Social Question

josie's avatar

Why do people allow themselves to become obese?

Asked by josie (30926points) December 4th, 2019

It’s unhealthy, it looks bad, it’s a burden on medical cost and delivery, it makes buying clothes difficult, it creates a nuisance on airplanes, it contributes to social isolation and everybody knows it’s a problem. One cannot hide or deny it.

Plus, it is totally preventable!

So why do it?

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145 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

They enjoy eating. They’re food addicts. They don’t realize how heavy they are getting. Their metabolism gets slower as they age. Medications they are taking slow their metabolism.

I personally can’t believe how heavy I am right now.

Jonsblond's avatar

It’s not totally preventable when someone is dealing with depression. I am technically obese. I’m nearly 5’ 3” and weigh 180. I weighed 118 when I became pregnant with my youngest 16 years ago. I gained quite a bit but was able to get down to 140lb. Then I moved to a farm, lost my mom, felt alone, had a scary health issue…blah, blah, blah. I had/have clinical depression.

The weight gain comes on slowly. It decreases our stamina. We have no energy and the depression makes it worse. We know we are obese and everyone reminds us. Guess what? That worsens our depression so we grab a snack. I can’t get enough cheese and crackers when I’m down.

It’s a very difficult cycle to just fix in an instant. I’ve been this large for several years and I hate it. Life has been really hard. I’m finally in a place where I have hope for the future and want to get healthy again. My depression is pretty much in control. I have the desire to get fit again so I’m making better life choices. I’m one of the lucky ones. Many have lost hope.

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LadyMarissa's avatar

It’s ONLY totally preventable when YOU aren’t the one preventing it!!!

I have a friend who only weighs 78 pounds & she’s finding it impossible to gain enough weight to be considered healthy. She wears a girls size 12, so she can’t find anything that makes her look like an adult or God forbid that she needs to dress for success!!!

I managed to keep my weight between 105–125 until I ran full steam into menopause & had a stroke where my physical activity is limited. Now, I’m still doing dayum good for an old woman who can’t exercise & finds it almost impossible to walk for any distance. Yes, I’m fat. IF you don’t like looking at my fat ass, close your fucking eyes until I get past you!!!

Dutchess_lll's avatar

They have too much down time on their hands, whether it’s sitting in front of a computer at work or at home. They may be mentally “working,” but they aren’t physically working. But their brain says they’re “working” hard, so snack.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

There are a lot of reasons for that.
As for myself, being a type 1 diabetic and having MS, my motivation to stay in good shape is tenfold.
I don’t take my health for granted. Ever.

gondwanalon's avatar

I think that this is a very complex problem. Each person is infinitely complex and all people are different. Can involve how people view themselves. How they identify who they are.

Could be from medical condition (physical and or psychological).

But most likely most people have problems and situations (past or present) that lead them to decide to let themselves go.

Vignette's avatar

Obesity is a form of mental disease, from what I know it is often a visible manifestation of depression. Eating is their form of self-medicating their depression. Something very deep possibly traumatic happened to them, more than likely at an early age. So when they get stressed they need to calm down and food helps them do this. Food as in the sugars in the food sets off a very powerful dopamine response in the brain as powerful and some say more powerful than heroin. The more food they eat, the more dopamine their brain develops and the happier they feel. Once that cycle is set, welcome to the brutal world of addiction. Fat shaming obese people will only exacerbate the problem for them.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Well damn @Vignette. Then the majority of Americans have a “mental disease.” If it’s not obesity, it’s something else that nobody but them can understand.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Also, while you’re having fun pretending that weight is a choice, keep in mind that more than 15% of children in the US are obese. Add this to the fact that most studies are now revealing that long-term weightloss is largely a myth, and you’re left with the fact that you’re essentially pretending that you’ve discovered the cure for cancer because you don’t currently have it.

If we have a problem, it’s systemic, and it must be fought as a society. The conservative angle is to always pretend that a huge problem is a simple case of individual moral deficiency. If that makes you sleep at night, go ahead. But it is a rejection of the science, a blindfolding to the real problem, and a problem in itself. The first question you should be asking is how to combat your own ableist, anti-scientific backwards attitude which makes life intolerable for others.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

It just snuck up on me. I can’t remember when I was a perfect weight. I would have appreciated when I was between anorexic and fat. I am not used not to have to ration food. Now I have enough food that I can prepare for from Skip the Dishes, and grocery shopping.
I have been almost perfect in avoiding coke. I have only had one can of coke in a month and got an exercise coach (recreational therapist). I am looking fine except my stomach and man boobs.

Vignette's avatar

@Dutchess_lll Depression is no joke and a much bigger problem than most people know. People who are depressed self-medicate with all sorts of substances besides just food…alcohol, opioids, sex, shopping, extreme dieting and many more. I would also argue you can empathize with an obese persons struggles if you take the time and make an effort to learn and understand their struggles.

SEKA's avatar

Ignorance is bliss

Dutchess_lll's avatar

^ Deny, deny, deny.

Jonsblond's avatar

^My depression caused me to gain weight. I was fit for most of my life. Did you read my story, Dutch?

SEKA's avatar

Saying that somebody “allowed” themselves to become obese is like saying that those who are too insensitive to understand are “stupid”. Some things just happen naturally

Dutchess_lll's avatar

It happens methodically @SEKA.

