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QotD: Obesity

Question: Is obesity a disease?

My Answer: Said Jim Carrey in a Playboy interview (March 2004):

Playboy: But you're a wealthy movie star - you're in a position to deny yourself comforts. Most people don't have that many comforts to begin with. They have overdue bills and abusive bosses.

Carrey: That's denial man. That's like obese people lobbying to call their situation a disease. I don't believe it. God bless obese people, but they've got work to do.

My opinion is very similar. While it remains true that some glandular diseases can cause obesity, 80% of this country does not have glandular diseases. I think that a sloppy body is the sign of a sloppy mind. Jim says it well: "they've got work to do."

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

39 Responses to "QotD: Obesity"

  1. You can have my twinkie when you pry it from my cold dead (fat) fingers.

  2. I think it's a disease of the mind, just like weed, speed obsession and internet surfing.

  3. I'm fat. I come from a family of mostly fat people.

    There are all kinds of reasons for obesity -- genetics, lifestyle, the food our country markets to us, and yes some people are just lazy. Count yourself fortunate that you arent overweight, but dont pigeon hole fat people as having a "sloppy mind". My sloppy mind serves me quite well.

  4. No, but it sure seems to cause a lot of them.

    I'm with you and Jim. These people have work to do.

    I'm not a hard-ass about this though, because I know from personal experience that you might be born into a sloppy family of people with poor eating habits. This will inevitably cause you to be fat, and there really isn't much to do about it until you can make your own food choices. At that time you're all 'stay puffed' and eating more just seems so comforting.

    I just use that example as one of the many situations that people find themselves in, and as the reason why I choose to be understanding of these people, but firm about their great need to do the work they've got to do.

  5. I agree to a point. Yes, obese people do need to take more personal responsibility and stop blaming their situation in life for their weight problems. But at the same time we can't ignore that every person has a different situation -- some easier, some harder in regards to losing weight and living an active lifestyle.

    I take offense to the line "a sloppy body is the sign of a sloppy mind" but it is you right to think so. I think a broad generalization based on anything is a bad idea.

    Disclosure: I need to lose some weight 🙂

  6. Generalizing to the extent that all fat people are too lazy to change their condition is ludicrous. It does not take into account the sheer range of lifestyles. Not everyone can afford to go join a gym or take time from their schedules to do so. Not everyone can engage in a freely active life. Not everyone has a perfect biological system that metabolizes fats quickly. Not everyone can afford to eat at their utmost healthiness, especially when if having to eat fast food. I've overcome being fat in high school to a weight that I'm relatively happy with, but I would never go back in time and tell the high school me to slim up. I remember the reasons that made me a fat kid. I remember how hard it was to overcome them. Maybe instead of diagnosing people as being fat, we should figure out why they are fat. I would be so bold as to guarantee that if you found the reason why someone doesn't exercise or eat healthily, you could much more easily help them lower their weight and keep it off.

  7. I didn't generalize. I made exceptions for those with glandular problems or other things that can cause obesity.

    However, nobody's yet convinced me that the environment a person is born into is anything but an excuse. Sure, if you're five and you're obese, I'd blame the parents. But from age 15, 16, or at least 18 on, you've got to take responsibility for who and what you are. You work 12 hours a day? Doesn't mean your lunch has to consist of two packs of Ho Hos. Get the drift?

    I'm one of the few people who doesn't see fit to blame my parents or the environment in which I grew up. I take accountability and responsibility for myself. If I was overweight, I'd be responsible for losing it. I wouldn't blame my job or my parents.

    What percentage of world-class geniuses were drastically overweight? A sloppy body is the sign of a sloppy mind. People who are in shape perform better at mental tasks as well as physical ones. That's not a generalization - it's a fact backed by many, many studies.

    In other words, nobody's yet been able to change my mind.

  8. What percentage of world-class geniuses were drastically overweight?

    Being fat is a first world problem; you're not going to be fat unless food is plentiful and your livelihood doesn't depend on exertion. So when talking about world-class geniuses, we'll stick to ones in prosperous times.

