Is it time for fat people to fight back?

fatIn a short while Newshour’s Saturday programme will be on air with a close look at the “fat acceptance” movement which has been in the headlines because of President Obama’s choice for Surgeon General, and because reality television has recently embraced fatness with a series of new programmes.

So is it time to rethink the conventional wisdom on obesity? Marissa thinks so: “I am a 31 year old pear-shaped, 5′ 4″ tall, 190lb American (statistically ‘obese’)…. I have annual checkups at the doctor, and all of my tests show that my body functions on the healthy side of the normal range…. I think it is unfair to lump together all overweight people into the same category.”

Do you agree? Tune in at 1:30 pm British Summer Time to hear Newshour’s Julian Marshall with celebrity fitness guru James Duigan and California nutritionist Joanne Ikeda — both health experts in their own right but with very different perspectives on obesity. And keep those comments coming!

137 Responses to “Is it time for fat people to fight back?”

  1. 1 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 30, 2009 at 21:05

    It’s not okay for me to be fat because I don’t like the paunch and most importantly I like to be physically fit because it enhances the brain, keeps the muscles toned, keeps the circulatory system and heart strong, adds dopamine to the system as a natural feel good drug and enhances my sex life.

    On the other hand I’m not prejudiced against people who are overweight because I know it’s difficult to eat healthy and exercise if they aren’t your favourite things to do.


  2. 2 Anthony
    July 30, 2009 at 22:06

    NO, it’s NOT ok. It leads to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels, and there are PLENTY more. Not only that, it’s a drain on our resourses, and the average obese person DOES comsume more oil than someone who is fit.

    It’s funny that McDonalds and places like that have HUGE get out and exercise promotions to help “lose weight”, yet the MAIN thing that makes you fat is eating. They SHOULD have “put down the fork” as their motto, but they would lose money, so they depend on your average person being counter intuative.

    By stating it’s OK, we are only enabling them. We wouldn’t have a “It’s ok to smoke meth” movement or “It’s OK to cheat on your spouse” movement. I’m glad there is a negative stigma still, because imagine an America (or anywhere in the world) where almost everyone was fat.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 3 James Ian
      July 31, 2009 at 07:02

      You hit all the high points Anthony, I agree.

      • 4 Helen
        August 2, 2009 at 20:39

        I agree too.That little bulge above the waistband doesn’t qualify someone as”fat person”.But most people don’t stop at the next size in clothes.In ten years if you only gain 7 pounds a year that 70 extra pounds of you,”there’s just more to love”means you’ll be sicker longer and die prematurely.In America the drug companies and our Disease Management they call”healthcare”are licking their chops at getting govt.subsidized everything.Fat is good when your income depends on Sick People.

  3. 5 steve
    July 30, 2009 at 23:40

    Society should do a lot more about obesity, as the problem is getting worse. Obesity accounts for 10% of all medical expenses, and this is something that we could completely eliminate. Fat acceptance will only cost lives and lots of money. Smokers have been banned from indoors and are heavily taxed. The same should be for fat people as well. I’ve found that the ONLY thing that will get someone without motivation to lose weight, is that shame does make them at least consider losing weight, nothing else will.

  4. 6 patti in cape coral
    July 31, 2009 at 00:50

    There are certain parts of the world where a fat woman is very desirable because it enhances the husband’s status as a good provider, it shows she is healthy, wealthy, and fertile. Interestingly, in these places it is very difficult to keep yourself fat due to famine or poverty. In the western world, where it is so easy to become fat and stay that way, thinness is seen as more desirable. So I would guess that the most difficult weight to achieve at any given time or at any given place is the most desirable. It also seems to matter more for women, as far as image goes. As far as health goes, neither extreme is good for you. So, is it ok to be fat? Depends on where you are.

  5. 7 Jim Ryan
    July 31, 2009 at 03:33

    Recently I visited the island of Guam. There were many fat inhabitants who were jolly, pleasant and polite. In the food courts they were shovelling down mounds of unhealthy looking food. It didn’t appear to inhibit their conversation, laughter and general demenour. But, of course, it cannot be good for their internal bodily welfare. As Bob Marley sang: ‘Why Worry, Be Happy.’

  6. 8 James Ian
    July 31, 2009 at 07:01

    “Is it ok to be fat??” Well let’s see… In most cases being fat is a sign of gluttony and a lack of self control. People who are fat have obviously over indulged or just made poor eating decisions so I would say that NO! It’s not “OK” It’s the epitome what’s wrong with us here in the U.S. and other western counties.
    Not only that but with this health care issue at the forefront of our president’s agenda obesity and its related side effects like, diabetes and cardio vascular trouble, are extremely egregious offence.
    If tax money is going to be used to pay for health care then people need to clean up and slim down to lower the demand on the system.
    Besides fat people are not attractive at all to look at. I mean really who looks at a fat roll and thinks to themselves, WOW, That’s hot!!

  7. 9 Maxine
    July 31, 2009 at 08:08

    I think Humans come in all shapes and sizes. Fat is O.K. so is thin, but extremes of both is sure ugly. Keep healthy!

  8. July 31, 2009 at 10:56

    Unfortunately one cannot to some extent control the body size! Fat for a woman is a little bit ok but for a man…No,not a man in the least.I am thin myself and would be comfortable with a fat spouse…That’s me…VKELVIN of Makerere University Kampala.

  9. 11 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 31, 2009 at 11:04

    @ steve

    An overwieght person is a human being and trying to shame them into changing is not acceptable since that only does more harm than good especially if the person has an eating disorder. Conversely your action of shaming could probably add to the problem by attacking the person’s self image and ego and inducing depression which in turn usually leads to more eating.

    It was great to hear your opinion though as it demonstrates why the world has so many problems.

    • 12 NSC London
      August 4, 2009 at 11:25

      I totally agree with you, I’ve never understood the animosity society has for fat people. My best mate is pretty overweight and learning about the depth of her exclusion from the social interaction that we non-fatties take for granted has been startling.

      Why the hate for these poor folks? I don’t get it. You don’t have to date them, you don’t have to live with them, there’s no harm in being nicer to bigger people.

      Plus, there are so many reasons to hate people for the frailties of their character, why do we need to pick on folks for their physical traits? 🙂

  10. 13 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 31, 2009 at 11:36

    @James Ian
    (Besides fat people are not attractive at all to look at. I mean really who looks at a fat roll and thinks to themselves, WOW, That’s hot!!)

    Men love them in Mauritania although the women are forced fed from an early age with camel’s milk.

    This a nice article for debate WHYS.

    • 14 Helen
      August 2, 2009 at 22:02

      Saying unkind things to anyone about anything only causes alienation and further islation. And this is also not healthy.Making fat acceptable sends the wrong message;at one time burning at the stake was acceptable.England has a rich pantheistic and pagan culture today.Any comments on making something acceptable being harmful in one instance and damnable in another?To me the metaphor”In a society of murderers the one who refuses to kill is the outcast.”(My own metaphor btw).It illustrates that all things are relative.For good or ill.(A five year old child looked at me like I had 2 heads when I told her I didn’t drink pop(“fizzy drinks”).She actually told me I’m weird.Which made me start pondering the accepted and unacceptable.Perceptive child;I am weird,but there’s already enough people who are “just like everybody else”.

  11. 15 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 12:10


    What is worse, hurting someone’s feelings, or someone dying a premature death that costs the fellow taxpayers a lot money, as well as putting others at risk? I know someone who was killed because an obese person had a heart attack while driving and crashed into his car, killing him. Fact remains, obesity is growing problem, they aren’t doing anything about it themselves, and it is causing massive health problems including ADULT diabetes even in children. This isn’t a matter where we should be PC and not want to offend anyone. This would be like if we were to scared to call out drunk drivers because someone said alcoholism is a “disease”. They are a threat to the safety of others, so PC rules should not apply. It’s for EVERYONE’s best interest that we NOT be PC when it comes to matters of health.

  12. 17 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 31, 2009 at 12:46

    @ steve

    So how do you deal and interact with members of your family who are overweight? What about friends who are overweight?

