Uk: Obesity 'not individuals' fault'

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by elppa, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Obesity 'not individuals' fault'
    I think this is complete nonsense, it's far too deterministic. How come eveyone's not obese then? We may not be in complete control of our own destiny, but we can certainly help by eating the right amount of the right things and getting out to exercise.
  2. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    I agree with you.
    Simple fact is people eat too much junk and do not move about enough.
    I mean, just look at this

    And yes, I know there are rare cases of individuals who have medical conditions that lead to weight gain.
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I always find it funny when people play the blame game when they're fat. I watch that show The Biggest Loser and each of them has some story. While the stories are undoubtedly true to some degree they're the ones who had the worst story. No doubt emotions play into eating with many people. Some turn to drugs and or alcohol and others turn to food. There is another population out there that doesn't abuse any of the three. In some weird way food is a drug, it's a coping mechanism and often food is produced in such a way that makes you crave more of it. Most food that you buy that isn't a fruit or vegetable isn't going to satisfy so you tend to eat more. Another factor in weight gain is how fast we all eat. The brain needs time to tell the stomach there is food there and if you eat something in under 20 minutes (a meal) then often you're not full and you tend to eat more.

    I do not believe that a blanket statement can be made that it is not the individuals' fault that they're obese at all. Coming from that end of the spectrum I can honestly say that there was no twisting of the arm and while I have a so-called condition that would explain why weight is lost slower on me than someone else without my so-called condition, I have no one but myself to blame.
  4. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Obesity is in 99% of cases the fault of the individual. I'm personally quite sick of hearing people moan about how their being fat isn't their fault, and dreaming up excuses to justify it. It's a simple equation of balancing what you put in against what you take out. By all means eat the stuff you like, but you don't need huge platefuls of it.
  5. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Generally speaking...

    There's definitely people out there that have a propensity towards being overweight - they may have a much easier time putting it on and even more difficult time getting the weight off, BUT to sit and take no responsibility for it is BS.

    Tricky topic because there are always anomalies.

    I have an Aunt, she is technically obese but I've never once seen her stuff her face with junk or overeat. She diets and gets lousy results. (she has 10 kids, 8 of which she carried herself) I can't entirely fault her but other than the toll having children takes, I can't understand how it's happened either.

    Not sure what I'm getting at here but I felt like sayin'.
  6. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    There are always exceptions for medical reasons. For instance, I know someone who completely ballooned after having to take a course of steroid injections, and is now struggling to get his weight back to what it was previously. I guess what annoys me is that so many people lie and say that these genuine medical conditions are the reason that they are so big, when really they are simply eating portions far too large for the amount of physical activity they are doing.
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Quarter-pounder and a Coke? Oh, what the hell, I'll have the Quarter-pounder meal; it only costs a little more... make that a large fries... but with Diet Coke... it's my glands, you see...

    I also think that in the UK we generally sometimes forget how many calories are in booze as well.
  8. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Definitely, on all counts. Prednisone is particularly evil with what it can do to a person.

    I think there's a lot of excuse making, which pisses me off because there's legit cases out there which are being made a mockery of due to the excuse makers. I guess that's true for a lot of things though.

    Bodies are funny, I am not overweight but I'm about 10-15 pounds heavier than I wish I was. I could eat like a pig and not gain much at all. However to lose this, I really struggle. I can sympathize with the annoyance of losing weight. I just can't blame anybody but myself for staying as is.
  9. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    well there is another angle I would like to poitn out as well.

    A low income person cannot afford to buy healthy fresh food when the prices for overprocessed crap are so much lower.
    I went to my local supermarket today and the price for one fresh local grown apple was ~$0.80, a chocolate bar was $0.65. , which are you going to buy as a snack? Which is going to keep you full longer?

    Same with a 500ml bottle of water being $1.25 versus 860ml of Soda pop being $0.89 at my school.

    Alot of the overweight people in my neighbourhood are the low income individuals , the peanut butter and pasta diet does lead extra weight but these people cannot afford to buy anything better. They buy fruit drinks rather than fruit juice, and a "meal" at McDick's can be less than $2 with coupons- how can you make a healthy fresh meal for that amount? Some of the living spaces here do not have very good cooking facilities. I was looking at a one bedroom apt the other day - gorgeous spacey place with beautiful reno but the kitchen was a microvave, sink and fridge - thats it.
  10. Stella macrumors 604


    Apr 21, 2003
    People who are fat shouldn't blame themselves

    In accordance to british society, its not their fault they are fault, but the fault of others...

    ********: Any sane person knows if you eat excessively and excerise little then you run the risk of being fat. Its no ones fault but yourself.... fresh vegetables et al are cheaper than buying a fat busting pizza.

