Saturday, February 28, 2009

the obese only have themselves to blame?

Suppose a cancer patient walks into to the doctor and/or oncologist or hospital and before they treat her or maybe instead of treating her, they all say "but you only have yourself to blame!"? Never would happen, right? Even though the American Cancer Society has stated that cancer is 85 percent lifestyle caused!

However with obesity, Dr Rudy Leibel has stated that it is only 40-60 percent lifestyle caused and yet, the obese person going for medical treatment hears it all the time that they "only have themselves to blame".

One of the most ignorant articles I have read in a while (and that's saying something considering how ignorant the media is) was written by someone in the UK named Amanda Platell.

(Photo caption - "self delusion is an obese person's greatest problem" says Amanda)

She writes:

But my mother cooked simple, cheap food for us every night, packed our lunches (sandwiches, a carrot and an apple... is that too hard?) and none of her three children ever had an ounce of fat on them.We swam, ran, climbed trees, played football. We ate healthily and lived healthily.

Well, excuuuuse me Amanda but MY mother cooked healthy, packed our lunches with no sweets and we swam, rode bicycles, climbed trees and played sports and we still were fat, all of us!

And according to the unpublished Russell Williams study, in which he asked 6 catering services which had catered both the NAAFA conventions as well as many other conventions, which group had consumed more food, the answers would have surprised Amanda and others. Three of the caterers said that the fat folks in NAAFA consumed exactly the same amount of food as those of the general population and three of the caterers stated that the folks in NAAFA consumed less food than consumed by other conventions.

It's time for those of us with genes which tend to render us fat, stop taking the nonsense and ignorance from such as Amanda and for that matter, consider stopping taking their advice to disable our digestive tracts also. Instead, we need to embrace our beautiful bodies whatever size they are, live on a healthy program like HAES (read Dr Bacon's book "HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE" if you have not yet read it) and educate the general public about genetics and size and obesity.


Because if we do not tell society the truth, no one else will and articles like Amanda's will continue to misinform the public. The Amanda's of our society never hesitate to speak out, as we can see.


cynth said...

I think a very large part of the problem is that people who do not have the tendencies to be come fat easily ("norms") believe that "everyone is like them" and that fat people have to be over eating in a big way to become fat.

They think that if they were to become that fat they would have to sit and eat and do nothing, and of course it would all be sweets and hamburgers. Their experience is just different than ours.

It's the dreaded "If I can do it so can you! Let me show you how!" mind set. And sadly their "big weight loss" is 5 or 10 pounds. To them that is a lot. I could lose 10 pounds from the tops of my arms and it wouldn't even be noticeable.

It's very hard to change a "norms" attitudes about fat when they have experienced nothing like we experience everyday.

Buttercup Rocks said...

Oh I've locked horns with Platell before; she's completely ghastly – also a serial dieter going through a thin and superior phase. Typical projected self-loathing with a side order of staggering ignorance.

Meyghan said...

I don't mean to quibble here. But discrimination on the health care front for "lifestyle" diseases is considerable. Alcoholics who haven't "recovered" aren't given liver or other transplants.

The UK expressly states that because heart bypass surgeries will be less effective for smokers, and liver transplants less effective for drinkers, they will have less of a priority to these treatments. "Lifestyle" in general is taken into account along with other factors in each case, to determine whether treatment should be preconditioned on lifestyle changes or denied entirely. (Yay nationalized health care.)

There are differences in each of these cases. There are a limited number of livers. If there really is evidence that someone is continuing to drink and that significantly imperils the success of the transplant, I think I can buy a utilitarian argument that others can "take cutsies." I've heard that as many as 70% of transplant failures are due to non-compliance with physiological and pharmacological regimes post-surgery. If true, that's compelling.

Heart bypasses though, seem another matter, since it's just a question of manpower and does not require using a non-renewable resource, which can always be increased. And they should be. Same with similar treatments for fat people. You can't use life-saving/improving treatment as a carrot-stick because someone's life doesn't measure up to your arbitrary standards.

But there are instances of medical discrimination even more egregious I think. Those with mental illnesses or who are suicidal are commonly discriminated against for life-saving treatment. These are often more due to genetic and environmental factors beyond someone's control than even body fat percentages. And do I understand the reasoning? Sure. If Mary is suicidal, why should she get a heart, kill herself, and leave Paul to die without one? Do I still think it's completely wrong? Absolutely.

I just don't think fat people are the only victims here. And that it's a complicated issue depending on whether the treatment requires access to a limited resource.

Lemur-Cat said...

It sounds like Amanda Platell is suffering from a bad case of being a stupid moron with a secondary infection of being a huge asshole.

Unknown said...

It's not genetics, people weren't nearly this heavy 30 years ago. Genes do not and have not changed that rapidly in the course of 30 years, but the spread of McDonald's and other wonderfully unhealthy foods, hormones treatments for cattle and multiple other practices have.

Don't blame the genes, since there is nothing but speculation and unproven theories that are rebuked by multiple other sources.

Eating the same amount of food does not equate to the same QUALITY of food. Especially if your metabolism is slowed to a crawl from inactivity and attempts at starving yourself to faster results.

Sue Joan said...

@Jworix - It isn't all genetics but it's about 60-80 percent genetics according to dr Rudy Leibel, famed obesity researcher. Did you read the links I provided? I've seen the phenomena in families where both kids eat the same and move the same and yet, one is fat and one is slim. Today on a TV show, was a guy who runs 10 miles several times a week and yet he was not slim. The National Body Challenge had a marathoner - she'd been doing marathons for 10 years yet was about 30 lbs overweight. I saw that series before. The first weigh-in, she actually gained weight (living on the same program which caused large losses in some of the contestants). By the last week, she'd lost only a few lbs. If you had those genetics, you'd have spent a lifetime trying to be slim with no luck. Be happy if in your case you can eat "normally" and be slim - and be empathetic for those not so well blessed.