SEKA's avatar

^ I understand that you just can’t help yourself as it happens naturally

Dutchess_lll's avatar

No. It happens methodically. With no thought. I sit and watch people methodically become obese. They order the most calorie heavy meal at at Fast Food joints, and at restaurants.
Then they shovel food in their mouths like this is their last chance to eat for a month.
People at “All you can eat” buffets are the most appetite killing. They load up plate after plate.

SEKA's avatar

Ignorance seems to be empowering as well

Dutchess_lll's avatar

And they don’t want to be educated @SEKA. They want to stick their fingers in their ears and go “Nah nah nah! I can’t hear you!”

LadyMarissa's avatar

Why are you describing yourself Dutch???

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SQUEEKY2's avatar

Oh and @josie this question does indeed make you sound very Republican.

josie's avatar

Give me a chance for self improvement.
Other than evading the issue altogether, how would a Democrat phrase the question?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I am not overweight @LadyMarissa. Are you? And what is your excuse?

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SQUEEKY2's avatar

Things that will help is I try and stay away from processed foods, drink more water , use fake sugar in my coffee,and I still have a weight problem.
Over weight is more complex than the average person realizes, going up to an over weight person and tell them they should lose weight, is about the same as going up to a severely depressed person and telling them they should just cheer up.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I think what gets me is the average idiot does think obesity is just the result of being lazy and not caring.
Not realizing that a lot of over weight people are the way they are due to more reasons than that thyroid issues, arthritis, work stress,and so on, but lets just lump them all together.
It’s easier for the common moron and they can just blame it on lazy, fuck I am surprised you didn’t blame Obama for this as well.

Zaku's avatar

Why?

Thinking of obese people as if they deliberately make a choice to be that way, ... why would someone do THAT, other than that they are either ignorant or insensitive?

Generally it is NOT a deliberate choice.

Some people keep gaining weight even when trying not to, due to a variety of biochemical reasons.

Some people have any of a large number of possible other issues which lead to gaining weight. Some of them are cascading effects that create situations that can be quite challenging to get out of.

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Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III “People at “All you can eat” buffets are the most appetite killing. They load up plate after plate.”

Yeah, isn’t that kinda the point of an all-you-can-eat buffet? If this disturbs you then you could always choose somewhere else to eat.

kritiper's avatar

Generally speaking, people are inherently lazy, and are becoming more so. I’m forever amused by the overweight people who drive around the parking lot looking for a spot close to the door.

ucme's avatar

It used to be said that large people are happy, jolly types…not any more!
I feel genuine sympathy for them & the issues which clearly trouble them.
Only in a world so shitty would society relentlessly mock those who need help most!

tinyfaery's avatar

I used to want to get really fat to piss people off. The fact that something that has no effect on a person can take up so much time and energy in their mind, and make them behave in ways that are cruel and condescending to strangers and people they supposedly care about, seemed like a good way to give a big “fuck you” to such ignoble people. Living rent free in someone’s mind amuses me.

I never did, because it’s too hard to get really big being a vegan.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think it’s part and parcel of the digital age. We’re watching Netflix instead of taking walks or exercising, on our phones instead of running, eating garbage take out instead of home food with veggies, and it’s a much more sedentary lifestyle.

Everyone I know in good shape has to work at it, make time for it, and really focus on it. Not everyone has the money for a gym, not everyone can afford healthy foods, some people work so much to make ends meet, they have no time for anything else.

We all fight our own battles, so for me, it’s better to stay in my lane and not judge. It’s not like fat people don’t know they’re fat, no need to condemn and make them want to die or get more depressed. I’d rather be fat than an ugly human inside with no heart or compassion.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Darth_Algar, I don’t go to an all you can eat buffet to pig out. I go because I like having a choice of food. I go heavy on the seafood and veggies. Obese people go heavy on the fried foods and gravies. And they make multiple trips.

When I see heavy kids and even infants, I get really upset. Someone is forcing those kids to over eat.
I’ve watched people bottle feeding infants put the bottle to the kid’s mouth time and again, after the baby has already indicated that they were full. Eventually the baby will give in just so they’ll stop harassing him or her.
For older kids it’s “Just eat one more bite. YOU CAN’T LEAVE THE TABLE UNTIL YOU TAKE ONE MORE BITE!!”
“Clean your plate! No dessert if you don’t clean your plate!”
It may even be, “Well, do you want an apple pie now? No? Of course you do! Who doesn’t want an apple pie!” Orders an apple pie.

@LadyMarissa I don’t know where, or how, you came to the conclusion that I’m obese, but pretty much everyone here can tell you that I’m not.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III We go to a buffet about twice a year, since we find it pricey for the one plate we can fit in our stomach, but sometimes the crab legs are worth it.

In a way I agree with you, though, there are some really obese people at Golden Corral and other buffet chains, does make you cringe a bit, I admit. Cause it isn’t the salad bar or sushi! lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

For crab legs I have to go to an actual sea food restaurantm like Joe’s Crab Shack (which we don’t have around here.) The occasional crab legs at our Chines buffet are the size of tooth picks.

Jonsblond's avatar

Hey, ladies. Can you discuss your bagels and seafood elsewhere? Pretty please?

chyna's avatar

@squeeky You drive a truck for a living. You don’t get to at least get up and walk down a hall or around your desk several times a day. I think you all have a job that almost forces you to be unable to exercise.

JLeslie's avatar

A lot of women get heavy, because they get married and start eating the same amount of food as their husbands, but the husband is 5–10 inches taller, has more muscle on average, and so the woman packs on the far and pounds. Plus women are made to have more fat. We have more estrogen, we need to be responsible for another life growing inside of us, so nature “brilliantly” gave us the fat storage.

