fat people, whats the deal?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2007 9:41 AM GMT
    The american way of life is to live in excess. Look where its gotten us. With obesity on the rise, I want to know whats the deal with fat people. So we got one side that says "its not my fault I'm fat, its my genes!" and then there is the other side that says "yu hu, it is your fault". What are your thoughts. Also, clearly the answer is for people to eat less and healthier. Easier said than done. But what do you think could be done to promote a healthier lifestyle in the United States taking into account that people don't like their private lives proded into(one school tried to send home warnings to parents with obese children about the health issues and parents were not happy with the school telling them how to raise their children).
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    Jun 15, 2007 10:05 AM GMT
    Some people are just 'bigboned'!
    Well, it depends on what you define as fat; obesity or carrying a little chunk or two, or three or four etc?
    Obesity is such a drain on our NHS and i can't stand it when these people complain about their weight, they give running a bash, see no results in a period of a week and give up!
    I think that many kids who do not come from active/sporting families will never have a gritty determination for fitness, unless they are truly passionate. May be just the gay ones that feel the pressure to look ripped!

    Ok thats the solution..... turn them all gay, but seriously, enormous people are just irritating despite the actuality that most may have bubbly personalities!

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    Jun 15, 2007 11:29 AM GMT
    There are no fat people in Africa except for the rich people so the whole it's my fault/low metabolism etc etc doesn't wash with me.

    Humans are intrinsically lazy and unless they are prodded with a big stick will make no attempt to cut the number of calories they consume or take up exercise to mitigate the effects of over-eating.

    Also, food companies have encouraged this self indulgence marketing high calorie food and drinks in ever increasing portions. Why, for example, does McDonalds super size their meals? Why do Mars sell a super sized Mars Bar. Money.

    When you see huge, fat teenagers in wheelchairs being wheeled around Disneyland you realise that obesity is becoming the norm and you have to ask why are we collectively allowing this to happen not just to adults but to the future generation?
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    Jun 15, 2007 12:31 PM GMT

    Lot's of the problems with obesity is that people are uneducated about the simplist things. I worked for 2 years conducting group work as a facilitator with obese individuals.

    I remember that I had this one women who just could not understand that she needed to give up or substitute the boloni cold cuts for something a bit more healthy and with less fat. Her family ate that for years and she could not understand because her dad was really skinny and he ate that too.

    It is not all about laziness either. It becomes an never ending circle the bigger you get the more calories one needs to consume. There are many other factors as well.

    The bottom line to getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle is very very simple. It starts with a decision, making small positive changes (Exercise and Eating healthy) and never giving up.

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    Jun 15, 2007 5:14 PM GMT
    I'd say it's a combination of the way society has been set up AND it's personal choices. The US is spread out all over the place (this will come back to haunt us, but that's for another forum) and largely planned its society from the late 19th century on around the automobile. Nowadays, people "have" to drive to do the most mundane and essential things, contributing to their expansive waistlines. That said...

    The opportunities for exercise are numerous and in terms of gyms per capita to people, it in theory should be easy for people to find a place to hit it. I think the problem then is not too many gyms but something psychological which one the one hand, knows excessive fat is bad BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, says "It's fine." In fact, I think our society is WAYYYYYYYY too tolerant of obesity and I say this as a guy who used to be obese. (I will say that the feeling of being able to put on 29's makes one never want to go back to 40+ pants!)

    Rather than a "War on Terror" the US needs a "War on Obesity" combining resources of education, exercise, nutrition, regenerative spiritualism (as opposed to dualistic religions, no offense), investment in public transportation/infrastructure, and sweeping revitalizations of public spaces. People know that they can have better lives when the look and feel better, yet need help on many levels to do it. It's a daunting task, but not impossible.
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    Jun 15, 2007 5:32 PM GMT
    We're tolerant to obesity, and maybe too much so, but that's usually with our outside voice. I think that those who aren't obese tend to look negatively on it, as it doesn't look 'healthy', whereas we are constantly blasted with images in advertising of what 'healthy' is.

    From a medical perspective, we ARE influencing our genes. Every generation of children is at a higher risk for obesity, metabolic disorders and diabetes. I'm fairly certain this is multifactorial - it's a combination of genes and our environment and what we do with it.

