S.F. Fat Activists Oppose Atlanta's Anti-Obesity Campaign

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Anti-child "obesity" campaign or weight bigotry?
A San Francisco fat activist has helped raise more than $12,000 to launch a campaign to counter the public shaming of obese children. What set all this off: Currently in Atlanta, the second most obese city in the nation, Strong 4 Life billboards sponsored by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta show black-and-white shots of "chubby" children stamped with labels such as "fat kids become fat adults."

Dairy Queen supports Atlanta's Strong 4 Life campaign, while Kaiser Permanente disclaims it -- isn't that a red flag? The fat activism community has expressed disgust with Atlanta's anti-obesity efforts, calling the ads a shameful form of bigotry.

"It's time to take a stand and support developing healthy habits in kids of all sizes without stigmatizing fat ones," said Ragen Chaistain, fatosphere blogger.

The fat activism community has responded with a campaign of its own, Stand 4 Everybody, which argues that weight discrimination hurts.

Stand 4 Everybody's website pleads supporters to donate to Chastain's Support All Kids Billboard Project, which raised more than $12,000 in a single day to fund a counter-billboard in Atlanta saying something like "Shame is bad for your health." The billboard is scheduled to appear in two to four weeks.

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Support All Kids Billboard Project
Fat activists stand against Atlanta's "shameful" campaign

An additional $5,000 will be donated by an Atlanta-based fat-activism group once 1,000 individuals donate. Even members of Atlanta's fat community are disappointed in their city's efforts to prevent heart disease.

S.F. activist (and SF Weekly contributor) Marilyn Wann gave 10 autographed copies of her book Fat! So? and 10 specialFat! So?dayplanners to the first wave of donators.

Wann also began a photo series of satirical advertisements, the "I STAND..."

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Nicole Peirce
S.F. fat activist Marilyn Wann wants to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

One I STAND... supporter poses in her jogging gear and says "I stand for doing what you love in full view of those who doubt you." She says she is a "350 pound babe [and] as healthy as a horse."

Stand 4 Everybody has formed boycotts against brands that support CHOA's campaign. The anti-childhood obesity campaign ironically accepts corporate sponsorship from Waffle House, Dairy Queen, IHOP, and Coca-Cola, among others.

The anti-fat-ads campaign encourages outreach to influential voices like Michelle Obama and health institutes to create awareness of the demeaning billboards. Seven supporters are listed on the website, including health organizations and Dan Savage, whose syndicated column runs in the print edition of SF Weekly.

"It's hard to be among the 1 million fat kids in Georgia," Strong 4 Life's ads say. Their campaign kids complain about being bullied for their weight. Once their schoolmates see a proclamation of their weight problem on a television commercial or billboard, what will happen? Probably more bullying. Right, Atlanta?

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Guest
Guest

I'm a physician and whether you think big is beautiful or not, being overweight or obese is NOT healthy.  Admitting a nine year old that weighs more than me, a normal weight adult male, for new-onset diabetes to the ICU is not beautiful.  It's tragic.  No one's calling people ugly here, but parents - step up so your kids can live a healthy active life.

Payton_vege
Payton_vege

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

Lauren
Lauren

Personally, I'm not one way or another on the subject yet because I feel like I still don't know the whole picture. But here are my thoughts and hopefully you can give me some answers and follow-up:

1) I think you have your facts incorrect on who funds this. Searching online, I found that the companies you listed never say that they directly fund Strong4Life rather they support Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in various ways. As Children's is a major nonprofit with 3 hospitals and a lot of neighborhood locations so many companies may support it but do not specifically support the Strong4Life campaign.From your article:Waffle House: supports Marcus Autism Center and CHOA Dairy Queen: supports CHOA through Children's Miracle Network (http://www.miracletreatday.com... supports CHOA through Children's Miracle Network (http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/... supports CHOA

Also, I'd appreciate a link to where Kaiser "disclaims it". 

2) There has been a lot of stipulation about these ads but I have yet to see an actual KID talk about it. As adults, we can stipulate what will happen but we need to talk to the kids.

3)The billboards are a part of this campaign but there has been no press on what Children's is doing in schools and medical offices. If you read the Children's website there is A LOT more to the campaign than the billboards. http://www.choa.org/Child-Well... I would really appreciate a follow up article on the other parts of this campaign. No one seems to have covered it yet!

