Babying the Obese

| 2 Comments

First off there is one thing that you all need to know that was not said during the presentation by the Diet, Health, Body group. The BMI index is not used to determine the amount of fat a person has. At first it was but with new technology we have found better ways to determine this. The BMI index is primarily used to determine a person's risk of disease due to their weight. If you remember the picture they had of the fat person and the muscular person side by side and how they had the same BMI. It is true that we see the muscular person as healthier but he is still at an elevated rate of potential disease due to his weight. A bodybuilder is very susceptible to heart disease. If all you do for physical activity is lift heavy weights, you actually use the left side of your heart more. Over time with the left side of your heart bigger than the right, you are more susceptible to heart arrhythmia, attack or stoke. Also body builder seem to have much higher blood pressure than a normal person. Lastly an question that was not answered during the presentation was how do they determine what is overweight, obese, ect. for the BMI. The way they did this was by looking at premature morbidity and mortality due to their BMI. They found that at 19, 25, and 30 there were significantly higher rates. All of this information came from text book "Fitness & Wellness" by Werner and Sharon Hoeger.

Now on to what I wanted to talk about. In our society obesity is a server problem. The United States is the only industrialized nation where over 10% of the population is obese. This come with a price, a price which we all must pay.

In this video we hear about a person story with obesity. Tim, was obese adn when he went to his doctor he got the response most people would get. We need to get you on some sort of prescription. I give a lot of credit to Tim for losing weight the right way through diet and exercise. Our society has become so lazy that even with a health problem due to lack of exercise or diet, we just want something that will help so we can continue living the same life style.

As much as some people may hate me for saying this, I really do not care. I am a major supporter on discriminating of those who are obese. Think about it! People who are overweight who have been told you are at risk of having heart, liver, diabetes problems due that are just babied through it because we are scared we may hurt their feelings. We give people who need to increase there physical activity handicap parking spaces so they won't have to walk so far to get to the store. Or we give the mobile scooter so they won't have to walk because their knees won't be able to handle their weight. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Hopefully you can see that all we are doing is perpetuating the problem.

At the rate were going, Obesity is going to become the number one health care problem. Whether this is due to all the fast food or processed food we eat, or our sedentary lifestyle. We cannot just tell people we know need to lose weight to take a pill to help them and just keep living the same way they have been which got them to this point in their life. Because we are all paying for it, and with an economy which is not doing well and the new health care reform, this is something that needs to end and quickly.

If someone for the Diet, Health, Body group could comment on here and tell me which article they read and where it was in the article about how fat people tend to live longer that would be great. I do not believe this statement or study one bit. Especially since President Clinton during his term gave a congressional speech about how we are the first generation that will not outlive our parents. This study came straight from the surgeon general so I more inclined to believe this study than the one in the article. I am willing to beat a lot of money that the study in the article was funded by either a fast food restaurant or a company which makes processed foods.

2 Comments

This is a really interesting post. I disagree with your position that discrimination is justified when it is targeted at an obese person, but I myself have been guilty of this discrimination. I work at a restaurant and I know a lot about the food that we serve, and I can tell you, it's all pretty terrible. So I tend to be appalled when people eat there a lot, or when servers eat a meal there every night, but I confess that I have definitely judged obese people more harshly than any other group. However, I don't think this is good for many reasons.

First, I think it is unacceptable to discriminate against someone for their size. Like it has been stated in other posts, people of all sizes struggle with their weight and know the feeling of low self esteem that can come from disliking your body. Nobody should have to feel that way, ever.

Second, discriminating is intrinsically hypocritical. For instance, one reason that I stop myself when I think about obese people eating out at restaurants is that I eat out too. For all you know, you could lead a less healthy lifestyle than an obese person does (however you want to define health). Just because your body handles it differently doesn't give you the right to start policing people's habits.

