Social Question

josie's avatar

When using descriptive terms, should we say "fat" or "obese"?

Asked by josie (30931points) August 3rd, 2010|main|dl10|link5|
This little advertisement for an internet site poses an interesting question.
It gets down to this – which word, fat, or obese, might be more effective in giving such folks a wake up call? I think fat is pretty descriptive, whether or not it is motivational. What do you think?

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28 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

Oh my gosh…remember the last time we got into this. Where is Pdworking? loll

Either should work!

ucme's avatar

I would imagine fat would hurt more. Obese sounds more clinical, detached.

Frenchfry's avatar

Fat! Yep. That hurts worse.

janbb's avatar

I don’t think anyone needs to be called either fat or obese as a wake-up call; I think they are well aware of their bodies.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m sure overweight people know they are overweight without some asshole (or should I use dick) thinking they need to point it out.

CMaz's avatar

How about BIG BONED?

Pandora's avatar

Personally I think obese hurts more. Every time I hear the word I imagine someone who may weigh about 300 lbs and horribly out of shape. Where as with fat I imagine someone who is a few lbs over that can possibly be helped with exercising and a lighter diet but otherwise may be healthy.
Obese says unhealthy in everyway. I know you can be lighter than 200 and obese but you can still be within a proper weight if you are tall or extremely muscular.

breedmitch's avatar

person of size

YARNLADY's avatar

Obese is a medical term that indicates a person has excess body fat to the point it is medically unhealthy.

Fat is a term that means a person exceeds the standards that have been set by the medical community for optimal performance.

In everyday use, they are considered interchangeable, although to most people “obese” is worse than “fat” to your health, but less painful to hear.

Austinlad's avatar

Should we characterize people by their body weight at all except for medical reasons ???

SeventhSense's avatar

There’s no getting around it…........

BoBo1946's avatar

@breedmitch good show chap! had to scroll up to see if this was the social section! loll

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Fat used to be when a person looked puffy or had a chubby belly but now obese people think they’re just “fat” and “fat” people think they’re normal. Those of us who maintain our figures are treated as if we’re the abnormalities, somehow starving ourselves out of a good and healthy life. Such BS.

Keysha's avatar

Since when did hurtful or hateful words ever help anyone?

DominicX's avatar

I was always under the impression that “obese” is a more technical term, referring to someone who is very overweight and has a very high BMI. “Fat” is just a colloquial term referring to someone who’s overweight.

perspicacious's avatar

It’s not my (or your) job to give an overweight person a wakeup call.

stardust's avatar

In terms of a wake-up call, neither.

SeventhSense's avatar

Since when are fat people an oppressed minority. If you’re fat you’re fat. Don’t avoid the truth. Fat and obese are not racial slurs regardless if some use them with a hurtful intent.

Speaking of race that reminds me of a story:
I remember once in conversation with a couple of black girls and someone said to one of them: “Well you know you have a fat ass”. I immediately shot back, “No you don’t!” “It’s not fat it’s fine.” Thinking I did a gentlemanly thing and protecting her from this painful blow to her ego, I just smiled with pride yet not before she fixed me with a contemptuous glare. She spat out, “It is SO fat!” “Why you sayin’ that?” Utterly flabbergasted and not realizing that her fat ass was a source of pride in her community, I simply shook my head and returned to the skinny white girls at the adjacent table.

SeventhSense's avatar

Maybe we should substitute Phat. Seems to have less of a sting.

Dewey420's avatar

i don’t think it matters if talking to a skinny person.. maybe aerodynamically challenged if not.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

How do medical journals differentiate? I’ve always seen fat and obese as two different states of “heavy”.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

The real in the deal is as that one mayor said we are becoming a nation of whoosies. Certain groups or people get called outside their name while others are not called what they are for fear of offending them. The US has gone PC to the ridiculous almost. I believe you call it what it is, if it is fat, it is fat.

tinyfaery's avatar

A dick is a dick is a dick, as well, I guess.

janbb's avatar

@psychocandy Well, some dicks are more equal than others. Just sayin’

tinyfaery's avatar

Hee hee. I guess I don’t think about that. No dicks for me. :)

janbb's avatar

Hee hee.

breedmitch's avatar

Hee hee. Whoosies.

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