Thanks,Lauren

Xfildchild
Xfildchild

I am very proud that there are people out there who see what CHOA is doing for what it is: bullying.  It is clear from some of the comments below that a response to these awful billboards is desperately needed, as we already have enough bullying without govt. sanctioned billboards in the mix!  People: stop being lazy and read the peer reviewed research!  Health and body size are two separate things!

Ruthless M
Ruthless M

If you are happy with your body and weight then that is awesome no matter what. If you are unhappy with your body and weight, then you can take steps to change it.

Instead of targeting fat kids, why don't they target unhealthy foods? Like taco bell and candy and all the other things that have lots of sugar and fat but no nutrients.  

People tend to abhor what they fear, and being fat carries such a social stigma it's no wonder people get mean about it. That being said, you cannot expect everyone to accept you, it's not the way the world works.  Just because you love your body and size doesn't mean I have to. But I am certainly not going to tell you how to live your life, it's impolite and none of my business. 

NoCalDataDiva
NoCalDataDiva

 Well said, Ruthless, and appreciated. By the same token, I have had to learn to keep my mouth shut when I see people I regard as unhealthy due to obsessive dieting, whether they are thin and seem anorexic, or fat but going about it in a way that will not work IMO - e.g. starving themselves, or using those unhealthy, salty, trans-fat containing, processed "diet" foods marketed by commercial weight loss corporations like WW and JC. The hardest part of that is when the person is a friend.

Anne
Anne

Strong 4 Everybody sounds like a wonderful campaign!  What a great idea to encourage everyone to improve their health with exercise and food.  Instead of stigmatizing one group of children and holding them responsible for the poor health of the citizens of Georgia.

Thebarricks2002
Thebarricks2002

I think what Ragen Chaistain is doing and every other fat activist is doing is awesome! In this "war" against childhood obesity what is really happening is a war agains fat kids.Why not encourage ALL children to be active?Why not encourage ALL kids to eat right?Thin does not equal healthy.How many skinny little kids do you know who sit and play video games all day and eat junk?Tons!Its not about our body size,its about our lifestyle.Lets focus on that.

TheFatDiva
TheFatDiva

I have supported this campaign with my money because I was a fat kid who was bullied and shamed by others. No child should EVER have to experience the hours and years of tears and self-hatred that I did. It's sickening that it's been sanctioned by a bunch of adults who, ten to one, never went through school being bullied.

I don't care who you are - doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief - it is not OK to make fun of someone based on his appearance. It's arrogant and it's cowardly and the words hurt no matter where they come from.

Ragen Chastain has a wonderful saying: "No one ever hated themselves to health." These "Strong4Life" (or as I prefer to call them "Wrong4Life") folks have made a terrible choice by using HEALTHY children to falsely depict children suffering from "obesity," which is not a disease, by the way. It is a physical condition, but it does not in any way preclude health. These Strong4Life billboards are an outright lie intended to terrorize children and their parents into accepting a societal physical standard as proof of health, which it most emphatically is not.

Here are a couple of links to research studies that you might wish to review before you jump onto the Strong4Life bandwagon: http://www.sciencedaily.com/re... http://www.ajcn.org/content/7/... http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/....

It's time to stop the shaming and blaming; it's time to stop the hate.

Guest2
Guest2

I think it's horrible that a parent or a campaign would allow these kids to be photographed for a campaign shaming children for being fat.  However, I completely agree with Meatsack: arguing that fat can be healthy is ridiculous.  I am not disgusted by obese people.  I love my fat family and friends, and think that people of all sizes should be treated with respect.  But it also breaks my heart for them to see them winded from walking across the parking lot, for them to feel self-conscience about being in people's way in crowds, and for them to feel embarrassed about not fitting in seats made for "average" sized people.  But, they eat like crap and don't exercise!  It must be so overwhelming for them to think about losing weight.  I know it can be extremely hard to do when I just want to lose a few pounds.  But don't pretend that it's healthy to be fat, or that (in most cases) it is beyond your control.

Guest
Guest

Skinny people don't eat crap? Skinny people don't avoid exercise? Skinny people don't get winded just from walking across the carpark?

You seem to be a good enough person who cares about the health of loved ones. What you seem to fail to understand is that health and weight are not synonymous, despite what people believe. If there are people like me who eat whatever the hell we want, avoid exercise and fail to gain weight (despite what we want) then there are surely people out there who eat all the right foods, get plenty of exercise and fail to lose weight (despite what they want).