    Fat geniuses of film: Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Peter Jackson, Charles Laughton,

    Fat geniuses of politics: Daniel Webster, Benjamin Franklin, William Howard Taft, Winston Churchill, William Gladstone

    Fat geniuses of literature: John Kennedy Toole, Gunter Grass, William Golding, Studs Terkel

    Fat geniuses of philosophy: Richard Rorty (especially recently, he's immense), Hume, Hegel, Descartes, Bayle. Socrates always looks fat in busts, but who knows.

    See, I dunno, I think you could stock a pretty good all-star genius team with just portly fellas.

  9. Some of those people lived in times when it was considered healthy to be larger. Fat = had money to buy good food. Poor people were thin back then. That's been reversed lately.

    Besides, your answer was not a percentage, and we've not yet really agreed to a list of geniuses or a definition, so it's both a poor (rhetorical) question and a poor response.

  10. I live with someone who is fat. When I first met him he wasn't really. He's put on the pounds over the years of college, and not because he doesn't have time or money. He spends great deals of time playing video games and surfing the net while scarfing the chow. I can also say that he doesn't have any medical problems because both his parents and his sister are normal weight and proportion. Finally, each of his three girlfriends through the last four years have gained a substantial amount of weight while dating him, and the two that are gone have lost it since dating him.

    This is a prime example of the kind of guy that Eric is talking about. These people are upsetting to live around because their life choices are causing their troubles, but they choose to excuse it. Even my roommate has tried to pull genetic predisposition excuses out, but I have pictures of the two of us together with friends from three and a half years ago. He has gained weight since then and I have lost it.

    People who are irresponsible do not choose to take responsibility when accountability is being assigned, so shouldn't we expect that a great number of people will be indenial about their self-made problems and blame them on other factors?

  11. "A sloppy body is the sign of a sloppy mind."

    There are many, many thin people with sloppy minds. There are also fat people with very sharp minds. Naming one factor is generalizing. You aren't taking into consideration other environmental factors. Does education help shape a mind? Does the growing environment? Too much TV? I'm not saying that you are blaming the victim. The individual is solely responsible for maintaining his or her weight and for whatever factors go into it, but we should not sit on high and judge others. When you say that sloppy bodies come from sloppy minds, it sounds like you are writing off all fat people (with the exception of people with gland problems). I'm sure you would argue that this isn't what you are saying. Fine. But I ask you to consider that there are other factors involved. Walk a mile in a fat person's shoes. I have and I remember the experience. I would take exception to someone accusing me of a sloppy mind without even knowing me.

  12. There are many, many thin people with sloppy minds.

    Who said there weren't?

    There are also fat people with very sharp minds.

    Who said there weren't?

    I'm generalizing because I believe it to be generally true. Generally doesn't mean "in every situation." I'm not judging anyone. I haven't said it's right or wrong to be fat.

    Go away, "G," at least until you no longer lack a real name, email address, and URL.

  13. What gives you this belief though? You are commenting on a race that you dont have a horse in.

  14. Bullshit. I eat, I exercise, and I maintain my body and mind. My horse is winning the race.

  15. Oh I see.... So If I did everything exactly like you did everyday, I'd be thin right? You don't know what it takes for me to lose weight. It so happens that I don't overeat and i'm quite an active person physically and yet I'm overweight. If I want to really lose weight it requires a very strict regimen of diet and excercise -- 6 days a week. Which is fine, I know what needs to be done in MY situation. I don't make any excuses, but it doesnt mean genetics and metabolism isn't still a motherfucker.

  16. I accept the role of genetics and metabolism. I also accept that in my situation, and think highly of people who strive to overcome things instead of succumbing to them and using them as excuses, however partially valid they may be. You seem to know what it takes, which means you've at least done the first step. But hey, Mike, this isn't about you.

