Politics and fat
November 3, 2005 11:04 AM   Subscribe

America's Waistline. A new piece examines the politics of the fat. Despite the growing numbers of people who are becoming obese, the fat acceptance movement remains oddly stunted in terms of membership. The growing civil rights movement faces many problems, including presenting a respectable face to the public. You see, many of the people who are in charge are feeders (NWS). Many wonder how the movement be taken seriously when so many who lead are sexual deviants and much of the revenue generated for size acceptance efforts is through pornography? Still, the battle rages on.
posted by skjønn (155 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
****[My second post, still not sure if I'm doing this right, constructive criticism welcome.]****
posted by skjønn at 11:05 AM on November 3, 2005


*grabs popcorn, sits back with interest*
posted by sourwookie at 11:10 AM on November 3, 2005


*put extra-extra-extra butter on that popcorn*
posted by sourwookie at 11:10 AM on November 3, 2005


sexual deviants?

/me sourwookie, I brought the soda.
posted by OmieWise at 11:14 AM on November 3, 2005


The appropriate acronym is "NSFW".

NSW = "new south wales", a state in Australia.
posted by delmoi at 11:15 AM on November 3, 2005


A size-acceptance post on MeFi? But they always go down so well.
posted by Leon at 11:16 AM on November 3, 2005


Contesting the usual origin story about fat—excess calories, individual blame—is high on the activist agenda. The preferred account is that fat is genetic and/or glandular, thus not anyone's fault.

If you are obese it is because you are a slack willed glutton, which both makes me want to vomit if I am unfortunate enough to be pushed off the sidewalk by you, and additionally pushes my insurance premiums skyward.

These lazy heifers have co-opted the civil rights movement for the same reason they order two cheeseburgers, one for the road. Because they refuse to join the human race, and wish to live out a selfish paradise which is propped up by healthy individuals like myself, who bike, run, and are slaving at the gym three days a week.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:18 AM on November 3, 2005


I didn't invent sour cream, it invented itself!

(32-38 inches in just under 10 years, I can definitely say my spreading butterroll was not glandular or genetic, but I've got no right to speak about anyone else's.)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:19 AM on November 3, 2005


sourwookie and Leon could you help me out? Did I post something I wasn't supposed to or phrase my post in a bad way? I really tried hard to make a good post. :-(
posted by skjønn at 11:20 AM on November 3, 2005


Is it really 'deviant' to be a chubby chaser?

I mean, it's not really that diffrent then liking big tits or whatever. Not my bag but I wouldnt' call it 'deviant'.

Plus, weight loss isn't all that hard, as long as you have the time to focus. I've lost 60 pounds 3.5 months, and it wasn't that difficult at all. (the key is to have the spare time to actualy get to the gym)
posted by delmoi at 11:20 AM on November 3, 2005


skjann: It's a great post. It's going to be a great thread. Just sit back and enjoy.
posted by Leon at 11:21 AM on November 3, 2005


(From 32 to 38 inches, I mean)( suck my suicide bars, Helms)

Skj[character that I don't know how to recreate]nn: no, it's just one of those issues that tends to get ugly quickly on Mefi.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:21 AM on November 3, 2005


And NWS = National Weather Service.
posted by BlackPebble at 11:21 AM on November 3, 2005


which is propped up by healthy individuals like myself, who bike, run, and are slaving at the gym three days a week.

And they're saving a place in heaven for you, good citizen.

As a community, I thought most of us leaned toward a libertarian veiw of human behavior, that it's a bad thing to tell people what to do with their bodies. NTM, I thought we also embraced difference. Funny how that seems to go out the window when it comes to weight.
posted by jonmc at 11:22 AM on November 3, 2005


44 to 36 inches in the course of a year. Kept it off for about four years now.

My spreading butterroll was certainly my fault. It's removal was my effort. Now it's absence is my lifestyle.

Now I'm staying out of this.
posted by sourwookie at 11:23 AM on November 3, 2005


Delmoi: I don't think liking your lovers to be chubby or fat is deviant necessarily, no more than having a preference for the thin and fit. But feederism goes far beyond that. If there is a sexual preference that deserves the label deviant, I'm confident feederism is it.
posted by skjønn at 11:23 AM on November 3, 2005


It's a good post. Controversial. But debating this is good if people walk away understanding they need to lead healthier lifestyles, etc.

I wish you had included that series of articles by sex columnist Dan Savage. A group of Fat people wrote in to decry that they could only date other fat people—ironically they didn't find fat people sexually attractive.

Dan's suggested alternative was to was to date chubby chasers. Another group then wrote in decrying Savages proposition that to be satisfied fat people would have to date "perverts."

Oh. It was delicious. I wish I could find it.
posted by tkchrist at 11:24 AM on November 3, 2005


sourwookie and Leon could you help me out? Did I post something I wasn't supposed to or phrase my post in a bad way? I really tried hard to make a good post. :-(


The post is fine; it's just that the subject matter has led to some pretty notorious, intense mudlinging at MeFi over the years. I think that's the only reason why anyone smirked.
posted by dhoyt at 11:25 AM on November 3, 2005


Metafilter: Fatty McFatster's from Fatvill - it ain't your fault.
posted by tkchrist at 11:28 AM on November 3, 2005


skjønn, it's just been an incendiary topic. The only example I can find is this, but I know there was something else somewhere that got MUCH WORSE and had the screaming and the biting and the "fuck you!"

Anyone want to help me out?
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 11:29 AM on November 3, 2005


Doesn't wanting to lose weight mean giving into self-hatred? (Or, as the militant put it: Should blacks desire to be white and thus give into racism?)

Puh-lease. Next up, fat militants sue Mother Nature for causing cholesterol to pile up in their heart valves. The injustice of it all!

/ spoken as someone who could stand to lose a few pounds himself, but certainly doesn't attribute the extra weight to anyone/thing beyond his own laziness and lack of self-control at the chocolate counter
posted by you just lost the game at 11:32 AM on November 3, 2005


jonmc, sure if people actualy want to be fat, that's there choice. (althought I doubt many people actualy want to be fat). beyond that, though, they can't expect people to just change their base responses to it.

--

Dan's suggested alternative was to was to date chubby chasers. Another group then wrote in decrying Savages proposition that to be satisfied fat people would have to date "perverts."

Actualy, some guys date fat women because they're insecure. I was watching an eppisode of that (disgusting) MTV show "I want a famous face" where the (fat) girl was going to get lipo suction and her boyfriend was all upset about it.

The Boyfriend looked like the lead singer of Dashboard Confessional. Serious prettyboy, and he was dating this fat girl. It was weird. And he was like insecure about her getting smaller. (she was cute, actualy worked as a plus-sized model, but still quite fat).

Of course, I suppose he might have just been closet chubby chaser or something.
posted by delmoi at 11:33 AM on November 3, 2005


jonmc, sure if people actualy want to be fat, that's there choice. (althought I doubt many people actualy want to be fat).

I don't know if "want," even enters into it. The word is "acceptance," remember? Accepting that you might be chubbier than most isn't that different than accepting that you're short or have acne scars. (mind you, I'm not talking about lfe-threateningly extreme obesity, just people who are heavier than average). By that token, fat people deserve to be treated with the same level of human dignity as anyone else.
posted by jonmc at 11:36 AM on November 3, 2005


My apparently "sexually deviant" husband likes me this way. But feederism seems a giant step beyond acceptance or even simple preference. My husband likes big guys, I enjoy big... other things... and all of America seems to adore hypertrophic tits, except for my friend Michael. But feederism reminds me a bunch of people who run drinking games for alcoholics, jacking off every time Curly reaches for another Krispy Kreme. It seems very important -- particularly when there clearly is so much unreasonable prejudice against the Fat (and don't give me that health stuff as justification for the ubiquitous humiliation until you stop eating meat, catching rays, and driving SUVs) -- to distinguish between the joy of folks who enjoy a little extra cushion-for-the-pushin' and people who actually encourage other people to be unhealthy (such as, oh, fraternities that ritualize binge drinking).
posted by digaman at 11:37 AM on November 3, 2005


Actualy, some guys date fat women because they're insecure

And billlions of other guys exclusively date thin, very pretty women.... because they're insecure.
posted by digaman at 11:38 AM on November 3, 2005


Obesity as a social epidemic's one of those things I generally like to stay far away from (like I'm doing now). You can't tell people what to eat or how to live, but there's a limit to how much patience you can have with attempts to encourage fat acceptance under the flimsy and unconvincing guise of "vive la diversite!"

Obesity is killing tens of thousands of people in my country alone every year and condemning millions of others to circumscribed lives of continual discomfort and medical distress. Dressing it up as the lifestyle choice of carefree libertarians and rugged individualists is like romanticizing smoking. Obesity has nothing to do with esthetics and judgementalism and socially normative beauty standards. It's a public health emergency, period.
posted by slatternus at 11:39 AM on November 3, 2005


As a community, I thought most of us leaned toward a libertarian veiw of human behavior, that it's a bad thing to tell people what to do with their bodies.

That sounds incredibly defensive. However, I agree with you that most people who tell others how to live should just shut up and let others be. Still, as a community - a community that deeply and truly loves one another, forever and ever, unrequitedly - it's within our right, if not our duty, to remind people that eating shit food, especially too much shit food, makes you feel like shit, will destroy your body, and makes you less attractive to other people. Same goes for smoking cigarettes.

