Social Question

Dutchess_lll's avatar

If smoking is the #1 cause of preventable death, and obesity is #2 and gaining, why is it acceptable to chastise smokers but not obese people?

Asked by Dutchess_lll (8728points) December 29th, 2018

The health problems associated with both costs society a lot of money.
We have made it illegal to smoke in public so it won’t affect nonsmokers, so they aren’t hurting anyone but themselves and possibly family members (and everyone I know smokes outside and don’t smoke in their cars when the kids are with them.) But they’re setting a bad example.
Obese people are setting a bad example for their families, especially their kids, too.

Why is it OK to dis a smoker to their face and not an obese person?

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39 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The fat guys food doesn’t waft over to your seat in the restaurant like smoke does. We do chastise fat people.They will get their turn. Don’t you worry. Also some conditions are out of the obese persons control like
Prader-Willi syndrome
is a Medical condition
Prader-Willi syndrome is a disease that is present from birth (congenital). It affects many parts of the body. People with this condition feel hungry all the time and become obese. They also have poor muscle tone, reduced mental ability, and underdeveloped sex organs.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 I covered that concern by noting that it is illegal to smoke in public places. You can’t even smoke in bars any more.

Most obesity is caused by over eating.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Dutchess_lll It will all work out in the end. We might even get laws from food or meat smells from affecting vegans in the next decade. Also overweight people might get denied health insurance. I’m 6’5” and 250 lbs. I’ve never been laughed at for having a paunch. I was however laughed at for being skinny in university and grade school. Laws change slowly one law at a time. Fat shamming might be in the future like smoking shaming soon. One step at a time.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I’m asking WHY one is socially acceptable and the other isn’t.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Dutchess_lll Ok. My answer is that the people are fighting one vice at a time. Fat shamming is coming to the forefront as we win the war on tobacco. It’s next. As It’s going to be more expensive to have a fat population then we will see more laws banning sugary soft drinks and super sized meals. In one of the states they tried passing a law banning fat people from ordering from fast food restaurants. It never passed, but more attempts will be in the future as obesity becomes more and more an epidemic.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I don’t think they can make laws regarding how much food people can eat or buy at the stores to cook for themselves.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Dutchess_lll Doesn’t mean that they can’t try. Maybe a constitutional amendment will happen in the future making a nanny state?

kritiper's avatar

Your second hand smoke bothers me but your fat doesn’t.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I addressed smoking in public. In the details. I addressed the consequences both have on family members’ especially children.

JLeslie's avatar

As you know, people who don’t smoke don’t want to inhale someone else’s smoke. That’s one reason.

Another reason is because people find it offensive to be judging people on outward appearance. Everything from skin color, clothing, weight, height, pretty, ugly, we aren’t supposed to judge.

Lastly, as far as healthcare costs, people do complain about fat oeople using the healthcare system more, but it’s tricky, because everyone can get sick. I’m not very heavy, but I’m likely to be a heart disease patient. Runners who are thin still need knee replacements. People who eat well still get cancer. It’s a “there but for the grace of God go I” thing. As far as smoking, non smokers feel fairly secure that they aren’t going to become smokers, so they don’t identify with it, and have less patience for it.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Would y’all PLEASE read the details before commenting on smoking affecting other people again.

notnotnotnot's avatar

@Dutchess_lll: “The health problems associated with both costs society a lot of money.”

Keep financial cost out of this since you’re talking of the US, which has a for-profit healthcare system, which is by definition immoral.

Why are you trying to compare smoking, which pollutes the public air and invades the lungs of non-smokers with obesity. In what possible way are these two connected?

It’s only ok to chastise smokers if they are exposing people to smoke. If you find overweight people distasteful, that is on you. Leave people alone.

JLeslie's avatar

I did read the details. I said you know already. Plus, the smoke still pollutes the air, even if no one is right there next to them.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I am not saying anything, good or bad, about obese people or smokers. It was a question that was brought up in a documentary I watched last night. I think it’s a good one.

notnotnotnot's avatar

^ Saying that an absurd, nonsensical question is a “good one” is saying something.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I guess it’s saying what ever you want to imagine you think is being said. You can keep punching that paper bag. Whatever trips your trigger.

The point is they are both killing people. They both stress the medical resources and society. They are both setting bad examples for children. They are both avoidable.

notnotnotnot's avatar

^ Avoidable and killing people are descriptions of the US healthcare system (or lack of one) and poverty. How does chastising people solve these problems?

How about attacking the systemic societal ills rather than its victims?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

How about NOT chastising or attacking people at all?

kritiper's avatar

People who smoke and are fat may be dying but they’re smiling! (Gimme another piece of pie and empty my ash tray, willya?? Thanks!)

Dutchess_lll's avatar

At the end they aren’t. Diabetes and cancer are brutal.

raum's avatar

Smoking is generally more straightforward than obesity.

At some point in their lives, they chose to start smoking. And now they are either choosing to continue or they are addicted to smoking. Either way, they still choose where they smoke (to a certain degree).

Obesity isn’t always just a matter of over-eating. Being obese already affects your health and quality of life. I don’t think shaming them is going to help anyone.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Why do lap band surgeries work then?

raum's avatar

It’s not just a matter of reducing how much the stomach can hold. Lap band surgeries can also help bypass part of the intestine. This helps when the body has issues with malabsorption.

