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What Is With Society's Hatred of Fat People?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bacon Cheeseburger, May 23, 2007.

  1. Bacon Cheeseburger

    Bacon Cheeseburger New Member

    Longtime reader, first time poster.
    Love the site, but I can't get past how this forum - and our society at large - is shot through with so much resentment for overweight people. From the sports boards to the journalism boards, the persecution of fat people is a big theme here.
    I would think a group of journalists would understand that the culture we work in is not the most conducive to healthy living.
    I'm wondering where the nastiness comes from and whether it's a by product of our times. Just asking.
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Glad you have decided to post! Readers are great, but the posters make this place. Hope you'll continue.

    I really haven't seen it on here lately but then again, I have really only been looking at a few threads, so I'll take your word for it. I'll start by saying that nastiness or hatred is never cool. And I can only speak for myself. I don't have animosity toward overweight or obese people. I have friends who are overweight, as do most people, so I wonder how much hatred really exists and how much is hypersensitivity--which I have actually seen once or twice on this board when I weighed in (just reread this and realize this is an unintentional pun!) on a thread like this.

    Obesity is not something I will pussyfoot around. I have pretty strong feelings about the unhealthiness of it and the effect it is having on the country. It isn't some small increase in weight of our population. It's gotten out of control. Does that make me resentful or hateful or does it just mean that I am pointing out something factual and important?

    Three things in particular concern me. 1) I get upset when I see anyone doing something unhealthy for them--smoking, drinking to the point of liver disease, slashing the wrists... or eating unhealthy foods and being too fat. It makes me sad. That said, if that was it, I'd accept that I can control my behavior and shouldn't be trying to control others. But 2) Obesity is having very big societal consequences. It contributes to billions of dollars of strain on our healthcare system. It's a large part of the reason some of those European countries we constantly get compared to in terms of healthcare allocation are better at covering people than we are. Their populations are healthier and not dealing with diabetes, heart disease and other problems to the degree we are seeing in epidemic proportions in the U.S. due to how obese we have gotten. It has singlehandedly shot up healthcare costs more than anything else. And 3) The number of obese CHILDREN in this country has skyrocketed. The health care problems we are seeing as a result of that (diabetes in kids, which 30 years ago barely existed!) is alarming. And to me it is paramount to child abuse because parents who don't do anything about it are setting up their kids to have health problems throughout life, they are letting those kids establish habits that are going to be tougher than it already is for an overweight person to break when he or she is an adult and they are creating a healthcare system nightmare that is going to make it harder than it already is to cover people who can't afford it. And we already have a problem with that.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Don't know if its hatred of fat people. But I know when Whitlock, for example, is picked on here, the quick shot goes to his weight -- not because people hate fat people, but because it's a flaw. With Albom, it's the ears; with Loopy, its the squeaky voice; with LeBatard, it's the dirty Sanchez.

    along the same lines, I stepped on the scale on Sunday heavier than I ever have been. The Atkins diet started again Monday morning and I've dropped 4 pounds. It's not going to be easy, given my assignment this week, but I can try...
  4. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Welcome aboard and please keep posting!

    That being said, maybe I just haven't been paying attention but I haven't noticed a lot of "hatred" for overweight people on the forum here. If so, though, it's very likely done exactly the way Ragu portrayed it. However, there are times when a certain measure of derisiveness is laid out, especially with respects to health. Obesity, unfortunately, is a lot like smoking, in that its effects touch everyone, not just those who are overweight. Like any damaging lifestyle (drinking, drugs, etc.), obesity increases the cost of health care and other things, and any attack on it likely will be because of that reason.
  5. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    A "new member" named Bacon Cheeseburger posting about fat prejudice? I call bullshit.

    That said, the issue is a relevant one. And anyone who has read a thread bashing Natalie Maines as fat will understand the level of hatred to be found. If the pole-vaulting high schooler had been chubby, there wouldn't be a thread about her. Etc.
  6. Montezuma's Revenge

    Montezuma's Revenge Active Member

    Great post, Ragu.
  7. Ditto
  8. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    I've never seen anything I would term 'hatred' of fat people posted here
    Slappy, I don't mean to single you out, but your post is a good example of the unhealthy and unrealistic approach most Americans have to diet and weight.
    A UCLA study released last month found that dieting doesn't work, and that after losing 5-10 percent of their weight, most dieters gain more than they lost. The researchers had to stop just short of saying most people would have been better off not dieting at all.
    An interesting study, considering an estimated seven out of 10 Americans will attempt some form of diet during the year.
    The problem, I think, is one of approach.
    Most people don't want to take a realistic, healthy approach to improving fitness and improving their diets.
    They want to do Atkins or South Beach or Zone. People like fad diets because they produce rapid weight loss.
    The downside is they often set up an unrealistic expectation of how you're going to eat long-term. You can't stick to the diet.
    It shouldn't be about 'I'm going to lose 20 pounds in two months.' It should be about 'How can I adjust the way I eat and exercise to improve my health?'
    It's a lifestyle change.
    The weight loss might be more gradual, but the long-term expectation is more realistic. And the goal, after all, should be improved fitness and health, not just weight loss.
    Those are my thoughts.
  9. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I would disagree. :(

    re the diets: I know I'm going to have to embark on some long-ranging program myself soon. But even being overweight, I can't understand what people don't understand about dieting.

    If you're going to lose a quick 10-15 pounds, go right ahead. It's all water loss anyway, and it's going to come back faster than before.

    The only weight-loss program which is going to work is a long-term program with slow, steady loss. But don't fool yourself into believing that fads are the long-term answer.

    And, for me, anyway, the only way it's going to work is if every single thing that goes into my mouth is met with the question: "Is this going to help me, or hurt me?" In other words, I won't be able to live to eat; I will have to eat to live.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Single me out, you're probably right... The long term adjustment is a plan too. And for the most part I'm in good shape. Just trying to get less of that shape as an egg.
    I have been on Atkins before, cut 25 pounds kept it off and it took me about three years for all the weight to come back. Problem came is the extra 15 pounds in last six-to-nine months
  11. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    One big difference. There is no such thing as second-hand fat to ruin other people's lungs the way cigarette smoke does.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I don't mind fat people. I just dislike cellulite.
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