    • 18 Helen
      August 2, 2009 at 22:17

      To make fat acceptable and just be quiet amounts to killing someone with kindness,or letting them kill themselves.We dig our graves with our forks. I was a fat kid and survived the torture and hated school.My parents and doctor told me my weight was going to kill me.I came from a family with heavy (some Very Heavy)people on the maternal and paternal sides.I lost weight and yo-yo’ed weight but I’m vegetarian-almost-vegan(because of compassion for animals,not my health)and am close to being a size seven.After that I’m just going to start using extra olive oil.I don’t want to be a stick-figure.

  13. 19 patti in cape coral
    July 31, 2009 at 12:53

    Shaming people does not help fat people lose weight. If that were so, there would be no fat people in the western world. To say that obesity is a problem that needs to be dealt with is one thing, but to see them as a “threat to the safety of others”? How ridiculous!

    • 20 James Loudermilk
      July 31, 2009 at 13:26

      Are we talking about shaming them or just pointing to the obvious.
      By saying it is ok to be fat send the wrong message, it’s not ok and people should not think that it is.

  14. 21 Roy, Washington DC
    July 31, 2009 at 14:16

    Fight back against what? If they could focus those efforts on improving themselves rather than begging for acceptance, they would see a much better gain.

  15. 22 patti in cape coral
    July 31, 2009 at 14:32

    That is the saddest thing about obesity, it isn’t something that can be hidden, like many other worse vices. So it is very easy to point out the obvious, a fat person. Not so easy to point out cruelty and unkindness in the guise of concern for their health or concern for society at large.

  16. 23 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 14:33

    I’m saying if nothing else works, shaming is likely to at least do something. If these people won’t lose weight for themselves, or their loved ones, you want them to die prematurely at taxpayer expense? Is that really what you want, or you don’t want to hurt their wittle feelings? I’d rather be alive than dead, but I exercise and I eat right on my own accord.

    I’ve tried to encourage fat people to exercise. A good friend of mine is fat, and he insisted we go hiking, so we drove to the area where Camp David is, and go hiking. 10 minutes in the hike, he is exhausted, then he started complaining, then eventually refused to stop walking. At some point he started throwing a tantrum and insisting I drive my car onto the hiking path and pick him up…. It wasn’t like he couldn’t walk, he just didn’t want to anymore. I’m amazed what people do on a daily basis to avoid any form of exercise. The escalators are often out of service on the DC metro, and when fat people say that, they make a loud huff, and then make an about face to the elevator, rather than walk up the escalator. Why? Is exercise going to hurt you?

  17. 24 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 14:34

    @ patti

    “To say that obesity is a problem that needs to be dealt with is one thing, but to see them as a “threat to the safety of others”? How ridiculous!”

    Would you like to visit my friend’s grave and say that. He would be alive today if that person were not obese and had a heart attack at 35 due to his weight. Absent congenital defects, thin people don’t have heart problems. Fat people can and do, and my friend is now dead because someone had a heart attack behind the wheel and crashed into my friend. He is now dead. He is buried in the ground and will never live again.

  18. 25 patti in cape coral
    July 31, 2009 at 14:48

    @ Steve – We would then have to screen everyone applying for driver’s licenses not only for obesity, but for any other risk factors for heart attack, including family histories, gender, and race, which are also risk factors for heart attack. I am sorry about your friend, but that does not make acccidents due to heart attack related to obesity a runaway problem. And thin people do have heart attacks as well, not always related to congenital defects.

  19. 26 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 14:49

    @ Patti

    Do you feel the same pity for smokers? At least they have an excuse, nicotine is an addictive drug.

    • 27 patti in cape coral
      July 31, 2009 at 15:43

      I don’t know if pity is the right word, just probably more respect for them as people. My co-worker has a wonderful 10-year-old son who is obviously obese, and it would make me very sad to see anyone shaming him into losing weight, because he is a good kid. She was talking to me about it, and told me she didn’t understand, because everyone in the house eats the same things, but he is the only one with the problem. I told her that whatever she does, it would be easier to tackle the problem now than later, when kids get more and more cruel (and adults too, unfortunately) I think her tactic is spot on, the whole family has adopted a walking program at night and don’t bring junk food into the house.

      • 28 Roseann In Houston
        August 1, 2009 at 00:33

        If the child is morbidly obese your friend should be arrested for child abuse. I had a client, a nice young man in his mid-20s, who was so fat that he literally lived in a big lounger in the living room of his apartment. He lived with his mother who brought him everything he needed…and food. He was obese when I first met him, and a year later he had gained over 100 pounds, and a few months later he was dead. Fat is not attractive, it’s not cute, it’s not something that people should be telling me that I need to be accepting of – it KILLS

  20. 29 Lee Anne
    July 31, 2009 at 15:10

    I agree that overweight people do suffer prejudice in our society. However, when their weight impacts those of us who are not overweight it becomes unacceptable. I travel quite a lot and cannot tell you the number of times an overweight person was seated next to me on a plane and ‘overflowed’ into my seat. Was that person asked to pay for 1 1/2 seats, allowing me to pay for only 1/2 of a seat? I don’t think so. It is also well-known that level of healthcare costs can be attributed to obesity and the resultant diseases. When someone else’s weight affects me personally (my personal space and/or pocketbook), that’s when I find it frustrating – especially since I work hard to watch what I eat and get as much exercise as my life allows.

  21. 30 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 15:32


    Reminder, 10% of medical expenditures is for obesity in the US. It says $147 BILLION. This is money that would be saved and not spent if people were not obese.

  22. 31 Marissa
    July 31, 2009 at 15:41

    I am a 31 year old pear-shaped, 5′ 4″ tall, 190lb American (statistically “obese”). A 1000 daily calorie diet and exercise are part of my lifestyle (and have been so for about 10 years). I have annual checkups at the doctor, and all of my tests show that my body functions on the healthy side of the normal range. My family does not have a history of heart disease or diabetes – and many of my relatives are also a bit overweight. I think it is unfair to lump together all overweight people into the same category – although statistically weight does lead to many diseases, it is not always the case.
    Would I rather weight 135lbs? Certainly! I work toward that every day. Is it easy? No! Is it possible? Maybe. I am the first to admit that most Americans do not have healthy lifestyles – though many thin people are just as unhealthy as fat people, so weight alone should not be the only thing scrutinized – it is just the most visible way for people to stereotype health.

  23. 32 DJ
    July 31, 2009 at 15:42

    Of course it’s ok. Be as fat as you like if that makes you happy. As long as you don’t shift the cost onto me.

    Obesity adds $1,429 per person per year to the cost of healthcare, subsidized by my premiums. Hauling extra weight in airplanes requires extra fuel (subsidized by the 110lb person in the seat next to you who paid the same price for her ticket). More acres of pesticide-intensive cotton are grown to cover the increasing surface area of the average American. The additional calories required to maintain obesity (it’s simple math) mean more hog lagoons, more rainforest cleared for cattle grazing, and more pressure on the world’s agricultural resources.

    I could go on, but the point is that one’s personal choice to be obese has consequences for everyone else. As a society, we all bear the costs of obesity.

    I’d suggest a cap-and-trade program, whereby obese people purchase fat offsets from fit people who put less of a burden on the systems we all use. But I’m not an entirely objective party: my skinny vegetarian ass could sure use the money to pay down my $300+/mo health insurance bills.

    • 33 Rachel in California, USA
      August 2, 2009 at 17:07

      Actually, many overweight people can’t get health insurance, and the premiums are often higher.

  24. 34 John, New Jersey
    July 31, 2009 at 15:46

    It’s not OK to be fat and self righteous about it. It’s more OK to be fat and pragmatic, with respect to social, economic and health implications. Your attitute can greatly affect your ability to manage your conditon and win support from others.

    • 35 Rachel in California, USA
      August 2, 2009 at 17:09

      It’s not OK to be thin and self righteous either.

      How a fat person feels about being fat is not the business of contemptuous outsiders.

  25. 36 patti in cape coral
    July 31, 2009 at 15:49

    While I agree that obesity raises the cost of insurance, along with smoking, and other preventable risk factors, I don’t agree that obesity is a threat to the lives of others. Shaming obese people has been a part of western culture for quite a while, and 64% of people in the US are still overweight. It doesn’t work!

  26. 37 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 15:55

    I’ve thought for a while, tha tthe government, to encourage exercise, should allow exercise equipment at home that his hooked up to the power grid, and the electricity you generate from working out can be added to the system, and you can get a credit for that. The more you exercise, the more you save on your electricity bill.