Third, I there are other issues involved. One major player in the decline in quality of food that we as a society eat is poverty. Cheap foods are less healthy. Think about feeding a family a meal with protein, vegetables, dairy, etc on a daily basis. Maybe you think that's doable. But, once you factor in salt, fat, preservative, and addative content, it becomes a lot harder. Less expensive foods are less healthy, and when people are unemployed, feeding a family or any other situation where money is the deciding factor, the food quality suffers. Another issue is restaurants & fast food chains making food that is barely qualifiable as food. Read Fast Food Nation, and you will never want to eat fast food again. We are also growing a lot less nutritionally valuable food in some cases. Some crops, such as corn, are grown in a less nutrient-rich variety to increase yields. These are just some issues that tie into America's obesity "epidemic" but hopefully will cause everyone to think twice before justifying discrimination.

I was initially disinclined to comment because right off the bat the author of this post admitted to discrimination of the obese, and the definition of discrimination is unjust and prejudicial treatment of a group of people based on (perceived) difference, and I think it’s really hard to respond to something that comes from that frame of mind to begin with. But I can’t help but to argue a few things, if only in defense of the Diet, Health and Body group, or perhaps those who are discriminated against on a daily basis based on the way their bodies look.

I take no issue with the assertion that obesity is a huge problem in this country and that we should all be working to combat it. Anything that is affecting the health of the country negatively on such a large scale should be of concern to not only those affected, but to their fellow citizens. I also agree that “pills” and other quick fixes almost never work. But what I do take issue with is your assertion that we should all discriminate against the obese. Discrimination has a history of producing nothing but turmoil and, yes, “hurt feelings”, and I can’t recall discriminating against a group of people ever producing positive results. I believe you’re also hugely over-looking an aspect of obesity that the presenters did an excellent job of showing us, which is that the obesity “epidemic” is likely a result of several factors in the United States, many of which are structural. Unhealthy food is cheaper, and healthy food is undoubtedly more expensive and often less accessible physically to those who live in more destitute areas of the country. Often, people who are using food stamps find that they can feed more members of their family by buying items that are significantly less healthy. There probably is the odd obese person who has the time and money and emotional support that is often crucial to making huge lifestyle adjustments, but I would venture to guess that this is a rarity. The discrimination that surrounds obesity (and really any type of body that does not fit the ideal standard) in this country also can often lead to mental health problems as any type of discrimination has been shown to—I hardly think “babying” is an appropriate word to describe the treatment of the obese (not to mention anyone who is overweight) in this country.

As far as the article that said obese people live longer, I’m sure the Diet, Health and Body group would be happy to share their source, and I’m almost positive you could access it yourself on the WebVista site. As we discussed in class—the point of sharing the finding of the article (and anyone from the D, H, and B group--feel free to argue/add here), I’m pretty sure, was not to suggest that we should all go out and get fat so that we can live longer. As Michelle pointed out, the point of the article was to show that there are several very important factors that contribute to mortality, and your weight may not be as important as it is currently portrayed to be. I also thought the article was helpful simply because whether or not the findings were perfectly accurate and generalizable, it showed that the issue of obesity (or maybe it was simply being overweight—in fact I think the group might have just said “fat” in citing the study) and early mortality is not completely black and white and as obvious as one might think. If it was, the study may have yielded different results. Also, your assertion that you are much more likely to believe the surgeon general’s study than one that is funded by a fast food company (which, I would like to point out, there is no evidence thus far to suggest that the one the DHB group referred to is) I’ll also have to take issue with, as there are several high-up government officials (specifically I’m thinking of members of the USDA and the FDA) who are former members of huge corporations like Monsanto and Tyson—both of which have huge stakes in the decisions that the USDA and the FDA make. I would also assert that many decisions made of late by the USDA and the FDA reflect their agribusiness influences. I’m just trying to point out that it is not always as simple as to say that the US Gov’t is unbiased (or even less-biased), and any other group influenced by a big corporation is not.

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This page contains a single entry by purplepeopleeater published on November 14, 2010 1:46 PM.

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