Hating People Doesn't Make Them Thinner


There is a difference between overweight and morbid obesity.
this isn't going to be a pleasant thread.
Fat-shaming is the *least* we can do to stop the obesity epidemic. Maybe some of them will be shamed enough into putting down the box of donuts. It's the fatties that cause my healthcare to skyrocket. Right, right, it's "glandular" I know. 'Cept in developing countries where they don't overeat, you don't see much of the "glandular issue" now do you. You ever seen an obese Kenyan?

Boo hoo for the chunkers.
I'll stop making fun of people for being fat when fat people stop making fun of me for being skinny. It goes both ways, you know.
I have a coworker who commonly says point blank, "I hate fat people."

One of these days, Alice, ... One of these days...

@3 you have all the maturity of a two year old. Congratulations.
I'll stop making fun of assholes when suddenlyorcas stops being an asshole.

I do think there is fat shaming, and discrimination against those who are very overweight. However, I see some other huge problems in this society that contribute to 2/3 of Americans that are overweight and many of those are obese to morbidly obese, the huge amount of fat in most Americans diets. I see losing weight as not that difficult compare to keeping the weight off, which has always been the crux of the problem.

Morbid Obesity is a serious health problem. Obesity is a health problem that can cause problems from Type II diabetes, joint problems to cellulitis. There is the battle of moral judgement, which has to be changed, (fat shaming) to the medical problem, obesity to morbid obesity, that has to be address and treated.
@3 Right, because that's what up with all fat people, they are eating doughnuts. Ignorant douche.
@3: It is the elderly that have caused our health care costs to skyrocket, and our cultural obesession with extending the dying process from three weeks to three years or more.

Obesity is certainly a contributing factor, but not the worst. It is a cultural problem though, and since one can not effecively enforce individual choices, we need to keep approaching it on a cultural level.

It is getting so bad, that I think regulating calorical and nutritional content of foods may become a necessity. As much as I loathe to have the government involved in more personal choices, it may be the lesser of two evils here.
seriously? Can you guys be more rude and thoughtless? Did you read the article? Do you know anything about this issue? It is multifaceted-- SES, biochemistry and metabolism, availability and ease of obtaining calories, culture all play huge roles in a persons ability to maintain a healthy weight.
- a depressing number of people who will post to this thread

@those people: go fuck yourselves.
half true...the obesity problem is half laziness and half the result of major agribusiness and our government prioritizing corporate profit over general welfare...i.e. go look at a typical 6th grade public school lunch.

We subsidize corn and soy - resulting in HFCS and hydrogenated vegetable oils - we might as well be subsidizing mcdonald's.

so yes, the point of this is not to focus our energy on shaming the individual, but shaming our government. policy change and reforms so that major agribusiness is disassembled and we go back to small scale, organic, community farms.

-Deep Economy
-Food Democracy Now!
@6 even outside of this debate I'm in favor of restricting access to shitty, non-nutritious food packed with empty calories, fat and HFCS. Especially for kids. Our society has literally forgotten how to eat healthy.
Hating others doesn't make you thinner either. I hate damn near everyone, and sadly, I'm no thinner for it.
This is a disturbing time to live in - the poorest are the fattest, and they're literally dying from malnutrition. Readily available food is either useless or poison, and the situation won't change because part of the government literally pays food corporations to put this crap into our food.

Want to reduce obesity by half by the end of the decade? Outlaw high fructose corn syrup.
I had never counted calories until I started long distance running about five years ago, and I was shocked at how many calories I was taking in each day without really thinking about it.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if most people are eating/drinking 3,000 to 4,000 calories per day, almost double the 2,000-ish that most people need. We live in an incredibly calorie-rich environment, and there needs to be mass education combined with elimination of overprocessed foods and harmful food additives, like high fructose corn syrup, if we're gonna be serious about getting our national health under control.
This is stupid. If you're fat and want to be smaller, change your fucking diet. I guarantee that if you switch to a vegan diet comprised of whole foods (not Rice Dream mocha pies and potato chips), mostly raw, you will lose weight.

I love this bogus idea that people have no control over their size. Is there something magical that happens to peoples' DNA here in the USA? Because other countries do not have our same obesity rates - especially if they eat a diet high in vegetable content and low in meat/dairy/refined carbs.

It may be true that shaming fat people isn't the best way to solve obesity, but to claim that people can't help their size is a lie.
Hey sometimes the truth hurts, for me it help me lose 50 pounds and greatly improved my life.
I honestly don't think fat people are lazy. But in my heart of
hearts, I do believe they have poor self-discipline. But that
doesn't make them bad people! I'm bad at lots of things, they
just don't make me fat.