    • 38 patti in cape coral
      July 31, 2009 at 16:24

      I really like that idea, killing two birds with one stone, very efficient.

      • 39 Rachel in California, USA
        August 2, 2009 at 17:11

        I’d love to hook up an exercycle to my car. Failing that, I spend at least as much time exercising every day as I spend driving. And bicycling is pretty much the exercycle in the car, minus the weight of the car.

  27. 40 Jeremy from Lansing MI USA
    July 31, 2009 at 15:58

    Everyone knows the dangers of smoking, as well as the dangers of being overweight. I smoke, but I know it is horrible for my health and I want to quit. I used to be overweight, but I did not like my appearance (and had trouble getting a date), so I lost weight (diet). The thing is, I would never take myself seriously for an anti-smoking campaign, because I still smoke. So, should we take someone who is overweight seriously when they are supposed to be advising people on health issues and cannot even get healthy themselves? I think that is the issue. Just like how the other czar was supposed to be in charge of taxes, but could not even pay his own taxes correctly, and owed the IRS money but would not pay until he was picked. I think if someone chooses to get the extra large value sized fast food meal, and still complains they cannot lose weight, I have no sympathy. However, someone who has no problem with their weight, I have no problem. The problem is, you would not go to the gym to try to lose weight and take serious advice from an overweight trainer. So why would a health adviser who is overweight be a good pick? It should have been someone with a health education degree who followed their own advice… Lead by example!!

    • 41 Roseann In Houston
      August 1, 2009 at 00:48

      I clicked on the link and looked at the picture of her, it is mostly her face, but judging from the face alone she is not just overweight, she is morbidly obese! BAD CHOICE! In order to “fix” the health care problem in the US, the obesity problem MUST be addressed. Health care costs will continue to rise until the trend towards obesity is addressed. If she was capable of “thinking outside the box” to come up with solutions for obesity she would have used those solutions on herself already.

      • 42 patti in cape coral
        August 1, 2009 at 15:42

        No my co-worker’s son is not morbidly obese, and no I do not think she should be arrested. As my post read, the whole family eats the same things and her son is the only one with the problem. They are addressing the problem by adopting healthier habits, even though the rest of them do not have weight problems. If we arrest the parents of every morbidly obese child, then we are really going to have a problem.

  28. 43 DJ
    July 31, 2009 at 16:00

    @ Steve “Do you feel the same pity for smokers? At least they have an excuse, nicotine is an addictive drug.”

    You raise an important issue, Steve. In fact, the processed food industry is in many ways the new cigarette industry. It has spent decades researching and developing junk foods to be literally addictive, stimulating the brain’s pleasure center activating the “bliss point.” And the excess of sugar and corn syrup in most processed foods seriously messes with people’s hunger cycles and blood sugar regulation. Then there’s the advertising; someday we’ll look back on fast food ads with the same bemused revulsion we currently reserve for tobacco ads of the 1930s-60s.

    Any meaningful discussion of obesity must look seriously at the practices of agribusiness and the processed food industry.

    • 44 James Ian
      August 1, 2009 at 06:22

      WOW! I never thought about that but it’s so true, even the advertising is suggestive. Do you remember the one snack food commercial that said ” So go ahead, crunch all you want we’ll make more.” Do you remember that.
      Then other commercials that aim to make you feel like you will be cool or sexy if you eat or drink their product.
      Good point.

  29. 45 Tom K in Mpls
    July 31, 2009 at 16:00

    Obesity is a problem. Ask your doctor. In virtually all cases, it is easily cured by changing personal habits. Once again, ask your doctor. Fat people (me included, 20 lbs *is* fat by definition) should not be harassed for their condition just the same as with any other condition. But they should be held accountable for what they do to the cost of health insurance, just as a bad driver is for car insurance rates.

  30. 46 patti in cape coral
    July 31, 2009 at 16:02

    A gentleman I know of the Ba’hai faith recently had trouble breathing while driving, and luckily, he was able to pull over and call his wife. He is a vegetarian, has been since adolescence, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, and periodically fasts according to the requirements of his religion. He was taken to the emergency room and found to have blood clots, and two traveled to his lungs. Thankfully he is okay now. We have to be careful, thinness is not a guarantee of good health, or even good cardiovascular health.

    • 47 Justin, Va
      July 31, 2009 at 16:17

      I don’t think anyone is arguing that thinness by itself is a sign of health. If ti were, anorexics would be the healthiest among us.

      If you see someone who is thin, there is a much greater PROBABILITY that they are healthy and therefore less prone to problems. By the same token, a fat person has a much higher probability of being unhealthy simply because they are fat. It boils down to their outward appearance being indicative of their lifestyle and image of themselves.

      We could go all day giving examples of people who died in the best of health and worst of health. That is why one has to look at the majority of cases.

      • 48 Jessica in NYC
        July 31, 2009 at 16:58

        Studies have shown genetics has a lot to do with your physical shape. I disagree because, this rule cannot be applied to everyone and is not an indicator of good health.

        Case in point, a friend and I complain to each other regularly about three people in our yoga class, twice our size and one is pregnant, because they have more strength and flexibility than us. We are regulars and they are new and twice our size, they should struggle more. They defy the laws of physicals or something or maybe my friend and I are just wimps.

  31. 49 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 16:11

    @ DJ

    But the whole processed foods thing is just a sign of the laziness of the times. Back in the “day” people used to make their own meals, out of whole foods. Now people want everything fast food style, and processing takes the nutrients out of food and adds in some cases unhealthy things, such as nitrates.. People are CHOOSING to eat this bad food. You don’t have to. You can go to the supermarket and get fresh fruits and vegetables to eat rather than canned ravioli or lunchables with the super high sodium content. It’s a choice, and people are choosing poorly.

    • 50 Tom K in Mpls
      July 31, 2009 at 17:39

      Processed foods allow for easier and cheaper processing, storage and transportation. It is not just laziness. Also, most companies are striving to produce healthy processed foods. Simply because people will pay more for health. It is an evolutionary process and progress is being made. Natural, hand made meals is not the only goal. Just the best way for the moment.

    • 51 Helen
      August 2, 2009 at 20:54

      And it was the medical community who said if your genes are responsible you don’t really have much of a choice.And the real-world result is that people think they are beaten before they start and trying to lose weight is impossible. So they don’t even try.Bad for them.Great for the makers of insulin,dialysis machines,heart surgeons and coffins.The Madison Avenue approach to disease management misnamed”healthcare”is at work .If they don’t want to make money,why all the pharma commercials?Does your doctor NOT have pharmaceutical companies in his stock portfolio?Think about it.

  32. 52 Jessica in NYC
    July 31, 2009 at 16:20

    I think obesity and well and being underweight is a problem. Having lived in the southern part of the US as well as the north, it was quite a shock to “see” the difference in portion sizes. During a recent trip south I went to lunch with some old colleagues to a soup and salad bar, which was all you can eat buffet. The irony!

  33. 53 Jennifer
    July 31, 2009 at 16:20

    We all have a responsibility to help those who are overweight to be healthier. Here in the U.S.; we are too rushed to cook good foods. So, people eat fast foods which give you huge portions. Even parents are giving their babies semi solid foods, soda, etc; big no-nos! Kids need to be spending time outside having fun instead of playing video games. Parents need to set an example. Yes, some people do have health issues which contribute to their weight but it’s our responsibility to take care of ourselves.

    • 54 Jessica in NYC
      July 31, 2009 at 16:45

      True, when I was a kid we were always running around outside. Parents did it not only for exercise, but to exhaust us so we’d go to bed on time. However, now a days even two parent households have to work to keep a roof over their heads and it’s not exactly safe for kids to be out by themselves.

  34. 55 Jessica in NYC
    July 31, 2009 at 16:36

    RE Smoking

    Living in NYC I regularly see under weight folks, especially in the building I work. Any day of the week you step outside models are smoking and drinking coffee. What thin and underweight people do to their bodies is costly, but because society is accepting of thin at any cost it’s not criticized as being overweight.