Two people could have the same diet. But the way their body processes those calories can result in very different BMIs.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Ok then lets just compare people who ARE obese due to overeating to smokers. Let’s just compare people who are addicted to food like people are addicted to ciggarettes.
The others can be addressed by the doctors.

raum's avatar

I think if you have to edit your question to get the response you’re hoping for…you probably should just reconsider your question.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I guess I could so that they are more comparable when they are are both caused by choices people make, omitting obesity caused by medical problems. Would that make a difference in the answers?

raum's avatar

Umm…adjusting the parameters of your question doesn’t make that statement true.

Smoking and obesity really aren’t both choices that people make.

[You edited your response. So this response doesn’t entirely make sense in context now. :/]

Dutchess_lll's avatar

For some obese people it is caused by eating too much and eating food high in fats and sugars. That’s a choice.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

My point is why don’t we just leave them both alone? If a smoker isn’t smoking around you just leave them alone.
If an obese person isn’t shoving food down your throat leave them alone.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

So is it now illegal to smoke in public in US or do you mean it’s in certain public area inside the building where there’s valid reasoning for it?

It’s easy to see that. People need to eat. You can’t blame people for doing what’s natural or required of them to survive in this world. The difference between this and smoking is that one is bad for your health whether you do it frequently or not, the other is simply bad because you’re overdoing it. Not to mention that obese people keep the problem to themselves and won’t affect the other people in the vicinity (not everyone think badly of obese people), unlike smokers and the wind that carry their smokes.

canidmajor's avatar

It is not OK to chastise smokers, it’s unconscionably rude.

Be without sin yourselves first, folks, before you go casting your judgemental rocks about. Supporting large corporate polluters does a lot more damage than some poor schmo having a butt.

notnotnotnot's avatar

@Dutchess_lll: “My point is why don’t we just leave them both alone? If a smoker isn’t smoking around you just leave them alone.
If an obese person isn’t shoving food down your throat leave them alone.”

If this was your point, then it was a strange way to make it.

Has there ever been a person who was chastised for smoking if they do it in private without exposing others? I doubt it. Not sure how you chose this approach to make your “point”.

josie's avatar

I have always wondered that myself. Especially since we are already in a modified “single payer” medical cost pool and it’s probably only a matter of time until nearly everybody is on Medicare.
That stuff costs money.
Get rid of cigarettes and obesity and the communal cost of medical treatments drops dramatically.

notnotnotnot's avatar

@josie: “Get rid of cigarettes and obesity and the communal cost of medical treatments drops dramatically.”

Yes. Let’s not worry about the health costs associated with lack of access to preventive healthcare or even the association of smoking (and obesity) with poverty. And we definitely shouldn’t look at our food, which is not at all related to obesity, and how it’s marketed to children and the relative costs of junk “food” to healthy food. And most of all, when we are concerning ourselves with healthcare costs, we definitely shouldn’t concern ourselves with the obscene profits made by private healthcare companies.

If we could just chastise the victims of such a system, I’m sure “we” could save a few dollars!

KNOWITALL's avatar

Ya, I dont think chastising anyone is okay, esp adults. Live and let live. You could be a murderer or rapist, something less obvious, so you have no credibility unless you know the person.

I had a coworker who was not a nice person, total health nut, and she started harping on smokers. Almost got called into HR. Your opinion is not wanted.

Fat people know they are fat.
Smokers know its not healthy.
Drinkers know their livers are damaged.
Drug users know they are causing harm.

josie's avatar

My point exactly!

kritiper's avatar


“Junk Food Junkie”
by Larry Groce

“You know I love organic cooking
I always ask for more
And they call me Mr. Natural
On down to the health food store
I only eat good sea salt
White sugar don’t touch my lips
And my friends is always begging me
To take them on macrobiotic trips
Yes, they are.

Oh, but at night I take out my strong box
That I keep under lock and key
And I take it off to my closet
Where nobody else can see
I open that door so slowly
Take a peek up north and south
Then I pull out a Hostess Twinkie
And pop it in my mouth

Yeah, in the daytime I’m Mr. Natural
Just as healthy as I can be
But at night I’m a junk food junkie
Good lord have pity on me

Well, at lunchtime you can always find me
At the Whole Earth Vitamin Bar
Just sucking on my plain white yogurt
From my hand thrown pottery jar
And sippin’ a little hand pressed cider
With a carrot stick for dessert
And wiping my face in a natural way
On the sleeve of my peasant shirt
Oh, yeah

Ah, but when that clock strikes midnight
And I’m all by myself
I work that combination on my secret hideaway shelf
And I pull out some Fritos corn chips
Dr Pepper and an ole Moon Pie
Then I sit back in glorious expectation
Of a genuine junk food high

Oh, yeah in the daytime I’m Mr’s Natual
Just as healthy as I can be
Oh, but at night I’m a junk food junkie
Good lord have pity on me

My friends down at the commune
They think I’m pretty neat
Oh, I don’t know nothing about arts and crafts
But I give ‘em all something to eat
I’m a friend of old Euell Gibbons
And I only eat home grown spice
I got a John Keats autographed Grecian urn
Filled up with my brown rice

Oh, folks but lately I have been spotted
With a Big Mac on my breath
Stumbling into a Colonel Sanders
With a face as white as death
I’m afraid someday they’ll find me
Just stretched out on my bed
With a handful of Pringles potato chips
And a Ding Dong by my head

In the daytime I’m Mr. Natural
Just as healthy as I can be
But at night I’m a junk food junkie
Good lord have pity on me”

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Yes I have been chastised for smoking. Not because I smoked in the wrong place and bothered any one. It was because I was sinning and putting my health at risk, setting a bad example for my children, and this person said she cared and had to say something.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@Unoffialperson…. it’s illegal to smoke in public buildings and within X feet of doors and windows. They have designated smoking places outside with ash trays buckets. Some places have the whole campus as no smoking.

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