    Remember, it wasn't that long ago that we as a species led VERY, VERY different lifestyles. We are plagued by the fact that we have one of the longest lifespans of the animal kingdom. Whereas bacteria and other small organisms can go through millions of generations, and consistently adapt to changing environmental conditions, we do not have that luxury. Our genes are still catching up to the fact that we have inherently become a less-active, what-machine-can-do-this-for-me culture with many of us not ever knowing what it is like to go hungry - and that's really only happened in the last 200 years.

    What can be done? Well that's a complicated issue. Obviously people need to eat right, excercise more, and so on. But as we lead busier and more fast paced lives, this becomes more of a challenge. Junk food is often cheaper than healthy alternatives. There is something inherently wrong there that needs to be changed. Coke should not be cheaper than bottled water. A bag of chips shouldn't be cheaper than fresh fruit. And a salad should not cost 4x what a burger made from fatty cuts of meat do. Little things like that make a huge difference.
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    Jun 15, 2007 5:32 PM GMT
    Most living things have the intrinsic programming to seek out as much food as possible. It's just now that we (allegedly) have the ability to make rational decisions, we sometimes have to override that hardwired programming due to changed circumstances. The alternative is to wait for evolution to change it for us, but that's a long process.

    In the last century, there have been immense changes in the way people live. Previously, most people lived in rural areas and did hard physical labor all day. Those old farmhands ate huge meals to keep going. (My great grandma used to pretty much cook all day.) Sweets and so forth were luxury items that one enjoyed occasionally in small quantities. Not every day by the shovel full.

    Now, most people live in cities and maybe twitch their fingertips a little all day. The ideal form for that is probably a disembodied brain floating in a tank of McFluid.

    Well, I had a point when I started out, but got distracted. *sigh*
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    Jun 15, 2007 5:37 PM GMT
    I've noticed that in many stores and gas stations, they have stopped selling normal candy bars and only market exclusivly in the Large sizes.
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    Jun 15, 2007 5:38 PM GMT
    Out of all the Posts on this site this one "GIVES ME PAUSE"!

    I'm absolutely "STUNNED". Mainly but the originator.

    WOW, WOW, WOW! Only some one who never had a weight issue take make such a slant!

    I can never speak on this subject, because I have always had to reverse problem keeping weight on even to this day with being in my 40's it's still an issue.

    Owl975, I saw this because your verbiage..."FAT PEOPLE". That is such a highly charged term for people who are over-weight and obese.

    It is right up there with the "N" word and or the "F".

    The term "Fat People" takes on a very negative and hurtful connotative and emotive meaning when those of us who do not have an issue with being over weight or obese.

    It's is very short-sighted and insensitive for you to speak of people in this manner.

    I am shocked, by the lack of compassion that we men and women have for each other on a human level and how judgmental we are.

    It's just makes me weary!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2007 5:49 PM GMT
    One thing that could happen is items could stop coming in such large sizes (eh hm, no jokes please): no more super sized burgers, no more quarts of coke at the filling station, and waist sizes for men wouldn't go above 35. Sure, it may be a bit fascistic, but if you knew you'd had to special order your pants to get a 40 waist, you'd be less likely to have that piece of cake.

    Recently, I was speaking with a woman about our grandparents generation and she commented on how looking at pictures from then (the 20's, 30's, 40's) everyone looked so fit and/or trim. This was pretty much the norm (if pics can be trusted) til you break out the photo album from the 70's where people suddenly look MUCH larger. Now, what is up with that???

    BTW, does "Skinny" have the same neg. connotation as "Fat"?
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    Jun 15, 2007 5:56 PM GMT
    Well, I guess that would depend. When I was thin as a rail, I didn't much care for the term 'skinny' - but I think there really aren't many available alternative options in the language other than 'lean' but that has other connotations as well.

    Here's an example from the Thesaurus:
    angular, bony, emaciated, gaunt, lank, lanky, lean, malnourished, rawboned, scraggy, scrawny, skeletal, skin-and-bone, slender, spare, twiggy, undernourished, underweight, weedy

    How many of those would you want to be called? Skinny is probably the least offensive.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2007 6:01 PM GMT
    Oh, I don't know, "Hot skeletal guy" has a pretty great ring to me! It's funny, seems like calling a woman "slim/skinny" is one of the best compliments but calling a man that, it can be taken not as a statement of the fact, but a euphemism for "you look so forgettable and near death that thank God the sun is out so at least I don't trip over you." LOL!
  • mcwclewis

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    Jun 15, 2007 6:06 PM GMT
    I think fat people can deal with being called fat, if they can tell me to eat a cheeseburger or make jokes about me being blown away in the wind.