  35. 56 Marissa
    July 31, 2009 at 16:37

    I’m all for incentivizing health. That should be the focus.
    People are unhealthy for many reasons; lifestyle choices, habits, genetics, societal pressures (ie: America’s emphasis on work creating undue stress causing sleep loss, weight gain, heart disease) it is too easy to be critical of fat people only, especially for those who have never struggled with their weight.
    You skinny people should appreciate your good metabolism – but that doesn’t mean you are any healthier than I am. You want a cap-and-trade system? Fine, then we should cap-and-trade your cholesterol levels too. Oh, you have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol that no amount of good diet or healthy activity can surmount? Gee that’s too bad. Guess you have to pay up. How does it feel?
    Let’s encourage good behavior, but we should all be aware that some things are not within our control, and we should not all be penalized for simply having physical differences.

    • 57 Helen
      August 2, 2009 at 22:35

      What the medical industry does is gives you a pill that allows you to live with your condition.They don’t cure you.They don’t provide information for you optimize your health.Good resource books on health,nutrition and supplements coupled with following the recommendations is the only thing that’s going to improve the condition your condition is in.Your doctor will only do something if you are sick.If your bad choices make you sick,fine.Does your mechanic want you to fix your car yourself?I don’t think so.Certain supplements support thyroid function.Most people benefit from a better thyroid hormone level;not being in hypothyroidism enough to need a prescription does not mean your thyroid is at a good level,just not at the level pharma describes as “diseased”that their level of RX will treat.

  36. 58 patti in cape coral
    July 31, 2009 at 16:52

    That’s very interesting, DJ. If fattening foods are purposefully being made “addictive”, that would be somewhat taking the choice from the consumer. I don’t know much about it, however, and how much of that causes the obesity problem, because, if these foods were addictive, wouldn’t everyone who tried them just once become addicted? Obviously there are normal-weight people who try these foods and do not become addicted. I guess maybe there are some people who are more susceptible to these “feel-good” inducing substances? I think it definitely warrants investigation.

    • 59 Helen
      August 3, 2009 at 19:44

      Chocolate and sugar are addictive. Junk food that has lots of calories and lots of either sugar or salt( and NO nutritional value)often has MSG in it. MSG which goes under several other labels(natural flavoring) makes you crave the food that the MSG is in. The amino acid L-Tyrosine and the herbal supplement Kelp both support thyroid function. Most people would do well to give their thyroid support but may want to consult a Naturopathic practioner first. We can choose best when we are informed. Too many people know little about maintaning their health. And doctors deal in Sick. Not Health.

  37. 60 Andy
    July 31, 2009 at 16:58

    When we talk of “obesity”, we are discussing an amount of body fat that puts a person outside of the normal range of most humans, and we are also talking almost exclusively about Caucasians in the USA and Western Europe. Most of the world is hungry, and even more are within a healthy weight for their height and age.

    Obesity is a very unhealthy condition, which has been stated many times already on this blog. It also leads to higher healthcare costs for the society as a whole. What we need to do is focus on why Americans are spoon fed massive amounts of unhealthy, virtually lethal foods from their agriculture industry and fast food restaurants.

  38. 61 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 17:35

    @ Patti

    Of course I like sugary foods and candy and ice cream, but I know it’s not good for me, so I don’t eat it, or if I do, I have it on a rare occasion. of course I would like to eat ice cream for every meal, but then I would become sickly and fat. I CHOOSE not to eat that way. Of course things that are bad for you taste better, but you CHOOSE not to eat them. Blaming the food companies is just an excuse. People still choose to eat the foods and not exercise.

    • 62 Scott [M]
      July 31, 2009 at 18:01


      What does choose mean? Nothing—that is what it means. That is the relevance it has in this debate. Everyone just going around choosing willy-nilly to eat Twinkies, please! To bad things aren’t that simple. Just good and bad people. Thats all folks. What a joke.

  39. 63 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 17:50

    @ Jessica

    Smokers pay heavy taxes for their unhealthy habit. If you look in NYC, a pack of smokes is about $10 a pack, over $8 of which are just for taxes.

    • 64 James Ian
      August 1, 2009 at 06:29

      I heard that someone was talking about putting extra taxes on chocolate and other sugar food. That is a good Idea if you ask me. Put crazy high taxes on unhealthy and/or prosessed foods and take taxes off things like freash fruits, vegies, raw fish, chicken and unprosessed grains. I like that idea, it would save me a lot of money.

    • 65 Chrissy in Portland
      August 3, 2009 at 19:37

      @ Steve

      The BBC reported that treating disease directly caused by smoking produces medical bills of more than £5bn a year in the UK.

      You commented earlier in the blog about people choosing to eat bad foods that make them obese. Seems to me that people CHOOSE to put cigarettes in their mouths as well. I wonder when you looked up your statistic for how much obesity costs the taxpayers in this country if you took the time to look up what it costs for treatment and care due to smoking related illnesses as well?

      There has also been discussion about the safety concerns to non-obese people. Hmmm… I wonder how many people die from second hand smoke every year in the US? Answer: 54,000 a year. I wonder how many people have died because an obese person had a heart attack while driving a car?

  40. 66 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 17:54

    @ Andy

    “and we are also talking almost exclusively about Caucasians in the USA and Western Europe. Most of the world is hungry, and even more are within a healthy weight for their height and age”


    Wrong. According to this, 36% of blacks are obese, 29% of hispanics are obese, and 24% of caucasians are obese, in the US.

  41. 67 patti in cape coral
    July 31, 2009 at 17:55

    @ Steve – I never thought to blame the food companies until the idea of the way they do business was brought up. I don’t know enough about this side of the issue to say they have a hand in it or not. I just CHOOSE not to demonize fat people or worship thinner people as paragons of virtue. Jeez, people are just people.

  42. 68 Scott [M]
    July 31, 2009 at 18:06


    We have some terribly serious thinking errors on this blog and in the world about fat people.

    Of course being overweight can lead to health issues, but generally that is being seriously overweight or obese. This issue isn’t really even about whether being fat is good or bad for you, it is about perspective. Fat people are an easy target, they can’t hide it. For some reason, perhaps because we all eat, we unfairly call attention to weight versus other areas of personality that are perhaps equally harmful to health. We also hold fat people unduly accountable because we think they should be able to control it. Just stop eating we say. We seem to treat alcoholics with more respect. So many of these posters essentially have labeled fat people lazy, greedy and practically evil. This type of thinking is childish at best and is really motivated by the wrong thoughts. People who call attention to this issue are not ever looking out for the interests of humanity, they are looking to moralize, belittle and discredit people.

  43. 69 Anthony
    July 31, 2009 at 18:07

    @ Jessica in NYC

    Genetics mean your shape, not size. And if you or anyone else thinks that it’s gladual, then check out this site:


    So, from what I see, only 1 out of 100,000 can say thety have a gladual problem that might make them fat, and even if you have this it might do the opposite and make you thin, so this is NOT a valid excuse.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  44. 70 archibald
    July 31, 2009 at 18:15

    Is it that hard to accept that we have become what we idolize: laziness and gluttony. We have created “diet” everything and made everyone so conscious of not getting fat that we have created a generation of anxiety ridden, depressed, fat people who feel judged and unmotivated to feel better. With the exception of those who have medical conditions which necessitate weight affecting drugs and/or inactivity due to a genetic predisposition or disease, there is no excuse for obesity…
    So, fight back, recline, consume and feel better about being fat, everyone else does.

  45. 71 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 31, 2009 at 18:23

    @ steve

    We live in an age of consumerism where every message is bent on us buying and consuming something. Many advertisements are geared towards food and show enticing motuhwatering pictures of food. Unfortunately like Pavlov’s law some peolpe are programmed to respond.

    Another thing is that everyone’s body and genetic make-up is different and therefore some peolpe eat alot of high calorie food and stay slim because they have a high metabolism while some eat less low calorie food and are still overweight.

    But I hear your point on the cost of healthcare, that’s a serious issue.

  46. 72 patti in cape coral
    July 31, 2009 at 18:23

    @ Scott M – You said it much better than I could, completely in agreement.

  47. 73 Anthony
    July 31, 2009 at 18:25

    @ Scott [M]

    Are you kidding me? I don’t know ANYONE who has any respect for drunks. And whats wrong with “moralize, belittle and discredit people.”, we do it for cigarettes, booze, cheaters, racism, homophobia, theft, drugs, etc.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 74 Scott [M]
      July 31, 2009 at 18:49

      I’m not kidding you.

