Seeking Fat Acceptance (Read 3393 times)

Shoe


    We plaster thin people all over because they are more attractive. 

     

    That's strange. I consider myself perfectly able to judge for myself whether people are attractive or not, and plenty of the models I see again, and again have bodies I personally don't consider attractive, and whom would be more attractive with a little more weight.  There are plenty of plus size models that I find gorgeous who are overweight.

    Why would we not celebrate various types of healthy bodies?  

     

    And we can't assume that because the magazine wants to promote a certain attractive ideal that it's all right or okay.  The airbrushing that is rampant is not okay either.  

     

    Having obsessed about this with many of my friends when younger, and the magazines have only gotten worse since the 90's,  having seen the girls striving for what they see when it is NOT where their body lies, having seen disordered eating and a lot of self hatred.  (And the very thin glamorization is what was referred to before your post, so no back pedaling and saying you were only referring to healthy.),   and now having daughters of my own... I can not stand seeing all this excused.  It's hard for an adult who can truly understand what is going on with the photos, and it just kills me to think that they will ever feel an ounce of that.  I want to teach them to be healthy, and on that end hope they are not obese, but I hope very much that this pushing of a certain ideal so fervently of beauty is long gone.   There are certainly a lot of people on style and fitness magazines that are NOT healthy.  Smoking, drug use- and some of the extreme regimens of some figure models on fitness magazines are not those of bodies going towards optimal health and performance but merely a certain ideal.  You may not think that these ideals make an impact on kids but I can tell you that they do; I've seen it, not always in eating disorders, sometimes in self hatred, which won't suddenly make someone thin, often the opposite, if they feel the ideal is unattainable.

      That's strange. I consider myself perfectly able to judge for myself whether people are attractive or not, and plenty of the models I see again, and again have bodies I personally don't consider attractive, and whom would be more attractive with a little more weight.  There are plenty of plus size models that I find gorgeous who are overweight.

      Why would we not celebrate various types of healthy bodies?  

       

      And we can't assume that because the magazine wants to promote a certain attractive ideal that it's all right or okay.  The airbrushing that is rampant is not okay either.  

       

      Having obsessed about this with many of my friends when younger, and the magazines have only gotten worse since the 90's,  having seen the girls striving for what they see when it is NOT where their body lies, having seen disordered eating and a lot of self hatred.  (And the very thin glamorization is what was referred to before your post, so no back pedaling and saying you were only referring to healthy.),   and now having daughters of my own... I can not stand seeing all this excused.  It's hard for an adult who can truly understand what is going on with the photos, and it just kills me to think that they will ever feel an ounce of that.  I want to teach them to be healthy, and on that end hope they are not obese, but I hope very much that this pushing of a certain ideal so fervently of beauty is long gone.   There are certainly a lot of people on style and fitness magazines that are NOT healthy.  Smoking, drug use- and some of the extreme regimens of some figure models on fitness magazines are not those of bodies going towards optimal health and performance but merely a certain ideal.  You may not think that these ideals make an impact on kids but I can tell you that they do; I've seen it, not always in eating disorders, sometimes in self hatred, which won't suddenly make someone thin, often the opposite, if they feel the ideal is unattainable.

       

       

      I was generalizing.  If a survey was carried out comparing the models magazines use to others, say more overweight ones, the models they used would be picked as more attractive the majority of the time.  Im saying this as a statistical fact; not as my own personal opinion.  Also, you seem confused into thinking that magazine publishers, or any group selling a product, are trying to promote an ideal.  They aren't.  They do not sit in a room and plot to ruin the youth of the world.  They are trying to sell magazines, and they have done market research that shows what they include in their magazines (pictures, articles, etc) will sell the most, and that linking their magazine/article to attractive people helps it sell.  It is society, or at least their target auidence, that wants what they include. 

       

      I'm not saying all thin people are healthy, that all models are healthy.  I'm simply explaining why they are used to advertised products.  They are not demons, just salesmen.

      Hays in the barn. Sack it up. Get After it. Just one more mile, just one more mile, just one more sad little mile in my miles of trials. God, how I do love every last one of them.

        Yoplait yogurt and Special K cereal come to mind.  Many times they have had campaigns featuring women who appear to be at their ideal weight, but are eating yogurt or a bowl of cereal in an effort to lose weight.  I personally know several women who have dieted by eating nothing but a tiny carton of yogurt or a bowl of cereal as a meal, 3x/day.  None have had success with this, for obvious reasons.

