff at 10:38 PM on July 27, 2000

fable, just to clear things up for me:

Do I hate gays? One of my best friends died of AIDS.

Does that mean s/he was gay? Do you still believe that AIDS is a "gay" disease?

"Yeah, I'm gay, but I can't help it"... no. You can help it.

Are you fucking kidding me? Do you actually believe that being homosexual is a.) curable, b.) ignorable, or c.) something that should be suppressed with the utmost discrimination? Can the obese exercise and eat better? The majority can, yes, and choose not to. But there are the few (seen "What's eating Gilbert Grape"?) that could spend 12 hours a day in aerobics and not reach "normal" proportions.

And the fact that you elieve homosexuals can do anything about their sexual preference (or worse the belief that they should) both astounds and saddens me.

posted by Awol at 2:36 AM on July 28, 2000

1) In America, AIDS is predominantly found among homosexuals and drug addicts. Seeing as I live in America as opposed to, say, Africa, my comment was entirely in line.

2) Yes, I believe homosexuals can do something about their sexual preference. As to whether they should... admittedly, some of the language I used could be misconstrued to state that, but that was not exactly my intention. (Oh, dear, I sound like a politician.) Aaron brought in homosexuality as a problem. I addressed it as such. I don't care if someone's gay-- but if someone says, "I'm gay, but I can't help it," I'll disagree, just as I'd disagree if somebody made the same argument for being fat, or Christian, or having a bad haircut. That was the issue as I saw it.
posted by fable at 3:08 AM on July 28, 2000

Yes, I believe homosexuals can do something about their sexual preference.

Well, I dunno about that. I can suppress my carnal attraction to women, but I can't somehow change it to an attraction to guys, for the same reason you can't shove a wet noodle through a donut. I can forego my desires for romance, but the thought of getting googly-eyed mushy with a man makes me gag. Flip that around to a gay perspective and I just can't see how they can be expected to change either. Am I misunderstanding what you mean by "doing something", or do you think that gays can become hetero with a bit of effort?
posted by nikzhowz at 3:47 AM on July 28, 2000

Spare me your pity, da5id. Even more, spare me your self righteousness. Ex-fat people are about as charming and engaging as ex-smokers. I'm fat. I know why I am this way, and I don't make any excuses for it. Sure, I get ticked off when troglodyte teens or other insensitive types make fun of me, or tell me I have "such a pretty face" (when in actuality the rest of me is pretty fly too), or feel like they can take some sort of moral high ground because they managed to shed some extra poundage.

So what? So freaking what?

Have you cured cancer? Have you found a cure for AIDS? Have you singlehandedly engineered world peace? If you haven't, then you don't deserve a medal in my book. And I'll thank you very much to keep your metabolic evangelizing to yourself.

While I part company with some folks in the anti-fat brigade on their "victim" status, I do believe that western society is entirely too hung up on appearances and waistlines - or rather, on *my* appearance and *my* waistline. I do believe it's unfortunate (not to mention uncomfortable) that the standards that govern the width of airplane/train/bus seats were drafted when people were much smaller than we are today. I think it's really, really unfair that a woman can be convicted of child abuse because she "let" her daughter get up to 600 plus pounds.

But more than anything else, I think I agree with Gwen when she said " Every time you feel the urge to comment inappropriately on a (fat person's) body, chant softly to yourself: "Nobody asked me. Nobody asked me."

posted by likorish at 5:34 AM on July 28, 2000

Nope, haven't cured any cancer or anything, and don't plan too. Didn't ask for a medal. Could care less about them. And I beleive that being able to express my opinions, is what this board is all about. If you don't like them, don't read them/respond to them. That simple.

Self-righteous? Yeah, and I beleive I mentioned something to that fact in relation to the ex-smokers, so that doesn't bother me one bit.

Maybe we are too hung-up about appearances, but my post was more about health. Not appearance. I am concerned about this nation's health as a whole. And guess what, over-eating and obesity are directly linked to that problem.
posted by da5id at 6:47 AM on July 28, 2000

Okay, fine. I won't make fun of fat people.

I'll just make fun of ugly people.

posted by solistrato at 8:43 AM on July 28, 2000

I move we start with getting rid of all the stupid people. That oughta get rid of about 95% of everyone, and the rest of us, fat, gay, polka-dotted, wiccan, red-haired, left-handed, can holdhands and dance the dance of the enlightened.

And there shall be peace. Probably.
posted by chicobangs at 9:59 AM on July 28, 2000

I always thought 'tubby bitch' was an affectionate taunt myself...
posted by Jeremy at 2:50 PM on July 28, 2000

fable: "Am I an asshole? Probably, but oh well, I can't help it."

fable: "...no. You can help it."

Sorry, had to. :)
posted by jason at 12:25 PM on July 30, 2000

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