@Dutchess_III I agree with you about the heavy kids, and mostly blaming parents for practically forcing them to eat more, although I would add that some kids simply have the plate of food in front of them and learn on their own to eat a lot. Some kids are just inclined to do it more than others if their parents are eating large portions also. Just the time sitting at the table and high calorie foods they eat too many calories without too much coaxing.

Adults who are accustomed to eating large portions don’t know what a normal calorie plate is. I’ve lost some of my sense to this also.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve put on 20 flippin’ pounds in the last year and a half, and it’s simply because I’ve become insanely lazy. Too much time online is part of it. I used to live a life in which physical labor was just a part of it. No more. I’ve got to break out of this laziness and do something everyday, if nothing more than taking the dog for a walk…but on the other hand, my lower back cramps up at the drop of a hat. Hell, I wheel the recycle bin out to the curb and I’m down for 20 minutes.

I’ve scaled back my calorie intact drastically, and have managed to lose 10 of those pounds. Will continue to work on it. I’m trying to start doing sit ups again. I used to do 70 to 100 every day. I can barely manage 20 now. :(

Patty_Melt's avatar

I can barely walk WITH crutches. I’m talking two minutes to go twenty feet indoors.
If someone touches me, in any way, I can and usually do, go into convulsant spasms. I count myself fortunate that I manage to get out of bed every single day. Many people suffering from the same condition don’t manage as much.

Should it ever happen to you, I hope your weight stays sexy.

canidmajor's avatar

Well, @josie, I’m sure most do it because it always gets your goat. Everybody knows how predictable you are on the subject, and how you can’t go very long without bringing up how much it disgusts you. I also wonder what your definition of “obese” is. I’m 65 and the parameters have changed a lot in my lifetime.

By your standards, I am sure I qualify as obese, but in the real world I’m just kinda fat. None of my medical issues have anything to do with my weight, they were all present before I got this way, and the severity of them has not changed since gaining this weight.

It is apparent that you have very little understanding of the complexity of physiology, metabolism, poverty, food sourcing, availability of medical and mental health resources, etc etc etc.

How hard it must be for you to live in a world where not everyone conforms to your rigid standards.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I admire your bravery, Josie. A lot of people agree with you, you know, but we’re not to say anything.

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canidmajor's avatar

@Dutchess_III “Brave”? Really? I guess it is brave to so boldly express such clichéed ignorance.

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think your definition of “not saying anything” must be different from mine! :-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

My daughter used to have a boyfriend who was terribly obese…but he liked himself that way. He liked being, as he put it, “a big guy.” I can’t even figure that one out.
They broke up, in part because she couldn’t take it any more and, to compound things, they could only have sex one way.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I don’t believe that some people “allow” themselves to be obese as it is a byproduct of in some cases a physical aliment that prevents one from walking etc

I was hit by a car years ago crossing the street, suffered a squashed vertebrae in my lower back which impaired my ability to walk and some times sit or move for about 6 months of which I was placed on “ibuprofen” all that time in recovery.

Apparently with the lack of activity and the medicine had a gaining of weight effect.

It took two years to finally get back in shape and it didn’t happen until I got “off the Ibuprofen”!

Apparently this medicine slows down the metabolism so that the result is rapid weight gain!

I bore the pain when I got off that medicine, but soon lost the weight and back to normal now

plus two years later have maintained it off simply by NOT eating at restaurants or fast food

places.

I eat healthy foods now and continue to keep the excess weight off fine now and losing that weight took off the added pressure on the vertebrae ,hence no more pain and can get around fine now.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Most people are resistant to educating themselves about calories, which is the #1 culprit in weight gain. They just don’t want to even KNOW that French Vanilla Latte has 410 calories. It’s just coffee, right? Right. Coffee is fat free, sugar free and calorie free. Until they add 410 calories worth of fat and sugar to it.

Or a Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Salad. 520 calories. It has more calories than a regular cheeseburger.

Vignette's avatar

For all of those that think lack of exercise is the reason they have extra pounds, I asked one of my employees who recently lost a LOT of weight what she attributed her 60 lb. weight loss to. Her answer was diet. She lost 40 lbs of it in the 2 months after her shoulder surgery when she also modified her diet along the lines of the Mediterranean plan. The surgery prevented her from any workouts and now she watches what she eats and does her 30 mins of elliptical and that’s it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree that calorie intake is the number one cause of obesity, but when you become sedentary, but still eat the same as you used to, you’re going to put on weight.

I had 2 babies 2 years apart. I breast fed for pretty much 4 years straight. Then I quit nursing, and my weight sky rocketed! Nursing takes about 1400 calories a day and I didn’t compensate for that. Lord I put on weight.
I could use the excuse, like so many women do “It’s baby fat. Not my fault. Nothing I can do.”
Bullshit. It was fat fat. I was eating too much. I started playing volleyball 3 times a week.
I lost 40 pounds in a year. That was 30 years ago, and kept it off until recently. Again, this time around, I’m just eating too much for my lifestyle.

