Prejudice toward overweight people...

  • kencarson

    Posts: 224

    Jul 16, 2012 9:08 AM GMT
    I grew up as the fat kid, and now that I've gotten my weight and physique more or less under control, I'm finding that I'm quick to judge other people if they are overweight to obese.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I believe people who don't take care of their physical body are any less deserving. But after reading all the research on what obesity does to the body, it's hard to no pre-judge these people for choosing a lifestyle that is completely and clinically proven unhealthy.

    Is it bad to think that way? I mean, I have many friends who are overweight, and it's hard to breach the subject of proper nutrition and exercise with them without making them defensive.

    Is it bad/wrong to think less of people, even friends who don't realize or don't care that they are slowly killing themselves by not caring about their physical health?

    I know someone out there is gonna say that there is already a forum post on this subject, but at this point in the site's history, what hasn't been discussed? So how about we reopen the discussion here.

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    Jul 16, 2012 9:27 AM GMT
    Just how fat were you?
  • ytOwen

    Posts: 298

    Jul 16, 2012 10:06 AM GMT
    I feel if you're in decent shape, and health conscious, it's fair to be weary of fat people, but the science is complicated, and people only have so much control over their weight.

    Here is one of the more entertaining, concise, and no nonsense resources I've found about the subject:

    [url][/url]
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Jul 16, 2012 10:30 AM GMT
    People for the most part decide their own futures, and there is not a lot you can do to convince others to live a healthy lifestyle, unless they want to. Living by example is about the most you can do. I think I do have some prejudice, as I think how much it is costing us all for the health care of obese people. The amounts are staggering especially as obese people age and begin to develop all types of health problems due to their lifestyle. Diabetes is now rampant in Americans and it leads to all kinds of problems as people age.
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    Jul 16, 2012 11:22 AM GMT
    Kencarson,

    What does it mean when you say you think less of them?

    What do you do with your judgment to think less of them?

    How does your judgment benefit you or them?

    Is your judgment injurious to you or them?

    What's the point of your judging them?

    Do you tell them that you have judged them and this is what you think?

    What deficiencies of yours do you want strangers to judge you on after only a brief encounter?
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    Jul 16, 2012 11:29 AM GMT
    I have 2 friends that from the time I was dating them to years later they are now really fat. I am still friends but to me it is a turnoff and I don't understand the eating disorder that they have. I can't change them. I've tried. It has to come from within to keep weight down.
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    Jul 16, 2012 11:35 AM GMT
    kencarson saidI grew up as the fat kid, and now that I've gotten my weight and physique more or less under control, I'm finding that I'm quick to judge other people if they are overweight to obese.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I believe people who don't take care of their physical body are any less deserving. But after reading all the research on what obesity does to the body, it's hard to no pre-judge these people for choosing a lifestyle that is completely and clinically proven unhealthy.

    Is it bad to think that way? I mean, I have many friends who are overweight, and it's hard to breach the subject of proper nutrition and exercise with them without making them defensive.

    Is it bad/wrong to think less of people, even friends who don't realize or don't care that they are slowly killing themselves by not caring about their physical health?

    I know someone out there is gonna say that there is already a forum post on this subject, but at this point in the site's history, what hasn't been discussed? So how about we reopen the discussion here.



    So how would you have felt if someone launched into you when you were fat about how unhealthy it was, et cetera? I, for one, am not physically perfect and do not need to tell other people how to live their lives.

    I have been on the receiving end of endless nagging and borderline verbal abuse to motivate me to go to the gym (in my case because I was getting thinner than he liked). It actually made me want to not go to the gym, because my goal soon became pissing off the guy nagging me. Which is a shame because I actually love going to the gym, and am much healthier now that I'm away from that source of nagging as well as exercising regularly.

    So my suggestion would be that if you care about an overweight person and his or her health, you should make activity fun. You should invite him or her over for dinner, and make something you think is really healthy. Ask him if he needs help. You should be a positive source of motivation. You're already a good-looking guy who has been where they are. You don't need to be preachy or mean-spirited in order to get people to enjoy changing their lives.