  17. You claim to not be judging anyone. I don't believe so. The "sloppy minds" thing is judgment enough, but you saying that your horse is winning the race is also judgmental. It places you above, in front of, or higher than others. You apparently see fat people as succumbing to something that you've conquered. I can guarantee you that what I had to overcome was nothing like what you likely had to fight with. You refuse to believe that there are life contexts that are different from yours, more strenuous than yours, or altogether more difficult than yours. Congratulations on being thin, but that doesn't mean that you are a model for others. I don't intend to insult you, but I believe that your views are short-sighted, focusing on your own achievements and not on the factors that others have to deal with.

  18. it's not a judgment. I didn't say that whether any of those things were right or wrong. I eat well and exercise.

    How can you guarantee anything? You don't know me. For all you know, my parents are both 500 pound behemoths who taught me that food solved all my problems. Don't undermine your argument by using such a specious framework.

    I see obese people, like Jim Carrey, as having work to do.

  19. I don't take offense to what Jim Carrey has said. I am currently fat. As early as I can remember I was fat. When I was 15, I had a huge growth spurt which I matched with a rather low-calorie (and in hindsight unhealthy) diet and exercise in order to lose weight. For the first time in my life I was skinny. Now, my observations of what it is like to be a fat person and a skinny person in this world is an entirely different subject. But my point is that losing weight was not impossible, even for someone who was born fat. I believe I am predisposed to gaining weight. Whether that is genetic, behavioural or some combination of the two I haven't quite figured out.

    I recently gained all my weight back when I reached a particularly difficult period in my life where academics, my love-life and family life all were very stressful. This didn't happen overnight. I wasn't eating from a trough either. Slowly but surely my moderately poor eating habits compounded, like a snowball rolling down a snow-capped mountain. When I was 15, it took me a year to drop all my excess weight. It's taken me roughly 3 and a half years to gain it back. I know the cause this time around was definitely my lifestyle. I don't offend myself by admitting this. Yes I was at fault, but I also know that we all have a particular weakness. When the going gets tough, we're more vulnerable to this weakness. I've taken steps to try to cope with hardships in a different way. I know that my natural reflex to major bouts of stress is to resort to poor eating and exercise habits. Well, I've got to find a more healthy way of coping with hardships. I was too young to learn this lesson the first time I lost weight. I'm now in the process of losing my excess weight yet again. It's much harder this time around, but again it's not impossible.

    This reminds me of my brother. He is a severe asthmatic. In high school, my parents asked the phys ed teacher to go easy on him lest he succumb to an asthma attack. Instead, the phys ed teacher worked him like everyone else - made him do all the running, got him to join a rugby team and even the wrestling team. That period in his life is still my brother's most asthma-free period. He's said so himself. He never felt better. So you know what? Even if obesity is an illness, it's not an incurable one.

    I know what a lot of offended fat people will say now. Speaking as somebody who knows, it's really hard for some people to stay skinny and/or lose excess weight. But we still have a choice. Some things in life come easier to me than other people. Being skinny isn't one of those things. Tough luck for me. I know a lot of people with dyslexia who had to work 10 times harder than myself to get 2/3 of my grades in school. But they still did it. Life sometimes isn't fair. We're all dealt a few bad cards in life. If you decide to fold because you didn't get the perfect hand, that's your prerogative - but don't keep blaming the cards. Half of the game is what you are dealt; the other half is how you play.

  20. Story time kiddies. I'm reminded of the HR director at my last job. Sharp guy, he had a degree in HR and was working on his masters in CompSci while I was there, on top of being a certified Medical Technician. You see Tom had been an Air Medic, he went up on the emergency choppers and took care of people that required really really urgent care. You'd never know it to look at him. He was about my size, 5' 10", 230 or so. I don't think that's 'fat'. Overweight, yes, but I wouldn't call it fat. Now I asked Tom about this, and his story was interesting in the current context. He jogged miles per day, something between 5 and 10, watched what he ate, did the 'normal' tricks before having the weigh in monthly (amazing what you can get your hands on in a hospital to drop weight). He did this for years, I want to say between 5 and 10. As he got older though it was tougher and tougher to keep the weight off. He would increase his jogging time/distance, change his eating habbits, eventually though he realized that between the stress of the job and the stress of dealing with meeting weight requirements to be a MedEvac Paramedic his life throughly sucked. That's why he went into HR.