Now, I’m heading to McDs for an Egg McMuffin and a Diet Coke because I haven’t eaten today yet.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Again, if this disturbs you then choose somewhere else to eat. Given what you’ve said of your eating habits before I can’t figure why you’d go to a buffet-style restaurant anyway. Don’t you get full from like half a slice of dry toast?

anniereborn's avatar

@Dutchess_III It’s great that you can do that. But you know what? We aren’t you. No one is you. We are ALL different. We have different histories. Different challenges, whether physical, mental or emotional. Some of us have diseases and disorders that make things difficult when it comes to weight issues. Please try to remember that. And any others of you that are being judgmental .

hmmmmmm's avatar

@Dutchess_III: “I lost 40 pounds in a year”

I really wish you’d put this much effort into developing a little compassion. I wish you’d put this much effort into learning about the issue of weight and how it’s not a matter of personal weakness.

Your ableist attitude towards other humans is far greater a problem than obesity.

KNOWITALL's avatar

To be fair, @hmmmmmm, many people think the same as @Dutchess_III, they just don’t say it. Hell, she knows I’m chubby, we met years ago at one of my highest weights and she never tried to make me feel bad or even said a word about it.

I’ve worked with some fitness maniacs who literally tell coworkers they’re fat, or need to come work out, or stop eating that, or you need to stop smoking. @Dutchess isn’t like that.

Darth_Algar's avatar

No, she is like that. She just won’t say it to your face.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar
Heck, ya’ll have seen her and I go at it here a thousand times about politics, abortion, everything, if I thought she was an intentional ass, I’d say so, but she’s not like that imo.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t think you were chubby @KNOWITALL. I noticed that you had red, red hair and blue, blue eyes!

I’ve never called any out for being fat, on the internet or anywhere else, and I never would. I have no idea who, here on Fluther, is overweight and who is not. Therefore I’m not calling anyone out.

How is asking people to educate themselves on calorie consumption being judgemental? Most people just don’t want to know. For that I have no compassion. How can they look at a McDonald’s menu and order a Double Bacon Smokehouse Burger, when it shows it has over 1,130 calories?! And that’s just the hamburger. Then they get a 610 Calorie super size fry, and add 410 calories in a super size pop. And don’t forget the apple pie. And they just want to ignore all the numbers which are right in front of them.
And that’s just for lunch.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III You did, too, cause I asked you not to post it cause I looked fat and you didn’t! haha, see, I remember and I still have that fat ass picture, too! Why do you think I started working on it….lol

You don’t have to defend yourself, you’re saying a lot of it is calorie consumption and all doctors say the same thing, eat less, exercise more. My doc says it every year.

Dutchess_III's avatar

YOU thought you looked fat in the picture. I didn’t. I still have it too. Let me go look again and see if you’re fat….nope. You don’t look fat to me.

seawulf575's avatar

Let’s see…some might be glandular…problems with the thyroid for instance. But that is only a few of the instances of obesity…not the majority. Most times I think it is a combination of things. Ready made, processed foods with lots of calories and almost no nutritional value, sugary drinks, alcohol, too much starches, little to no exercise and certainly no real efforts at it. I think there are many, many things that contribute. But in the end if it is important, most people can do something to correct it.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Fatty foods, are cheaper. There are LOTS of fat people who are also malnourished. Lots of poor people, are overweight. That seems contradictory. But, a $5 pizza, or $ 4 burger, are easier to afford, than a healthy meal.

You have to take into account the person’s caloric output too.

I used to weigh 315 lbs. That was on purpose (when I was bouncing.) It takes hard work, to be big. I had to lift weights, and eat a LOT. If you look at the diet of say, an NFL offensive/defensive lineman, they have to eat a LOT, and often to keep their weight, where their coach wants it.

I read an article on Michael Phelps once. He had to eat ridiculous amounts of food, because he swam, ALL day…

It does kill me, seeing so many obese people. Because I know that the effort they put into being that big, could be transferred to working out…

Dutchess_III's avatar

If fatty foods are cheaper and that’s all you can afford, then eat them. Just eat smaller portions.

Over weight kids hurts me the most. Left to themselves, and offered healthy food, they won’t over eat.

315 isn’t bad for as tall as you were AND working out.
My ex started putting weight on deliberately. He wanted to look like a linebacker, he said. My protests that line backers work out 8 hours a day fell on deaf ears.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Lol. I am 250 lbs now. But I have been told that I carried that extra weight well. It definitely helped, when trying to subdue a person, or fighting.
I feel SO much better now though. My knees, and lower back pain, are much lower.

One of my guys, was maybe an inch taller than me, and he was 340 lbs. I loved having him on my squad. He was a brute. A lot about fighting, has to do with leverage. Having that much mass, makes you pretty much unstoppable. I used to could just pick a man up, and carry him, to the door. I’m not as strong as I was then. I cut out the weights, and eating. But when I was that big, I basically had to bench a couple hundred lbs, just to get out of bed. Big guys are strong, or they couldn’t move around.

I’m faster now, but I don’t have the advantage of weight, I used to. I’m still stronger than most people, but I can’t just take them off of the ground, like nothing. It kind of depresses me…

But I feel so much better, at 6’5 250…

Dutchess_III's avatar

I like it when I’m at a good weight. I just feel good. I

Jonsblond's avatar

@Dutchess You think you have all the answers to this due to your anecdotal evidence but many of us here are telling you it’s so much more than being lazy and overeating. Some of us here are obese, so when you say judgmental things about obese people you are calling us out. Go back and read my first response. Read the others who have given good reasons why people are obese. You are ignoring are reasoned responses.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I didn’t know any one on Fluther was obese.