Of course, these things are more easily said on the internet than they are in person.
posted by billysumday at 11:39 AM on November 3, 2005


Not that fat acceptance is necessarily comparable to the black civil rights movement, but I wonder what would have happened if many of the leaders of black civil rights had had a sexual fetish for black people? I think many sexual fetishes are kind of demeaning in a sense, as it seems to be the supreme elevation of superficial characteristics (amputations, hair/skin tone, size of body/body parts) over what really matters inside.

I just think that fat acceptance is going to hit a major roadbloack with the sex thing. Most of the leaders (conrad blickenstorfer, paul from bfb, podcast guy from isaa, etc.) it seems are average to slightly overweight men with a sexual preference for fat women. Some are just fat admirers, and some are feeders. Just seems kind of skeezy doesn't it?
posted by skjønn at 11:41 AM on November 3, 2005


(mind you, I'm not talking about lfe-threateningly extreme obesity, just people who are heavier than average).

Which would be, half the people.

Well, who knows? I don't really care that much about how people look really, but I'm bothered by the idea that people shouldn't be judgmental about this at all. Like it's wrong to think "wow, that person is fat" or whatever.

Obviously they should not be descriminated against, of course.
posted by delmoi at 11:44 AM on November 3, 2005


That sounds incredibly defensive

for the record, I'm 6' 1", 160lbs. Nice try, though.

it's within our right, if not our duty, to remind people that eating shit food, especially too much shit food, makes you feel like shit, will destroy your body, and makes you less attractive to other people. Same goes for smoking cigarettes.

and it's within our rights to tell you to go fuck yourself, granola breath. That attitude makes you all self-righteous and full of shit as some preacher telling you that masturbation is dooming you to hell. It's none of your business, period.


Actualy, some guys date fat women because they're insecure


Skinny guy who prefers his women on the larger side chiming in here. I've managed to attract women of all sizes, and quite frankly curvy girls (whom many would call "fat,") are the ones who attract me the most. Probably, because I don't want to bump uglies with someone who's body feels like my own.
posted by jonmc at 11:44 AM on November 3, 2005


I thought most of us leaned toward a libertarian veiw of human behavior, that it's a bad thing to tell people what to do with their bodies

There's also that personal responsibility for the consequences of one's actions. 33% of this country is obese. Obese people incur significant health care expenses down the road, expenses that they, personally, aren't entirely paying (not to mention that this consumption is simple dead weight on the economy, diverting resources from more useful avenues of investment). I use this same moral logic for supporting seat-belt and motorcycle helmet laws.

If health insurance premiums were mildly tied into one's body-fat % (allowing much slack up to say BMI=28[1], then a nice gradient of say $100/yr for each BMI point above that) I think that would provide some incentive for people to drop the weight.

[1] yes I know BMI doesn't work for body-builders
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:46 AM on November 3, 2005


and it's within our rights to tell you to go fuck yourself, granola breath. That attitude makes you all self-righteous and full of shit

Except that eating shit food, especially too much shit food, does make you feel like shit, will destroy your body, and will make you less attractive to [most] other people. So, it makes him self-righteous, to be sure, but not, strictly speaking, full of shit.
posted by you just lost the game at 11:48 AM on November 3, 2005


If health insurance premiums were mildly tied into one's body-fat % (allowing much slack up to say BMI=28[1], then a nice gradient of say $100/yr for each BMI point above that) I think that would provide some incentive for people to drop the weight.

Over the food industry's dead body.
posted by you just lost the game at 11:50 AM on November 3, 2005


and it's within our rights to tell you to go fuck yourself, granola breath. That attitude makes you all self-righteous and full of shit

Oh, please. Who's sounding self-righteous? No one's saying you can't do exactly what you want and have no right to accept yourself. Just that it's unrealistic to demand that OTHERS accept YOU.
posted by slatternus at 11:53 AM on November 3, 2005


for the record, I'm 6' 1", 160lbs. Nice try, though.

Wow. Did I accuse you of being overweight? Nope. But thanks for pointing out your dimensions. You sound hott!! :)

and it's within our rights to tell you to go fuck yourself, granola breath. That attitude makes you all self-righteous and full of shit as some preacher telling you that masturbation is dooming you to hell. It's none of your business, period.

Un. Believable. You need some pills. I don't think that eating well will make everyone skinny, and I'm not advocating some all-organic, vegan diet. In case you missed my point in your 6'1", 160 lbs. rage: if everyone ate better, it would make them healthier and feel better. Oh my God! I guess that stating this "information" is being self-righteous, huh!
posted by billysumday at 11:53 AM on November 3, 2005


I think Heywood's idea is interesting. If I'm a reckless driver with a history of accidents, I'm considered more likely to be in accidents and therefore my auto insurance premiums go up. If my BMI or some other indicator puts me in a _quantifiable_ high-risk zone in terms of health problems, perhaps I should shoulder my part of the cost by taking on higher health insurance premiums.

On the other hand, while there may be genetic components to reckless driving, that would be a pretty tenuous claim. Whereas BMI has a huge genetic component. So this could easily be seen as discrimination against people with certain genetic characteristics.

Discriminating against fat people in a direct sense isn't cool, but there ought to be things that society can do to put the breaks on the obesity trend in the population. A food fat tax, restrictions on advertising of fatty foods, getting shit food out of public schools, that kind of thing.

Libertarians who want government to stay out of this trend altogether (and there are many), I think,should come up with some alternatives that don't boil down to the whole "personal responsibility" argument, because personal responsibility is clearly at a loss to correct the trend.
posted by gurple at 11:54 AM on November 3, 2005


jonmc: Probably, because I don't want to bump uglies with someone who's body feels like my own.

if you think we skinny girls have similar body parts to your own, then I think you might have been dating the wrong skinny girls. ;)
posted by scody at 11:54 AM on November 3, 2005


Nothing makes people angrier these days than pointing out that their actions, or lack thereof, have consequences they may not find favourable.
posted by you just lost the game at 11:55 AM on November 3, 2005


A more imaginative approach would focus on a more detailed demographic--say, Mac using, SUV driving blubberbutt PETA members who live in Utah and consume mass quantities of kiddyporn.
posted by y2karl at 11:56 AM on November 3, 2005


...and don't give me that health stuff as justification for the ubiquitous humiliation until you stop eating meat, catching rays, and driving SUVs

SUV - Check. Don't have one. Never will.

Catching Rays - Check. Don't believe in it.

Eating meat - I eat meat. sparingly. Meat is perfectly healthy.

I am in the 90% percentile of health and fitness for my age. I'm a ripped themselves surrounded by a 15lb protective coating. That wight will likely never come off but I maintain a fairly constant and healthy muscle mass to fat ratio.

I own my own business and work from 8am 6:30pm. Often at least six days per week. I have heavy social and professional obligations.

Yet I am still very active: I Box; Do Jiu-Jistu and sub-wrestling; Kick box; Lift weights; Skip rope (used to run before my ACL went out); Hike; Ski; Swim. etc, etc.

I am not a natural athlete. I have to work twice as hard as most people do to an early childhood illness.

Losers find the time. Winners make the time.

I am qualified and justified enough to criticize fat people just a little about their health and how it effects my skyrocketing insurance rates? Not to mention how much they bitch about their own discomfort on planes, etc?

I think so.
posted by tkchrist at 11:58 AM on November 3, 2005


Oh my God! I guess that stating this "information" is being self-righteous, huh!

No, the fact that you feel the need to publicly state it does. Like the world hasn't figured it out yet, that bacon cheeseburgers and twinkies aren't good for you. We know. We just don't care. We won't sacrifice our pleasures to make you happy.

So the constant puffery of health nuts comes off sounding like people who are always going off about how they don't smoke or own a TV. We get it, you're terrific people and they're saving a place in heaven for you. Now kindly put a sock in it.
posted by jonmc at 11:58 AM on November 3, 2005


Yikes. "themselves" = 185lbs. Don't know how that happened.
posted by tkchrist at 11:59 AM on November 3, 2005


Whoa. I think we have a new leader in the self-righteousness tournament.
posted by you just lost the game at 12:00 PM on November 3, 2005


Wow. My post was nearly illiterate. Sorry.
posted by tkchrist at 12:01 PM on November 3, 2005


If health insurance premiums were mildly tied into one's body-fat % (allowing much slack up to say BMI=28[1], then a nice gradient of say $100/yr for each BMI point above that) I think that would provide some incentive for people to drop the weight.

"Mildly tied"? You're late, Heywood. A few years ago a woman from Blue Cross asked me my weight and height on the phone -- and I am not, you know, mega-obese or whatever, just fat -- and told me her company would not offer me individual coverage at any price. "You're way beyond our range," was the delicious phrase.
posted by digaman at 12:01 PM on November 3, 2005


new leader in the self-righteousness tournament

YES! I AM somebody!
posted by tkchrist at 12:02 PM on November 3, 2005


There's also that personal responsibility for the consequences of one's actions. 33% of this country is obese. Obese people incur significant health care expenses down the road, expenses that they, personally, aren't entirely paying (not to mention that this consumption is simple dead weight on the economy, diverting resources from more useful avenues of investment). I use this same moral logic for supporting seat-belt and motorcycle helmet laws.

I'm assuming you also support drug (including alcohol and tobacco) and DNA testing by insurance companies? And you'll be ok with a black box in your car that makes sure you don't speed?

All those will push your premiums down, after all, as you won't be bearing other people's risk. Except... pooling risk is what insurance is for,
posted by Leon at 12:03 PM on November 3, 2005


We know. We just don't care. We won't sacrifice our pleasures to make you happy.