These ads make people hate themselves. If Stand4Life actually cared then they would try to motivate people to be healthy, regardless of weight. Do something so that the fat kids feel good that they ran a mile (when a month ago they couldn't) instead of feeling like a failure because it didn't lead to weight loss. Do something to motivate the skinny kids take care of their bodies instead of telling themselves that they don't need to change their unhealthy lifestyle because they're not fat.

Halla
Halla

Guest2 have you considered that your fat relatives might feel embarassed because they are constantly handed images of fat people being useless and nasty? It's a great way to make people self conscious. Or the 'standard', 'normal' seat thing - who decided what is 'normal' anyway? How many short people or tall people have problems fitting in 'normal' seats and we still think they are 'standard' sized seats? People don't come in standard sizes. 

You're also projecting your own experiences onto the world. So your relatives don't choose  to exercise or eat healthy things (maybe they're too embarassed to exercise, maybe they don't want to - their choice really), do you really think that this means every single fat person has the same experience as them? There's seven billion or so people on the planet, you don't think our bodies react in the same ways to living do you? 

Deb McCafferty
Deb McCafferty

Humiliating fat kids isn't supporting their health.  Why would anyone want a child on his or her way to school to see these horrible billboards?  And those heavy kids know that their thin peers are seeing them too!  Awful.  All that does is fuels overeating, sadness, loneliness.  I agree with Ragen Chastain.  Let's support HEALTHY BEHAVIORS IN ALL KIDS rather than stigmatizing fat kids.

Miz Lisa
Miz Lisa

"Flubber" - Are YOU stating that YOUR OWN family does not have a person that indeed falls in the "Obese" label?  Not one?

Secondly, in such a statement you then agree to deny these family members (siblings, parents, spouse AND YOUR CHILDREN) health care... and they are a WASTE?!Yes, I too would hide under an anonymous name after such a statement.DISEASE does not discriminate... You can be living a 'healthy' life and still have a Disease. Smoking, drugs and ALCOHOLISM are results of: Addiction due to disorders.... be it chemical unbalance in the system OR in the MIND!  Explain to me how NEGATIVITY and HUMILIATION of CHILDREN is ACCEPTABLE.Explain to me how a human being point fingers to the results without looking at the root of the problem?

HumanBeing
HumanBeing

Shaming and bigotry have never accomplished anything of value.  Teaching people to hate themselves doesn't accomplish anything either -- in fact, it does very real harm.  I get that the culture is completely fat-phobic... but they are because of bullying like this.  Nobody wants to be fat because people will treat you like crap (they may even put you on a humiliating billboard!) and by and large people seem to think that that's ok for some reason.  Stand 4 Everybody is not about trying to create more fat people, it's about encouraging self-acceptance and and self-love no matter where you find yourself, and telling everyone, even fat kids, that they are worthy of respect and caring.  Children absolutely need to hear this from adults.  The way we treat them is how they will learn to treat themselves.  Encouraging healthy habits (not necessarily perfection) is way more realistic and helpful than throwing fat children in the trash.  Let's get real here -- the $30 billion a year diet industry has only exacerbated this problem.  95% of diets fail... this is no secret.  And repeated dieting leads you further and further down a path of ignoring your body's own hunger and satiety queues which eventually makes you unable to even feel them.  Add to that the fact that many people self-soothe with food (the first way we were ever nurtured as children!) just like others drink, smoke and do drugs... well, what I'm trying to say is that this is a really complex issue and people need to allow themselves to experience a little empathy and compassion.

The focus needs to be on encouraging healthy behaviors, the first and most crucial of which is self-acceptance, wherever a person happens to be on their journey.  This is super hard stuff -- have you ever had to accept something about your life that you didn't necessarily like?  Have you discovered yet that even if you want to change something, acceptance is a necessary first step?  I mean, come on.  We're all human beings.  

People need to unlearn the concept of dieting and controlling their body with their mind and relearn how to experience hunger, how to know what their body is asking for, and how to satisfy those needs.  This is super difficult in our restrictive diet culture where people are sometimes literally terrified of necessary macronutrients.  People need to learn how to deal with stress and self-soothe in better ways than emotional eating and/or change the stressful situations for the better.  But making people fat-phobic pushes them further and further away from this.  Creating hostility and weight stigma pushes them further and further away from this.  So what do you really want?  Do you want people to be healthy or do you just want someone to kick around?  If it's the former, you should care about whether your words and actions actually support that end or not.  The Strong4Life campaign does not support a healthy community.  Hate, bigotry, and weight stigma are absolutely counter to health.