And eating fewer calories and cutting back on fats and sugars to lose weight is not anecdotal.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Nah, you haven’t called anyone specific out. You’ve only spent this whole thread being judgemental as hell toward overweight people.

anniereborn's avatar

@Dutchess_lll The fact that you eat so little and know all the calorie content from McDonald’s makes me wonder if you don’t have some sort of eating disorder yourself.

And yes, when you are poor you are often at the mercy of places like food pantries. At the one by me, you can come in any time they are open and take as much bread as you want. Hungry people will eat what they can get and often it is carb loaded.
Many of them don’t have steady meals or food intake which causes the body to go into “starvation mode”. It holds on to fat and calories for protection.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Last I remember, over 30% of Americans are obese. Why would you think no one on fluther is obese?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@anniereborn..I have mostly cut McDs out of my calories. Today was the first trip in two weeks. I’m changing my eating habits drastically because I am sick of this flabby shit.

I didn’t say I thought no one on Fluther was obese @JLeslie. I said I don’t know who on Fluther is obese. So how could I be making personal attacks?

Pandora's avatar

There are way too many reasons for obesity. From genetics, to being raised by parents who overfed their children because they associated that with love and kindness, or they fed their children fattening food because they never learned themselves how to eat well.

Another is illness, or some accident that led a slippery slope to inactivity and food became a way of getting comfort, to depression, or a hormonal illness that prevents them from losing weight and either they couldn’t afford a doctor to get treated, or thought it was their fault they are gaining weight even if they do diet. Food is comfort to many of these types of people and sometimes its an escape from depression that also goes without being treated. These usually can’t have their weight issues resolved until they get either physical or psychological medical treatment.

The first step is they have to recognize that it isn’t their fault and they need help. Second, most of the time these are people without insurance. When a person is depressed it’s easier to accept that their body has turned against them, than believe it is their fault. I think deep down those who can seek help don’t want too because they are afraid a doctor will just belittle them and say nothing is wrong with you. Just stop eating junk food. Being there are many doctors who would do this, I can’t blame them. I think a lot of doctors rather say that then really look into a subject they aren’t familiar with.

Of course those of us who have never been morbidly obese may think its easy. It is not. I’ve watched those shows on TV with obese people. It is a painful illness. They do not want to be that way. Many in the beginning only resort to action when the pain outweighs their desire to eat. But it’s a touch and go battle. It’s like imagining that its easy to quit a drug addiction or alcohol addiction or some compulsive behavior with the snap of your fingers. If it isn’t genetic or some physical illness then it’s a mental illness.

Obesity seems to be the one illness that people think its okay to judge. It isn’t. Unlike drugs and or alcohol, you need food to live. Imagine telling an alcoholic that he can have one drink a day for the rest of his life. He will be on the binge again. That is what its like for people who are overweight. You must eat but never overeat. You must eat, but avoid a lot of your favorites.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@Pandora..obesity is not the only “condition” that it seems to be OK to judge. Being slender is open to judgement. So is kids having a melt down in some public place.
So is having too much money, or not enough.

canidmajor's avatar

@Dutchess_lll This question is about obesity. And really, ”Being slender is open to judgement” is just a stupid thing to say in this context.

Pandora's avatar

@Dutchess_lll Anorexia is about the same as this, but I feel so many more people understand it to be a mental condition, where obesity isn’t often viewed that way. People see an anorexic and they think, poor thing. This person has severe mental body issues. They see an obese person, and they think this person is a slob, dirty and disgusting and can’t control themselves and had never met a dessert they didn’t like. No sympathy. Just anger and hatred towards this person and severe judgement.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Nice answer there @Pandora and so true.

JLeslie's avatar

I know more than one woman who was/is anorexic or close to it, and they have a very obese child. Obsessed with food, but at different extremes.

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anniereborn's avatar

@Pandora That is an excellent point. Thank you again.

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canidmajor's avatar

It continues to amaze me that so many people Insisting on pushing the outdated, ignorant, and stereotypical notion that anyone who doesn’t conform to their personal standards of physical acceptability is lazy, slovenly, stupid, etc etc etc.

These are also often the people who cite the nearly two hundred year old algorithm of a statistician who had no degrees in any of the organic sciences as gospel related to weight and health. (BMI, for those wondering.)

They talk about concern for someone’s health without knowing the individual’s health history, but they really are all about the aesthetics.

They even, without any awareness of cultural history, discuss attraction to thin people under the guise of “instinct”.

It is a shame that they let their adherence to over-simplified popular culture trends so shape their own thoughts and feelings, when there is so much information and education on the complexity of so many subjects, literally at their fingertips.

Compassion and wisdom are fueled by knowledge and educated awareness.

SEKA's avatar

^ Some people just refuse to be educated unless it perfectly fits their ideas. As was said before, ignorance is bliss. My husband loves me just like I am and I don’t give a fuck if anybody else wants to look at me or not, so their opinion does not count

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@canidmajor We have had our differences in the past,but I truly wish I could give you a thousand GAs for your last answer.
WELL SAID!

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Since this is in social ,why do people allow themselves to become drug addicts,or alcoholics, or even anorexics ?
They are all preventable,hey lets include bad drivers, they all are a burden on society , harm people and are totally preventable, so why do it?

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I agree with so much of what you wrote just above, but I will say as a counterpoint that it is a problem that many very overweight people think they are a healthy weight when they aren’t. Maybe their blood test numbers look normal at the moment, but being obese is a risk factor for heart disease, cancer, joint problems, and many other ailments.