    Does he still jog? Yes. Does he watch what he eats? Not as much. Is he overweight. Yes. Is he okay with that? Yes.

    Yes there are genetics involved in obesiety, even mild obesity. There's also culture, and availability of calories. The root of this obesity obsession though is vanity.

    I can give you an out in the case of morbidly obese people. I can even give you an out when dealing with the 'freshman fifteen'. But saying that all overweight people have a problem that they need to work on is bullshit. You have a problem. You think that people should meet your standards of vanity. People like Tom prove that yes, you can 'work on it' and meet the popular acceptable weight, but at what cost? Hours of exercise, beyond the level required to general health, conscription of diet and the stress associated with such a regieme?

    Life is too short to worry about fitting into other people's ideals, or trying to impose your own ideals on others. Is Tom less of a person because he no longer battles against genetics and culture to fit into society's ideal body type? I personally don't think so, and he doesn't seem to either.

    Personally I think that people that can't accept others for who they are have something to work on, but then it's not really my place to point that out.

  21. Gary,

    I respect your opinion and ultimately I am of the same opinion as you - it's no business of somebody telling someone else they should be a certain way when it really doesn't affect them. As far as vanity is concerned, I think that is the worst reason to push fat people to lose weight. But being fat causes a lot of very real health problems. It causes unnecessary wear and tear on your skeletal structure. This might not be a problem now, but when you're 65 it could pose huge discomfort. Moreover, fat people have a greater number of fat cells and these cells are bigger than their skinnier counterparts. These cells also release very damaging toxins. The bigger the cell, the more toxin they release. The more fat cells you have, the more toxin will be released too. It's a double whammy. Scientists are starting to link these toxins to various diseases such as cancer. In fact, in my case (I'm the anonymous poster above you), even if I lose all my excess weight I will still have more fat cells than someone who has been skinny all their life as the fat cells merely shrink but don't necessarily reduce in number. Like smoking, it is better to not have even started but quitting this bad habit is better than nothing. Of course, the most blatant health risks associated with obesity are diabetes and heart disease. These are very real risks that have very real consequences. I personally would rather not go blind or lose a limb from diabetes. I'd also like to live well beyond the age of 65 and not have to worry about having a heart attack.

    I am currently 5' 10" 235 lbs and losing about 2 lbs a week (down from 270 a few months ago). It's not taking that much effort. I lift weights 3 times a week for 1 hour at a time. I ride a stationary bike for 15 minutes, 3 times a week. My diet is not tremendously strict. I just make sure to eat all three square meals so that I don't find myself up late at night craving something unhealthy. I still have Burger King once or twice a month. I'll have pizza and beer with the guys on weekends. I've committed more time and effort to far less beneficial endeavours.

    The key to losing weight is to look at it as a simple equation which is what it boils down to at an abstract level. You cannot dodge the Law of Conservation of Energy. Energy goes in your body, it is expended or if it is unused, it is stored. Even if people are prone to naturally store more unused energy as fat, they can still affect the other two parts of the equation - they can reduce the amount of energy they consume and increase the amount of energy they use up. Do BOTH of these things and there is not a soul on this planet that will continue to be fat. Now, is this such a hard thing to do? Read on...I don't think so.

    The greatest myth perpetuated by the weight-loss industry that fat people have bought into is that it is in general very hard to lose weight. There's a reason they peddle this untruth. Because if people realize how simple it is, they won't be able to sell you that ab crunching blaster master for 3 easy payments of $39.95. Moreover, you don't make very many customers by telling them they are fat because of their lackluster lifestyle. Yes, fat people have to work harder to maintain a healthy weight but we're not talking about climbing Mount Everest here. They don't have to work _that_ much harder. We're talking a commitment of time similar to watching 4 reality TV shows a week.