         

        Yoplait Pulls Ad.

        kitt-cat


          Yes. Joy is Obese.

           

           

          The (regurgitated) BMI rant (since BMI is [again] under attack):

           

          BMI is a simple calculation, height divided by weight squared using metric units.  The BMI categories are based on general statistica about the population at large (heh) and, as above, do not account for body fat percentage or musculature.  The BMI for somebody who is 5-10 and 145 lbs is 20.8, which is squarly in the "normal" range of 18.5-25.


          When most athletic folks complain about BMI, they are complaining because they are muscled and their muscle weighs a lot, giving them a calculated BMI category of "overweight" or "obese" when they are all-muscle.  These folks are misinterpreting the BMI, which is meant to serve as a screen for obesity.  A screening test is meant to find all cases of a disease, even though some of those it identifies may not have the disease.  Used as a screen, all people who are obese should be found by an elevated BMI, but some of those found with the elevated BMI will be football quarterbacks.  That is why there are follow up tests, such as whether the person looks fat, or the results of a body fat test.

          However, that is not how BMI is meant to be used.  BMI is a screening test to help identify folks with obesity, not a diagnostic test to calculate bodyfat.  Most 200 lb Americans are not Arnold Schwarzenegger and are not all-muscle.  That it happens not to be very accurate for a bunch of freaky runners does not mean the test is garbage.

          And also, how do YOU know your overweight body mass index is due to muscle and not fat?  Answer: unless you have had a body fat measurement, you don't.

          To be crystal clear: BMI is the number.  Not the word.  The number is always accurate.  The word is an interpretation that has to do with population-based statistics.  The word "overweight" does not mean "fat", but rather something along the lines of "more weight than average".  I am sorry if that word offends you because you beleive it implies "fat".  The fact of the matter is that most people whose BMI falls into the category of "overweight" do have excess fat, even athletes.  And they have a higher risk of dropping dead at an early age or developing diabetes or other conditions related to excess fat.  This is a fact, supported by science.  AND, many athletes who are overweight due to muscle today remain overweight as their muscle inexorably becomes fat as they age.  Also a fact.

          I am sorry if the word "overweight" offends you.  If your BMI can be categorized as overweight, you might have excess fat, no matter how badly you want to believe otherwise (or how much you believe yourself to be an "athlete", whatever that means).  If your BMI can be categorized as overweight, go get your body fat measured.  Targeted data is better and safer than denial.

          From the CDC, paid for with your tax dollars:


          Folks need to stop judging it as if it were a diagnostic tool.

           

          Here is a corpus of literature from different investigators and different patient/subject populations from around the world. The studies all test different hypotheses. The studies show consistently that high BMI and low BMI are independent predictors of death and disease and that these predictors remain when controlled for confounders such as comorbidiites, level of exercise, smoking, socioeconomic status. Most of these are in JAMA.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18056904

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16505525

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17986696

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16551713

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16478900

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15840860

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17670912

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15353531

           

          The science is fairly consistent and clear. BMI > 30 (note, not >25) is associated with excess morbidity and early mortality, as is BMI < 18. This makes sense. Most folks with BMI > 30 have excess fat. Most folks with BMI < 18 are malnourished.

          Note. I said "most". I did not say "all".

           

          In summary, given the current science we have, excess fat is an independent risk for excess morbidity, early mortality and excess cost to society (in terms of lost productivity and increased healthcare costs).

           

           

          ---

           

           

          And as long as I am dragging out old posts, here is some more regurgitated BMI rant:

          The BMI is a very useful number in terms of guiding policy and services and for following an individual patient who you have already identified to be unhealthy due to being both overweight and fat. BMI is much easier to follow than body fat, which can be hard to test.

          BMI is a screening test. Body fat measurements and the mirror test (i.e., look into the mirror while nekkid and be honest) are individualized tests that have much greater cost and time associated with them. Screening tests are supposed to have high sensitivity and poor specificity, and be very inexpensive to perform. BMI is perfect in this regard. Diagnostic tests, by contrast, are supposed to have excellent positive predictive value and cost/time considerations are less relevant. So BMI is a great place to start.