We? But you're not overweight. You're young (presumably) and healthy, so even if you eat whatever you want it doesn't make a difference. You (presumably, all 6'1" and 160 lbs. of you) don't have body issues. However, if you were overweight, you might care. You might be quite sensitive about it. To the point where you got really defensive about it. Inappropriately so. A phenomena manifested in the trend of doctors who are now getting sued for telling their patients they are overweight.

Now kindly put a sock in it.

I would've, but it's like you're egging me on. To quote you just lost the game: Nothing makes people angrier these days than pointing out that their actions, or lack thereof, have consequences they may not find favourable.
posted by billysumday at 12:05 PM on November 3, 2005


What does "fat acceptance" mean, exactly? Are we talking about legislating wider seats in airplanes and theatres? A government ban on comedians making fun of Kirstie Alley?
posted by rocket88 at 12:06 PM on November 3, 2005


A phenomena manifested in the trend of doctors who are now getting sued for telling their patients they are overweight.

Is this actually happening? Please tell me this is not actually happening.

/ off to Google
posted by you just lost the game at 12:08 PM on November 3, 2005


Is this actually happening? Please tell me this is not actually happening.

To be fair, I'm not sure if it's trend. But I remember listening to an NPR report where they interviewed a number of doctors who had lost patients because the patients thought the doctors were too "insensitive" in regards to their obesity, and one patient even threatened to sue.

The point of the report was that doctors are now signing up for sensitivity classes in which they are taught the best ways to discuss medical issues with overweight patients.
posted by billysumday at 12:12 PM on November 3, 2005


I'd like to see a social movement that's not led by sexual deviants. Or, for that matter, a government body, Fortune 500 corporation, symphony orchestra or neighborhood delicatessen that's not led by sexual deviants. I don't think I've met a single person in my entire life who wasn't a sexual deviant. What does the term even mean?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:12 PM on November 3, 2005


I'd like to see a .....neighborhood delicatessen that's not led by sexual deviants.

*decides to hold the mayo from here on out*
posted by jonmc at 12:14 PM on November 3, 2005


If health insurance premiums were mildly tied into one's body-fat % (allowing much slack up to say BMI=28[1], then a nice gradient of say $100/yr for each BMI point above that) I think that would provide some incentive for people to drop the weight.
Over the food industry's dead body.


Nah, people will just buy more expensive food.
posted by delmoi at 12:15 PM on November 3, 2005


Wow. Well, like you said, it doesn't look like it's a trend yet. But give it a few years and people will be suing doctors for declaring their loved ones dead.
posted by you just lost the game at 12:16 PM on November 3, 2005


The obesity epidemic is most likely overblown; the BMI has serious flaws when it comes to actually accounting for who has unhealthy levels of body fat. It's easy to measure, and so it becomes the standard. This is something that has to be accounted for when we look at statistics. The fact that I can be counted as overweight, and therefore a health risk, despite having less than 15% body fat is absurd. Studies that fail to take this into effect are naturally going to be alarmist in conclusion and critically flawed.

That said, this is not some 'moral crisis' to be lightly dismissed. There is a growing problem with obesity and it's related health problems. The rise in prevalence of type II diabetes, especially among younger people, is a serious warning sign of this. People who are obese do face serious health risks and shortened life span, and obesity overtaking smoking as the leading cause of preventable death will happen. This is serious from a public health perspective, not only because it is getting worse, but because it is entirely preventable.

With respect to the perception of obesity and sexual attractiveness, I don't think anything can be done to change the status quo. While the standard of beauty in other cultures and at other times has leaned in a heavier direction, I don't think obesity will ever stop being considered by most to be unattractive, for the simple fact that is a very visible predictor for ill health, something that our innate sense of physical attraction is shaped to discriminate against.

As far as social acceptance goes, I don't see much change happening any time soon. I tend to see the issue much like I do smoking. While I certainly think that people have a right to smoke, that doesn't mean that I can't think poorly of their choice, or expect the government to work to mitigate the damage smoking does to public health.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 12:18 PM on November 3, 2005


U.N. Owen had a whole askme thread complaning about her OBGYN saying she was too fat (she said she couldn't excersize because she got a 'headache').
posted by delmoi at 12:21 PM on November 3, 2005


Some people are naturally thin and some are not. Most people can avoid being fat and a few can't. But I think we should be concerned with our own bodies and our own lives and leave everyone else the fuck alone.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:22 PM on November 3, 2005


U.N. Owen had a whole askme thread complaning about her OBGYN saying she was too fat (she said she couldn't excersize because she got a 'headache').
posted by delmoi at 12:21 PM PST on November 3


Okay, yeah, that was stupid.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:23 PM on November 3, 2005


Fat people use more fuel and are pushing us all toward peak oil. Why cannot our taxes be used to give all those chubby bastards an EyeToy Kinetic? Won't somebody think of the skinny children?
posted by Sparx at 12:25 PM on November 3, 2005


tkchrist : "Losers find the time. Winners make the time."

I've gotta use this phrase sometime. Like, if I'm sitting around playing video games and my wife says "You don't have time to be doing that, there's things around the house that need to be done", I'll respond "Losers find the time. Winners make the time."
posted by Bugbread at 12:25 PM on November 3, 2005 [1 favorite]


by you just lost the game - ...people will be suing doctors for declaring their loved ones dead.

Like Terry Shiavo's parents?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 12:25 PM on November 3, 2005


Oops. Yeah, I'd forgotten about that mess.
posted by you just lost the game at 12:29 PM on November 3, 2005


We get it, you're terrific people and they're saving a place in heaven for you. Now kindly put a sock in it.

Well, the big time fatties are gonna get to heaven a good 15-20 years ahead of the rest of us, and they'll have taken up all the couches when we arrive.

Looks like I'll be jogging in heaven as well...
posted by BobFrapples at 12:34 PM on November 3, 2005


skjønn : constructive criticism... I was going to mention the NSFW/NWS thing but got called to a meeting. I was also going to mention that if you were to lurk for a while, then you'd know that there are certain topics that cause MeFi to go all shouty. This is one of them.
Just saying.
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:55 PM on November 3, 2005


treating PCOS and avoiding its side effects

By side effects, I meant complications.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:01 PM on November 3, 2005


Man, the last time I waded into a weight-related thread (over at Monkeyfilter) people quit the site. What did I say? That there are some people who are fat for reasons they can't control, and a whole lot more who are fat for reasons they can control but choose not to.
But hey, my girlfriend's dropped probably about 20 pounds since I met her, and she looks smokin' hot. I've gained about the same amount, and I look distinguished and prosperous.
posted by klangklangston at 1:04 PM on November 3, 2005


The only way this thread could be improved would be to involve the Furries. Because a Fatties vs. Furries fight would be cool.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:14 PM on November 3, 2005


Will we ever find a resolution to the two sides of this argument? Will "fat people look unattractive and are probably unhealty and should eat better" ever be able to see eye-to-eye with "leave me and my fat self the fuck alone"?
posted by maxsparber at 1:20 PM on November 3, 2005


the BMI has serious flaws when it comes to actually accounting for who has unhealthy levels of body fat. It's easy to measure, and so it becomes the standard.

BMI worked for me (skinny dude in college, borderline obese in 2002, slightly paunchy dude now). It was seeing the BMI table in the paper in late 2003, tracing my height and weight, seeing 30.2, in the orange "obese" section of the chart, that broke through the denial and feeling of powerlessness.

I'd read John Walker's Hacker's Diet, so I had the tools I needed. 5 months later, with zero hunger pangs but just eating less and exercising more, I had dropped 50lbs (at a near-constant 2lbs/week) and was at my BMI 24.0 goal.

BMI works for most people, the people who need it.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:23 PM on November 3, 2005


agrees with tkchrist

yeah, yeah fat people are people too, they're just weak. Just like people who drink too much or smoke too much or watch too much porn. Are they still people who deserve being treated with respect? Of course. Most of the people I've met in my life who are seriously overweight eat shit while sitting on there ass while bitching they can never be as skinny as their friends who eat well and go to the gym no matter how many fad diets they go on.

But should we tip toe around fatty and pretend they don't have a problem? Of course not.
posted by slapshot57 at 1:28 PM on November 3, 2005


I'm assuming you also support drug (including alcohol and tobacco) and DNA testing by insurance companies? And you'll be ok with a black box in your car that makes sure you don't speed?

It's all about undue burdens. We could ban motorcycles altogether to reduce societal costs, but I feel that is an undue burden.

I do support tobacco testing for insurance rates, sure. I'd tie seatbelt usage to insurance rates and take the government out of the equation too, but that appears impractical ATM.

DNA testing, no. I strongly believe society should cover misfortune, and DNA faults is misfortune. I also believe government should be in the health insurance biz (single-payer UHC essentially) since I don't believe the free market is very good in providing workable solutions efficiently and effectively (AFAICT private health insurance is just raking money off the top).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:29 PM on November 3, 2005


Un. Believable. You need some pills. I don't think that eating well will make everyone skinny, and I'm not advocating some all-organic, vegan diet. In case you missed my point in your 6'1", 160 lbs. rage: if everyone ate better, it would make them healthier and feel better.

But probably not less likely to be discriminated against at work or viewed with contempt by a lot of otherwise liberal-minded people.

As for talk of some people being unable to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight: bullshit.

Look, if a skinny person tells you that they eat whatever they want and shun physical activity, you'll probably believe them, right? As one such skinny person, I don't find it much of a stretch to believe that a lot of fat people limit their portions and work out.
posted by transona5 at 1:29 PM on November 3, 2005


What's your point, [expletive deleted] ? Fat people are contemptible and we should feel justified in looking down on them?