That's a great point. I noticed at the end they quote a woman who'd just worked out who said she'd had a salad for lunch. I'd bet $100 it was covered in some kind of creamy dressing and loaded up with cheese, bacon bits, and croutons.
@14, 17:

How about a bigger corporate tax on food companies in which a certain percentage of their foods fall below a nutritional benchmark? Something like if it has X amount of fat/sugar/calories, than it must have Y amount of vitamins/fiber/whatever.

So candy, soda and fast food companies pay more to operate, and since they would likely pass that on to consumers, the cost of junk food would increase, lowering the appeal. Maybe all the money raised by this tax goes to medical care for the poor, or other such social services?

Although, that may just mean the poor spend more of their tight budgets on McDonald's...but you can't totally legislate away poor individual choice. At least there would be more tax dollars to cover social services.
And the tired discourse continues.

"Derp, fat people like donuts!"

"I quit eating donuts and lost a zillion pounds! Now my dog likes me!"

"I love feeling morally superior over a whole group of people I can judge without feeling like an asshole! Those people deserve to be treated as sub-human, because they did it to themselves! I'm so fucking virtuous!"
Slow day at The Stranger, Jen?
First, if obesity is such a multifaceted issue, why does it seem to be such a recent one? Furthermore, why do we not see it occurring in significant numbers in non-westernized countries?

Second, what a person eats and how they take care of their body is entirely up to them. However, when they allow their body to vastly exceed typically healthy human proportions, it becomes an issue that affects everyone around them. When paramedics are suffering extremely high rates of back injury from lifting morbidly obese people, it becomes a public issue. When buildings and vehicles have to be redesigned to take on the added weight, it becomes a public issue. (Anyone notice the news about the WSFerries lowering their passenger capacity due to increased average weight figures?)

Fat shaming sucks. (Anything) shaming sucks. Simply accepting that Americans are fat and getting fatter as inevitable sucks even more.
You get more bees with honey than vinegar.

People eat more than they did in decades past, and move less. That is why more people are fatter. That is a simple fact. Actually getting people to eat less and move like they did in the past is much more complicated.
Is it the point of hating people to make them thinner. Methinks not. When I hate it's purely for the hate, thankyouverymuch.
@26: Why do you equate stopping the shaming of fat people people with accepting that Americans are just going going to get fatter? Your inability to see a middle ground here reveals a lot about the paucity of your thinking process.
Fat-shaming isn't a real thing.
Gary Taubes? Taubes, Gary? Science Magazine? NYT? Huh?
@30 How is my acknowledgement that both extremes of the debate suck any indication of my inability to see a middle ground? Your ability to read whatever you want into my comments reveals a lot about your confirmation bias.
@26: It's a recent problem because of Agribusiness. I agree that accepting North Americans obesity as inevitable sucks. I think the issue is about the degree we perceive this as an individual problem "stop eating X, fatty) vs how much we perceive this as a systemic problem (stop subsidizing corn and soy, how do we tax companies that make high-fat, high-sugar, calorie dense foods).

I'm for taxing unhealthy foods, as long as it's not a sales tax. We want the food to look more expensive on the shelf, not just at the cash register.
@ 26,

One significant reason that obesity is so prevalent in the US is the last 80 years of land-use and building policies which have created a built environment based upon the automobile.

In Europe, Asia, and Africa, people walk and bike a lot everywhere--work, school, home, etc--unlike the US, where we're mostly relying upon cars. This is how personal choice has largely been overruled in the public arena, along with government support of harmful food ingredients mentioned above.
I watch my coworkers complain about their wieght, go to McDonalds everyday for lunch. They also constantly tell me I should eat more....
I do not agree with the shaming of fat people, and understand that there are cases where it's out of some people's control.
But it's publicly acceptable to look down on me for a habit that I pay a tax premium for. I think crap food should be equally taxed and looked down upon. Both choices are completely within ones control.
We will both require A greater share of expensive medical help around the same age(type two diabetes, cancer).
Stop the whining though and live up to your lifestyle choice.
It's completely acceptable to shame me for smoking yet I cannot turn around and do the same to someone who's overweight bordering on obese. Really....
Both are an addiction, and should be treated as such.
@7: You're going to be waiting a long time, fatty.
I think it is really disempowering to act like people cannot possibly have more control over the health status of their bodies.

