Obesity: Deadly sin or the new style?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by spaceboots06, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. spaceboots06 macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #1
    Just curious as to where everyone stands on obesity. I don't know about countries besides the US but walking down a New York City street is becoming harder to do. I never really paid attention to it but I would say 65% of people in NYC are either overweight or obese. I'm neither of the two but have had phases in my life where I was mildly overweight.

    I don't think obesity doesn't make you a bad person, but, I don't approve of it. I'm a little more understanding in terms of obesity running in a family, but it's not entirely a genetic problem. Obesity can be beat.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #3
    You might have arthritis.
     
  3. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #4
    Hmmmm... Interesting topic. Your thread title is a little inflammatory, but I'll bite anyways.

    I am obese. I stand at 5'5" and currently weigh right at 250 lbs (see pic attached). EDIT: For those who don't know, this puts my BMI in the rage of "morbid obesity."

    My perspective on this comes from being overweight and having dealt with it all of my (short) adult life. When I was 14/15 I became severely depressed and dropped down to 140 lbs.; I was very underweight for my frame (you could see my ribs, it was gross). Around my 16th birthday I started to get past the things that were going on in my life and got back up to a more healthy weight for me. The problem was, it didn't stop. I have slowly climbed up the scale to the weight I am right now, where I seem to have topped out (been the same weight for about a year now).

    There are several contributing factors to my weight. Its easy for people to just say "well, you eat too much and move too little" but if it were that easy I would have solved it a long time ago. I have hormone imbalances (specifically very high amounts of estrogen) and a family history that is very much stacked against me (ALL of the women up through my grandmothers and their sisters are/were overweight).

    The thing about obesity that I have stuggled with most is that it is much more complex than many people like to think. It is easy to look at an overweight person and form narrow ideas about how they got there, and it is even easier to tease or mock them for not fitting into our standards of beauty. What a lot of people don't take the time to think about is the psychological side of obesity.

    I think more emphasis needs to be placed on the psychological side of obesity. Too often people are written off as lazy without addressing the underlying cause. If I could adequately describe the mental struggle that comes with being obese and trying to lose weight I would, but I'm not sure that I ever could.

    Its easy to tell someone to eat less and exercise more, but if that person can't find a support system to make that work mentally as well as physically it's going to be a losing battle every time.
     

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  4. spaceboots06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #5
    I like his lunchbox but it would make sense for it to be bigger.
     
  5. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #6
    This is a very good post. I don't think you can point to one or two things and say "This is the deal with obesity." It would be nice if we could, because then perhaps there'd be a chance of beating it on a large scale, but like you said, there tends to be very little opening for a hopeful situation in most people's surroundings. What we need (also like you said) is people who are less shallow, and more willing to accept people who are overweight (unfortunately, some people have a hard time with that, for whatever reason), and to help them, emotionally, if they are trying to beat it. Fat or skinny, though, there's no exclusivity club for happiness. :)
     
  6. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Just say no to fatties.

    Honestly where is the excuse? I guess if you wanted to point to the real villains when it comes to over consumption they are the easiest target. I don't mind people being overweight, I do mind 250lb 5'1" people and 300lb 6' people who aren't built like a line backer.

    We have a dearth of people morbidly obese where I work, both men and women. How do they look at themselves in the mirror, hell, how to they wipe their ass.
     
  7. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #8
    Have you considered that maybe they can't look themselves in the mirror? Have you considered the mental anguish they might be in?
     
  8. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Well I figure its mostly from not having a big enough mirror. :p
     
  9. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #10
    Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were in here for actual mature discussion. My apologies. Carry on.
     
  10. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #11
    Of course they haven't. It's easy to laugh until you're in the same shoes. Thank you for sharing yourself in your earlier post.
     
  11. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #12
    What? Watch people defend the fact they are over weight?

    Count calories. Stay away from anything in a box or shiny bag. Eat vegetables and whole grain foods. Limit salt intake, drink lots of water, avoid foods high in carbohydrates (like corn and potatoes).

    1200 to 1500 calories a day and you will lose weight. My doctor proved it to me. Portion control was meaningless unless I knew the calories involved. I eat lots of long grain rice, vegetables (green ones preferably), and my treat is real butter on them. For meat I might eat beef once a week, usually less than that. Chicken and lean pork are great. Sugar free is it. If you want a nice bracing drink on a cold day then home brewed ice tea is a clear winner!

    My father was very overweight at one time, guess what, he swapped out a lot of sugar and starch laden items and the weight went away. Sugar free banana Popsicles were a god-send. Throw in the fear of having full blown diabetes like my mom; from a medical screw up; and he had the incentive he needed, that and the fact the excess weight caused back and knee problems.
     