    Unfortunately the mentality today is that there is no personally responsibility... shift the blame on to others.

    Exactly like the lard arses who tried suing McDonalds...
  11. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I'm fat and its entirely my own bloody fault. Nobody else is to blame.
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Hard to sue yourself, but you can sue Ronald McDonald. :rolleyes:
  13. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I'm sorry our fast food culture has polluted yours. It's not just fast food though, it's an entire mentality and way of life.
  14. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    In the end I feel it is ultimately down to the persons' decisions, however I also feel that our society doesn't make those decisions easy. The need/want of money has convinced food makers to make unhealthy addictive food. The culmination of that, the necessity to drive almost everywhere and the rise of things like computer/consol games (just to name a few), it takes a lot of will power to stay healthy.
  15. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    This is the beginning of diverting blame and responsibility. There is a sociatal want for unhealthy, addictive foods as you say. Some people want them more than others, but it's most certaintly not the companies' fault. It's all on the people. I work out a lot and I really like to stay actice, excercize everyday, etc., but I'm glad that a consumer want of mine can be met through these food makers; Sometimes I feel like a couple scoops of chocolate chip ice cream, laden with saturated fat.
  16. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    Yep, I think that's correct, save for the small percentage (2-3% from the research I've read) of people who have medical reasons for being overweight.
  17. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    I can make a gallon of Splenda-sweetened tea with fresh lemons for about $1 on the outside. Then again, it's a lot easier to get something out of a machine that to make it yourself at home. Spend $2 on a plastic bottle to carry with you and you're set.

    The little woman and I went grocery shopping tonight, so the numbers are still fresh in my mind. All the neccessary ingredients for a week's worth of salads (i.e. lunch) was maybe $10. It can be done, it just takes a little more work than that to which some people are accustomed. Part of the problem lies in that Americans (or Westerners in general if you prefer) have been conditioned to value convenience and speed over doing things right.
  18. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    Like I said, the decision to be healthy is getting harder because of it, not that we are loosing the ability to choose healthfully.
  19. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Some points to consider

    I usually don't pipe into this conversations, but after a few years of public health classes (combined with a hefty dose of cultural anthropology) I feel I've got some basis.

    Consider the following:

    1. Educational attainment --> socioeconomic status (SES) --> dietary choices

    2. Levels of obesity are increasing (in the US) among all SES groups. This implies that money, as well as the capacity to provide good nutrition, does not confound the relationship between nutrition and obesity. Everyone is getting fatter at about the same rate. Children of all races and people of both sexes are increasingly becoming obese.

    3. Access to quality food supplies is limited in certain cities or locations. Go to the inner city of, say, Chicago or New York and count the fast food joints. Then count the grocery stores that have fruits, vegetables, etc. for a reasonable cost. Do the math. Work it out based on standard poverty indexes. Combine this effect with aggressive advertising and marketing of the fast food or unhealthy products.

    4. Obesity is not a simple condition. It is a function of a constellation of related covariates, however most of these variables have something to do with nutrition and affluence. The other variables are doubtlessly related to elements of personal volition (willingness to exercise, limit one's caloric intake, etc).

    SO, who is right? Is obesity "someone's fault" or is it a byproduct of a society?

    From an epidemiologic standpoint, it is both. Some elements are modifiable risk factors (of which the above posters have astutely mentioned several), and others are social constructs that contribute (yet do not unswervingly determine) to the problem.

    Instead of focusing on whose fault it is (which would be difficult), why aren't more people speaking about pragmatic solutions, which ARE in many cases individualistic. On the level of the individual, dietary education and physical activity are functions of personal willingness to make changes. However, this becomes complicated when considering existing disparities in economic and educational resources.

    This problem is getting bigger (no pun intended), and will continue to do so.

    But, good discussion thus far!
  20. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    I know what you're trying to say, and in a sense I agree, I just kind of have a problem with taking any of the responsibility and shifting it away from the people who really make the choices. I dislike victimization. Sometimes McDonalds (fries at least) and doughnuts (hopefully not at the same time) are delicious, but it's up to the individuals to regulate that.
  21. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Tap water is free. ;)
  22. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!
    Inside every fat person is a thin person trying to get out. :)
  23. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    The fact that I am carrying a few extra pounds is my fault.

    The fact that I am unattractive is my parent's fault.

    The fact that I'm not more popular is your fault.

    See how elegantly that works out? I love sharing the blame! :p
  24. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Not drinkable everywhere, you know.

    And unless utilities is included, it's not exactly free you know. There's this little "water bill" that arrives every month...

    And... you know. You know?

    Yeah, you know.

    EDIT: Oh the thread. Yeah, the UK is the nanny state remember? Naturally it would want to blame itself for obesity, so it can "help solve the problem".

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