      You have a child Anthony? I find that offensive—and by the slipshod logic you use to find fat people offensive, I can do the same about your “choice” to have a child. Why have a child? Who are you to have a child? Do you think you are that important that you should take up valuable space on an overpopulated planet with your offspring? What if you and the child’s mother die tomorrow—who will bear the cost of supporting this child? What if your child grows up and has a weight issue? Think of all the money this could cost us.

      Of course I would never REALLY question this decision, I just use it as an illustration, to question how I/you could possibly have the knowledge or hold the scales to factor the equation of your “choice” to have a child? I ask you to show the same discretion and nuance in respect to the overweight world.

  48. 75 jamily5
    July 31, 2009 at 18:25

    Amen, Morissa.
    I’m probably considered overweight by my family.
    I eat healthy foods, cook&prepare my own dinners, exercise and take care of myself much better than my two sisters. I am 5-7 tall and probably about 190lbs. they are around the same height and about 120-140lbs, smokers, eat lots of processed/preserved/fast foods, etc.
    I have always been larger and I have always been more athletic than my two sisters.
    whether a person deems me fat or not, I will continue my healthy life style.
    You just can’t tell about a person’s lifestyle by their weight.
    If anyone looked at my two sisters and myself, they would naturally assume that I was the least healthy. But, I am the most healthy.
    I hate these assumptions that the public makes.
    then, they try to shame the most healthy one into losing weight and admiring those who are unhealthy, but thin, as a good example.
    How can you tell who is healthy despite how they look.

  49. 76 Scott [M]
    July 31, 2009 at 18:34

    Everyone makes seemingly terrible choices, all the time, by many standards. What I don’t understand is how many have decided they are going to rate you on this “choice” of how much you weigh—particularly when it doesn’t speak to the quality of the person you are. And when there are so many other aspects of being a human that cause greater harm to the world at large….P.S. I’m skinny (I am sure that matters to some).

  50. 77 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 31, 2009 at 18:36

    @ Scott M
    I agree totally with you and I’m not overweight.

  51. 78 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 18:37

    Okay, what is everyone on here prepared to do? I’m not obese. I probably could lose about 5-10 lbs though. What am I going to do? I’m going to walk home 4.5 miles. I’m going Kayaking tomorrow, and will go for another long walk on Sunday.. Whether it rains or shines, I will be walking. I’ll probably walk another 2 miles later on tonight…

  52. 79 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 31, 2009 at 18:40


    So how do your overweight frinds and family treat you when you tell them that they are overweight and need to do something about it.

  53. 80 patti in cape coral
    July 31, 2009 at 18:42

    I don’t see how cheating, racism, homophobia, or theft are related to obesity. Do people honestly put these in the same class?

  54. 81 Anthony
    July 31, 2009 at 18:47

    @ Scott [M]

    First: I’m at work right now, I can’t be running around.

    Second: It DOES effect me. I know SOOO many fat people on medicare because of heart disease and diabetes, and I have to help pay for that. I know PLENTY of thin people who don’t have these problems.

    Third: Yes, you CAN tell why people get fat, and it’s usually negative. It has to do with nurture and enviornment. Almost every fat person I know eats because they are trying to fill some void.

    Re: depression

    Because pharmacudical companies make way too much money off of it. I feel it’s mostly garbage, and that people should just face their problems instead of thinking “oh, I’m depressed, THATS the answer, now give me pills to fix it becasue the comercial says so”, but thats a WHOLE other story. I have no respect for depressed cry baby’s either (which how I was when I was 16).

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  55. 82 Keith
    July 31, 2009 at 18:48

    I liked Steve’s example-
    Is alcoholism okay? Should we condone it? Because it’s basically the same situation: a lack of self-control leading to waste, safety risks, and tax-payers carrying much of the burden. Granted: obesity doesn’t pose as much of a threat to others as alcoholism might, but should we be coddling the obese and condoning wasteful behavior? No.

    The circumstances are sometimes different, but most cases of obesity are the product of lack of diet and exercise. It’s easy to pity, but you would do them the most good by encouraging a fundamental change in their lifestyles. At some point in most people’s lives, they have had to harden up and decide that exercise and a healthy diet is a necessity.

  56. 83 Anthony
    July 31, 2009 at 18:50

    @ Deryck/Trinidad

    Sorry, for answering your question to steve.

    I have no problem telling my friends that they are big old fatties and they should do something about it. I have no fat family (except my step-family, but I just act polite because I don’t know them that well).

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  57. 84 Anthony
    July 31, 2009 at 18:53

    @ patti in cape coral

    I said that there is no problem at looking down on being fat, since we look down on cheating, racism, homophobia, theft, etc. We look down on racism and it changed. We looked down on homophobia and it changed. My mom would tell me how horrible theives were as a kid and I never stole. I wish parents would talk to kids about how horrible obesity is like they do with smoking, then maybe the obesity rates would drop.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  58. 85 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 31, 2009 at 18:57

    @ Anthony
    The big questuion.
    Have you SEEN a change in eating habits and a resulting reduction in body fat levels of your friends?

  59. 86 Anthony
    July 31, 2009 at 19:02

    @ Deryck/Trinidad

    It’s funny. At first yes. They would start eating better and work out and one friend started losing weight fast, but then they start not to care and gain it back. I still try to tell them to cut down on the fatty foods and exercise more, but no go. I’ll continue to bug them about it because hamburgers everyday isn’t good for you, but we’re still friends.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  60. 87 Scott [M]
    July 31, 2009 at 19:06

    @ Anthony,

    (See my other comment above)—plus:

    About your child? We all had to pay for that too. Or was the child born at no expense? If the child gets sick? We will all pay for that.

    I realize these words might sound harsh, but they are no more harsh then the claims you have made about fat people. You have essentially labeled them damaged goods or defective. My point is there are many other grounds on which people are defective, and I would rather evaluate people on something less superficial then weight—if I was to evaluate them at all.

  61. 88 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 31, 2009 at 19:09

    I think I’m inspired to take a jog this afternoon. I’ll be off now. This demonstrates the positive transformational power of the media.

  62. 89 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 19:09

    @ Deryck

    They usually thank me for my concern, but then don’t act on it. After my friend died in the parking lot, I contacted two of my friends that are quite overweight and I said that could very well happen to them if they don’t get into better shape. But it’s been 2 years, and they are both still very overweight.

  63. 90 Venessa
    July 31, 2009 at 20:10

    Obesity is different from being a little overweight or “fat.” Of course there are the rare cases of some medical disorder but I suspect for the most part that is not the case. I have “fat” friends but they certainly aren’t grossly overweight and many of them are very active. They also don’t pour over into a neighbors seat on a plane either. Having some extra weight is really not a big deal to me but being obese is.

    Earlier this year I was in a high school and was appalled by the number of heavy and overweight children. I don’t remember that being the case when I was that age less than 15 years ago. There is a serious problem and accepting obesity as normal is nothing more than a free pass for those who try to excuse their poor decisions.

  64. 91 AmbeR
    July 31, 2009 at 20:27

    Tons of skinny people eat in very unhealthy ways. I know many who eat very high-sodium foods and drink way too much caffeine, and sometimes that’s all they eat….for some people they don’t even eat that! Surely that can’t be better than eating too much? … Yes, obesity is on the rise, and that’s not a good thing if the cause is people eating the wrong foods. Other eating disorders are on the rise as well, though (anorexia, bulimia, etc.). If you really want to help someone lose weight, teach them and help them learn, don’t make them ashamed. If everyone had the same feeling that being fat was a horrible horrible thing, it would be a sad place, because weight is not something that can be controlled 100%, not by any means!!

  65. 92 Scott [M]
    July 31, 2009 at 20:58

    Venessa and others,

    The problem is: Obesity is just a “poor decision” that we have access to, that we can observe because being overweight is visible, it can’t be hidden. All people make poor decisions in their lives that we don’t have access to, because they are private, and we aren’t able to “judge” them for it. Being fat is simply an easy target, there is no logical reason for us to focus on it, especially when our motivation is not one of help or health, it is really one of judgement and blame.

    People are not speaking about this matter with empathy or true concern, and our interest is not commensurate with the reality of the situation. This other factor motivating the harsh judgement is not concern for health, it is a repulsion to something we view as a lack of control. We think fat people can’t control themselves or have no will or are weak, and that weakness repulses many of us. We are drawn to criticizing it because we think it is pathetic and they are pathetic. I think this view is misguided, because even if it is simply a lack of free-willy-will, weight is really superficial and it is not a good basis upon which to judge people. In many other aspects of life these people may be wonderful, and doing wonderful things, but unfortunately they wear a scarlet letter that the public is only too ready to pick apart.

    • 93 Venessa
      August 1, 2009 at 01:07


      We’re talking about obesity not people just being overweight. And just because I think people need to deal with it doesn’t mean I have no empathy. Obesity is often not because of a medical condition but is a result of influences that increase the risk. Unless there is some major medical condition you can’t convince me that people are not capable of losing some weight or trying to address it. There is a reason obesity on the rise and it has a lot to do with the lives we lead. Pretty much everything you read will say that there may be contributing factors but the underlying cause is an excessive calorie intake.
      I appreciate people are all different sizes and shapes but it’s not normal for people to be that large; if it was we all would be.


      Prevalance of Obesity: 39.8 million American adults; more than 57% of American adults are overweight (CDC)
      Prevalance Rate: approx 1 in 6 or 14.63% or 39.8 million people in USA [about data]
      Worldwide prevalence of Obesity: over 300 million adults worldwide (WHO World Health Report, 2003)
      Prevalance of Obesity: More than 60 percent of Americans aged 20 years and older are overweight. One-quarter of American adults are also obese (Source: excerpt from Understanding Adult Obesity: NIDDK)

      “Obesity — an excessive amount of body fat — occurs when a person consumes more calories than are burned. There are several “risk factors,” such as genetics, environmental factors, social factors, illnesses, and medications. However, these are not “causes” of obesity because they do not guarantee obesity. In all of these situations, the underlying cause of obesity is eating more than the body can burn.”

  66. 94 Crispin
    July 31, 2009 at 21:58

    We did a good job of getting rid of witches and the Renaissance man and then, in the twentieth century, we did a good job of getting rid of free-lovers, druggies, and poets — we’ve placed ersatz versions of all of these, including the witches, in the universities, it seems — and so now we are turning our purifying / destructive efforts toward the fatties. What will the ersatz fatty be like, I wonder, and what will the public sphere liberated of fatties be like? Alternatively, I wonder what it would be like if we would stop with this constant and earnest effort at advancement, at improving society? Would we, perhaps, have a bit more time and energy to feed, clothe, educate, and love the poor of our society and the rest of the world? Sorry, I know I should keep such obscene dreams to myself — get the fatties!!!!

    (Please, I do know full well that there exists today some perfectly fine poets, witches, etc. I’m simply noting a general trend, not an absolute extinction.)

  67. 95 halfnots
    July 31, 2009 at 22:01


    To what? At being a human being and not judged based on their outward appearance layered and filtered through our moral outlook and scales of relativism?

    Being obese is indeed a health problem, if it effects the function of the body to work effectively. It makes sense for empathetic people to want to cure the sick and improve the health of all people. But lets stick to doing just that, without the added layer of our personal convictions and the moral certitude that we don’t commit the same crimes in other areas of our lives.

  68. 96 betty
    July 31, 2009 at 22:52

    I think that the Fat Acceptance movement has framed this all wrong. It should be the Fat Pride movement. The gay/lesbian/transgender movement didn’t ask for acceptance; in fact, they told the Psychiatric establishment just where they could shove it. Fat is something to be proud of, and those who want to impose their narrow norms on others, need to step aside.

    Fatties unite! You have nothing to lose. . . .

  69. 97 steve
    July 31, 2009 at 23:31

    I’ve already walked 4.5 miles this evening. Have another 1.5 to the bar, and 1.5 back home (though the alcohol is not going to help things). You can insert exercise into your day. Take the stairs at work, walk up escalators. You can always add more exercise to your daily routine.

    • 98 Helen
      August 3, 2009 at 19:25

      I put my refrigerator about 35 feet from “where it belongs” in the kitchen. I have to step over a baby gate to get out of my living room(no waiting”too long” to head for thhe bathroom if you try this!) I think I walk about 150 miiles a year in my small one story house. There are rational reasons for these two things. A pet that is not allowed in other areas is why the baby-gate(which I call the Berlin Wall)is in the hall. And kittly litter dust and extra heat in the kitcheen(which makes the fridge work harder) is why I moved put the new one(that replaced the old one) where itt is. So I have to make extra trips when I carry things I can’t do in one trip. I don’t cheat a pile stufff like a waitress. The more you move the more energy you have. With remotes and things set up for couch-potato immobility the environment is really like an insidious trap to make you not get off your butt. Ever!

  70. 99 Roseann In Houston
    August 1, 2009 at 01:13

    Betty, I am not overweight and I am not gay, but I am extremely offended by your post. One of my sisters is obese and another is a lesbian – I can assure you that the lesbian did not wake up everyday and willfully act to make herself gay. She was born that way. The fat one eats all kinds of supplements and has a garden and eats fresh food…and tons of crap as well. She works hard every day to stay as fat as she is. You are so far off base with your post!!! Gay people have LESS benefits than straight people, they get less from society, but obese people each cost the health care system an average of $1,400 more per year than a normal weight person.

  71. 100 Roseann In Houston
    August 1, 2009 at 01:22

    Do fat people face prejudice? Yes, and justifiably so. They are in the same category as petty thieves – they steal from society. Their health care costs more, there is a high rate of disability claims for weight-related illnesses (which means they collect Social Security Disablity Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare and Medicaid at a younger age and a higher rate), they take sick days more often…and even when they do show up for work, they’re not as effecient. Have you ever walked behind an obese nurse walking down a hospital corridor? Or behind an obese co-worker who is heading back to his/her desk from the bathroom?

    I am not rude to indviduals, I don’t make an effort to shame anyone, but I will stand by my right to speak my mind about how disgusted I am by obesity.

  72. 101 Rex
    August 1, 2009 at 01:42

    Fat is NOT okay! Been there (108kgs), had the heart attack, and possible Diabetes type 2. Now 79kgs no sign of diabetes and feel a whole lot better.
    It takes a bit of effort but once there is easy to maintain.
    Eat healthy, move healthy! It’s that simple

    QLD, Australia

  73. 102 Greg_in_Detroit
    August 1, 2009 at 03:02

    If being overweight effected only the individual, than I’d have no problem. But the truth shows us that it causes us billions of dollars each year on healthcare for such people, healthcare that healthy people have to pay for.

    • 103 bettylou
      August 2, 2009 at 04:18

      So we both agree, apparently, Greg, that the US healthcare system needs to be a single-payer, government run plan. I mean, after all, the for-profit system we have is costing us billions.

  74. 104 Scott [M]
    August 1, 2009 at 03:56


    I know all about the obesity statistics and I also know all about the language you used in your post that I responded to, which is enough to suggest I am to something when I say most people’s concern in pointing out an obesity epidemic is not concern for their fellow humans.

    + Appalled.
    + Free Pass.
    + Poor Decisions.

    Not the words that one uses to indicate an overwhelming sense of empathy and concern for the health and lives of others I am afraid.

    If obesity is not a disorder of at least the mind, then what is it exactly that “you all” propose. Greed? Laziness? Apathy? Disrespect? They just can’t get enough? Or do they just enjoy food so much that they don’t care if they are fat?

    It is amazing how thrifty we all are when it comes to fat people. I wonder what other group we can find that statistically costs us all more money that we can eradicate!

  75. 105 T
    August 1, 2009 at 04:19

    If being fat is ok, then why do so many peopl abroad keep saying, can you believe thos ENORMOUS Americans? Do you really want that label? Name one healhty thing about being overweight.