  12. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #13
    I'm very glad to hear that you and your father had that kind of shear will power to deal with any weight issues. However, you need to recognize that it isn't black and white. While the solution might sound simple, and in fact might be simple for some, it isn't that way for everybody.

    No one is defending being fat, because there is nothing to defend.
     
  13. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #14
    It astonishes me how some people can view people who are obese as an all-together different class of citizens. I think a big component of it is that people feel financially encumbered by overweight people in that they believe that they are responsible for many of the strains on medical system, causing dollars to come from the normal, healthy-weight people's pockets.

    To say that it's a product of lack of motivation on an individual's part is remarkably short-sighted. There are numerous factors about today's way of life that contribute to these. One is the minimal amount of activity our daily lives require of us. With so many desk jobs and technological advancements, it takes more effort than it normally would to get our necessary levels of exercise. Another factor is the self-exacerbating cycle of obesity and poverty. Those who are poor are often forced to purchase lower quality foods that have been processed and are filled with saturated fats and sodium. They automatically have been dealt a bad hand due to their socioeconomic status. Subsequently, they are also the least likely to be able to afford their own medical care, meaning they are forced to seek public funds. This can become a trap, giving the individual even less hope of bettering their financial situation, and consequently, being able to eat healthier.

    Another issue stemming from how we've processed foods is that we've found out how to make a lot of foods that taste good that aren't good for you. Often times, these are also very easy to obtain both because of readiness and cost. Because of this, foods are also often comforts that are easily obtained. If someone is obese, there is a fair chance that food offers a comfort for their worries. From childhood on, we ridicule those who are overweight, only to make them turn to food to diffuse the stress being placed upon them by not fitting in.

    For many, it's no longer an issue of having enough to eat, rather, their job is to make sure they don't overeat. All these above factors show that the tables have been turned from what any normal animal would experience in its native habitat. Indeed, we can also see pets who become overweight simply because the minimum of what their lives now require to survive causes them to be overweight. The fact that obesity is a struggle for so many people should surprise no one, nor should it be a source of ridicule. Sure, there are some who endlessly and shamelessly gorge, not caring about their health, but would you judge a significant portion of a our population on the deeds of only a part of that group?
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #15
    My stepdad is around 6'2", 260 lbs, and is overweight. He also eats rather little (probably 50% of what I eat), is constantly on a diet, and walks every day for exercise. Gardening for hours will also drain a lot of energy on weekends. However, he's still overweight, and when I was younger, I could never figure out why. Surely it must be a matter of his calories eaten minus the calories he burned, right? Well if that was true, he probably has a basal metabolic rate of 100 calories per day, but that would probably not be enough to keep his vital organs alive, considering how mine is probably 1700 to 1800 per day. :eek:

    So I do feel that people oversimplify the situation a bit. It's not always overeating, not enough exercise, or even a hormone imbalance (which is more rare).

    I think people make quick conclusions when they see a fat person because people weren't as heavy in the past, and so people don't believe it has anything to do with hormones or genetics. If it was, then there would have been a similar number of obese and morbidly obese people 50 years ago. So yes, it's easier for most people to blame fat people for being fat.

    Personally, I would have believed that not dying at a young age, and a mirror, would both be good forms of motivation.
     
  15. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #16
    while that might be true many people that over weight excuse *blank* I feel for a vast majority of the people in the over weight category is it is their own fault. You are an expectation to the majority.

    I watch people who claim that is all hormonal and genetics for their weight problem only eat very fatty fried food. The food they eat makes me sick is so greesy and that is their every day food. They are both well over 300 lb and they say hormonal and genetics is the reason for their weight problem. Sorry that excuse for people like that goes out the window when they eat that unhealthy.

    For me if some one is over weight and eats healthy then I can understand it. Eating healthy means just means that for the most part the meals are healthy. The every now and then fatty unhealthy meal is allowed.

    The worse excuse I hear is healthy food taste bad. That is full of it. I know a lot of healthy food that taste pretty good. I know it takes very little effort to eat healthy. I eat fairly healthy and i really do not put any extra effort to do it.
     
  16. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #17
    Not to claim that it's the status quo but endocrine conditions like corticosteroid excess (which is relatively common) that can cause one to constantly be hungry and therefore crave calorie rich foods.
     
  17. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #18
    I don't pass off my genetics or anything else as an excuse, it is simply a contributing factor. I think trying to make excuses is what is such a big turnoff for a lot of people. In very few cases is obesity going to be purely biological and unrelated to a persons diet or exercise habit. However, I also think that to point to one thing and say that is the reason someone is overweight is pretty narrow. While there are going to be some people on that end of the extreme, too, I'd say for a majority of people there are several contributing factors.