It's a practical problem, man. It's not one of simple dicrimination. This VOLUNTARY behavior is damaging the same way drug abuse can be - and it has far reaching effects beyond just the individual.

It is also possible that the trend in American obesity is symptomatic of a larger and more pervasive trend - out-of control consumption and laziness in general. We are litterally gobbling up the planet and making things rather unplesant for everybody and we don't care.

So it's not just a matter of people wanting a cheesburger or two. It's people want five. Supersized. Every day. And we want somebody else to pay the Doctors tab.
posted by tkchrist at 1:31 PM on November 3, 2005


There's actually a very strong correlation between obesity and not getting enough sleep. The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to be obese. It's been proposed that this could explain a lot of the increase in obesity.

Maybe more people would like this theory if we could somehow frame it as "those fat people are too lazy to get sleep."
posted by transona5 at 1:35 PM on November 3, 2005


If we could dismiss people on the basis of our perception of their physical health, why not on the basis of their mental health?

I mean, if fatness is the result of poor character more than unlucky genetics, what about other consequences of poor character? Cowards, for instance. Maybe job applicants should have the shit scared out of them at the interview, and if they don't soil themselves they can have the job. It may not be directly relevant to the job, but it speaks to one's inner fortitude.

Also, people who need glasses because they chose to spend their childhood using a flashlight to read under the blankets. I mean, fuck 'em -- their mothers *warned* them. And now they have glasses. What does that say about a person? They knew what to do to be healthy, and they just ignored the advice. Oh I know, I know -- many causes of vision problems are genetic. But, you know, some *aren't.*

Fuck smokers. Fuck anorexics. Fuck people who joyride chronic depression, too weak to get off.

IT'S THEIR FAULT THEY SUCK.

...Of course, once we've determined who is to blame we're still left with dealing with them. The game isn't over when we're satisfied with our finger pointing. You still have to look people in the eye and say, "I'm sorry, but my inner Darwin has declared you unfit."

Besides, if fat people ARE responsible for their fatness that means skinny people must be responsible for their cruelty and callousness. (Personally, I don't care if you're an asshole but maybe Jesus does. Who knows?)

Full disclosure: I am not fat.

Full disclosure: I dig the curvy women.

Full disclosure: It's awfully hard to find a defensible excuse for dismissing an entire stripe of humanity. Those who do so flippantly might have strange personal reasons for their vitriol...I don't know -- but those who are ashamed of their own power of will are usually the first to damn the lazy.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 1:41 PM on November 3, 2005


It's a practical problem, man. It's not one of simple dicrimination. This VOLUNTARY behavior is damaging the same way drug abuse can be - and it has far reaching effects beyond just the individual.

So? I mean, let's accept that fatness is always voluntary, which is crap. But let's accept it. How does that guide how society should do something about it? I don't care if people pig out because they can't help it or because they won't help it, I want to stop them from pigging out.

I think society's reaction to the problem should be the same regardless of whether it boils down to a voluntary or involuntary issue for the individual, because, regardless, it's a trend in the masses that saying "stop being so fat, fatty" isn't going to help.

Tax fat, limit advertising, stop the problems in kids before they learn the wrong habits. Where does the issue of individual volition come into play, in these questions?
posted by gurple at 1:44 PM on November 3, 2005


It is also possible that the trend in American obesity is symptomatic of a larger and more pervasive trend - out-of control consumption and laziness in general. We are litterally gobbling up the planet and making things rather unplesant for everybody and we don't care.

Awesome. Fat people are not only unpleasant, worthless, and at fault for their behavior, they are destroying the planet.

This thread is immensely entertaining. I agree with the obesity = overconsumption analogy but the stance that the fat acceptance movement seems to be taking is "If you criticize my weight, then you are criticizing me as a person." This is insane.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:46 PM on November 3, 2005


Okay, everybody chill out.

As a reforming fatty I have to tell you it's about....eating less and exercising more. It isn't about being hungry all the time, it's about eating appropriate foods at appropriate portions, with the occasional treat. It's about staying away from nondiet sodas and sweet tea. And it's about training your body to use fat as fuel by exercising regularly -I am not talking about a leisurely walk around the block, I am talking about making an effort to increase fitness level.

This does not result in instant change, but I have lost 35 pounds since this past spring (when I started watching what went in my mouth.)

This is a process that takes patience. No quick fixes, but no tortuous suffering either. Just little things that add up. I used to be into "accepting me the way I was." Nothing wrong with that in theory-other than being fat I was healthy, low blood pressure, good cholesterol-but I was tired of being tired and looking ugly.

It's worth it. My life is different. In a good way.
posted by konolia at 1:47 PM on November 3, 2005


You can't tell people what to eat or how to live

Er, yes you can, and you should. Not on a one-to-one basis, obviously, but the sooner dangerously unhealthy foods are given the same attention in the public health arena as, say booze and fags the better, and the sooner they're taxed to high heaven the better too.

Just because food is something we need to live, there's this peculiar refusal to acknowledge that it can be dangerous - I really can't see the difference between a fat and sugar-laden food product and a packet of cigarettes or bottle of booze, and no one has any problem with preventing children from obtaining them, taxing them punitively etc.

Perhaps I'll write to my MP and suggest a ban on eating chips in public to go with the smoking ban ;-)


Also, the way this thread started really fucks me off - skjønn made a thoroughly decent post, is clearly trying to make sure his posts are well done, and as a newer user couldn't be expected to know that every thread on fatness brings out a load of idiotic in-denial blubbery burger-munching fools with made-up glandular problems/snooty gym-going health fascists showing off their ripped abs.
posted by jack_mo at 1:48 PM on November 3, 2005


posted by Slarty Bartfast Fat people are not only unpleasant, worthless, and at fault for their behavior, they are destroying the planet.

Well, they're definitely using more soap.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:48 PM on November 3, 2005


This thread is immensely entertaining. I agree with the obesity = overconsumption analogy but the stance that the fat acceptance movement seems to be taking is "If you criticize my weight, then you are criticizing me as a person." This is insane.

Insane? If you're not criticizing the person, what are you criticizing? McDonald's?

Maybe I've misunderstood you. But surely if you're criticizing someone's weight you ARE criticizing the person, especially if there a number of (negative) character traits we associate with obesity.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 1:51 PM on November 3, 2005


Aaaand there you go, skjønn. You didn't do anything wrong, but Metafilter isn't very good at maturely discussing this subject.
posted by Bugbread at 1:53 PM on November 3, 2005


Geez, it's nice to know all the bullies kids who teased me in school have grown up into such fine, upstanding, accepting citizens.

Listen, yes I know I'm obese, yes I know it affects my health, and if I had the willpower and mental strength, I would probably lose a lot of the weight, but guess what? I don't. I don't have it in me right now to do so, and all this judgment and contempt just makes us fatties run to the fridge for more ice cream, not to the gym. So instead of saying, "Put down the burger fatty," would it be so hard to say, "hey, how about taking a walk to that cool vegetarian place down the road?"

Jesus, and my therapist is trying to get me to see myself as someone attractive and worthy of finding a mate. I guess I am just too fat to love.
posted by lychee at 1:54 PM on November 3, 2005


Let me tell you something. I have trained - still train with - some very overwieght people. I see how difficult it is for them. I sympathize in the sense that I too had work very hard to see any athletic gains. I work out now with guys half my age and despise how easy it comes to them.

And when an obese person see's results - they derserve twice the respect of an average person.

I had one guy who seriously looked like a far side cartoon - he was over 40 at least 200lbs over wieght and had type II diabetes and was losing his eye sight. These were serious hurdles. Being over 40 and trianing in boxing is hard enough. I know I'm 43.

He started one day a week, then two, then three. He stumbled a few time - but always came back.

I worked with him for about two years before he started really seeing gains other people may take for granted - though for him the improvements were near immediate.

You wouldn't recognize the guy now. This guy stuck with it. He had real heart. And he is my favorite training partner now becuase he earned it. he works hard and motivates ME.

He will live longer now and be able to support his kids and see them have kids.

This excuse that you get headaches or whatever is not valid.

Finding a path to satisfying physical expression is NOT easy but you have to treat it like every other nessisity of hygene - like brushing your teeth or wiping your ass. You have to do it. Find the form you like to do and do it. your milage will vary but in the end you'll never regret it.

That people don't meet some physical standard of beauty? Eh. Flesh degrades man. We all are gonna get ugly eventually.

To abuse your body by willful neglect and destroying it through rabid consumption is a sad waste.
posted by tkchrist at 2:01 PM on November 3, 2005


A couple things...

I'm betting a lot of the self-righteous of-healthy-weight folks on this thread don't have to use all that much willpower to maintain their weight. (NOTE: I DID NOT SAY "ALL"). It's not that way for everyone, you know - we evolved in a very different environment, when times of food a-plenty needed to be taken advantage of by packing on as many calories as we could, in the interests of survival. Not only that, our appetites are attracted by things like the mouth-feel of fatty foods, the sweetness of sugar, and that sort of thing, that originated as signals to help steer us towards the foods that would help us survive best (and pass on our genes, you get the idea).

Of course, we have done amazing things as a species (in the first world I mean) as far as creating a proliferation of cheap, high-calorie, high-sugar, high-fat food that is easily and widely available. Yet our biology hasn't caught up, and only *some* people have appetite / metabolism systems that are capable of effortlessly calibrating themselves to this new reality. But these people aren't more virtuous than anyone else - they are just fortunate.