Taking as given that "thin" is not the same as "healthy and strong", most people are totally capable of making adjustments to their lifestyles that would move them further towards "healthy and strong". This doesn't equate to simply eating fewer donuts; donuts are not really the problem, any more than just eating a salad and swimming for an hour are a real solution.
As a former fattie who got healthy and then got fat again, I can attest, at least in my case, it is an issue of laziness and self-discipline. Plain and simple. The abundance of unhealthy food is a problem just like smoking, completely avoidable with the tiniest bit of self control.
@34 & 35
I am fully aware of the systemic and sociological issues that contribute to obesity in this country. I am also aware, as some have pointed out, that to some extent various genetic traits and diseases result in some people who are more likely to gain weight or have trouble keeping it off. At the end of the day though, I reject the notion that it's not an issue of personal choice. There is a distinct difference between someone who is overweight due to the variety of above factors and someone who has allowed themselves to become obese. It's like the difference between a car that needs some work and one that is such a hazard that it needs to be taken off the road. Nobody is expected to be perfect. They can be expected to behave reasonably, however.
Hating fat isn't like hating ugly/skin color/etc.

Everyone has the ability to eat less & exercise more, thus changing that attribute about their body. There's even an entire TV show devoted to the permise, The Biggest Loser. I think it's on NBC. I've yet to see an episode where the contestants enjoy/relish their fatness.
If anyone is interested in why saying "Oh, fat people need to just eat less and/or move more," while true on some level, is just a fucking stupid "solution" to the obesity epidemic, please read this article:

And now companies are making hiring decisions on people's weight. I'm sure this has happened for decades, but there is a feeling among employers that fat employees have higher costs and therefore are bad for the company. While that may be true, it doesn't make it ok to fat shame people. I've been saying for years to my family that they need to but out of other people's weight issues, whether family or otherwise. I strongly recommend that if anyone has a problem with their child's obesity, that you needn't even say anything about it to the child, but rather, modify your own diet and what foods you bring into the home, have scheduled meal times, assure everyone eats breakfast (arguably the most important meal - re fat and losing fat), and take your family out for exercise daily or at least weekly. Also need to cut down on TV, which parents can do without resorting to fat shaming their kids. You can obtain better results by talking about "health" rather than "fat" and you can obtain even better results if you lead by example. I've heard some life-long skinny friends say rude things about fat people, and it always seemed even that much more rude, because they have no idea what it is like to be fat.
The article seems to say it should be up to the food industry to make changes to stop growing obesity trends, and true, that could help. It's also true that such changes aren't likely to happen anytime soon. Meanwhile people have it within their control to maintain a healthy weight. Getting people to do the things it takes is much harder. Shaming, and lecturing people isn't going to motivate most to eat better, and move more.
Fat shaming is no different than any other kind of bullying.
Not sure I agree with taxing crappy foods. First we subsidize it, then turn around and tax it? How about just eliminate the subsidy? Or subsidize the healthy food.

Put down the Doritos and eat some vegetables. It works a lot better than being a defensive prick.
Having different standards for body size that are considered ideal or beautiful isn't 'shaming.' Knowing that, ultimately, a person is responsible for their own health, weight, and eating habits is not 'shaming.'

Riding them constantly about it and making them feel like shit about it is just dickish, but not 'shaming' -- No more than a mom trying to kick their kid out of the basement is 'shaming' them into getting a job or establishing a life of their own.

That's career shaming! Self-sufficiency shaming. I want the world to accept me as a 41 year old who lives in his parent's house and eats their food and only looks for jobs when it's convenient. Also, it is womens' responsibility to find me attractive, else they will be 'shaming' me and comparing me to unrealistic ideals.
Some people fat shame themselves. I was standing in checkout line in the cafeteria with my usual salad, and an overweight woman behind me, whom I've never met, and hadn't really even noticed until she started saying to me, "I don't want you to witness this!", as she quickly tried to cover her cheeseburger, fries and soda with paper towels. Honestly, I would have never noted her weight status, or known what she was getting had she not called my attention to it. I really don't care what other people eat. I shrugged.

Also, I just read this this morning.
You ever seen an obese Kenyan?

Yes, I have. Idiot.
@ 49 - Great example of a person who has internalized the input from her entire environment. She assumed you WOULD see her weight and see what she had on her plate, and so assumed you would be 'thinking bad thoughts' about her. You know, like she's lazy and undisciplined.