    Condemnation gets old, fast. But the smile of an attractive guy never gets tired. Go be a source of inspiration - you'll feel better doing that too.
  • bad_wolf

    Posts: 1002

    Jul 16, 2012 11:37 AM GMT
    Have to admit kinda the same with the extreme cases - fear of being obese was actually brought on by a guy in the Bristol Parkway train station waiting area; sat at a table with his gut resting on the surface, devouring two large pasties in three bites.
    Not everyone is going to be supermodels and I'm not intolerant to those of different size and shapes, but I looked at that guy and wondered why he wasn’t repulsed at himself.
    I saw on the news one guy who couldn’t even get out of bed because “it’s not their fault they can’t stop eating”, there was one case where thousands of pounds (tax payers money) was spent fortifying an ambulance just to get one of these people to surgery .
    They use those shop-mobility go-karts; I look at them and think, what is your disability? Why are you using one when the elderly woman over there with a walking stick is happily holding herself up with what little strength she has?
    They do it to themselves and I have no sympathy for them, their misfortune and poor health.
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    Jul 16, 2012 11:45 AM GMT
    kencarson saidI grew up as the fat kid, and now that I've gotten my weight and physique more or less under control, I'm finding that I'm quick to judge other people if they are overweight to obese.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I believe people who don't take care of their physical body are any less deserving. But after reading all the research on what obesity does to the body, it's hard to no pre-judge these people for choosing a lifestyle that is completely and clinically proven unhealthy.

    Is it bad to think that way? I mean, I have many friends who are overweight, and it's hard to breach the subject of proper nutrition and exercise with them without making them defensive.

    Is it bad/wrong to think less of people, even friends who don't realize or don't care that they are slowly killing themselves by not caring about their physical health?

    I know someone out there is gonna say that there is already a forum post on this subject, but at this point in the site's history, what hasn't been discussed? So how about we reopen the discussion here.



    I think a lot of people are going to take what you wrote the wrong way, but I understand what you mean. It's actually a pretty common prejudice. For instance, multiple studies have shown that overweight or obese people are more likely to not only be passed over for a job he/she is qualified, but also earn less money than a more fit counterpart if he/she is hired.

    All that said, the manner in which you're judging those you love depends all on the circumstance. Is there a reason why you're judging them? Are they making you feel bad about working hard to get into shape? Are they constantly complaining about wanting to look better and doing little about it? Or is your judgment more concern over their health and well being?

    It's not really your place to broach the subject about healthier eating or exercise unless there's an underlying concern. They may be happy with how they are. That said, make sure you're there for them to offer support if they come to you looking for advice.

    One other piece of advice...you could try getting your friends to work out with you. Say it's a fun activity that you can do together. I had no idea how much I enjoyed lifting weights until I actually did it a few times. Maybe they'll feel the same way.
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    Jul 16, 2012 11:46 AM GMT
    Go ahead and judge people and hope they don't do the same to you when you get fat again. Just like all these "neg" guys who ignore me cause I'm poz. If they ever come up poz, i'll ignore them too icon_biggrin.gif. What comes around goes around. That's how I feel about it.
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    Jul 16, 2012 12:16 PM GMT
    Since I've lost 26lbs I've noticed that people do treat me differently. Actually better. This could that my perception and outlook have changed rather than people actually treating me different. It's also ego boosting to have guys look at me again when I'm walking down the street in the gay village. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 16, 2012 12:24 PM GMT
    I used to be guilty of this but ever since I started working as a dietitian I'm come to realize that people come in all shapes and sizes and you just can't think you are better than anyone else - everyone has their own story.

