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  #1    
Old July 27th, 2013 (09:05 AM).
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Making overweight or obese people feel bad about their bodies doesn’t do anything to motivate them to lose weight – actually, a new study finds it does just the opposite.

People who felt discriminated against because of their weight were more likely to either become or stay obese, finds a new report published this week in the journal PLoS ONE.

“Weight discrimination, in addition to being hurtful and demeaning, has real consequences for the individual’s physical health,” says study author Angelina Sutin, a psychologist and assistant professor at the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, Fla.

It’s a funny cultural paradox: Most American adults – around 70 percent -- are overweight, and more than a third are obese. And yet research – not to mention popular culture – shows that we perceive obese Americans to be lazy, unsuccessful schlubs with no will power.

In a real-life example, just last month, evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller tweeted, “Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth.”

Part of the 2011 "Stop Child Obesity" campaign in Georgia.
AP
One of the ads from the the 2011 "Stop Child Obesity" campaign in Georgia.
Miller, an associate professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico, quickly deleted the tweet and apologized, but many don’t feel they need to be sorry for saying cruel things to overweight people – they’re just concerned about the person’s health, that’s all! A 2011 public health campaign in Georgia used that idea in a series of ads designed to fight childhood obesity, featuring chubby, sad-looking kids with slogans like “Big bones didn’t make me this way. Big meals did.”

"It’s almost like obesity is the last of the acceptable groups to be teasing," says Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News health and diet editor. Being biased about the overweight or obese, she says, is still very socially acceptable.

Research has already shown that stigmatizing overweight people leads to psychological factors that are likely to contribute to weight gain – things like depression or binge eating. This new paper takes that a step further, linking what the Internet likes to call “fat-shaming” to weight gain and suggesting that you can’t scare people skinny.

“Stigma and discrimination are really stressors, and, unfortunately, for many people, they’re chronic stressors,” says Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. Puhl has studied weight bias and discrimination for 13 years. “And we know that eating is a common reaction to stress and anxiety -- that people often engage in more food consumption or more binge eating in response to stressors, so there is a logical connection here in terms of some of the maladaptive coping strategies to try to deal with the stress of being stigmatized.”

Researchers assessed the body mass index (a way of measuring body fat based on height and weight) of 6,157 people, all Americans ages 50 and older, in 2006 and 2010. The people they studied were a mix of sizes -- normal weight, overweight and obese. But they found that the overweight people who reported experiencing weight discrimination were more than twice as likely to become obese by the next check-in in 2010. And people who were already obese in 2006 were three times more likely to remain obese by 2010 if they had experienced weight discrimination.

“Many people, from your sister-in-law to ethics professors, think that the road to weight control runs directly through shame and humiliation,” bioethicist Art Caplan, the head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center and an NBC News contributor, said in an email. “Common sense says that this is not likely to be true. Now this important study demonstrates that discriminating and shunning those who are fat does nothing to help them lose weight.”

One of those ethics professors Caplan is talking about is Daniel Callahan, who in January wrote an editorial arguing that one way to fight obesity in America might be to increase social pressure on the very heavy. He says this new study adds to what is a “very confused situation.”

“I suspect that in our society people who are seriously overweight -- not mildly, but seriously -- do feel at a disadvantage, do feel that they’re open to discrimination, do feel that people look down on them,” Callahan says. He wonders if some obese people are internalizing those feelings, and then acting accordingly, making a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. “I’m 83 years old, and I’ve heard for years (about) age discrimination and bias against aging. I haven’t seen that at all. But an awful lot of old people basically lose self-confidence, and it begins to interact with what they think the rest of the world is saying about them.”

If stigmatizing isn’t the way to fight obesity, what about the effect of naming obesity a “disease,” as the American Medical Association did last month? It’s too early to tell, Puhl says, but she has a good feeling about it. “I think time will tell. I think that there is reason to think it will be helpful -- that this could potentially reduce stigma because it may help remove blame that is so often put on people,” Puhl says. “But I think we need to observe this over time to see what happens.”

Moving forward, she hopes that research like this can help public health campaigns “shift focus from just a number on the scale” to a conversation focusing more on individual health. “We want people to engage healthy behaviors, regardless of their body size.”

“Obesity remains a complex problem—part choice and free will mixed in with a smidgen of genetics, sedentary lifestyles and a whole lot of promotion and advertising of fast food, sugary food, high-caloric food and junk food,” Caplan said via email. “It would be nice if guilt was the magic bullet to weight control. It isn't. Nothing is. It took a long time and a lot of bad habits to get the way we are in terms of size and, short of a pharmaceutical miracle, it will take public and heath policy attacking a lot of variables for a long time to slim us back down.”
As someone who is overweight, I have experienced fat shaming very often in my life, and let me tell you, the study's right. Telling me I'm fat or need to lose weight makes me more likely to eat; it's psychological. It's a bit worrying that it's taken people this long to figure it out, but still—at least the information is available to the public now.