And as for exercise - it used to take a vast amount of physical effort to get by day to day, in the environment in which we evolved. Modern conveniences have reduced the physical requirements for us at the same time as modern work habits have reduced the amount of free time we have to work out. I keep reading in various places that Americans are working more hours per week than we ever have. With limited time, people make choices - some people come home from work and want to spend as much time as possible with their children. For many woman who have a disproportionate share of the housework and childcare, the limited time they have to get everything done makes their time pressures even more acute.

Some people choose time with their families over time at the gym. Is it really such a morally hideous thing to choose? I really don't think so.

Rather than focusing on how we can make the situation better, and work towards fixing the problem, lots of people would rather point fingers, and lay blame on the fatties' supposed moral faults and lack of willpower. It all seems so easy when there's a handy scapegoat.

Having enough willpower to overcome the extremely unhealthy metabolism calibration evolution has left you with is something that some people can change (and more power to those who succeed - kudos to you), but for others it simply requires more resources (mental, emotional, time, energy, money (gym memberships aren't free)) than they've got. Do you really think castigating these people is going to help them? Frankly, I think the ill health effects they endure are punishment enough, and society doesn't need to heap more on them. I really don't think they by and large *like* being unhealthily overweight.

I don't have the magic solution either, I'm afraid. But I don't see hateful recriminations as being anything close to constructive.
posted by beth at 2:11 PM on November 3, 2005


"Jesus and My Therapist".

I'm gonna start a band...

(The suggestion that willpower may be innate, like a lot of personality traits, rather puts a stick in the "it's a choice!" wheel).

skjønn - once it's all done bar cleaning up the broken glass, I'd love to know what you thought of the thread.
posted by Leon at 2:12 PM on November 3, 2005


Will "fat people [are not as] attractive and are probably unhealty and should eat better" ever be able to see eye-to-eye with "leave me and my fat self the fuck alone"?

Wonderful strawman. One is a statement as fact and the other is a reaction to that statement. How each person as an individual reacts to that knowledge is all that really matters.
posted by billysumday at 2:12 PM on November 3, 2005


This excuse that you get headaches or whatever is not valid.

I don't see how you could possibly know that without knowing someone's medical circumstances.
posted by agregoli at 2:13 PM on November 3, 2005


posted by lychee I know I'm obese, yes I know it affects my health, and if I had the willpower and mental strength, I would probably lose a lot of the weight, but guess what? I don't. I don't have it in me right now to do so, and all this judgment and contempt just makes us fatties run to the fridge for more ice cream, not to the gym. So instead of saying, "Put down the burger fatty," would it be so hard to say, "hey, how about taking a walk to that cool vegetarian place down the road?"

Jesus, and my therapist is trying to get me to see myself as someone attractive and worthy of finding a mate. I guess I am just too fat to love.


Well, with that sort of defeatist attitude, you're absolutely right. But let me see if I understand you correctly: you're lacking the willpower and mental strength to excercise and diet, and all this judgment and contempt is causing you to eat more? So in other words, society is at fault for keeping you fat?
posted by fandango_matt at 2:15 PM on November 3, 2005


And speaking of fat, here's a fellow who made and ate a 29,500 calorie sandwich.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:17 PM on November 3, 2005


Wow. That puts Hungry Man dinners to shame.
posted by Rothko at 2:23 PM on November 3, 2005


Everyone I know within the size acceptance movement decries feederism. NAAFA has an official statement against feederism, and they're likely the largest SA group out there.

I just recently joined a gym, and while I do enjoy it, I have to admit that I feel pretty self-conscious sweating my ass off on the treadmill, and I don't even dare to try the other equipment out because I'm scared that I'll look stupid. And I'm someone who is pretty comfortable in my skin as a fat woman. I can't even imagine what someone who isn't as comfortable with themself as I am feels when they walk into a gym. There are huge barriers--some self-imposed, some not--to a fat person achieving a decent level of fitness. A lot of these impediments have been discussed in great detail before on MetaFilter. And then there's that little voice in your head that tells you that every single person at the gym is staring at you and laughing--and that voice can be awfully loud sometimes.

And threads like this just remind me that while I may not be able to see the people laughing at me at the gym, some of them probably are. Then again, I laugh to myself at the woman who runs like a spaz on the treadmill, so it all works out in the end. None of us is perfect.

And FWIW, I'm not trying to lose weight. I'm trying to become more fit. I may become smaller as a side effect of increased fitness, but even if I don't, I'll certainly be more fit in a year than I am right now. And that can only be a good thing in the long run.
posted by eilatan at 2:25 PM on November 3, 2005


It's not a crime to be overweight. But obesity is stupid self-destructive behavior, like eg. not wearing your seatbelt, that has moral hazard attached to it. I've been on the obesity escalator, I know what's it like, and I'm glad I was able to get off when I did.

What konolia said above.

I'm for societal intervention in seatbelt usage and motorcycle helmet laws since there's a lot of societal gain for insignificant (IMV) loss of individual liberty. Same thing with obesity, to the extent individual liberty is preserved.

In a decade (if we're lucky) the fiscal train pulling this country is going to go off-track. Health-maintenance costs are going to be THE dominant spending item in the budget.

We can be smart or stupid in addressing this spending. To be honest, I don't know what the smart policy looks like. But standing around with 33% of the country obese is a recipe for disaster.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:34 PM on November 3, 2005


And then there's that little voice in your head that tells you that every single person at the gym is staring at you and laughing--and that voice can be awfully loud sometimes.

eilatan, your post reminds me of a sincere question: is there something I could be doing at the gym to help cut against those fears of folks secretly watching/laughing at you? I'm in the naturally lean camp, so I fully admit I have no idea what it's like to try to lose weight (though god knows I do have my own lovely set of body/beauty issues). It seems to me that some sort of "hey, good job" comment (or even an offer to help with some of the equipment -- several pieces of which I can't always figure out how to use myself!) would be intrusive and condescending. Is there something you have in mind? (I think that might sound snarky, but I honestly don't mean it that way.)

posted by scody at 2:38 PM on November 3, 2005


The Jessie Helms: biking, running, and slaving at the gym so we don't have to here.
posted by quonsar at 2:44 PM on November 3, 2005


Because a Fatties vs. Furries fight would be cool.

I think there is a good deal more overlap between those two categories than would make for a good fight.
posted by kindall at 2:46 PM on November 3, 2005



This thread is immensely entertaining. I agree with the obesity = overconsumption analogy but the stance that the fat acceptance movement seems to be taking is "If you criticize my weight, then you are criticizing me as a person." This is insane.

Insane? If you're not criticizing the person, what are you criticizing? McDonald's?

Maybe I've misunderstood you. But surely if you're criticizing someone's weight you ARE criticizing the person, especially if there a number of (negative) character traits we associate with obesity.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 1:51 PM PST on November 3 [!]


But I don't see hateful recriminations as being anything close to constructive.
posted by beth at 2:11 PM PST on November 3 [!]


Perhaps my position is being mixed up with that of others' on this thread. As it happens, I am a physician who finds myself quite frequently having to discuss my patients' obesity in a supportive way. Dealing with a person's obesity is clearly not the same as devalueing their character and is far from a hateful recrimination.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:47 PM on November 3, 2005


I think the fat/sex thing is funny, but a far more important issue has been skipped over in the comments; I thought it was one of the most relevant parts of the first article:

Hers spotlights how overconsumption is socially and politically organized, from agribusiness subsidies and price supports to a pattern of hiring lobbyists and corporate execs to run "oversight" agencies like the USDA and the FDA that—go figure—function like industry tools instead. But the real bottom line is that processed food—which generally means higher-calorie food—is more profitable than raw food. Flavor is eliminated, then artificially added (usually meaning fat or sugars); nutrients are lost, then artificially added. The more additives, the higher the price. And we all know where this money trail leads: to our stomachs and hips.

And while corrlations like lack of sleep and obsity (as mentioned in an earlier post) are interesting, it sure is a lot easier for to link obsity to ... diet.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup May Act More Like Fat Than Sugar in the Body: "consumption of various sweeteners, often in calorie-dense foods and drinks, has risen in the United States from an estimated 113 pounds per person in 1966 to 147 pounds in 2001."

Do Agricultural Subsidies Foster Poor Health? : "U.S. farmers are most efficient at producing, he says, are just a few highly subsidized crops--wheat, soybeans, and especially corn. ... Support for these few crops, critics say, has compelled farmers to ignore other crops such as fruits, vegetables, and other grains. The market is flooded with products made from the highly subsidized crops, including sweeteners in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), fats in the form of hydrogenated fats made from soybeans, and feed for cattle and pigs. This flood, in turn, drives down the prices of fattening fare such as prepackaged snacks, ready-to-eat meals, fast food, corn-fed beef and pork, and soft drinks."
posted by fourstar at 2:48 PM on November 3, 2005


I don't feel like reading all these comments, someone summarize.
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:09 PM on November 3, 2005


I just recently joined a gym, and while I do enjoy it, I have to admit that I feel pretty self-conscious sweating my ass off on the treadmill, and I don't even dare to try the other equipment out because I'm scared that I'll look stupid.

No one at the gym thinks you look stupid. We all started somewhere. The people who are assholes at the gym would be assholes in the office or grocery store or gas station; ignore them, because fit people hate them too.

Also, please please please lift weights; relying on cardio alone is not nearly as effective. And none of those bullshit five pound weights, either. Get a personal trainer to show you the equipment and proper form a few times.