  76. 106 Snowline
    August 1, 2009 at 04:38

    I am so tired of being judged because of my weight!!! You have no idea of what I have been through and done in the name of seeking a “normal” number! I DARE some of you to go on a diet for several years and not have even ONE bite of something with sugar in it! My body is an incredible food storage machine – genetics at work. I’ve had my stomach stapled – still not thin enough. I exercise – still fat. I eat healthy foods (McDonald’s has seen less than $10 of my money this year) – still battling my weight. My first diet was at the age of one. I remember crying at age 5 because I couldn’t have more of my favorite food – spaghetti sauce (not even the pasta – I just wanted the sauce!). My mother dragged me to a “diet doctor” at age 16 – pills, pills, and more pills, supposedly nutritional supplements. The relationship with my mother suffered irreparable harm because of the fights over my weight!
    And now some of you think that you can shame me into losing weight? I don’t think so. Go take the walk you’re so proud of – and maybe stop to help someone along the way. Quit focusing on what’s wrong with me and other fat people, quit wasting your time blogging, and do something to help others and/or make the world a better place!

  77. 107 Badideakitty
    August 1, 2009 at 05:06

    I strongly believe to each their own as far as obesity and health goes. However, when that larger than average person takes up 2 airplane or theater seats and only has to pay for one that affects me, and becomes my problem too.

    Also, obese parents usually have obese children as well. When I walk through a mall store and see a plus size children’s section my soul hurts.

  78. 108 James Ian
    August 1, 2009 at 07:00

    So I was on a plane once and this great big fat guy sat next to me. He took up his entire seat and half of mine and hung out in the walk way. I was squished up in my seat and uncomfortable the whole time and the stewardess had trouble getting by him and he had to stand up a little so they could get the cart by. Why didn’t he have to buy two seats? I’ll tell you why, because no one wanted to hurt his feelings. No one wanted to be accused of discrimination. You would think he, knowing his size, would just buy the extra seat out of a sense of courtesy, but No, he just sat there, weighing the plane down making everyone else, including me suffer. It was like he just sat there in all his fatness and dared anyone to say anything to him, so he could screem discrimination.

  79. 109 Jon Guard
    August 1, 2009 at 07:01

    No it’s not OK.
    Food production and shipping costs energy, mostly fossil fuel based energy.
    Therefore the obese pollute more than those who can control their appetite.
    In a world we’re killing with our greed, greed is bad, and morally as forgiveable, whatever form it takes.
    In addition, obese people are choosing to create a health problem that the rest of us have to pay for through our taxes. Perhaps if everyone obese was refused health care unless they agreed to pay higher taxes, they would reform their self centered ways and stop sponging off the rest of us.

  80. 110 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 1, 2009 at 10:02


    Did the heart attack motivate you to lose the weight?
    How would you feel if friends and family had tried to make you ashamed of your body in order for you to lose weight?
    Do you think shaming you would have worked?

  81. August 1, 2009 at 11:48

    I am not sizeist. If people want to be fat let them be so ditto if they want to be thin.

  82. 112 Crispin
    August 1, 2009 at 12:56

    The airplane seat — like the hospital bed in the discussions of gay marriage in the US — is one of those odd bugbears in discussions of fatphobia, especially by those who manifestly really only want more thin privilege.

    If you fatphobes choose to fly third class rather than first, you choose to be squished into tiny seats up against your fellow third-class patrons. If you don’t like this, why don’t you, out of consideration of others, just go ahead and fly first-class? Alternatively, why don’t you do what you think the fatties should do: just go ahead and buy two third-class seats for yourself?!?!

    But no, it’s so much more pleasing to be hateful and hurtful! What fun!

    (Please, I know full well that the airline industry could build planes more accommodating to real people. What is the rate of “obesity”? Isn’t it said to be something like 60% of the population of the US? I don’t know how the majority of a population can be characterized as anything other than normal for the population, in democratic terms. But it’s not democratic terms that we’re dealing with, is it, when fueling fatphobia? No. It’s containment, isn’t it? We must find a characteristic of a large number of people and then demonize the characteristic, thereby containing the population’s political efficacy. Our masters never cease to amaze me with their craftiness!)

    Once more, and so as not to be misunderstood: let’s go get the fatties!

  83. 113 H. Boehm
    August 1, 2009 at 14:00

    I think if you want to stop obesity you have to address big firms selling food.
    What you nowadays buy in supermarkets has to taste sweet or in every possible way nice. In Germany there is a saying:
    Anything nice is either forbidden, makes you fat or is immoral.
    Unfortunately big firms want to make as much money as they can.

  84. 114 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala
    August 1, 2009 at 14:16

    People with obesity should be given privileged to exist within their respective environment because been fat isnt against an individual but its a reward that hardworking people should deserve as their pride?

  85. 115 Anonymous Ex-pat
    August 1, 2009 at 17:04

    I think some people don’t realize that often times unhealthy food is cheaper. As a youngster in the US, I lived in pot noodles because they were 10 for $1, as opposed to a normal meal, which would’ve cost at least $3.00 per person. Sure, fruits and vegetables are cheap, but you cannot survive on these alone — protein and complex carbohydrates are needed as well.

  86. 116 Roseann In Houston
    August 1, 2009 at 18:43

    I just re-read some of my posts and I want to clarify something – I live in a city that routinely makes the list of top 3 fattest cities in the USA. When I use the term “obese” I am referring to those people who weigh 125 kgs and more, the people who walk with a waddle, swinging their legs out to the side because their thighs are so big they can’t pass eachother in a step. Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala, I’m not sure that your definition of obesity is the same as mine. I have clients that weigh 350 kgs and up, if they were “hard-working” they would never be able to get that big, and they are unable to enjoy life at that size so I don’t think any of them considers it a reward.

  87. 117 Roseann In Houston
    August 1, 2009 at 19:04

    In response to Cripin and his “points” about how I should pay extra for a plan ticket to accomodate someone else’s obesity….I don’t have children and I own a home, so I pay thousands of dollars every year in property taxes that go to the local Independent School District to educate the children of people who live in apartments and pay no property taxes. I don’t object, because educating all children benefits society in the long run. I cannot think of one example of how subsidizing the cost of obesity benefits society as a whole or contrubutes to a strong future for my country.

    The only consistent protest against the anti-obesity posts has been that they are hurtful, not compassionate, hateful – and I’m sorry, but fear of being called hurtful is not enough to make me throw away thousands of my hard-earned dollars every year to subsidize the slow self-destruction of people who are NOT hard working because they are too fat to get out of thier beds, or because they have have severe obesity-related illnesses, or because their knees are so detriorated from supporting thier obese bodies that they can no longer walk more than a few feet due to intense pain.

  88. 118 Dennis Junior
    August 1, 2009 at 19:13

    Do you agree? (No)

    I think that this is a MASSIVE wake-up call for “fat-people” to get up and
    in most cases….lose the weight and exercise more….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  89. 119 Roseann In Houston
    August 1, 2009 at 19:24

    Snowline – just curious, who paid for your surgery to staple your stomach? Did you pay out of your pocket? Or was it your insurance? Or maybe Medicaid? Because unless you paid for your surgery completely out of your pocket, including all the follow-up care, you illustrate the main point that many of us are making. If your surgery was covered by insurance or Medicaid then WE paid for your surgery to staple your stomach. All of us normal weight people with no medical problems who pay our ever-increasing insurance premiums, and pay our taxes that provide Medicaid benefits, we subsidized your surgery.

    Posting here is NOT a waste of my time – I obviously feel very strongly about this topic, but I can’t express my opinions anywhere else because that would make me a cruel, hurtful, bad person. So I pay my taxes and my insurance premiums and I get squished in airplanes, all the while repressing my resentment and my anger and my frustration. Posting here is therapeutic for me, it is a rare chance to vent my true feelings.

    • 120 Chrissy in Portland
      August 3, 2009 at 20:33

      @ Roseann

      Honestly, I’m not sure what will make you people happy! Snowline’s worked her entire life to try to lose weight and has gone as far as having a dangerous permanent procedure to try to be the picture perfect thin person our society wants her to be…

      So, would you rather she do nothing and get heavier and consequently sicker? Or would you pay for her to have a procedure that could potentially save her life and ultimately tax payer dollars?

      From some of your posts, I’ve gotten the feeling you work in the health care industry. If so, I have to say I’m concerned for the patients you come into contact with. People absolutely deserve respect. If you can’t give that to them without harboring “resentment, anger and frustration” maybe you should look for another line of work. You said that you can’t express your opinions anywhere else because people would think you are “cruel, hurtful and bad”. Well, maybe we should all think about how we think about or treat people that are different from us. If we can’t say something outloud to someone.. maybe it IS cruel, hurtful and bad.