What do you guys think?
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Old July 27th, 2013 (09:21 AM).
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I'm weightier than I have been in the past and I've noticed people do change how they talk to you so this all rings true to me. It is distressing and when I (and many people I know) get stressed we get unhealthy physically and mentally. I know what I need to do to be healthy, but when I don't have time or energy to exercise, when there are all these sedentary distractions (like the internet) and cheap and easy bad for you foods, it's hard sometimes and having other people out there berating you for something you already know is irritating and depressing.
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  #3    
Old July 27th, 2013 (09:26 AM). Edited August 6th, 2013 by twocows.
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Anyone who doesn't have a severe glandular issue (which can usually be fixed with medicine; if not, plastic surgery is an option) can choose to become healthy and attractive by eating right and setting up a proper exercise regiment. Don't blame others for your own lack of determination. If you choose to be fat, that's fine, but there are consequences to living that lifestyle. Take responsibility for your actions and own up to it. As long as people aren't outright insulting you about it, they're doing nothing wrong and you're just projecting your own problems onto others.

If they are outright insulting you about it, tough luck. There are jerks in the world and they will be jerks regardless of your appearance. Grow some skin.

EDIT:
Post comment by Anonymous
"Grow some skin." Bro, he made it clear that this kinda talk is what turns him off.

I feel like you completely skipped over everything else I wrote. No matter who you are or what you look like, there are going to be people in the world who are going to be rude to you. This is part of life, and if you do not adapt and learn to cope with it, you are going to be in for rough times. This is even more true if you're going to engage in a lifestyle that people tend to make fun of. That's just reality; some people are jerks, especially if you're different. Either you find a way to deal with it (e.g., by growing some skin) or you'll end up way too stressed over what a few idiots think of you. At the end of the day, what should matter is your own opinion, anyway. If you're fine with the way you're living your life, you shouldn't really care what some random jerk thinks. If you're not fine with it, then try to change your lifestyle to something you can be proud of. If you're having trouble, then sure, reach out and try to ask for help. Someone like that who is trying to better themselves, I have no problems helping along.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (09:42 AM).
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Originally Posted by twocows View Post
Anyone who doesn't have a severe glandular issue (which can usually be fixed with medicine; if not, plastic surgery is an option) can choose to become healthy and attractive by eating right and setting up a proper exercise regiment. Don't blame others for your own lack of determination. If you choose to be fat, that's fine, but there are consequences to living that lifestyle. Take responsibility for your actions and own up to it. As long as people aren't outright insulting you about it, they're doing nothing wrong and you're just projecting your own problems onto others.

If they are outright insulting you about it, tough luck. There are jerks in the world and they will be jerks regardless of your appearance. Grow some skin.
I'm guessing you've never experienced depression, anxiety attacks, or any other type of emotional disorder or abuse. I'm also guessing you have no idea how severe and debilitating these disorders are, and how they can greatly affect a person's lifestyle.

As an in-training corrections counselor, I've seen people from all walks of life who have many different stories to tell. Obesity is one of them. The "take responsibility for your own actions" idea only goes so far, and it doesn't work for everyone. Some people are not cognitively or emotionally able to take care of themselves. Others eat to comfort themselves because of their life situations. There are some who simply enjoy eating, but most of the time it's a symptom of a larger problem.

Human beings are social creatures, and the opinions and thoughts of others, no matter how much we'd like to deny it, affect us greatly and how we behave. When we insult, vilify and treat others differently or with malice, we distance and divide that group from regular society. In doing so, we only increase the behavior that caused society to reject them in the first place. Mental and emotional abuse should never be regarded as "tough luck". It's a very serious problem, and it doesn't just affect the obese.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (10:43 AM). Edited July 27th, 2013 by The Dark Avenger.
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I found an interesting non-scientific article. It speaks to as to why obese and overweight people are more scarce in Japan. Citing societal pressure as one of the reasons. Perhaps there is a difference in the societal pressure of the US vs Japan as far as body shape goes. Though, there is fat shaming in america, there exists a lot of tolerance, more than Japan by far. It's simply not acceptable to be obese in Japan. For example, at my "all-american" family reunions stress eating heaps of food. If I eat two burgers without the bun, as well as a salad, corn-on-the-cob, and a baked potato, I can expect to be berated. "That's all yur gonna eat!...Why don't you like bread?!...Come on, one slice of pie won't hurt you." My dad seriously brought me a piece of cheesecake and said it was healthy since it was "just cheese" :/ I seriously feel like these people are related to Paula Dean, and they are not from the South! It doesn't matter how many times I say "no thanks", I am continual questioned for not eating the same way as they do. It is one of the societal pressures to eat socially like this in the US, to eat like an American, along with a divergent culture to eat smaller portions. I don't think its the societal pressure to be thin, or fat shaming that is at the core of the problem, it is the disparity between the two societal pressures that aggravates the issue, creates the shame and conflicting instructions. Whereas there appears to be less divergence of pressure in regards to Japan and food consumption, and thus, obesity is a non-issue for the general public.