    I see a lot of overweight people who actually try very hard to lose weight but have other issues that some of us just don't even need to worry about - back/knee problems which limit mobility, thyroid problems which make it harder to lose weight, emotional problems, low self esteem issues, stress and so on. Weight gain over years is usually a product of a number of ongoing issues that have yet to be addressed. You'd be surprised with some of diets that some overweight people are eating (meaning way better than what some 'skinny' people would eat!)

    I think it's very easier to judge and put someone into a category based on their appearance but I've definitely learnt there's more than meets the eye. Plus the fact I actually find overweight people - naturally have more of a relaxed/fun personality, which I actually kinda like!

    Just my two cents icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 16, 2012 12:25 PM GMT
    Former fat people tend to be less sympathetic towards overweight people than normal people b/c of the "I did it so why can't you" mentality,

    The problem is this mentality overemphasizes individual explanations over societal, environmental, and personal explanations for being overweight.



    So my point is yes, it is bad that you think that way.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jul 16, 2012 12:27 PM GMT
    I think it is wrong to label all " fat or obese" people the same way.

    Some are fat because they don't care about themselves, their health or vitality.
    Others have a medical problem and may make real efforts to change their
    health status, but have genetics (or indeed a medical condition) that prevents them from making real progress.

    Of course we don't know what the fat person's issues are when we see them.... and it can be very difficult not to judge. My bf occasionally will say, "wow look" and nod to some obese person. While I find his comments a little irritating at times, many people do as he does and tend to look down at somebody
    who is really fat....
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    Jul 16, 2012 12:46 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidI think it is wrong to label all " fat or obese" people the same way.

    Some are fat because they don't care about themselves, their health or vitality.
    Others have a medical problem and may make real efforts to change their
    health status, but have genetics (or indeed a medical condition) that prevents them from making real progress.

    Of course we don't know what the fat person's issues are when we see them.... and it can be very difficult not to judge. My bf occasionally will say, "wow look" and nod to some obese person. While I find his comments a little irritating at times, many people do as he does and tend to look down at somebody
    who is really fat....

    I put on weight during my cancer therapy. The only thing that would pierce the chemical straight jacket I was in was sugar. I pigged out on chocolate eclairs for relief. Plus, if I was going to die, they were going to find me with a chocolate eclair iny mouth. You can see in my profile how I have she'd the weight since. But during my therapy, I would have been prejudged negatively apparently.
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    Jul 16, 2012 12:50 PM GMT
    I was a chubby kid, often got left out of sports and suffered the scorn of the other kids who were more athletic.

    As I grew older, the problem got worse until a Gym teacher took me under his wing and encouraged me to do just a little, and a little more and so on... pretty soon, before I knew it I was leaner and healthier and able to do all the things the other kids were, but I never forgot how their insults stung.

    Many of my friends and co-workers are overweight to obese, I don't look down on them, having walked a mile in their shoes.

    If they're genuinely interested I will go out of my way to exercise with them, even if its a walk to the store and back, or around the block at lunch time, or go with them to yoga or exercise classes..

    One of my co-workers attended a box-fit class with me for the first time last week and I coached him all the way through it, keeping him at a level of activity that I knew he wouldn't be so sore after that he would consider coming again.

    The people in my life are of all shapes and sizes, most of them I'd love to be around for as long as possible, so I'm willing to invest some of my time in their future too..
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    Jul 16, 2012 12:52 PM GMT
    ytOwen saidHere is one of the more entertaining, concise, and no nonsense resources I've found about the subject:


    That was fantastic, ytOwen - thanks for sharing! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 16, 2012 12:59 PM GMT
    Take out of the situation people who are overweight because of some medical conditions. OP, presumably you know that doesn't apply to the friends you're thinking about.

    I think it is most healthy for your own sake to separate you opinion of their lifestyle choice with your opinion of them as people. In other words, you can disrespect their lifestyle choice while respecting them and valuing their friendship for other qualities. Being able to compartmentalize your thinking is as much for your own benefit as it is for theirs.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 16, 2012 1:01 PM GMT
    Koaa2, had the best advice, which is to kindly lead by example. Looking down your nose at others doesn't solve anything. People who stuff their faces are really messing themselves up, not unlike smokers, drinkers, sunbathers, junkies, and sex addicts who bb. No one gets through this life without overcoming vices, and/or succumbing to them. They need help, and most of all they need to make the connection that no one can solve their problems for them.