She's ingested the mental poison along with all the physical poison. And yes, this is a cultural thing. In this country we have, as has been pointed out above, grown a culture up around the automobile, and cheap and quick (unhealthy) food. This, along with 24/7 media input that emphasizes only the young and thin, is why this issue causes the pain that it does.
No matter what any of you may think about personal responsibility in fully formed adults, the argument for healthier school lunches, the banning of soft drinks at school, and limiting advertising of unhealthy foods to children is pretty rock-solid. Habits formed in childhood are much more difficult to break, and children have much less self-control. We don't allow advertising of alcohol or cigarettes to children, in an era where obesity poses as great a health risk to the coming generation perhaps we shouldn't let McDonalds use toys to entice children to eat happy meals.
Lot of stupid people in this thread.

Hey 19 I know anecdotal evidence is just that but if what you say is true why do I know a disproportionate number of fat vegans?
I'm skinny, I run, I practice Brazilian Jiu jitsu, I eat healthy, I don't smoke, I've never seen the inside of Mc Donalds..but.... I'm diabetic, I have heart problems and I'm gonna die fairly soon...Shit! So who cares, we all gonna die soon, act accordingly. I should have had them donuts. And oh yeah, those that say we eat like crap, have never been to Scotland.
@53, having a different opinion doesn't make people stupid.
52, I agree that schools shouldn't sell junk food to students, nor should fast food be marketed to children. People should work towards that goal, but, such changes aren't likely to happen wide spread anytime soon. Parents need to parent, and not give their kids junk. A kid may be influenced by a cheap plastic toy that will end up forgotten, under the bed before weeks end, but a parent can, and must still say no.
I'd make the effort to get over my bias against fat people as being lazy, but I'm just too lazy.
Because other countries do not have our same obesity rates

The rest of the First World is catching up with us fast. I believe Australia is set to surpass us, if they haven't already.
Ok to all you haters and judgmental assholes out there, now is your chance to weigh in on what I am doing wrong. Seeing that you feel that you know oh so much about the subject.

I am the first to admit it - I am fat. Roughly 40 lbs. from where I should be. I work out for an hour to an hour and half, 3 times a week. And I don't mean like the people you see strolling on the treadmill as they read magazines. One of those workouts is with a personal trainer who kicks my ass and I am thankful for it. My workouts are a mix of weight training and cardio. I am also on a very low carb diet. I eat fresh veggies and meats. (Yes, cheese in moderation is allowed but no milk.) No, I don't eat doughnuts and couldn't tell you the last time that I did have one. And No, I don't drink sodas either. Actually, there are a lot of foods that you judgmental asshats snarf down everyday that I take a pass on. I keep a daily food journal to watch closely what I am eating. Lapses can happen. I did have pizza once and beer another time. And that is it, and I mean it. In a world surrounded by crappy processed foods, the diet I am on was tricky at first but mostly when I was out with friends. The very low carb diet is similar to what they put people with type 2 diabetes on. (No, I don't have diabetes.)

I have been doing all of this for a year and and a half now. At first I lost weight readily.I was 80 lbs. overweight. In the first 8 months I dropped 40 lbs. But ever since then I have been on a plateau. No weight gain, no more weight loss. You might suggest that I walk more. But then I have always been a walker. I barely put 3000 miles on my car last year. Otherwise, I walk and take public transit everywhere. I am just now reintroducing myself to biking. (15 year years ago I was hit by a car while on a bike. Hadn't been on one since. And biking still fills me full of anxiety. But that is another post.) I have also started meeting with a nutritionist to see if we can make some dietary changes to jumpstart things. Time will tell.

So, I exercise, I diligently watch what I eat, but still some assume that I am "a lazy fat guy who must watch tv all day while eating doughnuts." And a lot of them are like you, very willing to offer up this opinion. I can hardly wait to hear your solutions to my problem.
If you're fat and you don't like the way society treats you, you have three clear choices: 1.) change yourself, 2.) change society, or 3.) suffer. I'd choose 1, good luck with 2., most fatties will undoubtably choose 3. and complain about the choice they made.
#39: Bingo. Adult obesity *is* an issue or laziness and/or self-discipline. Nearly everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, can, if they set their mind to it, improve their diet. It's not necessarily easy, it's not necessarily fast, but it *is* do-able IF YOU WANT TO DO IT.

That's not to suggest that "fat people are lazy". It's far more specific than that - "fat people who don't want to be fat but refuse to take any steps towards making that happen, are lazy in that one specific fashion"
60, Regardless of the types of food you eat, how many calories do you eat a day? Do you track that? Exercise, even strenuous activity, burns surprisingly few calories. Keeping your calorie range around 2000 a day, less if you are smaller, slightly more if you are taller, will do much more for your weight than any physical activity. A person who stays roughly within a 2000 range and sits still all day will be thinner than someone who works out and eats 3000 calories a day.
Making food choices like this is how I maintain a healthy weight. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy…

People eat a lot of calories without realizing it. Small incremental changes can make a big difference in calorie intake. So many people see buzz words like "whole grain" "multiigrain", "trans-fat free", or just "Fat Free", and without looking at a label assume it's a healthful food choice. More often than not, the product still has a lot of empty carbs and fats that add up to big time calories.

#60 - you're already diligently watching what you eat. Keep doing it. Wait another 3 months and see what happens. Weight-loss doesn't happen linearly.

If you're still not making progress towards your goals at that point, keep it doing it, but do it *more*. Cut your daily calorie goal by a couple hundred calories. Add an another day's workout each week.

You're already doing all the right things. My (not very useful) suggestion is to be less impatient, and stop focussing on the number on the scale, and more on how you feel.

Are you measuring body-fat percentage? What about tracking your body measurements (waist, thigh, upper arm etc)? Are you able to lift more in your weight training than you were 4 months ago when your weight stopped trending downwards? My suspicion is that you're not losing weight numerically, but you are losing fat and gaining muscle. That is to say, you're still seeing progress, just not where you're looking (on the scale).
@60, stop calling people judgmental assholes and haters. You have a right to be fat and I have a right to find it unappealing. Don't shame us for finding fat unappealing. Now who's the judgmental asshole? You, that's who.

But seriously it breaks down to two things: calories consumed, and calories spent. Your body simply cannot continue to put on weight if you give it fewer calories than it uses. I'm also gonna guess that you haven't been doing this awesome routine your whole life, so you gotta at least admit that you did this to yourself. It's cool you're digging yourself out of the hole you dug, but stop blaming other people and keep it up.

Do report the obesity rates of Kenya, you fat dipshit. Then talk.
Actually obesity is a growing problem in Kenya, and Africa as a whole.

You might need some help with reading comprehension.

This is what I wrote:
" I guarantee that if you switch to a vegan diet comprised of whole foods (not Rice Dream mocha pies and potato chips), mostly raw, you will lose weight. "

It's quite easy to be a fat vegan. Eat lots of cookies, bread, fake meat products, fat, and low-quality carbs. The same way it's easy to be a fat lacto-ovo vegetarian, by eating lots of cheese and eggs.

If you eat a vegan diet comprised mainly of raw fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables you will lose weight. If you eat a vegan diet comprised of junk food you will look like an American.
Compare the numbers with the U.S. please, mkay?

Switch to a mostly raw, plant-based diet. You will see a difference.

Countries where the populations adopt a Westernized diet see obesity rates climb.

It's quite a con job our country has pulled on the world. We suck in pretty much every way imaginable, but have bamboozled most of the world into thinking our way is the best. The power of positive unthinking, I guess.

Cute how you assume I'm fat. Eat a fucking sandwich, then we'll talk.
Soooo many experts... It's a wonder this is still even an issue for Americans, since everyone is such An Expert!!

To get back to Jen's actual post and plea re stopping fat-shaming: YES. THIS. As long as "everyone knows" (Bristol Palin-style) that obesity is simply due to fat people being lazy and stupid (in their food choices), then we as a society can make no progress along the lines of what Erica outlines @ 52.

So, holy gosh wow, we must first change our attitudes and ideas about Obesity and The Obese, before we can make progessive, impactful societal changes that will actually help to keep people from blowing up like balloons.

Funny how that works, first having to change minds before changing bodies... Seems like that could be applied to other areas, too.. Reminds me of the old Sixties notion of 'raising consciousness'... hunh... go figure.
72, Oh I agree. The typical western diet is terrible, and while there is a lot to like about the United States, our eating habits aren't one of them.
I never once said anything about appealing or unappealing. I couldn't care less if you found me appealing. I am not doing this for you. I am doing this for my own health. But until I reach my goal people will continue to see me in a certain light. That is just a fact of life. But for some reason there are plenty of assholes that are quick with glib weight related put downs that seem to come cascading out of their mouths. But when you call them on it, you're the asshole who can't take a joke. Believe me, I hear them enough, as well as read them on posts like this one. Also, re-read to see if I even once blame someone for my problem. I'll give you a clue. I don't. You have the right to be an asshole and I have the right to find that to be most Un-appealing.

@63 I keep it at 1800 - 2200 calories a day. I don't eat anything with a "Fat-Free" label. Usually they load up on the carbs to make up for the loss of fat content. Also, no bread multigrain or otherwise. Too many carbs. i don't eat over 60g of carbs a day. It is amazing, when going out, to realize how huge portion sizes are at restaurants. It was also eye opening to see how much crap and proceeded crap there is out there that most people eat on a daily basis. Even before when I thought I was eating moderately healthy, I really wasn't.

I am definitely going to continue with my dietary change. I brought a nutritionist into the mix to get another perspective as well as so changes to help facilitate weight loss. So far no huge changes from what I've been doing. The biggest surprise was the fact that the allergy meds that I am on actually facilitate weight gain. So, that has been changed. Haven't done the body-fat measurement yet. I think we'll start that at my next appointment. (I've only had one so far.) Some weeks I am able to get into the gym a 4th time. My work schedule sometimes makes that a killer. You are right about being too fixated upon scales. I would definitely say that I have increased muscle mass as well. There can just be a certain frustration working towards a goal and then see it stagnate.

Thanks, to most of you, for the kind words.
fuckin fat fucks are fuckin nasty and unfuckable except by other fat fucks or nasty chubby chasers
Yeesh. I know that the internet is full of fat hate, but I haven't seen anything this total and vitriolic outside of reddit.
Incidentally, Lindy wrote about this a few weeks ago over at her new gig.

You ever seen an obese Kenyan?





Ew gross, Lindy is writing for GawkerMedia? Wasn't she leading the Slog charge against them less than two years ago?

Even though opinions are like assholes, I'll still throw in my two cents.

Don't do more cardio to lose weight. You'll wind up hating exercise, your body will adapt to the change (and you won't see more weight loss), and you'll probably have a higher chance of giving up altogether than if you stick to mostly strength training with just enough cardio for a healthy heart.

Beyond that, fuck the haters. (Not literally. Unless you're into that kind of thing.)
@81, I was a bit surprised too. But it's Jezebel, and not the main Gawker site. I've noticed the Gawker affiliates have varying degrees of editorial autonomy, making some Gawker sites less douchey than others. io9 and Lifehacker are pretty decent, while Gizmodo is still pretty awful. Jezebel is *usually* decent, although they have their fair share of facepalm moments. (I'm still a little aggravated at them for suggesting that Xeni Jardin was faking her cancer diagnosis to get attention, and they have a tendency to forget their self-imposed "No Bodyshaming" rule when it's inconvenient for them.) And of course, Gawker itself is just terrible.
It's the same mentality as shaming and punishing addicts - exactly the same phenomenon, in fact. Pathways get deeply engraved in people's cognition over time, especially when reward systems are stimulated by a behavior like eating junk or shooting up; they get even more deeply engraved when society insists that that behavior is the core of the addict's identity.

People get lost in the question of whether these behaviors are "bad" or "wrong," because of course in a moralistic society you must determine whether an act is bad in order to know whether you should shame and punish people who commit it; but the real question is how we get people to stop doing harmful things.

And on that score, all you smug shitheads saying "I'll stop making fun of fat people when they stop being fat and lazy and greedy!" are missing the fucking boat, because if there is one single solitary thing that our obesity epidemic proves it's that fat-shaming worsens, not resolves, the problem. That means you shamers are either willfully ignoring the connection (and all the behavioral research and game theory that indicates that punishment is not an effective method for changing behavior) or you're actually getting off on a growing demographic of second-class citizens you can feel superior to.

People are weak, and they can't always change themselves. They especially can't when they're trying to swim against a tide of ignorance and a society-wide foodsystem crisis that's feeding most people calorie-dense, addicting, nutrition-poor garbage at every turn. You can laugh at their suffering, or you can look at what's actually going on and figure out how we can change things for the better.
@83, Gawker itself just hired Rich Juzwiak, so it isn't all terrible any more:
Man I wanted to stay out of this troll bait horse shit but that link to Lindy's article really struck a nerve that has to be addressed. From Lindy's article:

...or the way that pretty much everyone erroneously conflates size with health

Aaaaand that's when I stopped reading.

Years back I was on board with people like Kate Harding and the early days of Fat Acceptance. But that movement, like Lindy, are now in complete denial of the impact obesity is having on Heath Care costs and impact on children's health. The Fat Acceptance movement is now like global warming denial. Or anti-vaccers. The level of cognitive dissonance is now of epic proportions.