    Trust me, I've been on both sides of the tracks. Yes, a lot of skinny people are unfairly judgmental. And a lot of them do peddle losing weight for vanity's sake. But as anecdotal my personal experience may be, I think I can personally vouch for Erik's claims however controversial they may be. When I was skinny, I functioned better. I had more energy, I tended to be able to more efficiently focus that energy, and with confidence on my side I was more likely to successfully tackle a problem. These days I'm sluggish, require more sleep, don't get enough good sleep, am less confident etc. These are all bound to have an effect on my mental performance throughout the day.

    I don't think I would single out a fat person and say "you know you should lose some weight". It's their life. But in an abstract sense I really do think being overweight is a problem and I address it as such. Being fat is something which will affect both the quantity and quality of a person's life - in my books, that is a textbook definition of a problem.

    Should skinny people care so much about this? I think so - if they're willing to be part of the solution. It's one thing to mouth off "they've got work to be done" and it's another to do that and provide an opportunity for fat people to get the "work done". Employers can offer flexible hours so that their employees can take an extended lunch and go to the gym. They might offer incentives to employees who wish to take public transit or ride a bike to work (both involve some form of exercise beyond what a car does). For instance, I would have travelled to work by bike at my last job if they had shower facilities - but they didn't. They might choose to offer _real_ team building activities like starting a corporate sports team and ensuring all are welcome (and feel welcome) regardless of skill level. I suppose my only criticism of Jim Carrey and other skinny people who are critical of fat people is that they'll mouth off but not offer anything constructive.

  22. Gary, you're the only one who's mentioned vanity. I've only talked of mental acuity, energy, vitality, and so on.

  23. Erik

    You didn't have to explicitly state anything about vanity.

    Vanity: Excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments; conceit.

    By saying: "I think that they've got work to do(On their weight)", you are implying that they should strive to be like you, thin. Everything else is supporting argument to vilify the original concept. Mental acuity, energy, vitality are qualities that you appear to hold dear, yet other people do not. In stating that other people should strive to achieve the same qualities that you exhault, that other people should strive to be like you, reveals vanity.

    It's not a doctor saying: "If you don't loose weight you'll suffer from poor health." That isn't what you said, or what you quoted. What you said is that obesity points to mental defiency, implicitly that since you are thin you must somehow be smarter.

  24. Sorry Gary, you're wrong. There's nothing excessive about it. Furthermore, vanity is excessive pride in that same person's appearance. I don't have excessive pride in my own appearance. In short, you're wrong.

  25. Two things to remember in this debate:

    1. "Thin people" (like Erik) who are concerned about "fat people" don't voice their concerns because they hate diversity (and want all people to look and act like them), it's because they really do want fat people to be healthy. Speaking for myself, I feel pity for people who are so unhealthy.

    2. Today, obesity an epidemic unlike anything ever seen in recorded history. Granted, there have always been a number of people who have genetic or metabolic predispositions to obesity, but that only accounts for a very small percentage of the obese in our present-day American society. Dieticians and researchers would tell you that the *vast* majority of our obsese have simply given in to "super sized" high-fat meals and too much time on the couch.

  26. I notice there are no women in this discussion. Could it be that fat is experienced differently if you are a woman?

    I am a fat woman who has given birth to two children. I resent the implication that there's "More I should be doing" to obtain a stature that is more appealing to...anyone. My body has birthed, nourished, and cared for two beautiful boys. I am neither lazy nor unhealthy and the size of my body is no indication of the power of my intellect.

    I love my fat, curvy, bumpy, stretch-marked, beautiful body and it's bullshit for anyone to imply or state directly that my positive body image is indicative of lack of desire to "do the work" to be more attractive to some snotty skinny boy on the internet.

  27. Kiss my fat ass.

    Lovely fatphobia going on here. I love it when a bunch of men get together to define what is and is not healthy and/or attractive in terms of body size. Bite me. This is my response: I notice there are...

  28. drublood, you've gone off on a completely silly subject.

    You shouldn't do anything for me. Fuck me. You should do it for yourself and your health.

    As anonymous has once again pointed out, obesity is a huge problem in this country.

  29. Erik Said:

    "Some of those people lived in times when it was considered healthy to be larger. Fat = had money to buy good food. Poor people were thin back then. That's been reversed lately."