And also, to be honest.... why do people care so much more if people are fat than if they're binge drinkers or smokers or pot heads or what have you?  Bullies just want someone to bully and right now it's somewhat socially acceptable to disrespect people because of the size of their bodies. But treating fat people with the same respect and kindness that you'd show anyone else shouldn't even be a question.

Kathryn
Kathryn

 Really well said. Thank you.

Lililives
Lililives

I notice the foaming at the mouth that goes along with belittling heavy set kids and obese adults. I think some people might need time on a therapists couch.

I see nothing about the fact that the kids who do exercise are suffering from unnatural weight gain due to allergens and hormones from the toxins in their ever-accessible GMO'd food. Where are all of the health nuts about that? Oh I forgot. They're getting paid by Monsanto.

I guess it's simpler for people to pick on kids they've never met than actually get in the faces of the adults in the government that have orchestrated the lack of gym classes in school and toxic foods in the cafeteria.

Atlanta needs to shut up and place the blame right where it goes-in their own laps for not properly maintaining healthy fitness programs and healthy non-toxic school snack and lunch foods.

To the SF fat haters: grow up. The emaciated, over-tanned, beef jerky skin look is not attractive either. Nor is the pale, wispy headed-to-the ER-over-coffee and adderall lifestyle SF folks pretend not to have. People tell you that you look good to be kind.They are lying.

Obesity and anorexia are BOTH not pleasant to view. Properly placed actions and moderate actions are helpful in all things. Learn about them before being so judgmental.

Is it me or have SF folk become more angry and spiteful than they usually are?

Meatsack
Meatsack

It's the government and Monasanto's fault people are fat in Atlanta?  What can't you blame on the government?

RDStudent
RDStudent

For a "libertarian" who doesn't really care about this topic, you sure are posting a lot, Meatsack!

Kathryn
Kathryn

I am very grateful to you for bringing up the issues of our plasticized food supply, and how it contributes to the so-called "fat epidemic." But for the rest of your post, I am not sure what you're saying or whom you are criticizing. I live in the SF Bay Area - in Oakland, just across the bay. I do spend quite a bit of time on the therapist's couch, but it's not for obesity-related issues. And I am very saddened by the vitriol aimed at fat adults as well as children.

For the kids, it is clear that their condition is not their fault - they are kids! They do not have the final say over what or how they eat. But for adults, I am sick to death of hearing the simplistic "you just need to eat fewer 'calories' than you burn" B.S., even from MDs who should know better, because anyone who has taken even the most rudimentary biology and chemistry courses knows it is far more complicated than that. A human body is not a hollow, glass test tube, it is infinitely more complex - and "calories" are not something you count into a little pile and eat, nor are they matter at all, but a unit measurement of heat energy. But even if one has never set foot in a science classroom, basic common sense should tell them that being obese is a miserable condition that no one would choose, and that if it were so damned simple to change, they would do it!

kat
kat

I love all the I Stand posters, what a powerful message they are sharing about living in the body you have now rather than postponing life until you meet someone elses standard of beauty :D

TsuKata
TsuKata

Thank you for raising awareness of the terrific counter-campaign against these ads.  I find it hard to believe that anyone would condone shaming kids for being fat.  I can't imagine that Strong4Life didn't get what these ads actually are before putting them out, but the fact that, after having been informed, they continue to support the ads is terrible.  Growing up fat is hard enough, and shame only leads to disordered eating and poor body image, which is far more unhealthy than simply being fat.

TsuKata
TsuKata

"the diseases that go with...obesity cost all of us in insurance and taxes."Wrong.  See http://www.obesitymyths.com/my...  Check out the whole site while you're at it.  

Saying that diseases "go with" obesity is like saying that colds "go with" cold weather and thus we should be happy for global warming.

Juana Tango
Juana Tango

"Dr." meatsack clearly hasn't read the information provided by scientists and medical studies that can be found in such resources as http://www.haescommunity.org/ and http://www.sizediversityandhea... 

Besides - subjecting populations to verbal abuse leads to depression, suicide, and discrimination. Surely any thinking person can realize that isn't good for our children.

Flubber
Flubber

Fat people consume more, take up more space, use more energy, require more health care resources than non-fat folks.  Why wouldn't we want more of them.

