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Julie Leon

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Why is it so acceptable to pick on fat people? What's behind the media's attack on fat?

The media seems to be obsessed with fat. Fat people are pictured as having less value in our society. They are ridiculed and discriminated against. The worse part of it is that society is beginning to view anyone who doesn't fit the classic body mold, as fat. News channels will run stories on the evils of being a bully. Then they run 2 more stories about how fat people are draining society. Who's the real bully?

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    Jul 28 2012: I view this in the same way I see smokers and binge drinkers etc etc. If you've got a disease or a condition which forces this weight and fat onto you well that's ok we'll try and cure it but fair enough there's nothing you can do. But to the lazy and down right ignorant people who just eat and do nothing because they have a "It's my body" mentality, I really can't stand them, because when they have to go to the hospital for a heart attack at 30 or receive treatment for every kind of disease or condition associated with obesity it's my money that's spent on you. It's my money that is wasted treating something which could have been completely avoided if they'd have taken responsibility for their bodies. Now as I live in the UK my experience of obesity is minimal, but the US which I've been to once shocked me. Their's entire families who have mobility scooters because they're so big they can't walk, though without knowing if they've a condition I can't outright condemn, but if that was in the UK and it was a result of sheer ignorance I'd be furious because it would be tax payer money that got those scooters, tax payers money providing diabetes treatment probably for all the family.
    This unhealthy cycle creates even more obese people who strain the NHS even more. Currently obesity costs the NHS £4 billion each year and is expected to reach £6.3 billion. I can easily think of better places for all that money.
    Same logic for smokers, they cost the NHS £5billion currently.
    Also being that fat isn't natural if yo were that big and were unlucky enough to be in a survival of the fittest situation you'll be the first to die.
    And you hear stories of people being taken out of their house via forklift after a wall was taken down, it's just awful. I blame the parents as well for it.
    And to clarify, it's not ok to make fun of fat people, but at the same time it shouldn't be socially acceptable.
    • Jul 28 2012: The NHS has total cost round about 115 billion a year, if obesity pulls 5, and smokers 4 billion, there is still 106 billion left. Be sure you would not even notice it in your pocket if all obese and smoking people would dissapear over night...

      And if talking about diabetes, there is multiple types of, sorted into two groups called type 1 and type 2. And now comes the funny part, there is no scientific evidence, that diabetes is obesity resulted. Type 1 happens mostly in juvenile or young adult age, and most of these patients are thin. Type 2 who is often seen in obese people is also seen in non obese people, what makes it hard to make to blame it on obesity, as there are lots of obese without type 2.

      Just that it is seen more often does not make it an evidence (specially when you see it happen on the same time to people that do not show the risk factor)-it is the same argument like saying most of all rapists are right-handed males, there must be a coherence, we should preventive amputate the right hand of all male persons right after their birth.
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        Jul 28 2012: So what don't try and reduce costs? Even though it's not a huge fraction of the NHS's bill it's still 10 billion that could go elsewhere and that money isn't to be sniffed at. And also those costs were figures for direct actions taken to fix or cure conditions which were put down to obesity or smoking, it ignored indirect cases or follow up treatment or side programs etc etc.
        And thanks for the diabetes info, but it still is true that obesity does lead or at least has good evidence to suggest that it leads to more health problems or increases your risk of getting such problems dramatically.
        And it just annoys me that that's the one body these people will ever receive and that's the way they choose to use it. Like I'm all for eat what you want but don't let yourself get to the stage where you need help to get out of a chair. I eat endless amounts of junk but I still keep myself for and healthy.
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    Jul 29 2012: Media is the hypocrite. Always against bullying, but their own practices are nothing more than bullying. Society tries to force the ideal image that changes every year.
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    Jul 29 2012: We have developed this image of "beautiful" people. Actors and actresses, models, jet set, are all clothed in "created" and "designer" cloths. For others there are moo moos. Cartoons show heavy people as obsticles and a hinderance to progress. Poems depict heavys as "tubby, tubby two by four". Movies show the heavy person with four or five plates on the table in front of them giving the impression that it is their fault that they are fat ... it is a choice.

    The latest push is from the white house. Not an original idea as we had a program under President Kennedy to inolve all student in physical fitness. The Surgeon General is not so kind and brings the cost of being fat to the table. He could address it as a unhealthy attribute that would decrease life span but insults seem to be his style. Under Obamacare failure to lose weight as directed would cost you your health benefits.

    There are many reasons medically to cause obeasity. The cause needs to be addressed.

    As bad as it sounds the media is the whipping boy of the rich and famous and is controlled by politics. Pictures of the slim, rich, deb is on page one. The first lady says don't smoke and a photo of the pres lighting up is in the article.

    The media has no conscience or ethics they just follow orders of the editors and owners. The chart in the doctors office may also be part of the problem. At my height my desired weight would make me a twig. I was never that weight since the sixth grade. Look at that chart the next time you visit your doctor.

    To just blame the media is not fair. It starts with kids and is spread across the spectrum.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Jul 29 2012: Fat, is a choice. "I choose to consume more calories than I burn, while other people starve". It is not a positive moral choice, and it should not be seen as neutral or acceptable. Everyone would rather be healthy than unhealthy. Should women be starving themselves? No.

    Can every human being make themselves into an attractive an healthy person? Yes. Should they? Of course, why wouldn't you. We pick on fat people because if we keep telling them that it's genetics, and disease, and "they can't do it on their own"... then they won't.