    Fat has some synonyms too, most of which are much more offensive.

    Some people have legitamite health conditions which make it difficult, near impossible, for them to lose weight. The problem is, as soon as this information got published, every fat person in the world claims they have a medical condition.

    Does anyone else have a problem with the fact that Little Caesers has the following sizes "medium," "Large," "X-tra Large?"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2007 6:06 PM GMT

    I hated being called skinny...or a refugee!

    Any term which leaves any one feeling non-plus is just wrong.

    Walk a mile in that person shoes.

    I have had to workout like nut and dance like a crazy person to get the body that I have now.

    But the thought of going back to being 150 pounds...heck no!

    Nor would I want to be over the 165 pounds that I am now. That would be just to much muscle and weight for me to care.

    I prefer that my weight be portion to with my height! Symmetry and balance are common thread.

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    Jun 15, 2007 8:03 PM GMT
    Arkansas sends home fitness report cards -- Huckabee made that a priority of his after he shed 100 lbs or so. I think school is probably the best place to promote healthier eating. They should be provided with healthy nutritious meals, preferably desinged with the input of a dietician, and should have nutrition classes. Make every school child do physical fitness, and more than just once a week, of some sort ie. more than just team sports, and get creative with it. Anyway that those would be my thoughts on the best way to reduce obestiy. Start them young, teach them well and make a habit out of it.
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    Jun 15, 2007 8:03 PM GMT
    Start from the start of the foodchain. Agrocorps design, genetically modify, package, distribute, re-process, etc. to the point that it's not food anymore, it's merely a convenience. People who prepare their food from raw ingredients are few and far between in the U.S. Observe any shopping cart in your local supermarket (unless you shop organic).

    The kids shouldn't be blamed. The parents' constant search for greater convenience is at fault. It's practically child abuse.
  • gymingit

    Posts: 156

    Jun 15, 2007 8:07 PM GMT
    I agree with some of what has been said...

    One thing my profile doesn't include is my history of how I got so big in the first place.

    I agree with what was said about not being brought up in a health conscious or an active family can contribute to obesity. It is of course an assumption which makes sense. Another would be the idea of food cost.

    Anything healthy usually cost and those that don't cost as much, you have to remember to shock your body/system so that your body doesn't become accustomed and no longer is beneficial. That and you get tired of eating, especially every 2 1/2 hours like me.

    Chips are cheap, soda is cheap, bread is cheap, a hamburger meal deal with the sugary soda, fries and bun, which in turn your insulin levels helps in determining your cholesterol levels (the fat & cholesterol from the burger), is cheap.

    If you are rich, then you can hire a personal trainer and or eat better, healthier as well.

    But I do believe poverty plays an important role in obesity.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2007 8:13 PM GMT
    For kids, I do believe that it's the choices that adults don't make for them. Yes, chips, soda, twinkies are cheap, but they are also too readily available.

    Apples, bananas, pears...any of those cost less than a bag of Lays Potato Chips. But we still have "snack" machines in schools selling candy bars, chips etc.

    For adults, who do not have a medical condition that is beyond their control, it's will power. Eat an apple instead of a cupcake, for example.

    Once you get down to the weight, body fat you want, then you'll be able to "cheat" once in a while, in the spirit of moderation. You only live once.

    Hint: I love Lays Potato Chips.


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    Jun 15, 2007 8:24 PM GMT
    I think people are more obese today because they work too long and don't get enough vacation time. A guy or couple who work and commute 10 hrs a day or more are going to eat the easiest most satisfying (i.e., fattiest and tastiest) food when they get home, and they are going to feed their kids the same stuff. People feel they don't have enough time to go for a jog or a workout or even a walk when they get home, or they are too beat to do it. Yeah, these can be excuses, but I think a lot of the time its true (from my observation of neightbors and family). Europeans who work fewer hours are thinner that Americans. Chinese are working more & more and now their govt claims there is an obesity problem. OK, there are many other factors in obesity, but I think lack of time is a big one.
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    Jun 15, 2007 8:29 PM GMT
    I don't really buy the poverty angle, at least as a causative factor.