    I've never been fat, but half my family is. The other half smokes pot. The few relatives who seem to live the healthiest lives are the ones no one wants to be around much. Go figure.icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 16, 2012 1:02 PM GMT
    Yes - I frown upon overweight people.

    I shake my head when they, without guilt, enjoy soda.
    I wrench when they happily consume fast food.
    My skin crawls at the site of them at a movie theater.
    It's my heart that aches for their wellbeing.

    It's an addiction, based on this countries drug of choice: sugar. I feel that I cannot blame them for their situation but I can show disappointment in their unwillingness to change it.
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    Jul 16, 2012 1:04 PM GMT
    streamline saidYes - I frown upon overweight people.

    I shake my head when they, without guilt, enjoy soda.
    I wrench when they happily consume fast food.
    My skin crawls at the site of them at a movie theater.
    It's my heart that aches for their wellbeing.

    It's an addiction, based on this countries drug of choice: sugar. I feel that I cannot blame them for their situation but I can show disappointment in their unwillingness to change it.


    I'd say it isn't sugar. I would say it is high fructose corn syrup.
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    Jul 16, 2012 1:09 PM GMT
    streamline saidYes - I frown upon overweight people.

    I shake my head when they, without guilt, enjoy soda.
    I wrench when they happily consume fast food.
    My skin crawls at the site of them at a movie theater.
    It's my heart that aches for their wellbeing.

    It's an addiction, based on this countries drug of choice: sugar. I feel that I cannot blame them for their situation but I can show disappointment in their unwillingness to change it.


    From your own profile :
    ‎"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 16, 2012 1:14 PM GMT
    msuNtx said
    streamline saidYes - I frown upon overweight people.

    I shake my head when they, without guilt, enjoy soda.
    I wrench when they happily consume fast food.
    My skin crawls at the site of them at a movie theater.
    It's my heart that aches for their wellbeing.

    It's an addiction, based on this countries drug of choice: sugar. I feel that I cannot blame them for their situation but I can show disappointment in their unwillingness to change it.


    I'd say it isn't sugar. I would say it is high fructose corn syrup.


    Actually it is all sugar, though high fructose corn syrup is perhaps the worst offender... I say that because things like orange juice, flavored yogurt, even raisins can make you fat while you may think you are being healthy :/

    People trying to lose massive weight have to eat protein, fiber, healthy fats, and complex carbs... Even bananas have too much sugar if you are sedentary.
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    Jul 16, 2012 1:15 PM GMT
    streamline saidYes - I frown upon overweight people.

    I shake my head when they, without guilt, enjoy soda.
    I wrench when they happily consume fast food.
    My skin crawls at the site of them at a movie theater.
    It's my heart that aches for their wellbeing.

    It's an addiction, based on this countries drug of choice: sugar. I feel that I cannot blame them for their situation but I can show disappointment in their unwillingness to change it.


    Sarcasm? Maybe not.

    By the way, the human body runs on glucose as its primary fuel. So it's not just the country's drug of choice, it's the body's drug of choice.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 16, 2012 1:21 PM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor saidNo, I don't really frown upon them. I understand their struggle. I'm not a very judgmental person in general.
    Like the OP, and other's on RJ, I too was a chubby little kid that out grew of my fat
    and learned better eating habits and the gym early on.
    At 52, I can put on 5-8 unwanted lbs. just by having a few too many margarita's and chips in the summer, but take it off pretty easily as well. Cardio is my best friend.
    There's an African American girl I work with that battles her weight through stress eating. She and I start competitions at work to see who can get to their weight goals by the end of a month.
    We start a new one today.


    That's so great and encouraging! (: