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ckn

Normalising Obesity

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The original post of this thread was about how we treat obese people and the difficult balance between not wanting to treat people badly but not wanting people to think obesity is a good thing. The problem I have with how society views weight, is that it is seen as an over-riding character flaw and as it is easily visible, people make instant negative judgements. This is a flawed approach and one we should try to rectify. Take the following example:

1) I weigh just under 13 stone. I consider the calorific content of every meal that I eat and go out running (about 7-8k on average) 3 times a week with a couple of other fitness activities in-between. I'm a teacher. I only ever drink alcohol on a Saturday and even then it is around 3 pints. Including take-aways and restaurants, I eat out on average probably once or twice a month. I'm not too interested in chocolate or sweet things even when I'm not dieting.

2) My brother-in-law is the same height as me but weighs about 10 stone. He eats what he feels like eating. This often means take-away multiple times a week. I've never seen him do any form of cardio in his life and very rarely tries to do weights. He works in a call-centre. He has calmed down a little but used to go out drinking a number of times a week. To give him his dues he doesn't eat sweet stuff very often either.

One of two things is going on here. The first option is that we process food differently and I put weight on more easily than he does. The second is that he actually eats fewer calories across the day (and me more) than it seems and that he burns off more calories by being more hyperactive in general than me. It could of course be a mixture of both.

My issues is that society often sees it as a simple equation:

 

overweight = lack of effort + lack of willpower

 

This is the case in some part of course, but the inverse is quite clearly not always true. As my example demonstrates, regardless of the exact reasons for why I am bigger than he is, he doesn't make any effort or use any willpower to be slim whereas I, however flawed, have to deprive myself of things and make an effort to go out running to maintain a relatively decent weight.

My brother-in-law isn't the slightest bit judgemental and I've never seen him comment on weight, but in my experience it is often people who make as little effort as he does, who are very disparaging about overweight people and who believe they must be secretly eating way more than they themselves are. 

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I read something that made this thread click.

"Fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense. Fault results from choices that have already been made. Responsibility results from the choices we currently make."

Some of what has happened is my fault, some of what has happened isn't my fault. What happens now is my responsibility.

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30 minutes ago, hindle xiii said:

What happens now is my responsibility.

… to an extent. And part of the challenge is in discovering what you can control and what you can't. When you work it out, can you let me know how you did it?


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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I’ve been reading up on this as one of our area’s most prevalent health conditions is obesity, especially in the under 18s with huge long-term health implications if it’s not resolved.  One bit that keeps coming up that I can’t see any way around is technology.  As a child, I was out as much as possible, except for pre-warned family stuff and going to sleep and I can’t remember any of the lot I grew up with ever being fat, maybe a couple were a bit larger and could be doing with losing some but never fat

 


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" - Mark Twain

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Micheal Buerk has had a go today, I'm sure he will be applauded by some for his common sense no nonsense approach.

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With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

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On 02/08/2019 at 10:55, ckn said:

I’ve been reading up on this as one of our area’s most prevalent health conditions is obesity, especially in the under 18s with huge long-term health implications if it’s not resolved.  One bit that keeps coming up that I can’t see any way around is technology.  As a child, I was out as much as possible, except for pre-warned family stuff and going to sleep and I can’t remember any of the lot I grew up with ever being fat, maybe a couple were a bit larger and could be doing with losing some but never fat

 

I was recently looking at some old school photos from about 12/13. I couldn't recognise one guy until i worked out it was a guy we all called Ten Ton Tommy Tank, in my mindseye he was obese - in the photos he was about the same build as the guy in the purple shirt above but the rest of use were stick insects with near visible ribs. I think partly it was because he saw himself as fat, not helped by his mum who was a Cambridge Diet distributor putting them on the free samples near month end if she was skint telling him he needed to diet. I remember him saying he was too fat to do a cross country run

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3 hours ago, Bedford Roughyed said:

Micheal Buerk has had a go today, I'm sure he will be applauded by some for his common sense no nonsense approach.

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There's a lot I agree with in this. One thing that isn't touched on is that although obesity rates have soared 10 times, I doubt very much that there has been any change in rates of willpower.

There has clearly been a significant societal change with regards to eating and exercising habits and perhaps the only thing that is certain is that simply telling people to lose weight isn't going to work.

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On 02/08/2019 at 10:55, ckn said:

I’ve been reading up on this as one of our area’s most prevalent health conditions is obesity, especially in the under 18s with huge long-term health implications if it’s not resolved.  One bit that keeps coming up that I can’t see any way around is technology.  As a child, I was out as much as possible, except for pre-warned family stuff and going to sleep and I can’t remember any of the lot I grew up with ever being fat, maybe a couple were a bit larger and could be doing with losing some but never fat

 

I touched on this in the Fortnite thread. I agree that technology along with its negative effects are here to stay. It has been a battle for sometime, but at least there used to be the feeling that we ought not be on technology too much.

Increasingly, I'm seeing people less apologetic about spending 90% of their waking time in front of a screen. When gaming can now be monetised, I suspect we'll see people being less and less bothered.

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