I agree with Twocows on the point about genetics or medical issues as an excuse. This enables obesity/overweight people to feel as if they have NO CONTROL, and thus they won't even attempt to change their eating or exercise habits; thus, these people are hindered by false claims and adds to their depression and frustrations (as well as health consequences of being obese/overweight). Those who truly have a condition are in the very scant minority. Though I might add that we need to address the societal factors that play into sedentary and compulsive eating behaviors to make an effective change.


Spoiler:
"Why are people thin in Japan:

Peer pressure. Japanese society is largely based on how one fits comfortably and unabrasively into society, way more so than most Western societies. There is a huge amount of peer pressure to conform, and the pressure on women in particular to stay slim is tremendous.

More unplanned movement. Usually people who live in Japan, especially the urban and suburban areas, just have to move a lot more. Cars aren’t practical at all except for longer trips, so almost everyone commutes by public transportation. That’s not to say there aren’t any gyms and such (there are, tons of them) but people just naturally get more exercise than in a typical American city.

Portions are way smaller. This is true in general, despite recent supersizing trends. There are Mega-Burgers and Extreme Meals and all of that, but the average portion sizes are still quite a bit smaller than in the U.S.


Japan Fat: Once You Move out of the Country, Things Change


A common complaint amongst Japanese people who go to live in another country, especially the U.S., is that a pretty substantial weight gain is almost inevitable. I haven’t been able to find any formal studies of this, but time and again I hear about people gaining around 15 to 20 pounds within a year or so after moving away from Japan. It’s not the Freshman 15, it’s the kaigai seikatsu (overseas living) 15. The author of Japanese Women Don’t Get Old Or Fat starts off with a personal anecdote about how she gained 25 pounds after moving to the U.S. One of the bestselling diet books in Japan, Tatakawanai daietto: Waga musume wa koo****e yaseta! (“The Fight-free (struggle-free) diet: My daughter lost weight this way!”) is based around the theme of a food and health journalist helping his daughter who came back “with a fat body” after a year of study in Arizona. (She’d gained about 10 kilograms, or 22 pounds.)"


When I am parent, I will not allow refined sugar, diary, or processed grains (not processed "whole grains" either) in the house. At a young age we begin to formulate life-long eating patterns.
For them, only fruits, vegetables, actual whole grains, and meat (preferably local). I take issue with parents that shroud their children with cheap and unhealthy food in large quantities as if they are "rewarding" or "treating" their children. In actuality, they causing nothing but harm.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (10:59 AM).
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I can understand why a lot of people who are thin would see obese and overweight people as using the excuse of "medical issues" or "glandular problems" to justify why they are the way they are. However, I've rarely seen this practiced by overweight and obese people that I've known and worked with; usually it's because of upbringing, emotional/mental problems, or some other factor. Yes, we can have control over our bodies, but after a certain point we are relatively helpless. Ever tried dieting? If you have, you've probably experienced the yo-yo effect of losing weight and gaining it back, usually with more pounds added. I've tried over twenty different diets in my short lifetime, and although I'm not obese (I'm about 20lbs overweight) I've had extreme issues losing weight and keeping it off. At some point, a lot of people simply give up because what they've tried hasn't worked. You can tell someone to "suck it up" or "grow a thicker skin" or "just do it, it isn't that hard" but the truth of the matter is the exact opposite. It IS very difficult.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (11:03 AM).
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I think Japanese parents are more involved with their kids' wellbeings then North Americans are. They may be brainwashed from a young age how to lead a healthy lifestyle. I also think they prepare food at home most of the time while North Americans rely on fatty take-out.

I have a bad thyroid and fatty genes. My dad raised me on fast food. I should be taking levothyroxin for my thyroid since it'll help speed up my slow metabolism rate, thus helping me lose weight. Aside ALL of that, I've still managed to lose 16lbs in about seven or eight weeks because I was motivated to do so. My genes are against me. My disease is against me. Years of fat shaming only made me wallow in this body that makes me unhappy. The ONLY reason I'm doing it now is because my friends are on weight loss missions, too, so I have the support and environment to do so and feel like I've achieved something. I may have had unhealthy eating styles because of how I was raised, but I'm 20 (almost 21) now so I can change it now. No excuses. Imagine what I'd be at if I was on my meds!

I do believe being fat is a choice when you hit around my age because you're independent now and should be mature enough to make good decisions on your own. Prior to that, it's more the parents' fault. If you're still overweight/obese at 25, and you don't have a serious condition to explain it, then it's really your own fault. People shouldn't treat overweight people differently, though, becaude their choice doesn't really affect you... Unless they're waltzing around nakee or half-nakee or something.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (11:08 AM).
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I would say from my time living in Japan that just the fact that you walk and move around more is enough to make lots of people thinner. I didn't restrict myself to Japanese portions if I didn't feel like it, and I had plenty of unhealthy food, but I became much thinner.

I don't mean to dismiss what you eat completely, but moving around on foot is something completely different from my normal experience living in America. When I went to London last month I noticed that there very few overweight people and I attributed that to the fact that people have to walk a lot there.

And the whole "you choose to be fat" thing is totally off base. It's like saying "you choose to be depressed".
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Old July 27th, 2013 (01:56 PM).
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I agree with Twocows on the point about genetics or medical issues as an excuse. This enables obesity/overweight people to feel as if they have NO CONTROL, and thus they won't even attempt to change their eating or exercise habits; thus, these people are hindered by false claims and adds to their depression and frustrations (as well as health consequences of being obese/overweight). Those who truly have a condition are in the very scant minority. Though I might add that we need to address the societal factors that play into sedentary and compulsive eating behaviors to make an effective change.
To be honest, pointing this out isn't really a smooth move. I mean, you didn't say anything explicitly but you're still giving people the wrong idea - that it's a "thing" for people to "use" a "condition" to express how they have "NO CONTROL". Isn't that a bit critical for those of us who have to deal with being overweight? Like, how am I supposed to react to that? Yaay, /thread? Yaay, valid point? There's a huge grey area between recognizing your genetic hindrances and outright offloading all responsibility onto it, yet you're going really hard with that comment.

Like the OP said, this is about stigmatization and shaming. You can be fat and ashamed of yourself, and you can be fat and confident in yourself. In which scenario would you imagine the hypothetical person to actually do something? Comments like yours pop up a million time over in these threads, but I never manage to read anything positive. This usually turns into a pissing match in which people affected by being overweight talk about their challenges. When you boil it down, it's a stupid argument between people believing they have legitimate obstacles and people believing these obstacles are not worthy - it turns into an argument of judgment and appraisal, which isn't constructive. You can make it an issue about choice, but there honestly isn't much, and much useful talk that comes out of that.

It'd be nice if we could hear something about, I dunno, how to encourage those that are affected by fat shaming and generalizations to move past all the negative. The reason anyone would fall into frustration and depression isn't because they don't know their problem enough, it's because they know their problem too darn well. If you want to do something in life, you need motivation and encouragement and that goes for everything. You can point out a problem, or you can point out how to solve it - which isn't hard if you look a little inside yourself, for we all have faced and overcame adversity in some way.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (02:14 PM).
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As a skinny-borderline-underweight dude, I have no actual experience in being fat, but I will say what I know about being on the other side of the spectrum.

It's hard to gain weight for me, because I don't like eating. I suppose this is the parallel for fat people trying to lose weight.

What makes it hard is that I have to eat and exercise in order to gain weight.

Eating makes me feel nauseous honestly, and I can't sit down long enough because it becomes a chore when you don't feel the joy of eating. So I barely eat sometimes, and even in a Chinese family with relatively small portions, I feel full before everyone else and leave more leftovers than anyone else. I do eat fast and finish quickly though, because that's how I've gotten used to getting used to sitting down and trudging my way through all that food. Many days I can't even eat unless I have an iPod playing something I like because it's so hard without.

And exercising is hard as hell, because I have no energy from food because I didn't eat well, and I don't have any reserve fat like normal people do. I dread going to the gym every day because I'll feel horrible. Not to mention that my lungs are weaker on principle, and that they fill with mucus every time I run faster than 6.0 on the treadmill for over a minute.

So I suppose that's what it's like being fat. Dieting is painful and boring, and exercising is hard for different reasons, but hard and unfulfilling nonetheless. I understand.

However, I have recently started to go to the gym and try to exercise. It's hard, and many days I don't want to go when I have to. But once you get the hang of it, you'll find that it gets easier every time you go. It's not noticeable for the first couple of weeks, but after a few episodes of "my body is broken" you'll start to see some gain in strength, etc.

And eating? I've been trying to eat a good meal and not sleep through food times more often than I used to. The food is still horrible, and I still don't like it, but I eat 99% of the time when I'm supposed to.

So how does being painfully skinny have to do with obesity?

I'll admit, I have no idea what being obese or overweight is like, and I'm not saying I know anything about your problems, but from what I can tell from being in a parallel situation, it's not your fault. People should go easy on you.

However, this doesn't mean go have donuts and ice cream and eat until you hate yourself because you can't control it woooo! No, this means you have to be harder on yourself. Force yourself to not eat that plate of fries. Force the salad down your face. Go to the gym and work out until you get your money's worth.

I'm not going to say it's easy, and I don't know if it's hard either, but with some moral support from friends, family, personal trainers (if you're rich), and such, it should be at least approachable if it was too massive before.

Though I am aware, I'm not obese or overweight, so I can't say anything about being overweight definitively, but I know that nothing in life is easy, so I know at least this: you have to try, and people have to be understanding in order for it to work.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (02:21 PM).
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Fat shaming is ridiculous. It's no one's damn business if someone isn't the same weight as them. "Why do you care if he's bigger than you? Oh, that guy has meat on his bones? Wow, how insulting! How dare he actually be a healthy weight while you look like a walking wheat chaff!"

People are so stupid. >.<

On the other hand, like droomph said, you do have control over your weight. If you feel bad about yourself, stop sitting on your butt and eating junk and fix the problem already. Join a gym for Lord's sake. Eat a salad. Eat a baked potato instead of fries. Cook your meats right. Google a diet if you have to, I'm sure there's 9 million+ diets on the internet. Do some push-ups and crunches. Run on a treadmill. Walk your dog/cat/goldfish/tarantula/whatever down the street for an hour and laugh at it peeing on someone's tire. If you actually do something, you'll feel better than doing nothing. So yeah, do that and be happy.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (02:26 PM).
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I'm guessing you've never experienced depression, anxiety attacks, or any other type of emotional disorder or abuse. I'm also guessing you have no idea how severe and debilitating these disorders are, and how they can greatly affect a person's lifestyle.
You're terrible at guessing. There are, in fact, people who have worked through some of those problems and come out stronger for it, and I happen to be one of them. I'm not even particularly strong-willed. Please don't make assumptions.

Quote:
As an in-training corrections counselor, I've seen people from all walks of life who have many different stories to tell. Obesity is one of them. The "take responsibility for your own actions" idea only goes so far, and it doesn't work for everyone. Some people are not cognitively or emotionally able to take care of themselves.
If they are not able to take care of themselves, they should be in a care facility, not out in the world causing problems.

Quote:
Others eat to comfort themselves because of their life situations. There are some who simply enjoy eating, but most of the time it's a symptom of a larger problem.
None of this excuses you for taking responsibility for your own actions. We are not mere beasts, acting purely on whim and instinct. We are human, we have the unique ability to self-determine. You can make whatever excuses you want, but ultimately, the decision of what to do with your life resides with you. If you choose to overeat, that's fine, so long as you understand the consequences and are all right with them. If you don't want to deal with those, then you take steps to deal with your weight problem. Own up to your life choices, because you're the one making them. Not me, not them, not society, not the government, not your genetics. You.

Quote:
Human beings are social creatures, and the opinions and thoughts of others, no matter how much we'd like to deny it, affect us greatly and how we behave. When we insult, vilify and treat others differently or with malice, we distance and divide that group from regular society. In doing so, we only increase the behavior that caused society to reject them in the first place. Mental and emotional abuse should never be regarded as "tough luck". It's a very serious problem, and it doesn't just affect the obese.
It's a problem people need to work through because nearly everyone deals with it at some point. It's a part of growing up. Coddling people and putting them in their own private hugbox just insulates them and doesn't prepare them for the harsh reality of the world: some people are jerks and you just have to deal with it on your own. Not everything is rainbows and sunshine. Yet another reason why you need to own up to your choices. if you've done what is right for you, you have nothing to be ashamed of.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (02:26 PM).
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BlagISuck,

The only non-critical thing I can say pertaining to my original response is that people do have control. It's easier for some and harder for others because of genetics, diseases, environment, etc. but in most cases I'd say weight loss is achievable.

I got past fat shaming and use the motivation of my friends for THEM to lose weight for my own weight loss challenge. Their initiative feeds me and makes me feel like I'm doing something awesome. It keeps me positive on those days where I randomly regain a pound. What people need who are affected my fat shaming is a support group pf motivated people who will keep THEM motivated on a weight loss challenge. It's incredibly important to have that group of peers. I would never have even started trying to lose weight without them.

My break's over at work now. I have more to day maybe but hafta go back to my desk lol /iPhone
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Old July 27th, 2013 (02:27 PM). Edited July 27th, 2013 by droomph.
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Fat shaming is ridiculous. It's no one's damn business if someone isn't the same weight as them. "Why do you care if he's bigger than you? Oh, that guy has meat on his bones? Wow, how insulting! How dare he actually be a healthy weight while you look like a walking wheat chaff!"

People are so stupid. >.<
There's a difference between "healthy-looking fat" and "obese fat".

Being overweight not only is very bad for your health, it doesn't look too attractive or "healthy" either.

Fat shaming is when we ridicule obese or overweight people.

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You're terrible at guessing. There are, in fact, people who have worked through some of those problems and come out stronger for it, and I happen to be one of them. I'm not even particularly strong-willed. Please don't make assumptions.

If they are not able to take care of themselves, they should be in a care facility, not out in the world causing problems.

None of this excuses you for taking responsibility for your own actions. We are not mere beasts, acting purely on whim and instinct. We are human, we have the unique ability to self-determine. You can make whatever excuses you want, but ultimately, the decision of what to do with your life resides with you. If you choose to overeat, that's fine, so long as you understand the consequences and are all right with them. If you don't want to deal with those, then you take steps to deal with your weight problem. Own up to your life choices, because you're the one making them. Not me, not them, not society, not the government, not your genetics. You.

It's a problem people need to work through because nearly everyone deals with it at some point. It's a part of growing up. Coddling people and putting them in their own private hugbox just insulates them and doesn't prepare them for the harsh reality of the world: some people are jerks and you just have to deal with it. Not everything is rainbows and sunshine. Yet another reason why you need to own up to your choices. if you've done what is right for you, you have nothing to be ashamed of.
I feel like you have all the right to think whatever you want, but here's the catch: did you help anybody overcome any of these problems? If so, great. If not, you have no right to say any of this.

(And it doesn't have to even have made a direct difference. It could be simply forcing a friend to go to the gym even though he doesn't want to, or complimenting him on how much better he's looking now that he's trying to lose weight.)
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Old July 27th, 2013 (03:02 PM).
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i love how fat-shaming is supposed to be seen as a bad thing but telling skinny people to put on weight is considered socially acceptable

honestly almost anyone who isn't a healthy weight has only themselves to blame if they're unhappy about it
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Old July 27th, 2013 (03:06 PM).
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There really isn't any legitimate excuse for fat shaming. Nobody who says otherwise is right.

Calling it a matter of will power isn't going to solve things. Today's society makes healthy choices more difficult to achieve, maintain and access for many people. Junk food is everywhere and sadly it's difficult to escape or avoid. Anxiety and stress cause us to eat at times, and the availability of food is so high, that it makes it even easier to have bad habits than good ones.

We need a culture shift. Very badly.
There's a fundamental flaw in the mindset of society that makes it somehow magically not so wrong because they're pretending to care about the person by pressuring them about their weight and contributing to the problem, rather than any real steps towards a solid solution. If you really care about somebody, you don't stigmatize them; you communicate that compassionately along with your concerns. Doing otherwise is immature.

It is counterproductive to show concern about someone's health by insulting them, while in the same situation contributing not only to their problem, but doing nothing useful to help them get over it. They don't need to be told they're fat, they probably already know! They'd probably fix it a lot sooner it if you'd stop demolishing their mental health while they are trying to address a physical problem.

It gets increasingly difficult in low income situations to lose weight, because it is more expensive/difficult to obtain the healthier/higher quality choices in food. Exercise helps; but only if you've got time for it, which you probably don't if you're working two jobs to make ends meet.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (03:24 PM).
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Fat shaming is ridiculous. It's no one's damn business if someone isn't the same weight as them. "Why do you care if he's bigger than you? Oh, that guy has meat on his bones? Wow, how insulting! How dare he actually be a healthy weight while you look like a walking wheat chaff!"
I'm sorry, but I'm just going to interrupt here and say that fat shaming is wrong. You agree with this, yes? And you go on to skinny shaming to make your point, which is just as bad. No one deserves any shame for their size. I'm tired of having people tell me that I need to eat because I'm small. I wouldn't dare tell someone larger than me to shove in a salad, because I know how that treatment feels.

Basically, if you're going to say, "It's no one's damn business if someone isn't the same weight as them" then why do you go on to say what you said right after? I assumed you meant all people at first and would agree, but I can't if you just took a step back in your approach. Apparently you only meant heavier people shouldn't be shamed, but it's fine to ridicule smaller people. If I've misunderstood you in any way, then I'm sorry. But either way, people should be aware of it.

I'm sorry to interrupt the thread for that, and I know this thread is about fat shaming, but still. Don't say something is bad and then fling it on the opposite end of the spectrum.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (03:26 PM).
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There really isn't any legitimate excuse for fat shaming. Nobody who says otherwise is right.

Calling it a matter of will power isn't going to solve things. Today's society makes healthy choices more difficult to achieve, maintain and access for many people. Junk food is everywhere and sadly it's difficult to escape or avoid. Anxiety and stress cause us to eat at times, and the availability of food is so high, that it makes it even easier to have bad habits than good ones.

We need a culture shift. Very badly.
There's a fundamental flaw in the mindset of society that makes it somehow magically not so wrong because they're pretending to care about the person by pressuring them about their weight and contributing to the problem, rather than any real steps towards a solid solution. If you really care about somebody, you don't stigmatize them; you communicate that compassionately along with your concerns. Doing otherwise is immature.

It is counterproductive to show concern about someone's health by insulting them, while in the same situation contributing not only to their problem, but doing nothing useful to help them get over it. They don't need to be told they're fat, they probably already know! They'd probably fix it a lot sooner it if you'd stop demolishing their mental health while they are trying to address a physical problem.

It gets increasingly difficult in low income situations to lose weight, because it is more expensive/difficult to obtain the healthier/higher quality choices in food. Exercise helps; but only if you've got time for it, which you probably don't if you're working two jobs to make ends meet.
Yes, but it's not like they can't do it.

Sure, they may have two jobs, but with enough effort, things can change.

Sure, saying it's easy is annoying, but just blowing it off like that is annoying to me also.

Just because you can't eat healthy because you're poor doesn't mean it's possible.

If you try harder, it will get better. If people try to help you it will get better. Only one or the other isn't the answer. We need both, and only if we have both will anything get done. Emotional and physical support from others, even if it's just saying that you're doing good, and you need to put in everything you've got, even if it's just staying up five minutes before bed and fighting through the sleep to do a couple reps.

Only then can you say that "you can't help it" or "you're not trying hard enough". If you're fat even then, that's the only time where it's not your fault.

Trust me, unless you try as hard as you physically can, everything is your fault. There's no definite numbers of crunches to do or whatever, but 100% is the threshold at which you should operate.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (04:27 PM).
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This wouldn't be such a big issue if people would stop feeling entitled to become involved in other people's business. Also, if people would start being more confident in themselves and stop being subconsciously convinced that treating other people with disrespect somehow makes them superior by contrast. It doesn't. Really.

Everyone should just mind their own businesses about these kinds of things. You could argue that they raise taxes because of medical costs (in countries that provide free health care to all residents, even overweight/obese citizens whose conditions may have been provoked by being heavier), but then that's actually more of a sociological problem than anything. Someone said for every 1$ invested in preventive health care, you would gain 4$ back on reduced medical fees nation-wide (learned this in Anthropology 12U). That's the kind of paradigm shift our generation needs: prevention, not post-issue resolution.

Which just takes us back to how really, it's none of anyone's business, and if someone is concerned about taxes (because they're paying for larger people's surgeries / medication through their tax dollars, which therefore affects them inadvertently), rave the government for not investing in preventive care. Riot because there aren't enough free weight loss resources / clinics / gyms. Get them to get junk food and beer off of TV, incl. fast food ads, and replace them with good foods and their benefits. Ban fast food in major retailors i.e. Walmart which hosts MacDonald's, or legislate that the menu must consist of at least 50% low-fat, low-sugar foods as per a nation standard.

That kind of stuff.

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Old July 27th, 2013 (04:43 PM). Edited July 27th, 2013 by Keiran.
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Why are people comparing obesity to things like depression? Obesity is more like smoking or drug use. Just because depression can cause obesity does not mean they are similar afflictions. I have no pity for people who are obese, but I'm not gonna "shame" them. I also don't think its okay to get upset at people who genuinely think being obese is wrong, because let's face it- it's a product of lack of willpower in the face of a culture that glorifies convienence and passivity. People will say fat shaming obese people is wrong, but will then go on to call smokers and drug users pathetic and scum, when really it's the same issue.

Is the 'pressure' to be thin in Japan much like the pressure to not use drugs in America? If so, what is the problem with that?


I just feel bad for people who are overweight that are for some reason clumped with obese people, cause usually being overweight isn't because of their choices.


(What I mean by this post is that we should decouple fat shaming from simply pointing out that obesity is unhealthy and bad and in most cases is NOT out of someones control)
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Old July 27th, 2013 (06:16 PM).
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Originally Posted by droomph View Post
Yes, but it's not like they can't do it.

Sure, they may have two jobs, but with enough effort, things can change.

Sure, saying it's easy is annoying, but just blowing it off like that is annoying to me also.

Just because you can't eat healthy because you're poor doesn't mean it's possible.

If you try harder, it will get better. If people try to help you it will get better. Only one or the other isn't the answer. We need both, and only if we have both will anything get done. Emotional and physical support from others, even if it's just saying that you're doing good, and you need to put in everything you've got, even if it's just staying up five minutes before bed and fighting through the sleep to do a couple reps.

Only then can you say that "you can't help it" or "you're not trying hard enough". If you're fat even then, that's the only time where it's not your fault.

Trust me, unless you try as hard as you physically can, everything is your fault. There's no definite numbers of crunches to do or whatever, but 100% is the threshold at which you should operate.
I think you've glossed over my point entirely. How can anyone give 100% if they aren't feeling capable of doing so?
If they're down on themselves over being shamed for being fat, how can one expect them to improve? They can't; it's fact.

It's not about effort, and you're silly for even bringing that argument up. It's not even valid. You're completely underestimating the net effect of mental and emotional health anyways. Mental and emotional health are crucial in the health triangle. If you're not healthy in some way, it often leads to another problem.

Essentially, people need to understand that just because some people can help themselves, not everyone can. It's not your place to judge people for being fat, or to judge their unique situation, variables and other factors in their life, if it were then you'd be their health care provider and you'd have a PhD or some formal education in the subject(s) necessary. Fat shaming does no good for anyone, and assuming fat people lack will power, or are lazy is a nasty stereotype that forms a feedback loop. The problem isn't just going to go away just because you pointed and laughed in hopes that they'd get the message. It's not going to help them to point this out to them at all anyways.

People also have the right of self-determination; and that includes body image as well. Some people are purposefully "overweight" for a various number of reasons and as long as that poses no serious threat to their health, I'd say they're fully within their rights to be treated humanely and kindly like you would any other person.