I’m not on some sort of superiority complex, I have known heart disease risks and I myself don’t eat nearly as healthy as I should for my situation (my risk is high even if I’m thin) my weight has creeped up a lot over the last ten years, and I certainly don’t judge anyone when it comes to eating habits. I don’t think obese people are necessarily lazy or any of those negative things people mentioned.

I do think “Big is Beautiful” in some ways hurt people, because as much as I want people to feel good about themselves and not let their weight influence their self esteem, I do worry that people have a warped sense of what is healthy. Being a statistically normal weight, otherwise known as an average weight, is not a normal healthy weight in our country.

As larger numbers of people are overweight, then there will be even more people overweight, because it’s like a snowball rolling down a hill.

LadyMarissa's avatar

^ I have a friend who weighs 550 pounds. He went to a new doctor 10 years ago & the doctor told him he needed to shed a minimum of 200 pounds or he wouldn’t live another year. Here it is 10 years later & the doctor is dead & my friend is still with us. I don’t see it as my business to stay on his butt to lose weight. He’s happy & a very good friend, so I love him just like he is!!!

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Thought that the collective would like to watch these YouTube videos on strange diets.
Surviving on Pizza for 25 Years
Also freaky eaters full episodes
600 lb life story full episodes

anniereborn's avatar

I find it interesting that my doctor of over ten years only says to me “diet and exercise”. Those exact words, every time. Easy said, not easily done, and that is all the help I get.

If someone with anorexia were to go to their doc, would he just say “eat more” ?
I would LOVE to be in a program, inpatient, outpatient, whatever for those who are binge eaters and the like.

Yes, I know there is OA. There is not one close to me at all. And online meetings just don’t help me in this instance.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What do they do for anorexic people?

anniereborn's avatar

@Dutchess_III I have a niece who is anorexic. She has gone through several inpatient programs. I couldn’t tell you what all they do besides therapy (group and individual), working with a nutritionist, relearning how to eat from the bottom up basically. She is doing fine now, but it took a long time.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie: ”...but I will say as a counterpoint that it is a problem that many very overweight people think they are a healthy weight when they aren’t. Maybe their blood test numbers look normal at the moment, but being obese is a risk factor for heart disease, cancer, joint problems, and many other ailments.”

Who would these people be? Do they say these things to you? Or are they people whom you think are an unhealthy weight and they call themselves healthy? And how does the subject come up? And maybe their numbers come up fine because they are fine. How the hell would you know? Really? Unless you have had in depth conversations with these ”many” people you cite, I ask again, how the hell would you know???

And how are you raising the subject the subject with them? And why are you raising the subject with them? Are you really on such loving and intimate terms with these ”many people” that discussing such things with them is not a gross social gaffe?

Not buying it.

anniereborn's avatar

@canidmajor It is very prevalent in the media. And I agree with JLeslie when it comes to that.
It’s great to be body positive. However I think there is a movement now where “big is beautiful”. Just like anorexic thin models used to be.

Now people are fawning over the models that are big. (not all of course, but it’s a thing). I do not think that is healthy either.

I am obese. My husband loves me the way I am. I know I can still look pretty at times. But it is very unhealthy for me. I need to change it.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I can’t be bothered debating with you. Believe what you will. There are people all around us who are clueless what a normal weight is. Now that a size 6 is the old size 10, women more and more kid themselves. Go in almost any diet group and it’s obvious, I don’t have to say anything. Go into the cultural subgroups that tend to be heavier on average and they will feel they look good and normal at a larger size, but they do have more health problems, some of which you can relate back to weight.

Speaking for myself, I’m shocked how heavy I am when I see a photo of myself, my mirror lies to me in a way that I never imagined. When I first started gaining a lot of weight I lived in TN, there were plenty of people around me that were heavier and I was still the “thin” one. Then I would go back to visit South FL and I was the heavy one at the same weight. How big you see yourself partly matters by location, everything is relative.

My father has been obese my whole life. He always worked hard, was very successful at his career. He has never just laid around the house all day, just the opposite, he gets out every day. He has always been incredibly strong. He’s very smart, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is genius level if he was tested, or close to it anyway. I certainly don’t judge people who are heavy as lazy or in some way inferior. Never have, never will.

SEKA's avatar

Dress size means absolutely nothing. The clothing manufacturers change the dress sizes like they change their underwear. They charge $2 more for an XL and above. Two years ago, XL was the equivalent of a 20/22. Last year an XL was the equivalent of 16/18. Now they are in the process of making an XL the equivalent of a 12/14. A size 12 isn’t obese nor fat but it’s $2 extra for almost ½ the women buying dresses.

If you’re not the one paying their doctor bills, why do you care about their weight? Why should they not feel good about themselves just because you think they are unhealthy? Just because the press says something is so, does that mean that it is the truth? The press has been know to lie to us!

I used to have the perfect doctor. He was pudgy through the middle and he never once told me that I needed to lose weight. Not because I didn’t need to lose weight, but because he understood what it was like to need to lose it vs the will power to lose it. He always told me to eat with some common sense like work toward a well balanced diet, cheat once a week to get it out of my system so I didn’t feel deprived. Keep the salt and sugar to a minimum. Enjoy every bite. He also suggested drinking 1–2 cups water before every meal. People who are not obese do not understand what goes along with being obese, so I think they should just keep their mouth shut unless asked for an opinion. They have their own set of problems and would be highly insulted if told they needed to stop it!