Jesus fucking christ. Saying cancer is bad isn't shaming people with cancer, okay.

I'm completely on board with not shaming fat people. But. Heathy at Any Size is horseshit.

This kind of anti-science sentimental bullshit is literally killing people. The science on what the explosive increase in obesity is doing to public health in America is a fucking settled matter. Period. Type II diabetes in children has sky rocketed exclusively because of alarming increase in childhood obesity. This isn't some pharmaceutical company or Mean Girl conspiracy, for fuck sake. It's scientific fact.

It's gotten to the absurd point that attempting to merely address obesity as an undesirable outcome that should/and can be prevented makes you inciting a "moral panic" or a shame-er. Bullshit. To prentend it isn't a huge problem is fucked in the head.

If we want any kind of functioning healthcare reform and healthy society we have to prevent people from getting fat in the first place. In order to do that we have it admit it's something that has real negative consequences. Lucky individual cases aside this, implies obesity is a state of being that's ultimately negative and detrimental in the aggregate itself. These are scientific god damned facts.
@86, I have roughly the same BMI as my local NFL team's star defensive lineman. We weigh about the same, but he's about half a foot taller. In short, we're roughly the same *size*. BUT, he can run the 40 in 4.5 seconds and benchpress upwards of 400lbs. By contrast, I can't walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded.

I realize that the anecdotes != data, but surely it must count for something.
My BMI would also have me "over weight." 6ft. 200lbs. But I have 12% body fat. The BMI was never intended for individuals. It's a rough tool to measure aggregate populations.

Anyway. Over weight is not obese. What we seen in the US today astronomical rise in not just obesity but in morbid obesity. It's not something just invented it's very real and every doctor in this country knows it.

If you're seriously putting forth that the increase in obesity related illnesses is insurance companies tweaking a metric for convenience. Well, I just can't take you seriously.

The world is a laboratory. The science and data are sound. We see the same increases beginning to happen in cultures who previously had no such problems but are now adopting our lifestyles.

Is the massive increase in childhood and adult Type II diabetes and hypertension some sort of statistical fudge? I assure you it is not.

And we keep going at the rate we are US life expectancies, already below other industrialized western countries, will begin falling. We are already att the point where over 60% of all bankruptcies are due to healthcare costs and complications due to health problems. And costs keep going up. There is simply no way to put a handle on it if don't get the increase in obesity in check first. That's just a fact.

@86 Substitute "gay" for "fat," "homosexuality" for "obesity," and "AIDS" for "type II diabetes." That was fun.
@89 oh fer fuck sake. That was possibly one of the stupidest most uncharitable interpretations ever written. Anywhere.

Substitute "blip" for moron.
@90, I stand corrected -- Your comments are very insightful and add some much needed "tellin' it like it is" to the dialog, which is sorely missing here in this thread, and everywhere else on the internet. Keep up the good work!
@88 There are many, many, many more factors driving rising healthcare costs than obesity.
@89, but it does get at a salient point.

I've written extensively (some of it is here: www.reddit.com/r/InsightfulQuestions/com…) about how we talk about tolerance and discrimination. I think a lot of it boils down to whether the Thing we're tolerating (or discriminating against) is an Identity or a Behavior. We tend to be more tolerant of Identities and less tolerant of Behaviors.

In contemporary America, we generally agree that race and ethnicity are Identities, and thus we're more tolerant of it. A lot of discrimination against the obese (as we can clearly see in this thread) is because of the perception that it is a Behavior. Homosexuality has evolved over the years from being perceived as a Behavior (people engaging in the "homosexual lifestyle") to being perceived as an Identity ("Baby I was Born This Way!"). And decades ago, experts could (and did) trot out studies and data and science showing how the "homosexual lifestyle" is damaging our health and our society.

While science and hard numbers may be immutable, how we parse all that is largely informed by our commonly held social conventions and perceptions and biases. Right now, there's a strong negative bias against the obese, and it effects how we interpret data surrounding them. It's basically the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon- we are aware of a "problem", and then we somehow uncover supporting evidence of the problem everywhere. And, alternately, we tend to dismiss "data" and "facts" that tell us things we don't want to talk about. You know, like the "data" cited in the article that Jen cited in this post, saying that fat discrimination has detrimental effects on the obese (and also doesn't help them lose weight). A point that many in this thread- including you, I'm sorry to say- have largely ignored in favor of stating the "facts" that Fat Is Bad.
I also love how this is already ranked second on the Most Commented list, beating out Dan's post asking Slog commenters to show support for a lesbian aunt forced to deal with her bigoted family.

I guess hate is stronger than love after all.
@3, no you don't see many fat Kenyans. But you do see a lot of fat, poor Americans. While those of us who are fat and able to sustain a decent living are usually to blame for our weight, the poor among us have limited options when it comes to food. They can't afford to buy healthy food, and even if they could, the chances of there being a decent grocery store in their neighborhood is slim. The welfare program doesn't really help this. I hear so many people complain that people using ebt are buying steak and cheese. That's what they're allowed to buy. Maybe they should get free fruit and yogurt too. School lunches are another factor. When I was a kid they fed us high fat crap, I'm sure it's only gone down hill from there.

And I don't have a 'glandular' problem. But I do have PCOS, which does contribute to weight gain, and makes it harder to lose weight. Is that the only reason I'm fat? Nope. Do I use it as an excuse to eat shitty food? No, not any more. I've lost 40 lbs and am trying to lose another 90. It's hard and discouraging and occasionally seems pointless. But I'm doing it. Unless you've been morbidly obese you don't really know what it's like. It's so very easy to get into a cycle of depression and shame. To give up because even after losing 40 lbs (which is more than a lot of "fat" people need to lose at all) you're STILL morbidly obese. I'm sure a lot of people will attack that. I can hear it now "well you shouldn't have gotten so fat", "it's your own fault" ect ect. That's fine, but I don't have a time machine. Alcoholics choose to pick up the bottle, too. But I never hear people blame them for their "disease". It's not that far different.

Shaming a fat person will not make them thin. My mother tried it and it just caused me to eat out of sadness and rebellion. Maybe if she hadn't made fun of me for weighing a ghastly 120 lbs I wouldn't have shot up to 180 in high school. And from there to 275 by my 30's. Yes that was my own response to the environment I was in. But possibly a more nurturing and supportive environment would have yielded different results.

For the record I'm a vegetarian. I was vegan for a while. I lost 80 lbs (which didn't stay off). I also lost a lot of hair and my teeth are far weaker now.
Why think in black and white, Sloggers? We all know that every controversial issue is multifaceted and very, very complicated.

People's environments do affect the way they eat, which is why the poor (who live in poorer neighborhoods with fewer stores with healthy food options) are heavier. Of course, bottom line is that people who are fatter *do* ingest more calories and expend fewer than thin people, and that's why it seems easy to blame them. Studies have shown that if you put obese people in collectively healthier environments, they become healthier and their quality of life increases.

How do we create collectively healthier environments? Some of it may be helped by the government (things like making more bike/walking paths, parks, etc. only gives people *more* options; doesn't hinder their choices), but we also must demand this with our dollars. To do that, people have got to start caring about themselves and their lives, enough to make a special trip to get healthy goods, until farms and other companies see that poor neighborhoods *will* buy their healthy food if given the opportunity. It will be a difficult battle, of course, and the solution won't come tomorrow.
Also, the "I'm smarter/better than most people" rhetoric I'm seeing in here is really off putting.

"I know how to really read labels," "I know what foods are best," "I know all about HFCS," "Other people just go by buzzwords," "People don't realize what they're doing..." blah, blah, blah.

Go clone and fuck yourselves; it's so obvious that's what you want to do.

@94 there are more comments on that thread but it's starting to "age out"

not sure how they handle it but there's a scaling factor that ensures that we aren't stuck with the same ten threads from all time there, such that older threads with hundreds if not thousands of comments can't compare to a recent one with only 98
@98, ah, yes, I see now. Thanks for pointing that out.
For the, "you fat people should just be more 'grr' " people, I'll just leave this here.

I wonder how many of the fat shamers themselves are overweight or even obese? I know for a fact I'm obese, and I worked out today, and track my calories, thankyouverymuch. But I've also heard lots of overweight and obese folk rag on the weight of others. I wonder how many people here are overweight, and feel smug superiority because at least they're not THAT fat.

Here's the deal.... obesity isn't going away. We need to deal with it, and I think "just stop eating, you fat fuck" is not going to get people to do anything productive. Everyone here thinks it has to do with being lazy, but I really think if it were that simple, we'd have solved it. People eat, and overeat for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with need. People end up eating fast food when they're going through divorces, or they're caring for relatives who are dying and have no time for themselves. It's real damned easy for everyone to look down their noses at someone else, and damned harder to do something effective about it.