    I was picked on for being fat my whole life, and it did not motivate me to lose weight. What motivated me to lose weight was growing up. I don't pick on fat people now that I can... but I dont' feel sorry for them. No one wants to be fat. Everyone wants to be attractive and healthy. You only get one vessle, make it a good one.

    Fat people are lazy, it's not a stereotype, it is proven by their appearance. Much how it's been proven that women with fake tits, have fake personallities.
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    Jul 29 2012: Because we are hard-wired deep down in the squishy-gray motherboard to be socially interdependent. We are tribal animals and each of us is strengthened or weakened by behaviors and traits that strengthen or weaken the group. Being obese is a liability (from the millions of years when we measured that in terms of being slower runners & worse hunter-gatherers, to modern settings where we see more sick days, lower productivity/energy levels, etc.). We therefore exert social pressure on those individuals to improve (i.e., to reduce their perceived liability).
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    Jul 28 2012: People are judgmental of others. I believe social media has amplified that aspect of judgmental-ness even more. But the people who are fat need to realize that, "you know what, I am fat, but so what? That doesn't change what kind of person I am, and it shouldn't hurt my self-esteem." And as for the other people who make fun of people who are fat, they need to realize that just because someone else is fat, doesn't make that person any worse than themselves. Both parties are at fault, but if one of the parties can change their act, then so can the other party.

    As for the news and media in general, they're just a reflection of the mass people themselves. Sure, they make fun of people and all, but that's only because that's what enough people want to see. If no one wants to watch the news for their judgmental-ness of fat people or celebrities, then the news will just die out naturally.
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      Jul 29 2012: I completely disagree James... If you are fat, it should hurt your self esteem, and it does, whether you like it or not. Everyone would like to be attractive for their lover, and themselves and the only thing stopping it, is their own laziness.

      My parents are both overweight. I grew up the fat kid who got picked on, and my parents told me it was just how I was built, and my genetics... In my junior year of high school, I grew six inches, and was still fat. I was "genetically predestined" to be short and fat... I got my first college degree, at 280 lbs... at 6'2".

      I realized as I got older, that "genetics", and "diseases" are nonsense. I now weigh 175 lbs, and I actually still think I need to work out a bit more. In the words of Neille deGrasse Tyson "A physics dieting book would be one sentence long... Burn more calories than you consume"

      It's not rocket surgery. The world produces enough calories of food, for every human being to survive... Instead, some people starve, and some are fat. If you're fat... Work on it, it's a problem.
      • Jul 29 2012: When carried to its logical extent, Mr. Tyson's "Burn more calories than you consume" leads only to death. No system in the universe can give up more energy than it takes in, & continue to exist; I'm surprised he wouldn't know this.
        And how would you really know if you're burning more calories than you're taking in - because of some flyer on the wall that has some official numbers in a column?? Does a Twinkie have the same kind of calories a carrot does? (Does a Twinkie contain more nutrition than body-destroying chemicals?)

        I think it's Born to Run author Christopher McDougall who talks about the body's two modes of burning/saving fat, (burn fat & run quick / or save fat & survive famine). Add to that our modern time-saving appliances, motorized transportation, addictive additives, & comfy chairs, and there's a recipe for "fat & lazy." It seems the only "antidote" for this is an aire of shame & disrespect for being fat.

        Sure it's nice to have a healthy, natural body weight. But it's also nice to live in a mentally-healthy, balanced society; which brings us also to the lazines of thought & morality. Someone once said that accepting popular opinions takes no real thought at all. If you ain't willing to look deeper than someone's fat or skinny, then you're never gonna know them well-enough to be any decent lov-er - you're just gonna be scratching your own itch.
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          Jul 29 2012: I'm sorry, myself and Mr. Tyson seem to be under the assumption that a logical human bieng would stop taking the advice of a diet book once it ceased to be fat. Personally I'd move on to a nutrition or sports fitness book...

          If you're 30+ lbs overweight however... You were 20 lbs overweight, and you knew what you were eating. You chose to go from twenty pounds overweight to thirty... It didn't just sneak up on you.

          People know what they're eating. They know how they're getting fat, and it's not disease, it's choosing the television over exercise. It's almost impossible to stay fat if you get 20 minutes of exercise a day, and don't intentionally over eat.

          I lost a hundred pounds by simply choosing not to be fat and lazy for the rest of my life. I choose not to plop my fat ass on top of my lover every night and expect her to "deal with it".

          If you're not willing to stay healthy, you probably don't deserve to be in a relationship... It's almost the least you could do.
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        Jul 29 2012: Well I've heard suicide cases where they got bullied so hard in school because they are fat. While you may not have taken such a drastic measure like suicide, that doesn't mean that other people will. Some people when they react to the bullying or picking, they just keep eating as an act of their own grief. Some people are sorry-eaters, I guess you can say. Other people may be followers and a little more pragmatic. They may realize that their being fat causes a lot of problems in their lives, so it must be fixed for me to improve.

        So sure there's a lot of reasons for people to want them to not be fat, but bottom line is, people shouldn't forget what kind of person the fat person is. Fat doesn't make someone a bad person. I've known some of the best people in my life who are fat, and I've known some real douches in my life who are also fat. But I would never contribute their characters to fat, cuz everyone is more than just fat.