RDStudent
RDStudent

Tall people also take up more space. We should also want less of them! Ban tall people! Yeah!

Matt Seegz
Matt Seegz

So basically, your social awareness of this issue stems from the fact that YOU'RE being inconvenienced. Oh, how appropriate. I can't imagine where the stereotype of the fit or in-between being self-absorbed and vain arose from.

Sarah
Sarah

I find the "ohhhh no my taxes are being raised because the horrible fatties are getting healthcare!" to be such a strange complaint. I have no children, and I don't plan on having children at all, but I pay my taxes, and a certain portion of those taxes goes towards schools and youth programs. The reason I don't complain? Because I care about kids. I care about their well-being, I want them to do well in school, I want them to stay off of the streets, and my tax dollars help do that.Saying you don't want tax dollars spent on a fat person's health insurance is like saying you hope they die of a treatable disease, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

radfatty
radfatty

The only thing billboards, such as these, do is to stigmatize people and set them up for weight cycling.  Rebecca Puhl, PhD, director of research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University in New Haven stated in a recent interview, “The real reality is that significant, sustainable weight loss is not achievable for most people.” She adds, “We know that the most that we can really expect people to lose and keep off over time from conventional weight loss programs is about 10% of body weight.” “Of course, some people lose more than that, but the vast majority regains that weight within one to five years,” she says. Studies show that dieting, even that considered “naturalistic”, among young people lead to weight cycling [Naturalistic weight reduction efforts predicted weight gain and onset of obesity in adolescent girls; http://ebn.bmj.com/content/3/3...] There is an evidence-based compassionate alternative to conventional dieting: Health At Every Size®. For more information on Health At Every Size, you can find a general explanation on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... or find in-depth research-based information in the book Health At Every Size - The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Dr. Linda Bacon (http://www.lindabacon.org/HAES....

Meatsack
Meatsack

Healthy kids don't come in all sizes.  Thats ridiculous.  Friendless out of shape kids who stay at home and play video games while drinking Mt Dew come in all sizes.

I live next to a high school, a couple of times a week there's a kid who gets off the bus when I get on, he is breathing like he just ran there, if he lived two blocks away, any farther would kill him.  In no way does he look healthy, he looks like he is a prime candidate for every preventable disease that comes with obesity.

The time to address this obesity is when the kids are young, fat older people who enjoy the benefits that come with being fat, whatever they may be, should let this one go.  This looks as if it is targeted towards the parents who feed these kids garbage.  Like smoking those habits are hard to break.

These adds also look like a bit like smoking adds, such as the ones that mention kids often smoke because the parents do.  Obese parents who eat garbage shouldn't sentence their kids to a life of poor health and an early death.  Smokers get abuse while it's unfair to over eaters? 

As a libertarian type I try and avoid these arguments, but the diseases that go with smoking and obesity cost all of us in insurance and taxes.  Anti smoking nuts never fail to remind us of this with every new petty law, while it seems that we don't get the avenue with the fat activists.

RDStudent
RDStudent

That's weird - I was a fat kid who had lots of friends, was very active and now is a very healthy "regular size" adult. Even if I wasn't "regular size," I'd probably still be healthy because I'm very active and eat my veggies.

Meatsack: Maybe the fat kid breathing "like he ran there" did just run to the bus stop. I used run my fat little body a mile to and from school four times a day because it was fun. And I breathed hard after - imagine that! But I suppose you presume to know all about this child's day based on your brief bus observation a couple times a week on a bus! You are clearly omnipotent and clairvoyant - lucky you! You are so right to that we can just look at people and determine what diseases they suffer from - all those silly lab tests the medical industry spends money on can be tossed away now!

I agree we should strive toward making kids healthier. I do not agree that this can in any way be done by shaming children about their body size. Most attempts to shrink children's or adults' body sizes results in a larger body size in the long run. Is this really the best way to health? The argument is not against health, it's against bigotry and fat shaming. And what about thin kids - are we assuming that they are all healthy and not eating junk food? Finally, smoking is not anywhere near the same as obesity. Smoking has more or less conclusively been proven to be bad for people - the same just cannot be said about being fat. There are just as many studies to show that being fat and healthy is equal to being thin and healthy and way better than being thin and unhealthy.

Bottom line - we just need to start thinking about fat in a different way. Weight does not equal health.

Matt Seegz
Matt Seegz

-Eliminate the Mt Dew and the rest of the disgusting processed mush that passes for affordable pseudo-nutrition these days and though their numbers may be lower, you still won't eliminate the people you dimwits hastily label as "fat." There IS no standard body type, as much as you like to pat yourselves on the glutes for grotesquely distorting your bodies into bulging, veiny monstrosities. Bodies have a range in which they're most comfortable, but that range isn't always going to be a low weight. Each individual is different. If that's too difficult to wrap your head around, I'm sorry. Here, have some anabolics. *pat pat*

-You saw a fat kid and it bothered you. Truly, you have achieved the wisdom that years of scientific research and revision could not.

-If it were targeted towards parents, why does it feature children, rather than parents? I mean, there's a slew of things wrong with blaming the parents, too, but your rationalization doesn't even make sense because parents are nowhere to be seen.

-The problem with confusing obesity with smoking is that obesity, under the right management, can cause very little to no damage to the body (depending on the person's weight and muscle VS fat ratio), whereas smoking is sucking a harmful chemical into your body. Also, there is no risk of "second-hand fat." You can concoct any jumbled scenario or metaphor you like, but the answer is no. You cannot give your fat to someone else unless it's through genetics, and even then you can still take measures to avoid it.

Oh, and they're called "Ads." Maybe you should try pumping a book or two once and a while, Iron man.

-A libertarian is simply an anarchist with money. Rofl.At any rate, you're selective about the risky lifestyles you persecute. "I don't want to pay a fire station since I've never had a fire." It's selfish, short-sighted and your disgust is fueled mainly by your own superficiality, not something rational. It always is.

Meatsack
Meatsack

Do you people have anything other than strawman arguments?

It's kind of amazing how people's denial mechanisms work mixed with their weird insistence of tolerance on their part.  They read something, build a strawman around it, and spout the learned leftist cliches that go along with that.  What crazy non sense, seeing fat people doesn't "bother me" how in the world you got that out of anything is amazing. 

Do you live in the city, do you vote progressive, if so you voted for progressive who have made some of the same arguments I did when they enacted the happy meal law.  Did you go down to city hall and spout your crazy ravings at Eric Mar, did you tell he was some sort of bigot or whatever?>

Kathryn
Kathryn

The logical fallacy called a "straw man" argument is one in which you devise a weak, hypothetical argument supposedly made by your opponent, then refute it, while failing to debate the actual argument that was made. If you are going to toss jargon around, you might at least learn to use it correctly.

Halla
Halla

The only person making straw men here is the one who keeps mentioning them. Stop scoffing long enough to read, why don't you, you might learn something. Body size is an indicator of body size. That's all. So you saw a fat kid out of breath. And? That's all you can conclude from that. 

Deb McCafferty
Deb McCafferty

So we should humiliate the fat ones?  That's going to help them?  

Kathryn
Kathryn

 Okay, libertarian dude, what about people who engage in high-risk behaviors such as skiing, racing, "extreme" sports, insubordination at work resulting in termination and unemployment, conceiving babies under high-risk conditions and carrying to term those that require extreme, high-tech medical intervention...and the many others who "cost all of us in insurance and taxes?" Freedom for all to live as we choose has its costs, and when spread out over a vast population, these costs are neglible to the individual. That is why group insurance is so much cheaper than individual coverage. What truly costs us in insurance and taxes is greedy pharmaceutical and medical corporations plus government waste and war-mongering abroad to benefit the wealthy in power here at home.

Meatsack
Meatsack

I of course was a huge fan of the various ongoing wars, the USA should just invade every country on earth and get it over with, I thought.  I hoped to one day to just hand my every paycheck over to an insurance company because they do such good work.  I was waiting for the day that I could begin praying to pharmaceutical and medical corporations to make me one of the wealthy who rule this nation.

Thats how I used to think, but now that I have read your astute on topic response to me, I see the light.  Because someone can string some crazy together, people should just gain and gain no matter the ill health consequences and the cost to the public, because insurance companies suck.  It's all so clear now.

If you live in SF I would guess that you vote "progressive" considering your slapped together genius at seeing through the conspiracy. Progressive, as in the group that voted to ban happy meals, you should have went down and explained your theories to them before the vote, I'm sure that you would have swayed them to your side and they would have dropped it and instead legislated away war-mongering.

Guest
Guest

Mr. Meatsack,You are obviously an intelligent person.  I'm sorry to see you waste it on clever sarcasm.  Intelligence is less valuable than compassion.  If you could drop out of your head into your heart for a few seconds a day, you might be able to apply your intelligence in a more valuable way in the world.

Kathryn
Kathryn

 Nice straw man. So well done, I won't even trouble myself to dispute it. Can't argue with "logic" like that. I am flattered you chose to devote three paragraphs to the final, rather parenthetical sentence of my post. After that effort, you must have been too exhausted to respond to the direct question I posed with my first sentence. Such a bright fellow you are, I know you wouldn't simply be lacking an answer, nor would the main point of my post sail right over your head..."should have went" LOL

Matt Seegz
Matt Seegz

Oh, go vandalize someone's yard with a Ron Paul poster, you backwoods-squatting, squirrel-eating loony tune.

Guest
Guest

1) Thin people eat "garbage" too and it has no apparent affect on their weight so the whole "what you eat makes you fat" argument is, well, garbage.2) Watching someone move and breath =/= a medical diagnosis of obesity.3) We need to eat to live and what nutrition each body needs is highly personalized - we can live without smoking so the attempt at any realistic comparison is ridiculous.4) The diseases (heart disease, diabetes, etc.) that are supposedly linked to or caused by obesity can in fact occur in non-obese individuals. So perhaps we should work on actually treating and curing the diseases themselves.5) Whining ignorantly about fat losers who eat garbage costing you health care is about as productive as playing video games and drinking Mt Dew.

Meatsack
Meatsack

ha, very good denial, the best of the four strawman filled and science denial posts so far. 

What you eat contributes to your weight, also how much you exercise, if you eat nothing but ice cream and do nothing most people will get fat.  There has been numerous studies on diet relating to health and weight.

Obesity is a medical term based on BMI, being obese is not healthy by any stretch of the imagination.  Someone, say a teen boy with man boobs and has to turn sideways to get out the back door of the bus is probably obese when it comes to BMI.  Not a snap decision by me.  Would you assume that when you see a person smoking they are a smoker?

Number three is a strange bit of denial, you can also live eating nothing but hand fulls of sugar, for awhile anyways, you can also live a long time smoking a pack a day.  Probably will live longer on a pack a day though.  The subject is how much and what people eat.  If you make poor food choices and eat a lot of fried food and high fructose corn sugar and don't exercise, you will die, just like if you smoke.  Nor really a stretch there.

Non smokers can get lung cancer too.  No sane person thinks that poor diet and being over weight isn't linked with various diseases.  We should look to cure all diseases, but we should also not invite them into our lives through ill health.  Number four is just delusional.

I'm not whining, I'm making a statement of fact.  I'm not interested in legislating your life, like Eric Mar and the rest of the clownish SF progressives.  But facts are facts yet again, people who make poor life choices cost us all.  I'll leave your life up to you, feel free to deny all sorts of medical science and treat your ailments by getting your humors in alignment and seeing your witch doctor yearly to cast the demons.  Do whatever you want with your life, but at least touch bases with the real world off and on.

HumanBeing
HumanBeing

Mr. Meatsack, sir, just the way you talk about this issue ("teen with man boobs","eat a lot of fried food and high fructose corn sugar and don't exercise, you will die") shows your ignorance and disgust with fat people and your commitment to making the "evidence" fit your world view that all fat people gorge on junk food, are lazy, unhealthy, etc.  And everyone is going to die -- we're talking about duration and quality of life which is always going to be influenced both by nature and nurture, to different degrees in different people.  And if it wasn't already clear, nurture comes from many sources, not just the food we eat.

The BMI scale, by the way, was developed by a mathematician (not a medical doctor) in the early 1800s to study weight distribution over large populations; it was never meant to be applied to individuals.  It wasn't picked up for use as a proxy for body fat until the 1970s and has repeatedly been shown to falsely identify people as "unhealthy" up to 50% of the time when you look at other, more established indicators of health (blood pressure, cholesterol, cardio-pulminary function).  If nothing else, it is severely limited to judge a person's health by their body size.  At worst, it is harmful and misleading.  Unfortunately, many doctors have also bought into a "lose weight" cure-all and a limited view of what causes obesity (fried chicken, Mountain Dew, and video games).  Fat people are less likely to get quality medical care because of this weight-stigma which is not wholly based reality, either.I don't think anyone is advocating a poor diet.  In fact, I personally believe that the quality of the primary food supply plays a roll in the rise in cancers, heart disease and reproductive illnesses, at least in some people.  There will never be definitive human studies because 1) you can't control humans enough to account for all the commingling variables and 2) many of the studies would be unethical.  For now, all we have is correlation, but we can use our reason to cut to the heart of it as best we can and do further studies to suss it out.