Finally, I'm going to pimp johnstonefitness.com for the billionth time on this site.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:13 PM on November 3, 2005


I know I'm obese, yes I know it affects my health, and if I had the willpower and mental strength, I would probably lose a lot of the weight, but guess what? I don't. I don't have it in me right now to do so, and all this judgment and contempt just makes us fatties run to the fridge for more ice cream, not to the gym...my therapist is trying to get me to see myself as someone attractive and worthy of finding a mate. I guess I am just too fat to love.

in other words, society is at fault for keeping you fat?

I don't think that's what lychee's saying at all.

This comment jumped out at me (a card-carrying fatty) because it's something I myself have thought and said. Not only am I an admitted fatty, but I'm a fatty who has been dealing with chronic depression for the past ten years or so. Thoughts like that are pretty much par for the course.

And guess what? This mental sorting-out is hard fucking work. Far harder than losing weight, and I can attest to that personally. Making small, common-sense changes in diet and exercise was easy when I went about it gradually. I lost 50 pounds over the course of a year or two, and I was thrilled that I had been able to do it. I looked better and (physically) felt better. Then I started in on the mental stuff...and between side effects from medication and the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies it (and therapy), I've gained most of the weight back. Which rolls right over into the kind of horrible thoughts lychee describes. The circle of life continues.

You see how it can get complicated.

No, it's not society keeping me fat; I take the credit/blame for most of that. But the myopic view of the hows and whys of fatness on display in this thread sure as hell don't help. Remember that the devil is in the details--something that too many people seem all too happy to forget.

and lychee, please forgive me if I've gone too far afield with this.
posted by Vervain at 3:15 PM on November 3, 2005


Twelvetwo:

Summary-
"Fat people are lazy, unhealthy, raise my insurance and should be told as much"

vs.

"Leave them alone, let them eat and be fat if they want to, you workout nazis".
posted by tetsuo at 3:15 PM on November 3, 2005


The people who are assholes at the gym would be assholes in the office or grocery store or gas station; ignore them, because fit people hate them too.

Yes yes yes!
posted by scody at 3:16 PM on November 3, 2005


Leon, my band would be called my inner Darwin.
posted by tetsuo at 3:17 PM on November 3, 2005


I don't see how you could possibly know that without knowing someone's medical circumstances.

Did you not read what I wrote? I trained with a guy who was essentially blind - in late stages od diabetes II... yet he could do it. Because he did WHAT HE COULD, little by little, and built on that.

I work out with migraines nearly every week. And with a torn ACL, severe asthma, separated ribs, broken toes, neck sprains... it's not easy for me. Some days I can hardly drag my ass out of bed to go work out. Some day I don't.

I have trained with people in wheelchairs for Christ sake.

If your heart is beating and you can move something - excuses are bullshit.
posted by tkchrist at 3:18 PM on November 3, 2005


Ah gotcha, now I can make my pithy rabble-rousing comment.

I blame the system!
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:19 PM on November 3, 2005


gosh, this thread runs fast.
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:21 PM on November 3, 2005


Lazy bastard.
posted by InfidelZombie at 3:22 PM on November 3, 2005


TwelveTwo... Good second FPP is used to start teensy fire. Add gasoline, and then add more. Repeat ad nauseam and break out the weenies (both veggie and meat kinds). Add more gasoline and enjoy. Or not.
Also, on preview, what tetsuo said.
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:25 PM on November 3, 2005


i think we're out of popcorn. would somebody please make some more? i don't feel like getting up out of this chair.
posted by 3.2.3 at 3:25 PM on November 3, 2005


And FWIW, I'm not trying to lose weight. I'm trying to become more fit. I may become smaller as a side effect of increased fitness, but even if I don't, I'll certainly be more fit in a year than I am right now. And that can only be a good thing in the long run.

THIS is the right attitude. When somebody walks in my Boxing gym who is overweight I never think "Whoa. What a lazy ass."

In fact it is the opposite.

I know the kind of balls it took just walk in that door - seeing some of these roided-out knuckle heads pounding away on eachother - and not turning around and walking right out again.

I immediately try to be as supportive and encouraging as I can - because I know how hard it is. And when these people make it - they are great students of the sport and they motivate everybody around them.

But it's not easy for anybody. This is the problem. The average person sees a fit person and thinks that person is born blessed. It's not true - or rarely. It's work and pain. But the rewards are endlessly fulfilling.

...but I'm a fatty who has been dealing with chronic depression for the past ten years or so.

I have dealt with clinical depression myself. And the most efficable solution I found WAS excercise. Don't give up.
posted by tkchrist at 3:36 PM on November 3, 2005


NSFNWSWSNSW = Not Safe For National Weather Service Workers Stationed in New South Wales.

[I have nothing of substance to add to this thread, but am commenting anyway because that's The MetaFilter Way™!]
posted by Eideteker at 3:37 PM on November 3, 2005


Whoa, that fellow of whom I wrote earlier ripped off the story and pictures from this guy.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:44 PM on November 3, 2005


self-conscious sweating my ass off on the treadmill

Man. Everybody feels that way. Maybe the gym isn't the place for you. Maybe walking stadium stairs or outdoor group work outs like these guided PT sessions retired Drill Instructors run... any number of things. Explore.

As for the treadmill - At the downtown Seattle YMCA I one time cranked the treadmill as high as it would go accidentally. As I frantically tried to decelerate I snagged the edge of my shoe. The thing flung me into a glass wall behind me like out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon - BLAM! And then I stuck for a split second and slid down the glass. EEEEEE. Behind that glass wall were basket ball courts. Full basketball courts. Yeah. It was embarrassing. But I got a standing ovation.
posted by tkchrist at 3:46 PM on November 3, 2005


I'm a skinny(ish) guy. And I don't go to the gym, though I've been thinking about it recently (the long fight between revulsion at paying for something like exercise, which is easily found freely, and revulsion at exercising without air conditioning seems to have been won by the "need AC" side). But if I were to see an overweight person at the gym, my first, last, and middle thought would probably "good for you!" I hope I'm not unusual in that regard.
posted by Bugbread at 3:50 PM on November 3, 2005


And speaking of fat, here's a fellow who made and ate a 29,500 calorie sandwich.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:17 PM PST on November 3 [!]


I call SHENANIGANS!

Unless he actually drank the cooking oil he deep-fried the corn dogs in.

"Canola Oil – 154 Tbsp. 18,432"

That over half a gallon of oil. That sandwitch only has 11068 calories! That's only like 16 Big Macs.

*shivers*
posted by Mr T at 3:59 PM on November 3, 2005


These threads always turn ridiculous. That having been said, I really like that Tae Bo commercial. The testimonials are so inspiring.
posted by horsewithnoname at 4:13 PM on November 3, 2005


This idea that we can shame people into losing weight...ummm not so good. For many overweight people poor self esteem triggers binging which causes weight gain which creates lower self esteem. A viscious cycle which can only be exacerbated with public shaming.

And your charming little anecdote , Tkchrist, can be countered with one of my own. Some years ago I was working with a highly recommended personal trainer at the gym so that I could finally attain my perfect body. The girl scheduled after me was huge and in particular had an enormous behind. One day I casually asked how long the trainer had been working with the girl and she said "2 years." I tried not to let my eyes bug right out of my skull, but I think my snort-gasp betrayed my shock. The trainer said that this girl came 5 days a week, did her 20 minute warm-up on the treadmill, her 1 hour weight training, and at least another 30 minutes on the bike but hadn't really changed much in 2 years other than to get stronger. The trainer confided to me, "I don't think she sticks to a diet."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:42 PM on November 3, 2005


> (the long fight between revulsion at paying for something like exercise, which
> is easily found freely, and revulsion at exercising without air conditioning seems
> to have been won by the "need AC" side).

Don't blow that gym fee just yet. If you live anywhere north of Miami, you're coming up on the time of year when everywhere is air conditioned. Some places moreso than others, of course.
posted by jfuller at 4:53 PM on November 3, 2005


mean people suck
posted by pyramid termite at 5:02 PM on November 3, 2005


The trainer confided to me, "I don't think she sticks to a diet."

LOL. There is that. But I bet that gal - working out like that - will live longer, happier and better had she not sought the exercise.

I give major props to people who just show up. Seriously.

however, I can't abide the whiners excusing themselves with how hard it is... so they don't even try. Of course it's hard. I know every day how hard it is.

I'm reminded of what an old drill instructor used to say "Pain is weakness leaving the body." Extreme, perhaps even trite, but quite true.

Of course there is another school of thought, like Professor Wally Jay, who said:

"No pain?... no pain!"

The older I get the more fond I become of the professor.
posted by tkchrist at 5:25 PM on November 3, 2005


jonmc has been consistently on the mark throughout. live and let live, people, and stop the whining. you want to exercise, go right ahead. you want to eat bacon cheeseburgers, go ahead. climb mt. everest, be my guest. smoke, drink, drive, have sex, you name it...nothing is without risk and we all die in the end anyway. i hate the self-righteous indignation that is sweeping the country. have fun and mind your own business. if we were all so perfect!
posted by brandz at 5:56 PM on November 3, 2005


Interesting photos in the metafilteruser thingy. I just added one of me, just for fun ;)

Time to hit the gym... right after this beer...
posted by starscream at 6:36 PM on November 3, 2005


bugbread - I'm a skinny and 1) dislike the idea of paying money to go to a gym and 2) am really self concious regarding my body image (although friends who have seen me nekkid recently who haven't for a while go "Holy shit, dude! How long have you been on the 'roids?").