    An anecdote about one of life's little wake up calls: Some years back, I did one of my usual crash and grab raids on the supermarket, between my 16 hour work day and the TV/sleep cycle. I had a hand basket full of frozen pizzas, chips, beer, and the like. Enough to last me a few days. About fifty bucks worth. A couple of mexican kids were in front of me with a heaping cart full of staples, fresh vegetables, and canned or frozen fish and meat products. Enough to last them a few weeks. About fifty bucks worth.

    I felt pretty stupid. (Umm... but did I go back and re-shop? Hah!)

    Of course, now things go the other way sometimes, with so many people suckered in by rip-offs like "organic" or "sustainable" or otherwise mythical and hugely overpriced foods.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Jun 15, 2007 8:35 PM GMT
    I think that there's a myriad of problems and, like most we oversimplify.

    There is no magic answer. Not all fat people eat too much. Not all fat people DON'T eat too much. Not everyone's metabolism works the same way.

    The fact that both the public and science don't want to accept the above causes a great difficulty in people trying to get information that actually applies to them.

    ADD to that the fact that a lot of the graphs are horrendously *wrong* and you get a lot of people who are "obese" when they really aren't. Look at me. Do I look fat to you? Well by the wonderful charts that don't take anything but height and gender into account, I'm right on the border of "mildly obese." Which is clearly ridiculous.

    "Eat less" is a simple thing to say, but it's also WRONG. Yes, that's what I said, wrong. Chances are, if you eat too little for a short period of time, you'll gain weight. Why? Because your body goes into starvation mode and tries to store everything it can. Then you start burning muscle instead of fat and you lower your ability to burn calories in the first place.

    The single biggest problem I see with fatness is that a succesful diet and exercise plan has to be specifically tailored to each person. My brother can eat almost anything and never gain weight. My mother can basically starve herself while backpacking for a week and GAIN weight. Calculating caloric burn vs caloric intake needs to be done on a per-person basis over a period of time or it's essentially useless.

    Until we realize that, and that there are people who have thyroid problems etc, and that there are, in fact, people with different body structures (yes, polish women have big shoulders and no amount of dieting will make them smaller), we're going to have a huge number of people who give up because they can follow all the generalized advice for their entire life and still be fat, so why bother?

    Also, the bloody idiotic diet plans that are out there. What do they do? They train your body to make fat out of anything you hand it, to hoard all the nutrients you feed it, and often stress your systems to the max. Not helpful.
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    Jun 15, 2007 8:48 PM GMT
    With you there! I've an extremely slow matabolism and can put on weight like nobody's business. I have a level of activity comparable to someone training for the Olympics (most weeks) yet this doesn't aid in "losing weight" if I should so decide to do (which, incidentally, I've found is more about my diet than exercise alone). Point is, everyone has a different body and different needs. Some people are predisposed to being fat, others to looking great (they would be the ones I hate! Lol!). THAT SAID, it's still noticable how the US population got 65% obese after 1965, something that may correspond to an increase in drivers, depression of wages (or "stagnation" if you prefer), and more time spent being sedentary (i.e. watching TV and being online).
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    Jun 15, 2007 10:20 PM GMT
    John, Next time I see you I will give you a bag and 2 Lays.
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    Jun 15, 2007 10:21 PM GMT
    Sorry John, 2 bags of Lays!
  • DenveRyk

    Posts: 167

    Jun 15, 2007 10:43 PM GMT
    I think this really is a multi-faceted problem. While there are some people who may have a legitimate medical problem(in my case, a non-functioning thyroid for which I take meds results in a slower metabolism which means more self-discipline), we, as a society, have become addicted to non-food foods Again, a quick wander down any supermarket aisle with an eye towards ingredient lists on the packages reveals a sad truth--like better living through chemistry. Honestly, most of those "ingredients" sdon't come from farms or gardens!! Throw in facts like schools cutting back on or eliminating any real PE because we don't want to pay the taxes needed to support hese and arts programs, real lack of decent fresh produce in many of our urban areas, addiction to things like TV (or posting to threads on the net!!), the sad truth begins to emerge--no wonder we have an obesity epidemic. We need to radically re-evaluate our priorities in this nation. And quickly, because we are exporting our "lifestyle", more accurately a deathstyle, to other countries, right along with McDonalds, KFC, and the rest of it.