JLeslie's avatar

Just one correction. My dad was overweight my entire life, he was obese a large part of those years, and consistently over the last 15 years. His employer required he stay within a certain weight or BMI or whatever the requirement was then, which meant he periodically would lose some weight to make sure he didn’t get fired, I guess it would be discharged technically. He knew when the health and weight evaluation was coming up, so he would buckle down and lose a little. He needed to be able to fit in a uniform, so he couldn’t get bigger than the sizes available. I’m actually surprised they made the uniforms as large as they did when I think back on it. My dad holds most of his weight in his stomach.

He also had about 3 years he was only slightly overweight, which probably would be an average American weight now. After his bypass surgery he lost a lot of weight, and then they put him in a study regarding diet, and he stuck to it pretty well a couple of years. He was still young (46 turning 47 when he had surgery) and still working, and from my experience, just as everyone warned me, this flipping weight thing gets harder and harder as we age.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I use how my clothes fit me as a gauge of my weight, as much as I use scales.

@SEKA I think the OP’s point about being a burden on medical costs is that some are on state health insurance, which the tax payers pay for, and their weight creates medical problems that wouldn’t otherwise be a problem,such as type 2 diabetes. Same goes for an alcoholic or a drug addict on state health insurance.

JLeslie's avatar

Medical costs affect everyone in society whether paid by out of pocket, taxes, or private insurance. Everyone who pays. The people who pay zero taxes and zero for medical insurance, and don’t pay medical bills, they are the only ones paying nothing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some people have an aversion to anything that sounds like “diet.” My best friend back in Wichita was probably 200 pounds over weight. When I was on a mission to lose 40 pounds, I “invented” a “diet” burrito. It is SO good. I eat it regularly to this day. It’s just a bean and cheese burrito, easy on the beans and easy on the cheese (NOT!!) LOTS of lettuce, tomato, green onions, salsa. Smothered in cheese. (I LOVE cheese!) I told her about it and the instant I called it a “diet burrito” her nose crinkled in distaste and she pronounced it “gross.”

I asked Rick to get me some plain popcorn at the store. Nothing that said, “Butter,” or “Kettle corn” (Sugar.) NOTHING except plain popcorn.
When he returned yet again, empty handed, he said, “I found some, but it said it was endorsed by Weight Watchers. I didn’t think you’d want it.
Sigh.

canidmajor's avatar

Your arguments about medical costs of people who have, essentially, nothing doesn’t seem to take into account that those people are in serious poverty, and/or disabled and are unable and unlikely to have access to healthier foods and are perhaps unable to exercise.
Cheap food is filling and processed and higher in fats.

Complaining that your tax dollars might go to feed or help (medically) someone who is the recipient of aid programs is seriously lacks compassion.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Poor Rick, he tried! :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why the aversion, though?

anniereborn's avatar

@Dutchess_III The aversion to the word diet??? Most people think of that word as “going on a diet”, not what it is you generally eat. Diet plans are notorious for being horrible and unhealthy for you. How is that hard to understand? Why not call it a healthy burrito instead ?

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s exactly what I mean. They get so stuck on some preconceived notion of “diet” that they can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s so self defeating, IMO. They shy away from anything that suggests lo cal.

And not recognizing your daily intake of food as your “diet” is also self defeating.

“Going on a diet” is also self defeating. Going on a diets implies you will eventually go OFF that diet, and right back to the same old, bad eating habits.

Darth_Algar's avatar

That “diet” burrito sounds anything but diet.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor Who are you talking to?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Darth_Algar The majority of it is lettuce and tomato (and cheese! I love cheese!) Whether you think it’s fattening or not, I lost 40 pounds with that as my mainstay.

Darth_Algar's avatar

And what was the overall context behind that 40 lb loss? With no further context this just sounds like those old Subway ads where the implication was that the dude lost weight by eating Subway sandwiches.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I discussed it more above.

All of my life I’ve been a little below average weight, and that was OK. I was healthy and strong.

Then I had 2 kids, 2 years apart, and wound up nursing for, basically 4 straight years. That’ll suck the calories right out of you! 1500 a day or more! I weighed around 125 for that time.
I didn’t realize it, but I’d changed my eating habits to make up for the calories going out in the milk.
Then I quit nursing, rather abruptly :(, but didn’t change my eating habits back to pre-preganancy days and boy, did I blow up! I just turned around and I had put on 40 pounds! AHHH!!

So I ran to my sister who is THE preeminent Diet Queen, and under her instruction I learned how to change my daily eating habits, and to count every calorie I put in my mouth, even how to change my food preferences.
Someone rather sarcastically said something about me having memorized the McDonald’s menu…and in a way that’s true. This was in the late 80s, and we didn’t have Google, so I broke the McD’s food down item by item. I still count calories, but not consciously.
It took a year, but the weight came off and stayed off. And my “Diet Burrito” was a big factor in that.
100 calories for the tortillia
50 for the beans (I spread them thin…beans are fattening, but they’re a good source of protein.)
0 for the lettuce, tomato and onions, and 30 calories for the salsa.
That left me with about….100 calories in cheese.
So, call it 300 calories, it’s delicious, and it is very filling.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Often, just thinking about the calories in what you consume makes a difference.
When I was working overnights, at the Emergency Veterinary Hospital, I would mix a Redbull, with a 32 oz Gatorade, each shift. I switched to sugar free Redbull, and lower calorie Gatorade, and I lost about 10 lbs, in a few weeks. I didn’t think of myself as fat, and worked out 2 hours, every other day. I would even do push ups, on off days. I was in terrific shape. Of course, I was in my 20’s, and had a LOT less miles on me then…

SEKA's avatar

@Dutchess_III Then you should add smokers to the list. Not only is it bad for their health, it makes them smell terrible as well

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Relevant.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

And totally preventable as well! why do it?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why should I add anything? It’s not my question.