Additionally there are such things as weight ranges which are healthy depending on a number of factors; some of which may not always be immediately apparent like activity levels, medical conditions, lifestyle choices, and such. Age, Gender, Race, Family History, many more things beyond our reasonable control do influence the outcome.

Many people who are obese did not choose to be by free will. It is often the result of unseen or unpredicted variables in one's life that often allows the human body to assert it's natural nature and gather more resources than it needs. Situations influence choices, and situations that are not conducive to making healthy choices are limited in occurrence in various ways. Compound the problem even more if you don't like being obese and would like to lose the weight but due to the situation at hand; you are simply forced to sacrifice one goal for another more important one.

TL;DR: There isn't any excuse for fat shaming. Lack of effort, willpower, or anything similar is irrelevant if one isn't healthy enough to give 100%. Giving 100% is pretty much contingent on a person's health, not just physical, but mental and emotional as well.

It is wrong to judge others; for you cannot know or understand all of the intricacies of their life.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (06:58 PM).
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I feel like you have all the right to think whatever you want, but here's the catch: did you help anybody overcome any of these problems? If so, great. If not, you have no right to say any of this.

(And it doesn't have to even have made a direct difference. It could be simply forcing a friend to go to the gym even though he doesn't want to, or complimenting him on how much better he's looking now that he's trying to lose weight.)
I don't know why you think I wouldn't have the right to say any of it if I hadn't helped people, but yeah, I have. I encourage people who are trying to lose weight and congratulate them if they do. Working toward a difficult goal and accomplishing it is something to be proud of.

Again, though, I'm not sure why I have to have done this in order to qualify for stating the obvious.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (08:44 PM).
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I don't know why you think I wouldn't have the right to say any of it if I hadn't helped people, but yeah, I have. I encourage people who are trying to lose weight and congratulate them if they do. Working toward a difficult goal and accomplishing it is something to be proud of.

Again, though, I'm not sure why I have to have done this in order to qualify for stating the obvious.
It was more of a rhetorical question but okay

I was just making the point that helping others is just as important as they try themselves.
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Old July 27th, 2013 (09:40 PM).
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Let's not reduce the burden and overcoming of being overweight into one yes/no variable - choice. Clearly as we've seen by some of the testimonies, the reality is much more complex and I feel that some of the reductionism going on doesn't do the situation and the people going through it justice.

Even choice is a lot more complex than a yes/no decision, there's a huge range of behaviours that we could pin between choice and "non-choice", so it's more like a spectrum. There is also a string of individualism going on, which also ignores and begs the question of what society and the environment has on influencing one's actions. Sure, at the end of the day said person makes a choice - doesn't particularly help anyone though.

I also don't find using imperatives in threads to be courteous, no matter to who it's directed to. It goes back to the primacy of positive thinking - confrontation leads to nothing beneficial. You could tell someone going through something difficult that it's their responsibility, but to be honest, that's just stating the obvious and aggravating their frustrations and lack of self-confidence further. I find that when people are encouraged in a positive environment, they tend to confront their demons on their own, without anybody telling them to. Likewise with the issue of choice, there is a spectrum between encouragement and molly-coddling and we shouldn't be so focus on just one of the ends.
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Old July 28th, 2013 (05:57 AM).
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It was more of a rhetorical question but okay

I was just making the point that helping others is just as important as they try themselves.
A lot of people would disagree, but I think you're right. Helping others is important. I just think that the most effective motivation comes from within. If your determination isn't rock-solid, you're not going to accomplish anything worth accomplishing.

I don't think any of that means I can't speak my mind, though. Rather, intelligent discussion helps people understand several things better: the issue at hand, their reasoning in regards to it, and themselves.

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Let's not reduce the burden and overcoming of being overweight into one yes/no variable - choice. Clearly as we've seen by some of the testimonies, the reality is much more complex and I feel that some of the reductionism going on doesn't do the situation and the people going through it justice.

Even choice is a lot more complex than a yes/no decision, there's a huge range of behaviours that we could pin between choice and "non-choice", so it's more like a spectrum. There is also a string of individualism going on, which also ignores and begs the question of what society and the environment has on influencing one's actions. Sure, at the end of the day said person makes a choice - doesn't particularly help anyone though.

I also don't find using imperatives in threads to be courteous, no matter to who it's directed to. It goes back to the primacy of positive thinking - confrontation leads to nothing beneficial. You could tell someone going through something difficult that it's their responsibility, but to be honest, that's just stating the obvious and aggravating their frustrations and lack of self-confidence further. I find that when people are encouraged in a positive environment, they tend to confront their demons on their own, without anybody telling them to. Likewise with the issue of choice, there is a spectrum between encouragement and molly-coddling and we shouldn't be so focus on just one of the ends.
But it is a yes or no choice. Sure, it's one that's pretty hard to follow through on, with a lot of obstacles along the way. But in the end, you make the decision on whether you want to put in the time and effort to commit yourself to a goal and follow through. Unless you're paralyzed in a car accident along the way, that responsibility is yours.
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