These books may present an alternative to an actual "fitness club" and their attendant hassles. There's also a lot to be said for a simple chinup bar.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 7:06 PM on November 3, 2005


Eh, be as overweight/skinny as you want, just don't get pissed if someone you like doesn't want to fuck you.

It's not like I'm whining that I don't get to bounce Angelina Jolie on my lap.
posted by Talanvor at 8:54 PM on November 3, 2005


I'm reminded of what an old drill instructor used to say "Pain is weakness leaving the body."
A doctor told me that when I was getting stitches for a deep cut. Meh, should have done him a favor and liberated some of his weakness with a scalpel.
posted by Talanvor at 8:57 PM on November 3, 2005


I figure, people can live however they want to live. Just don't bitch and moan if a certain public facility doesn't have a doorway wide enough for you or an elevator to get you up the front steps.
(Unless, of course, you're permanently disabled. With a real disability, like an amputation. If you think being overweight is a disability, then your victim mentality is holding you back. Seriously. I didn't complain that I couldn't run a mile, blame it on my "disabiltiy," and then light up. I said, "Boy am I tired of having decreased lung function a well as a myriad of other unpleasant and ultimately life threatening side effects." I bucked up and quit smoking. It was probably some of the least fun that I've ever had and it took (and still takes, every day) an effort. But we're human beings; creatures with big and powerful brains. And we're in control of ourselves. Entirely.)

While we're on the topic:

I recently saw this exhibit here in Philadelphia. It's of genuine deceased persons who've been preserved using a process that infuses their body with a plastic polymer. Not only was it super sweet, it was also one of the most informative and interesting medical/anitomical things that I've ever seen. Among the dozens and dozens of bodies, organs, bones, and muscles on display, they had an obese person cut into inch thick sections lengthwise and layed out on a table. To see the damage that all of that extra weight did to the skeleton is really frightening. Joints get compressed and wear down, cartilage deteriorates under the pressure, and bones sag and bow from the weight. What got me, though, was what happened to the bottoms of the feet. They were really pulverized and damaged in a way that I can't really describe.

Also, did you know that you've got to walk a mile to work off the calories that you consume in a single 20oz Soda?
posted by Jon-o at 9:36 PM on November 3, 2005


130 comments later, is it all settled? Did anyone follow the links and see the humongus woman with no clothes on?
Was deviancy in the super-sized movement discussed? Or did all pile on with a favorite opinion/personal experience?
posted by Cranberry at 9:55 PM on November 3, 2005


Is this because most of us have only our own experience to go by, and very little investment in the fight to consider bulbous flesh attractive, even desirable?
posted by Cranberry at 9:58 PM on November 3, 2005


Yeah Cranberry, this shit almost reads like a Fark thread.
posted by fourstar at 10:05 PM on November 3, 2005


But I bet that gal - working out like that - will live longer, happier and better had she not sought the exercise.

Longer, maybe. Happier? Who knows? Maybe she'd be happier if she accepted the way she was. Maybe she'd be happier spending more time doing things she enjoys, and less time doing things that are "good" for her. Maybe she'd enjoy her shorter, less stressful life more than she'll enjoy her longer, toil-filled one. I doubt anyone here can answer this.

I used to be quite fat, when I was a teenager. I lost a lot of weight, and put a little bit back on as I approach middle age. I can't tell if I'm more or less happy, generally, than I was before. I'm glad I'm not fat, but that's not the same thing as being happier. I don't exercise much now, because there are things that I enjoy more. Would I be a better person if I exercised more? Sure, just like I'd be a better person if I worked harder, or if I gave all my money to the poor, and so on. But I really doubt that, when I'm on my deathbed, I'll be thinking about how I should have worked harder or exercised more.

I'm reminded of what an old drill instructor used to say "Pain is weakness leaving the body."

And of course, at the point that you can no longer feel pain, you will most likely be dead. No more weakness for you!

If everyone were as tolerant and unjudgmental as jonmc and brandz, the world would be a happier place. Everyone here has a vice; your vices simply leave less visible evidence of their existence on your person. I suppose I should just be grateful that disdain for fat people and SUVs seem to be the last vestiges of puritanism on the Left.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:13 PM on November 3, 2005


Well, the big time fatties are gonna get to heaven a good 15-20 years ahead of the rest of us, and they'll have taken up all the couches when we arrive.

Looks like I'll be jogging in heaven as well...


Possibly sooner than you may have be planning on. Have you seen all the news reports, just this summer alone, about very fit men dying during marathons or their routine runs? Fitness nuts have been dropping like flies! Isn't it ironic?

I think people who hate fat people do so because of their own self image problems. Many straight men especially seem terrified of being associated with any female that might not fit into what their friends consider the norm, whether that's weight or any other physical characteristic, so you really see them wig out in threads like this. The vitriol is pathological & reveals bigger, uglier problems than obesity.
posted by zarah at 11:58 PM on November 3, 2005


Heywood: I wasn't suggesting that the BMI is useless for individuals who want to track their weight. For most people, the BMI is an accurate measure. However, because the BMI creates many false positives, it overstates the severity of obesity in epidemological studies. Many recent studies on the "obesity epidemic" have come under fire for using the BMI without adjusting for these sources of error.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 12:34 AM on November 4, 2005


Me and my Monkey: The traditional argument used along that line of thinking is "how far away do you want your deathbed to be" (in the life prolonging sense of exercise, not the concrete overshoe sense - just so we're clear).

Me, I'm for exercise when its fun. If you do it out of a sense of duty, you're doing it wrong. And I have to admit, I stopped going to the gym and started up with eyeToy Kinetic because it was that much more fun for me. Little resistance training, but that can be worked around. Plus no one cares if you'd had a couple of drinks.
posted by Sparx at 3:05 AM on November 4, 2005


The traditional argument used along that line of thinking is "how far away do you want your deathbed to be" (in the life prolonging sense of exercise, not the concrete overshoe sense - just so we're clear).

Don't confuse quality with quantity. No one wants to die today, but that doesn't mean that a long life is better than a short one.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:14 AM on November 4, 2005


New study confirms that waist to hip ratio, rather than BMI, is the better predicter of heart attack risk.
posted by OmieWise at 5:49 AM on November 4, 2005


Would I be a better person if I exercised more?

Actually the very opposite happened to me-- The more I obsessed over my hunt for the ideal body the more narcissistic I became. When you are analyzing every bite going into your mouth, spending 2 or even 3 hours a day exercising, constantly measuring and weighing your progress-- you get more than a little self-absorbed. And consequently your ideal mate parameters get narrowed considerably. And you develop a raging case of superiority.

Now, granted I went over board and most people dieting and exercising to maintain health don't become ego monsters, but there is that possibility.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:09 AM on November 4, 2005


There's also a lot to be said for a simple chinup bar.

Yes. Yes there is. And doing Dips. Nobody NEEDS to join a Gym by any means.

But I really doubt that, when I'm on my deathbed, I'll be thinking about how I should have worked harder or exercised more.

Uh. You might if your deathbed is at 50 years old.

Nobody is saying everybody must follow some absurd standard of super-model beauty.

People seem to confuse tolerance and basic human respect for blind acceptance. There is a HUGE difference.

Should I simply accept that millions of my fellow humans are dying - needlessly? Just because they say they want to lead a "lifestyle" (I HATE that word) that allows them to kill themselves slowly? Should we just accept the social costs of rampant drug addiction? Should we accept suicide? I mean fuck. C'mon. There is much more to this that just an esthetic. There are real costs.

I know people who have died far too young from the effects of severe obesity. I won't accept it as just a lifestyle. Not when they leave behind a wake of tragedy and cost behind them.

Cost we ALL have to pay. And it's not fair and ultimately selfish to demand everybody else accept your "lifestyle" when it's a burden the larger society can't bare.
posted by tkchrist at 10:44 AM on November 4, 2005


Have you seen all the news reports, just this summer alone, about very fit men dying during marathons or their routine runs?

A very good friend of my mother's had this happen to her husband about ... 8-9 months ago. They were on vacation, he came back from a routine run at the beach, and had a stroke. He became half paralyzed, lost the ability to speak, and was put into a rehabilitation hospital. He died a couple months later.

Nothing is guaranteed in this life. You could get hit by a bus next week.
posted by beth at 10:44 AM on November 4, 2005


Ahhh... you bastard.... it's NSFW, not NWS!!!!!

Dammit, now I have to explain that
posted by hatsix at 11:12 AM on November 4, 2005


NWS = "NOT WORK SAFE" = ACCEPTABLE WARNING; EXPAND YOUR ACRONYMICON

I thought I could help myself, but I couldn't. At least I waited a day.
posted by jenovus at 2:12 PM on November 4, 2005


I saw a guy being interviewed on TV, about his wife who had lost close to 200 lbs. The interviewer was, like, "you must be so happy about this."

He paused and brushed away a tear and said" "but I've lost the equivalent of a whole person."
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:28 PM on November 4, 2005


You might [think about how I should have exercised more] if your deathbed is at 50 years old

And I might not. Again, you seem to believe that a short life is necessarily less happy than a long one. That's fine, but it's just a belief - nothing more. There are plenty of people who would live long, miserable lives without the vices they treasure, I'm sure.

People seem to confuse tolerance and basic human respect for blind acceptance. There is a HUGE difference.

No, there isn't. Tolerance is, by definition, acceptance. You seem to confuse tolerance and acceptance with approval. No one's asking for your approval. They just want you to butt out of their business.