           

          Anybody who tries to use BMI as a definitive tool, ask them to define the difference between screening and diagnosis. Tell them that you are patient and happy to wait...

          When faced with YOUR BMI, as with your weight, you should not rush to be defensive (e.g., "that stuff is just rubbish, it does not apply to us athletes"). Rather, you should supplement that information with a measure of your body fat, blood pressure and lipids. If any of these are out of the normal range, you stand a chance at improving your health and life by reducing them.

           

           

           

          Trent, it seems like you may be a researcher or doctor of some kind. So am I -- I'm a cardiovascular researcher who works on the diabetes floor of my building.

           

          I think you make some valid points about BMI. It is a screening tool. But I think we forget that BMI is a valuable screening tool because it is simple for patients to monitor at home: all they need to know is their height, their weight, and to have a simple online BMI calculator. BMI can be readily monitored by general practitioner's and the test can be performed in the time it takes for the patient to step on a scale.

           

          But as a researcher, I hope you can also acknowledge that BMI is an *indirect* measure of what we as scientists know to be truly at fault: central adiposity. It's much like that adage scientists love about losing your keys on a dark street, and looking over under a lamppost: just because BMI is a convenient measure to assess does not make it the most appropriate measure to study.

           

          I agree with you that there are reams of studies out there that correlate BMI to poor prognosis in a variety of cardiovascular diseases, but the same would be (and is) true if we were to correlate body fat percentage, waist circumference, etc. The problem is that we don't have as much data for body fat percentage or waist circumference, becuase GP's don't tend to take those measurements in a typical check-up. It's "harder" for scientists to compile data from thousands of patients, particularly when it comes to accurate measurements of body fat percentage. Hence, we correlate BMI with CVD, and then we congratulate ourselves on the accuracy of the BMI index as "the best screening tool".

           

          While the pros of the BMI index comes from how simple it is to perform the test, in my mind, any measure that *indirectly* measures for central adiposity, that relies on a base assumption that body composition is relatively uniform for all people (which it's not), and that generates false positives for athletes, is simply inadequate a screening tool. In short, rather than to resign ourselves to the patronizing notion that GP's are incapable of performing waist circumference or body fat percentages to an appropriate accuracy, why not promote these tests as common practice for anyone attempting to assess a patient's obesity level? 

           

          Furthermore, while BMI is easy to perform, it promotes the fallacy in the general public that weight is the best indicator of health, not adiposity. These are *not* the same thing, yet the general public thinks it is. In the end CVD is best prevented by a combination of weight loss and cardiovascular exercise, but the second point is rarely emphasized in the general populace, and so you have a bunch of people who think they can starve themselves to better health.

           

          As for the original topic of the post, I'm also one of those "former fat" folks who still is overweight but who has lost 40lbs or so in the last year due to improved exercise. I have been overweight my entire life, but was at my worst just before I decided to become healthier through a more active lifestyle and cutting out fast food. I've had plenty of false starts in my life -- for me, what stuck was a combination of a different approach (focusing on cardiovascular performance in stead of weight) and meeting a friend who is a personal trainer and active outdoors-y person. Having a basic education on how to get more active really helped me make this lifestyle change stick this time. I think for those of us who HAVE a before and after story, we forget that other people aren't familiar with stuff that's now old hat for us -- how intimidating it is to go to the gym for the first time, not knowing how to set up an exercise regimen or how to properly exercise, and how to motivate ourselves by focusing on the right metrics so we don't get discouraged.

           

          It's easy to blame fat people for being lazy (especially because many of us got off our butts and made ourselves less fat). It's harder to assume some of the responsibility because fat people don't have the basic education they need yet to make the changes we've made.

          kitt-cat


            BMI is easy because clinics already routinely measure Ht and Wt.  They do not measure Hips or Waists, which is technically a bit more challenging to do right.  It could be done, but it would require that everybody switch what they do in clinics.  It would also require a new set of studies.

              

            So? It would be more accurate.

            DoppleBock


              Statistically - Fat is very close to the same health risk as smoking

               

              Statistics are averages that, well on average make a lot of sense.  Can you be over weight and fit?  I see that in the mirror every morning, I would guess I am one of the more fit over weight people in the nation (Aerobically at least)

               

              Many skinny people I have known through the years were repulsive ... at least once you get to know them

               

              Many fat people were beautiful when you get to know them

               

              Although you can make choices that help you be fat or skinny - The difficulty level for some of us is extreme.  I can say I have never eaten a meal or any amount of food and felt satisfied.  The only reason I stop is either because I tell myself it is time to stop or my stomach hurts so bad that taking another bite is painful.