  90. 122 lee
    August 1, 2009 at 19:39

    did anyone actually listen to the show? hello? LEE? the assistant!! fashion! sex! amazing!! uber!!!

  91. 123 anu_D
    August 1, 2009 at 19:59

    The notions of model like thiness for women…or moulded six-pack abs for men as the benchamarks for fitness are WRONG.

    Being plump, paunchy, filled-in, stocky are all alright despite being technically overweight ( by even 10% to 12%) and actually signs of more normal health….if medically there are no known conditions.

    A bit of walking, jogging, running 4 or 5 times a week….. to keep the heart conditioned is a good thing and will help in the long run.

    However Being highyl overweight and excessively obese is defnitely increases the endocronoligical and heart related risks

  92. 124 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 2, 2009 at 02:54

    Hi WHSers!

    I am not fat but do stress on occasion about loosing weight. I do believe I have lost so much weight now, it may suit me to build some (more) muscles. So, I am considering buying/ taking protein supplements, from the gym I go to four days a week. Where does that leave me on the ‘fat acceptance’ metre? Not sure, though I will say I accept all people so long as they are cool – fat, slim, tall, short, etc. As far as I am concerned, at 5’7″, it just does not, personally, suit me to be fat!…So, do what you got to do! It’s all good as far as I am concerned!

  93. 125 Lynda Finn
    August 2, 2009 at 04:40

    I would suggest to all those people who *think* they know about fatness, especially those who laughingly suggest it is a choice, that you read this page.


    And the abstract here:


  94. 126 Rachel in California, USA
    August 2, 2009 at 16:58

    Why do non-fat people care whether other people are fat? The intensity of feeling on this subject is quite amazing.

    Mind your own business, I say. Let people decide for themselves how to achieve health, and pursue health as best they can.

    I am far more concerned about other people’s consumption habits in other areas–fossil fuels for air trips, for example. I feel sad when people gleefully recount how much fun they had flying all over the world, spewing out destruction into the atmosphere all the way. But even in that case I don’t feel called on to yell at them or deny them jobs.

  95. 127 Billy
    August 2, 2009 at 18:15

    I’m a pro-choice kind of guy.
    In spite of my own opinions on obesity I still support the right for an adult to act irresponsibly with their own bodies whether it be drug use/smoking/drinking/over-eating e.t.c. e.t.c. If someone is obese due to childhood overeating it is not an excuse to point the finger in later life for lack of enthusiasm to exercise.

  96. 128 Bert
    August 3, 2009 at 00:18

    No, it’s not a question of fighting back. It’s a question of working to fix the epidemic.

    I have yet to meet an overweight person who is overweight for some mysterious reason. The reasons, in my experience, are always patently obvious. The reasons are (a) obsessing about food 24/7, (b) not exercising as the normal daily routine, and (c) eating the wrong foods. Even those who claim they eat healthy foods supplement these with continuous snacking on junk, all day long. Even those who claim to only ewat 1000 Calories a day only consider their main meals. They ignore the incessant snacking on trash foods.

    Exercise is probably more important than even dieting. But too many people “exercise” as a sort add-on activity, separate from their other activities. Sorry, that’s not nearly enough. It has to be continuous, just as it was for early man. If you sit all day in the office, then walk to lunch, to public transportation, walk to the store, walk between stores when shopping, spend time and energy in your yard, whatever. Keep moving. Move move move. Make yourself feel guilty when sitting down sedentary.

    There’s NOTHING to be proud of for being overweight. This is just the trendy thing these days, to pretend “pride” for everything that’s wrong with society.

    Finally, this business about “three meals a day” is folly. Unless your job involves strenuous activity all day long, there’s NO WAY that any adult needs three meals a day. One meal, and one light snack, is more like it.

  97. 129 patti in cape coral
    August 3, 2009 at 00:52

    I was just reviewing the whole blog and, wow, the vitriol here is amazing, and worst is, I had no idea it was this bad for fat people. Where’s the love? No wonder fat people feel the need to fight back. I have new respect for my fat friends and family, knowing now how they are being treated by some of the 36% of the population. How truly shallow!

  98. August 3, 2009 at 02:32

    If fat people are fighting back, they should be fighting the FAT back.

    I’m guessing medical check ups currently do not provide a heart scan. If so, how can anyone be sure that he or she is really healthy from a medical check up and is free of heart or artery problems?

    I used to be fat, and it was depressing. But when I started working out with friends and started to slim down, it felt really good, I was more alert, had higher energy levels and was more agile in mind and body. I got more confidence and it felt like I could take on the world and then some more.

    Unfortunately, I’ve put on weight in the last few years and I can tell that I don’t feel and function the way I did at my peak of fitness. So I am fighting the fat back right now.

  99. 131 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 3, 2009 at 11:38

    Just yesterday I spoke to a friend of mine who was fat and he admires the fact that I am slim but he said it is really difficult to diet and exercise. He also told me he doesn’t really like fruits and vegetables except for mangoes because they don’t taste that great and they don’t fill him

    I understand how difficult it is because I can empathise with his situation. The most I think one should do is encourage and motivate friends and family to eat healthy and exercise, NOT ATTEMPT TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THEM.

  100. 132 Lynda Finn
    August 3, 2009 at 22:23

    Let me personally state (and you are welcome to research me online to confirm this)
    that it is EASILY possible to be 350lb and over and be active, intelligent, useful in your community, very hard-working and healthy. And at 63, I’ve missed the chance to die young because I’m obese

    I know many people who are exactly that and more – look at the huge gridiron players, many of whom are fast, fit and fat.

    Do you think Olympic weight lifters are lazy and inactive? What about the 500lb guy who just completed a triathlon in the USA? He’s a member of a group who regularly cycle, run and swim – they are all way over 300lbs.

    So please don’t make statements based on your own lack of knowledge.

  101. 133 Lynda Finn
    August 4, 2009 at 18:19

    So all these people who criticise fat people just CHOOSE to be thin do they? or could it possibly be (perish the thought) that their genetics had a lot to do with it?

  102. 134 Katharine Rutherford
    August 4, 2009 at 18:48

    People today are weak. People can’t take responsibility for any aspect of their lives. Society wants to give weak people an excuse for everything. That’s why self-help is a multi-million dollar industry.

  103. August 4, 2009 at 21:52

    There were some great things said on here, thank you.

  104. 136 Brian
    August 21, 2009 at 17:51

    I am an obese man. I’m 6’4″ and 475 lbs.

    I have been obese my whole life. I have type 2 diabetes. But other than that, my heart is healthy, and I’m okay.

    I don’t expect anyone to pity me, and I also don’t expect you skinny people out there to ridicule me for being fat. Live your own life and let me live mine.

    It’s easy to point your fingers behind my back and snicker, but less than 1% of you do it to my face. And that’s how it will stay because people that ridicule fat people are generally cowards. You know for a fact, that my big fat ass would absolutely destroy you in a fight. I played ball for 8 years…and I destroyed the competition.

    Enough said. Fatboy out.

  105. 137 Helena
    November 24, 2009 at 16:02

    Yet another comment board repeating the same old myths about obesity, written by a bunch of ignorant people who have no more idea than my cat has about why people get obese, what illnesses are associated with it, and how to “cure” it.

    To all you on here who think you know it all, answer these:

    If exercise makes you thin, how come all the normal sized people I have been seeing at my local gym for the past ten years have not turned into skeletons?

    If lack of exercise makes you fat, how come nearly all my co-workers, friends, family and acqaintances who never do any exercise are nevertheless slim?

    If it’s only obesity that causes heart attacks etc how come so many slim, fit people die of heart attacks?

    If eating fat makes you fat, how come I have recently lost a stone eating a diet comprising 80% fat and 20% protein, and 3,000 calories a day?

    If you are going to complain about the cost to the NHS of obesity, why not create a board attacking all people who do sports, they are a TERRIBLE drain on NHS resources. Try working in A & E on a Saturday afternoon — hundreds of sports injuries, yet not one fattie brought it for being fat!

    I am heartily sick and tired of people who have absolutely NO knowledge of metabolism, insulin, obesity, and dieting coming on these boards just to blame fat people for every bad thing on earth.

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