But if you want to discuss smokers, I agree. But look at all the things they do to ban smokers from public places. Some smokers bitch about it, but when I smoked I understood perfectly, and didn’t mind.
I, personally, don’t care if people smoke around me.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Maybe the government, could reduce taxes on lower calorie foods, and increase taxes on highly caloric foods?

Darth_Algar's avatar

I don’t know how it is in other states, but here in Illinois pretty much all food is taxed at the same rate (1% for general grocery items, 6% for items already prepared for consumption). So I’m not sure that would make much difference. Not when the entire food production/distribution industry is set up to favor cheap and filling, but not necessarily healthy, foods.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I agree. But, I would love to have a nice big salad, instead of two burgers for $5…
I walk through the frozen food isles, and some of the sweet stuff I see, is astonishing. The stuff can have 1,000 calories (not accounting for fats,) by the scoop. That’s insane, to me…

I’m not sure what affect taxes would have on diet. I was just thinking about a possible solution.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It wouldn’t have any effect on diet. If, as @JLeslie suggested, people are addicted nothing will have any effect.

anniereborn's avatar

@Dutchess_III People who are addicted to other substances get help and get better all the time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I meant putting a tax on high calorie food wouldn’t have any affect on people if they’re addicted to that kind of food.

I just reread my last line, and I stand corrected. That’s not what I meant to say.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I understood. I still think that price would make a difference. I have worked in retail before. When prices are lower, people buy more.
I don’t think that most people are addicted to high calorie foods. I think a lot of people need cheap food, and fast. I can survive on two burgers, or a pizza, at $5 a day. That’s trash food. But it’s affordable. I wouldn’t be eating it so frequently, if it were more expensive. I get coupons, in the mail, for almost every fast food place. I use them, and do additional exercise, to compensate.

I didn’t eat, for which days, before Thanksgiving. Because I knew I would consume lots of calories. I’m not suggesting that others adopt such behavior, but it is how I treat my diet. I gained almost 10 lbs, from Thanksgiving leftovers. Time to do work, and shed the fat…

anniereborn's avatar

I don’t think people are addicted to high calories, but sugar is a thing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, there are 50 calories in just 1 tablespoon of sugar.
100 calories in a tablespoon of fat.
Our desserts are loaded with fat and sugar and they taste so good, it’s easy to get addicted.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it’s 120 in a tablespoon of oil. Butter is probably a little less.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I use rough counts, and round up. To difficult to remember subtle differences in oils and margarine and butters along with the thousands of other foods out there. To me, with few exceptions everything is 25, 50, 75, 100, 150. Easy to add up.
An egg, 100 calories.
A piece of bread, 100 calories.
Add butter (a little more than a teaspoon) 75

After checking further, think I should amend my oil count to 150 per tablespoon, no matter what kind of oil, including butter (which has substantially fewer calories than oil, but then again, we don’t usually eat the oil directly, like we do with butter.)

JLeslie's avatar

^^I do the same. I have about 15 items that I roughly know the calorie count and I round up.

MrGrimm888's avatar

An average person, needs 2,000 calories, per day. It depends on their caloric output. Lots of variables…

Dutchess_III's avatar

It does have a lot of variables. My calorie requirement used to be about 1500, when I was active. I aim for 1200 a day now.

JLeslie's avatar

At 1200 I’d be skinny mini. Too bad I can’t stick to a diet like that. Lol. Actually, 1800 is a good weight for me. I wish I could stick to that!

@Dutchess_III you’re counting all calories including drinks in the 1200? That’s very few calories. Are you short?

MrGrimm888's avatar

Fats, can make up for calories.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. I’m not short. I’m 5’ 7” @JLeslie. And of course I count everything I drink. Why wouldn’t I? A calorie is a calorie, no matter where it comes from.

@MrGrimm888, fats have 150 calories in one little tablespoon.

JLeslie's avatar

1200 calories 5’7” is nothing. I’m 5’6” and I’d be a rail.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s my target goal. I still have 10 pounds to lose.

I am curious as to why you asked if I counted the calories of things I drink @JLeslie?

JLeslie's avatar

^^Just such a low number, and I know some people who aren’t counting their glass of wine or coffee with sugar and milk, etc. Like it’s some sort of free calories. Lol.

So, are you saying that’s your diet calories not your usual calorie intake?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I am not on a diet. I don’t do diets. I’m working to tweak my daily intake to conform to my new, less active self.

Many people don’t think to count their liquid calories. That’s a huge trap. There are150 calories in one can of regular pop, and many people have these huge refillable cups they carry around that can hold 2 or 3 cans of pop.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I stopped by a convience store to grab an tea. Since we’ve had this discussion I’ve noticed calorie counts on stuff I normally wouldn’t pay attention to, unless I was going to eat it.
I glanced at the Sweet Tea pot. They had the calories listed. I’m pretty good at guessing, but those numbers blew me away

No listing for a small
Medium was 412 calories.
Large 605
Extra large 715 CALORIES!
100% from sugar because plain tea has no calories.

Man alive.

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