               

              Giving up smoking was hard - but doable after 9 years. Getting to a BMI < 25 has not yet been acheived even after 8 years of effort and 37,000 miles running + many other fitness activities.

               

              On the subject should fat people pay more for health insurance, life insurance etc - As long as the statistics average that the cost is higher for them (Us) yes.  If someone is taking up more than 1 seat on a plane - they should pay for a second seat.

               

              Just like if you are out at the bar with me and 4 of us are drinking out of a pitcher and I am drinking 50% of the beer - I should pay for at least 50% of the beer.

              http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

              2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

               

              DoppleBock


                Back to BMI and Trents point - It is a statistical tool to evaluate - Why - Because we categorize things and people - Can an insurance company do a gazillion tests to determine your healthiness - sure, but it would not be cost effective - so they use BMI - A solid statistical tool that 90+% of poeple fit well within.  Easy and cost effective to administer and many solid statistical studies that have verified the results

                 

                Does that mean a 35% BMI person may have no health issues and live to be 100 - of course they could - but they would fall into the category of outlier.  Same as a 1 case a day beer drinker or 2 pack a day smoker who has no health issues and lives to be 100.

                 

                Must finish up work so I can get my fat ass out for a long run / speed work out.

                http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                 

                DoppleBock


                  Also - Many unhealthy people with great BMIs

                   

                  Just one of many risk factors

                  http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                  2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                   

                  rsbones


                    Today was a rare day here in the SF bay area where it was warm enough to bring people out to the beach. As I ran by on my usual route and looked around at all the folks who displayed their bodies shirtless or in bikinis, it was very clear that even here on the health-conscious San Francisco peninsula, the "fat is beautiful" message (and the high fructose corn syrup industry!) has clearly won the battle against the model-thin images promoted by the fashion and movie industry. These people clearly felt "accepted" enough to display their flab for all to see. I'll personally never understand it. But good for them, I guess.

                      look what i found: the national association to advance fat acceptance.

                       

                      "Fat people are discriminated against in all aspects of daily life, from employment to education to access to public accommodations, and even access to adequate medical care. This discrimination occurs despite evidence that 95 to 98 percent of diets fail over five years and that 65 million Americans are labeled “obese.” Our thin-obsessed society firmly believes that fat people are at fault for their size and it is politically correct to stigmatize and ridicule them. Fat discrimination is one of the last publicly accepted discriminatory practices. Fat people have rights and they need to be upheld!"

                       

                      edit: now i see that they were mentioned in the original article.


                      uncontrollable

                        I wonder how this "debate" is viewed by people from other countries.  I think about an up and coming East African runner making his first trip to the U.S. to compete in the <insert major city> marathon.  I imagine him wondering around this major city the day before the race and seeing 2 overweight people for every 3 people he comes across. 

                         

                        How strange it must seem to come from somewhere where you must fight for every scrap, to a place where not only do people have enough to eat, most of them can actually become fat.  And not only that, some of these people contend that it is their right to be fat. 

                         

                        I bet it takes some getting used to.

                         Yup.  Exactly.  They probably think they have gone down the rabbit hole!  It is so efff'd up.  I love how people debate, write articles, and get emotional over this ... it is clearly a growing (no pun intended) problem - I'm sick of hearing the reasons.  Everyone has a "reason" for what they do ... make your choices and live with the consequences.

                        peace


                        uncontrollable

                          Today was a rare day here in the SF bay area where it was warm enough to bring people out to the beach. As I ran by on my usual route and looked around at all the folks who displayed their bodies shirtless or in bikinis, it was very clear that even here on the health-conscious San Francisco peninsula, the "fat is beautiful" message (and the high fructose corn syrup industry!) has clearly won the battle against the model-thin images promoted by the fashion and movie industry. These people clearly felt "accepted" enough to display their flab for all to see. I'll personally never understand it. But good for them, I guess.

                           If I was a crystal meth addict & advertised it & it was "accepted", it still going to cause problems on the inside & outside whether I chose to admit it or not!  But hey, it's all about feeling good I guess.

                          peace