    My biggest thing is treatment. If the only thing being pushed is to eat less and exercise more nothing is going to be accomplished. In the end, there will always be a why. Why is person A completely sedentary? Why does person B go on binges? There is always a why. I would go so far as to say that the recommendation of diet is more of a "treating the symptoms" scenario than we like to believe. Sure, eating less (or eating healthier) and exercising more will more often than not solve the outward appearance of obesity, but it doesn't address the psychological reasons behind the weight gain to begin with.

    As Chris pointed out (isn't he cute, BTW?), there is emotional eating (eating for comfort) access issues (I think we can all agree it is more expensive to eat healthier), and a number of other things that contribute to obesity as well. Those need to be addressed in addition to achieving actual weight loss.
     
  18. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #19
    I understand a lot of the empathy in this thread, however, people are ***** footing around the actual problem. Today there are significantly higher amounts of obese people than there were yesteryear. This is brought on by a DISGUSTING diet and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Sure, we can talk about how empathetic we are toward people with a chemical imbalance or hormone disorder, and believe me I do feel for those people, but the real issue here is lifestyle choices.

    For the most part I do think obesity is caused by the person rarely is it actually the result of a genetic disorder or whatever. Doctors often give people all sorts of excuses that they're fat, maybe it's family history, or something in the water, but really people are fatter today than they have ever been. If people just live healthier they wouldn't be obese, and most likely they wouldn't have all the diseases that go along with obesity. (Chicken, egg. What came first the disease that makes you sedentary and obese, or obesity that can lead to the disease?) Severely overweight people are NOT the result of poor genes, this is only the result of diet and exercise.

    Really it doesn't take much will power to start eating broccoli instead of french fries, it doesn't take much will power to stand instead of sit.
     
  19. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #20
    Again, saying "well, eat healthier" doesn't address WHY the person wasn't eating healthy in the first place.
     
  20. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #21
    But healthy food (if you find the right kind) tastes good. It's not like eating healthier is that much of a penalty. I'll take a nice, lean chicken breast over a snickers any day. It's delicious. So, if you take it that healthy food and bad food taste about the same, why would someone do something intentionally bad to themselves?

    Most everyone gets depressed at some point. Everyone has to deal with internal issues. It's how people handle them that differs. Someone else might eat ice-cream, I choose to run until I can't feel my legs anymore. We're both trying to escape whatever is causing us to feel depressed or bad, but there's still a choice in how you can address it. So I guess what I'm saying is that it is lazy to not change your lifestyle even if there is an underlying issue. It's lazy to choose to watch TV instead of run if both allow you to escape whatever you're feeling. I have no ill-will towards obese people, but frankly, I'm tired of the victim mentality.
     
  21. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #22
    That healthy, lean chicken is going to cost several dollars to purchase, then it has to be prepared. That snickers will cost less than a dollar and only requires the wrapper being opened.
     
  22. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #23
    Most of the obese people I see spend more money on soda in one year than it would cost to buy chicken breasts for one year. I don't doubt that some people eat unhealthily because of finances, but a lot of poor people somehow manage to afford a $6 box of cigarettes per day...


    BTW: The title of this thread is unnecessarily hostile and is preventing some good dialogue from taking place.
     
  23. spaceboots06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #24
    He is; I wish I was homosexual because then I could appreciate him more. I'm not being sarcastic either. Anyway, I don't know whether to agree with you or not about emotional eating. I can't say my life has been the hardest but I have to visit a therapist weekly because I always have thoughts of suicide and am depressed. This "phase" has been going on for years. Two years ago I dealt with it by overeating, a lot. Last year I dealt with it by not eating. I would go for four days without eating a single meal. I guess the emotional eating thing can go both ways.

    On another note, perhaps some people can only eat unhealthy food because it's nearly infinitely cheaper than healthier meals. If I was on a shoestring budget I would be eating McDonald's everyday, not shopping at Whole Foods.
     
  24. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #25
    Not everyone is obese because they stuff their face with food. Some people are obese due to other factors such as thyroid issues or hormonal imbalances, and thanks to our wonderful healthcare system, many of them can't get the treatment they need because they're uninsured and can't get insurance because obesity is a pre existing condition. I'm a pretty large guy and it's not because I eat unhealthy and am lazy, I eat well and exercise, but the pounds don't stay off of me as easily as they may stay off of you. It's horrible. I've been called fat when I was a kid in school, I've had my own family members insult me. I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for people who are fat because they eat like pigs, but until you know everyone's individual situation, just shut the hell up.
     

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