You seem like a pretty intelligent person.  All I'm saying is try not to discount the complexity of this issue.  Not to mention that there are several people with vested financial interests in making sure that we don't even look into it (big pharma, the "food" industry, the diet industry, the insurance industry).  We need to stop ignorantly declaring that large bodies are the root cause for all health problems that a fat person may experience.  We need to look at whether or not all fat people are actually unhealthy (they're not).  We need to look at the validity of the way we even define obesity (BMI is an incredibly poor measure).  We need to stop stigmatizing people for their weight so that we can look for ways to make our communities more supportive of overall health for everyone.

Guest
Guest

What's rediculous is uninformed people assuming that they can know anything about someone's habits by looking at them, or because they saw someone once who looked like that and was out of breath (and therefore assumed to be unhealthy-maybe the poor kid had asthma).Obesity is an effect, not a cause (an effect of burning fewer calories than you consume-which is determined by many, many factors, not just how much you eat and exercise!) and the #1 cause of obesity is dieting...and the #1 cause of dieting is body shaming.  Yes, studies have shown that high BMI is CORRELATED to disease.  Guess what?  So is baldness and stress-like the stress that is caused by being constantly told you are worthless, ugly, and diseased, for instance.What i would like to know is, who are the parents who hate their kids so much that they allowed them to pose for these ads?? 

Beanly00
Beanly00

Shift work is correlated with cancer occurance,,,,,

Meatsack
Meatsack

good lord, riding the bus is really taxing, I'm always panting when I climb up and down those three steps, after sitting for the half hour that it takes to get to work I have to steel myself for the three steps going down, for they may be my last three steps on this earth.

Modern America is such a trip, everyone has to form up these denial mechanisms and then string them along in some sort of self esteem building exercise.  Go do your daily affermation, you are somebody and people like you.

Matt Seegz
Matt Seegz

I might be full of fat, or cholesterol, or chocolate, or whatever substance you imagine I'm filled with, but that's a hell of a lot better than being full of myself, like you. Your responses are filled with vitriol and you bring nothing but trite mockery. You are about as intellectually stimulating as a brick to the head.

If you were a libertarian, you wouldn't be concerned at all about how fat people are. No judgements, no venomous tongue, you wouldn't care. As it stands, you are simply another nosy, narcissistic meatsack who can't stop whining about the uglies in his view; the kind of person who singlehandedly makes going to the gym an unpleasant experience. Eliminate that (you) from the equation, and perhaps I'd be able to do my reps and use the elliptical in peace, without some yutz standing over me and commenting on how heavy my breathing sounds because, surprise surprise, I've been exercising.

Guest
Guest

The truth is, the HABITS that tend to lead to obesity also cause diseases.  However, there are many people who have high BMIs and very healthy habits and do not have any health problems.  In these people, their obesity is caused by things other than their current habits-like genetics, environment, and other factors.  There are also thin people who have the diseases that are supposedly "caused" by obesity.

But putting the FACTS aside for a moment, even if obesity did cause disease, it is NOT OKAY TO SHAME CHILDREN, and also not at all helpful.  Shame leads to low self-esteem, which does not lead to healthy habits. 

Affirmation?  No thanks, I'd rather do research. http://www.nedic.ca/knowthefac...

Dorothy:How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?

Scarecrow:I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking...don't they?

Ok, maybe that was out of line.  You have a brain, it is just full of misinformation.  If you want the facts, you will find them.  My guess is you're too busy making fun of fat kids on busses.  And in a free world, you can say what you want.  But maybe you should question which one of us is truly in denial.

Guest
Guest

I always appreciate someone who is willing to paint an entire group of people with one brush because of one high school student they see from afar who is doing something whose cause they haven't investigated.  

softrefrain
softrefrain

It's no different than the one fat acceptance person who says "I've been overweight my whole life and I'm healthy as a horse!"  The truth is, obesity IS linked to a number of preventable diseases.  People are so emotionally attached to this issue that you can't bring it up without a huge ruckus. 

No_under_nanab
No_under_nanab

Correlation does not equal causation. There are plenty of thin people who are just as unhealthy as fat ones- Stacey Irvine, anyone? If you're that worried about the health of obese children, then do just that- worry about their health, not their size. 

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