    OK, so you are saying that it's only OK to be fat if you are wealthy? What, exactly, is your point? Poor people are lazy?

    Or are you saying this is not an issue of health or laziness but an issue of the current trends that dictate what people find desirable or attractive.

    If those many geniuses were alive today (and some of them are), would they be any less intelligent? Would their minds be "lazy" because it's currently unpopular to be fat?

  30. silly by whose definition?

    And how the hell would you know I'm "not obese" based on an internet discussion? Because I'm intelligent? Because someone was willing to fuck me enough for me to bear two children?

    You have some issues with prejudice. That's all I'm saying. It's glaringly obvious. And you need to read facts with that in mind.

    For instance, there really is no substantial evidence that obesity in and of itself is a disease. It is far more unhealthy to lose weight when you are fat than it is to just accept your body and strive to live a healthy lifestyle at any size. You simply cannot ascertain someone's fitness by how fat or thin they are. You can't. So your post here is completely based on your own prejudice towards fat people, because if you were really concerned with ill health in this country, you would have posted about bad eating and/or exercise habits and left size out of the equation completely.

  31. Drublood, those geniuses errantly thought that being heavier meant that they were healthier. It's not about stylistic trends -- it's about scientific knowledge. Before it was a social positive to have excess weight, now it is not. Furthermore, now we all know that it is unhealthful to be overweight. This makes the difference.

    Fat probably is experienced differently by women, young, old, black, white, etc... Probably every individual has an individualized experience with fat if they are overweight or obese.

    I think that Erik's presumption about your weight is probably true. I doubt that you are now a 250 to 300+ pound woman. If you are, is this really due to pregancy? Obesity is the topic here, not simply being overweight, although I realize that both are grouped quite often.

    Anonymous, I think that you are really on the right track. I agree with pretty much everything you said, and I wish that more people in the world had access to you or people who share your views and experience with this issue.

    Gary, accepting others does not mean the same thing as sitting idly by without questioning their choices, lifestyle, thoughts and actions. I love and accepte obese people. I have obese friends that consider me a great friend in return. Will I accept this person? Yes, I already have. Do I need to accept obesity because of my great friendship with someone who is obese? No, not at all.

    Please, please realize that although people do, at times, judge people of all walks and situations -- including the obese -- it does not follow that discussing obesity is judging an individual or a people-group.

    Obesity is a problem. Obese people have this problem. IF they want to conquer their problem they have work to do. That is simple.

    The sloppy mind comment is Erik's generalization about this population set, and he may have meant to be judgmental, but he could just as easily have been giving his number one reason as to why people should endeavor to do the work that they have to do to maintain a healthy weight.

    Erik, I followed Gary's vanity argument. I think that it is pretty subtle, but I do see what he is saying. In fact, I am searching myself wondering if it applies to me.

    I think it probably does. It probably applies to all of us at different levels. I'm not accusing you of anything heinous, because this seemed so subtle that it can pretty much apply to everyone, but I do think it is worth saying that pride, vanity, self-centeredness, and ego are things we should all keep a short leash on. (Sorry about the length.)

  32. Some interesting snippets and whatnots:

    Poor people are lazy?

    Poor people, currently, are some of the most obese in the country. That's a fact. Poor diet, longer work hours - whatever the cause, the poorer you are the more likely you are to be fat.

    It used to be the opposite, as I said.

    Or are you saying this is not an issue of health or laziness but an issue of the current trends that dictate what people find desirable or attractive.

    It is both. It is an issue of health, it's an issue of laziness and "having work to do," and it is an issue of the society in which we live. "Cherubic" women used to be attractive. Now, beanpoles are. That's neither right nor wrong - but the way it is. However, the science - what's healthy and what's not - is not really in question.

    Obese students perform relatively (relative to thinner classmates) poorly on tests and in school. That is a fact as well.

    Where have you seen prejudice?

    It is not unhealthy to lose weight when you are obese. That's ridiculous. You have to lose the weight slowly - a pound or two a week - but people who lose weight in the end lead far healthier lives than those who remain, for lack of a better word, "huge."