I know people who have died far too young from the effects of _____. I won't accept it as just a lifestyle. Not when they leave behind a wake of tragedy and cost behind them.

Imagine all the things people could put in that blank. Ask yourself if you would ever do something that, for someone else, might engender the same response. Finally, ask yourself whether they should therefore be able to tell you what to do.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:00 PM on November 4, 2005


Tolerance is, by definition, acceptance.

Well, let's see from our friend Webster:

tolerance
Part of Speech:
noun 1
Definition:
open-mindedness
Synonyms:
altruism, benevolence, broad-mindedness, charity, clemency, compassion, concession, endurance, forbearance, freedom, good will, grace, humanity, indulgence, kindness, lenience, leniency, lenity, liberalism, liberality, liberalness, license, magnanimity, mercifulness, mercy, patience, permission, permissiveness, sensitivity, sufferance, sympathy, toleration, understanding

The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.

1. Leeway for variation from a standard.
2. The permissible deviation from a specified value of a structural dimension, often expressed as a percent.

THEN:

ac·cep·tance Audio pronunciation of "acceptance" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (k-sptns)
n.

1. The act or process of accepting.
2. The state of being accepted or acceptable.
3. Favorable reception; approval.
4. Belief in something; agreement.

Agreement? Ah. NOT tolerance.

So... BZZZT. Thanks for playing. Look it up your self.

Imagine all the things people could put in that blank.

Let put some things in that blank... behaviors and practices that some people really felt were perfectly acceptable "rights": Racism. Sexism. Slavery. Pollution. Etc.

Ask yourself if you would ever do something that, for someone else, might engender the same response.

I'm sure I do. And when somebody shows me facts the demonstrate my damaging behavior- AKA - like reducing non-point pollution, responsible purchasing, not voting for fucking fascists, etc... I CHANGE.
posted by tkchrist at 3:32 PM on November 4, 2005


My goodness, you're silly.
posted by goofyfoot at 4:50 PM on November 4, 2005


So... BZZZT. Thanks for playing. Look it up your self.

Oh my. I don't need to look it up "my self," thank you very much, since English is my native tongue. What exactly would it mean to tolerate someone, if you could not accept that he is free to do something with which you disagree? That's the same sort of ersatz "tolerance" shown by people who don't mind those damn homos as long as they stay in the closet.

As an aside, you'll find that dictionary definitions are woefully inadequate for anything beyond the most trivial interpretation of words.

Let put some things in that blank... behaviors and practices that some people really felt were perfectly acceptable "rights": Racism. Sexism. Slavery. Pollution. Etc.

If you can't distinguish a moral difference between owning slaves and being fat, I don't think we will be able to have a reasonable discussion. In fact, I'd rather be fat as a house than have such a skewed moral compass as that. But since you seem to be straining to fill the blank with more obvious examples, here are some drawn from modern history: homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, drinking, gambling, miscegenation, being a hippie, being a leftist.

I'm sure I do. And when somebody shows me facts the demonstrate my damaging behavior- AKA - like reducing non-point pollution, responsible purchasing, not voting for fucking fascists, etc... I CHANGE

So, you're saying you have no vices? How about things that you don't consider a vice, but that others do?

I also find it quite humorous that your examples are all about things you might do that primarly affect other people. Drinking and smoking seem much better comparisons than "not voting for fucking fascists."

I think it's quite odd that the stridently anti-fat folks aren't also pushing to prevent all the other self-inflicted ills of society. Are you also a member of your local temperance movement? I kind of doubt it.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:59 PM on November 4, 2005


Nothing is guaranteed in this life. You could get hit by a bus next week.

Oh Jesus. We love dead marathon runners. Food-poisoned vegetarians. Door-locking robbery victims. Skilled unemployed. What a completely crazy, random world we live in. Accidents simply are NOT preventable. There is no causality. You may as well do what you want!

For most people, the BMI is an accurate measure.

Waist-hip ratio is supposed to be better.
posted by dreamsign at 12:11 AM on November 5, 2005


I think people who hate fat people do so because of their own self image problems. Many straight men especially seem terrified of being associated with any female that might not fit into what their friends consider the norm, whether that's weight or any other physical characteristic, so you really see them wig out in threads like this. The vitriol is pathological & reveals bigger, uglier problems than obesity.

Zarah, I always seem to be on the edge of (or fully roped into) conversations that pillory the healthy. The assumption seems to be that they can't be enjoying life. They must be boring. They will die soon anyway. The vitriol is truly impressive. And what I see men being afraid of on a regular basis is admitting that they are, in fact, attracted to thin women. I had one guy whisper it to me, like a secret. If personal preferences were all fair game, his would be, too.
posted by dreamsign at 12:18 AM on November 5, 2005


That seems so strange, dreamsign, since all the popular, ubiquitous visual media portrays thin women as being the ideal desirable... It seems kind of like going to a PETA meeting and whispering that you don't like meat.

In fact, it's media and advertising, and the corporations that wield them that sort of interest me the most about the whole snarl. In terms of consumerism it's just a delicious loop... Use every wile possible to get people fat and unhealthy (beginning at birth, really: but here's an example At least one out of every five schools now contains a fast-food outlet and fast food outlets cluster near schools), while bombarding them with images of nearly impossible ideals of physical beauty, then gleefully sell them high-priced cures, pharmaceuticals and programs to help them deal with that fiendish dichotomy.

No, people are not helpless pawns... But ignoring the very real, insidious roles of big business and advertising is foolish. The real reason America is (now) fat is because there just so much irresistible money in it, all around. And people here are taking vicious bites out of each other instead of taking a good hard look at that, which suits the big, big business of fat perfectly fine.
posted by taz at 10:40 AM on November 5, 2005


Here are two different takes on the "Thin is in" media blitz.

Some feminists argue that "thinner is better" began to take off as women's role in society expanded. They argue that is an attempt to hobble women in the work force. In other words a woman who starves herself to stay fashionably thin is a woman who can't focus on becoming CEO; you can't plot your rise in the company if all you can concentrate on is your next meal.

On the other hand we have the theory of "looking rich is the opposite of looking poor." So when the working class was starving, the signifier of affluence was a pot belly and now that we all have enough to eat the signifier is a gym/ plastic surgery body. Just as when larborers worked outside the wealthy all had pasty white skin but once factory and office workers became the norm a suntan signaled that one had enough money to vacation in the bahamas during winter.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:13 PM on November 5, 2005


I enjoyed the Slate article, it is always nice when mainstream media addresses issues of size. I think, however, it's basic premise misses the mark: the size acceptance movement, at this time, is primarily a social movement rather than a political one.

NAAFA has an agenda which could arguably be called a platform, but the organization is basically just a dating service. And most of us who identify with the size acceptance movement are not even NAAFA members. We are just people who, for whatever reason, feel the shame society places fat and find ourselves supporting one another through this common experience. As people form groups, alliances among those groups grow and a movement begins to gain some momentum. But it will be decades, IMO, before our little niche will have any real political ramifications.

It is only towards the end, during the passage that fourstar quotes, that the Slate author manages to tie the article to a political point. Too little, too late to subtitle it the Politics of Fat if you ask me.


Regarding the issue of sexual deviancy, again it is a social movement, and its exponential growth over the last few years is almost entirely due to the internet. A sexual overtone is almost a given.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:36 PM on November 5, 2005


IIHAA nails it with the most astute comment of the thread.
posted by OmieWise at 4:07 AM on November 6, 2005


But since you seem to be straining to fill the blank with more obvious examples, here are some drawn from modern history: homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, drinking, gambling, miscegenation, being a hippie, being a leftist.

Me & My Monkey admit your wrong will you. I like that at every time when somebody disagrees with some entirely voluntary destructive behavior one person does - the person who disagree's - is automatically equated to a homophobe or fucking bigot. What a load.


Tolerance is NOT acceptance/agreement.


I tolerate the Republican Party... but I vehemently do not accept the premise of their platform. Do you get that yet? Is this not simple enough for you?

I do not accept the underlying premise that being fat is harmless to society at large and I have overwhelming medical data and facts to back that up.

What do you got? Oh. Yeah. You equate me with a bigot.

And yes I have vices. Vices that effect only ME. And when they don't... I try to change them. I try to understand the impact they have.

We are not talking about merely personal vices or involuntary sexual identity. We are talking about the entirely voluntary behavior of gross over-consumption. Sure there are REASONS for why society is fatter now than before... but the solutions are easily understood and applied. And there are only excuses - not reasons - for an individual not fixing the problem.

The trend towards over consumption - and its personified extension obesity - effects everybody on the planet. People are dying from it. Minimize it all you want but the facts are facts. Obesity kills. It does not exist in a vacuum.
posted by tkchrist at 12:26 PM on November 7, 2005


I think it's quite odd that the stridently anti-fat folks aren't also pushing to prevent all the other self-inflicted ills of society.

Uh. Stupid argument.

First: There ARE controls in place for alcohol - or have you not heard of having to be 21. Also. We manage the sale and advertisement of liquor. Etc. Suprised you have not heard of these things.

Two: Have you done the math on that? How many people die of obesity and fat related deaths? Heart disease is the number one killer, cancer... oh, do I need to go on? How many of alcohol. (BTW there is data that obesity and alcohol abuse seem to be tangentially related.)

Three: I don't drink. But there is a responsible way to drink like there is a responsible way to eat.

So. To be "morally consistent" you want us to pass a law against eating?
posted by tkchrist at 12:40 PM on November 7, 2005


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