    You simply cannot ascertain someone's fitness by how fat or thin they are. You can't.

    Yes, you can. To say otherwise is to ignore science, modern medicine, and common sense.

    I didn't want to discuss bad eating habits because it's irrelevant. If you are obese, and you don't have a glandular problem or something else to cause it beyond your control, then you've got work to do. Whether that's changing your diet or exercising more, you have work to do. I have a horrible, horrible eating habit by some people's standards, but I probably exercise and work myself three times as hard as they may need to.

    Obesity is the result of a lot of factors. Unless it's a glandular thing, again, then almost every one of those factors is probably under your control. Blaming parents, environment, work, etc. is just making excuses.

    That's not prejudice. I've been friends with and have gotten along with a lot of overweight people. I care about them, and it saddens me that they're overweight because it isn't healthy for them. It's not "a good thing." I don't like that some of my friends smoke, either. Heck, I especially don't like that some of my friends are obese and smoke! That's not prejudice, I'm sorry.

  33. First, there is no way to be sure that obese kids perform poorly because they are "dumber" than non-obese kids - or if it's because they are ridiculed and oppressed and discriminated against due to their size. If that's even a valid study, since I see no cited references. There are all sorts of factors that come into play when you are talking about something like performance in a place as brutal as the public school system and size.

    THAT'S where prejudice comes into play, Erik. That, and your weird assumption that I can't POSSIBLY be obese.

    That, and your invalid assumption that size is an indicator of health. YOu've never had a thin friend who eats nothing but junk food? I find that odd.

    The fact is not that we have not concluded scientifically that fat people are inherently unhealthy, but we have concluded capitalistically that it's not profitable to encourage people to maintain health at any size.

    here's one study you might want to read.

    Basically, I could say just about anything that I believe and then ascribe ill-health to those who don't practice what I preach...and I can probably find a study to back myself up, too. I commented here because I can't stand to see these fallacious myths about fat people reiterated and unchallenged. Go educate yourself, or continue to post misinformed tripe on a subject you know nothing about. The choice is yours.

  34. Dru, please continue to live in your fantasy world where fat != unhealthy. Fat people die earlier, are more likely to die of cancer, heart disease, respiratory failure, etc. If death is healthy, then I suppose fat people are just as healthy as other people. Where did I ever say you were not obese? You clearly must be - you spend entirely too much time justifying being fat.

    You can quote lame press snippets all you want. The thing you link to says "it's not necessary to be thin to be healthy." No, it's not necessary - but it sure does help! You've not listed any facts. It's not necessary to be tall to be a good basketball player, either. Doesn't mean you're gonna star in the NBA.

    I'll be closing this discussion soon. Grow up (not out) and get your last two cents in, if it's even worth that much.

  35. you can see my blog for an interesting comment from zagg about your state of obesity.

    Oh, and you are an absolute idiot.

    There. ah. I feel much better now.

  36. I'm supposed to care what a guy who can't even read has to say? On your interesting, mature, and very worthwhile "contribution," this thread, this comment session, is closed. You haven't won - you've simply succeeded in diverting what could have been a worthwhile discussion.

    Yes, I get to make that decision. It's my blog.

  37. Other than a glandular situation, obesity (in my view) is largely a matter of personal attribution. I see this the same as I see how different people handle poverty and other social and personal "ills" or setbacks in life.

    By attribution, I refer to the cognitive and affective attribution as to the cause of a situation. If a person attributes the cause to something outside of their control, well ... then there's nothing to do about it. However, if a personal attributes the cause to something within their locus of control ... hey, they'll at least try to fix it.

    I guess there is one other factor involved: the setting of personal priorities. I'm a few pounds overweight right now, but my personal priority is to finish up my graduate degree. After that degree my increased weight will become more important to fix. (Of course, I personally attribute the cause of the excess weight to be within my personal control). 🙂

  38. A fat discussion

    I had an interesting discussion with my wife about obesity and how much is to blame on the individual. If you don't have a decease, is it just laziness to not get in shape? There are operations now, where they bypass parts of the stomach to make it ...