Seeking Fat Acceptance (Read 3394 times)

    I thought this article from the LA Times raised some interesting ethical issues.


    MTA: Another related article.

    One day at a time

      I guess I'm like an ex-smoker, in that I managed to "kick the habit" and now I think if I can do it, anyone can!  I WAS fat, and through a lot of hard work I'm not anymore.  I feel so much better, physically and mentally.  I've kept the weight off for almost two years (November 1, 2007 was when I reached my goal weight).  I know that some people have medical conditions that make it impossible for them to lose weight, but I don't think that means 66% of Americans should be overweight!

      12 Monkeys

        Who pays their medical bills?


          Who pays their medical bills?

          In the back of my head I also ask that question but its a slippery slope as the 1st article states. Who pays the medical bills of high risk jobs like fishing (fisherman do) or firefighting (the state does) or teaching? Texting while driving doesn't usually involve long term medical costs (Okay...sometimes it does)...I don't know that but I am guessing most involve car repairs or death.  I could be wrong.


           I've been fat and I've been skinny and I like being lighter than heavier.  I have smoked and now I don't and I like non-smoking best.  I used to drink like a fish and now I love my beer and wine but rarely get hammered and wake up somewhere strange.  I've been a fast runner and now I am so much slower and I have to is more fun.


          I have a hard time imagining that one can be completely comfortable with such large size.  Aches and pains have got to increase with size.

          Run like you are on fire! 5K goal 24:00 or less (PR 24:34) 10K goal 50:00 or less (PR 52:45) HM goal 1:55:00 or less (PR 2:03:02) Marathon Goal...Less than my PR (PR 4:33:23)

          12 Monkeys

            Unlike fishing accidents, obesity is not generally a job-related illness appropriate for job-related medical coverage.

            straw man

              I didn't get the "ethical issues." Some overweight people object to being pre-judged, but then made lots of generalities about others.

              What exactly is "fat phobia?" I've never experienced it, but I had a three hundred pound guy sit next to me on a Southwest Airlines flight. I can promise you that a wave of dread will come over me if I see someone like that get on the plane when I've claimed a seat with an empty seat next to me.

              "I don't think anyone should be excluded from love or rights based on weight."
              So her boy friend had no right to be less attracted to her because of her appearance? Talk about things that are not within our control. Our personal preference of that kind is less under our control than our weight.

              "I want to point out how arbitrary that is that they would single out that group and not the people ...."

              Interesting, but the basic assumption is false. She assumes that because she notices how fat people are "singled out" that no one else is singled out. I hear all of the groups she mentioned being blamed for the dangerousness of their behavior more than fat people are blamed for their weight.

              "Obesity is not their fault."

              Well, let's be honest, sometimes it is. Usually it is. That doesn't mean there isn't a reason for it. It simply means that their reasons for being obese could be overcome.

              Maybe "fault" is an offensive word, since it implies blame. The responsibility for a person's percentage of body fat lies mostly with that person.

              The most interesting thing I learned from these articles is that Linda Bacon is the author of "Health at Every Size." Really! Bacon!

              Now it's not her fault. Every time she sees or hears her name, she's thinking, "Mmmm... bacon..." I'd be fat, too.

              He who has the best time wins. Jerry

                I don't think people should be ashamed of their weight, but there is no reason to be proud of obesity. I would say that MOST of the obese people in the United States are either lazy or apathetic about their weight, and should be treated as such. That is to say they don't care about their bodies, or themselves, so why the hell should they be respected? I'm sure I'm biased because I'm a thin teenage boy, but this nonsense needs to stop.



                Btw, I don't think they should be made fun of or attacked or something of that nature, that's unnecessary and pathetic.


                  Fat people want to be treated like people and not be discriminated against? No, that's crazy!


                  Seriously there's some denial there...

                  "Wann, who is 43, 5 feet 4 and 290 pounds, and considers herself a healthy, physically active person."  At that level of obesity you have to call bullshit when you see it.  She is not getting the recommended amount of exercise, no way--- but then, most people - fat or THIN- are not.

                  People have this knee jerk reaction to obesity, that some try to justify... but it's not appropriate.  There are a lot of unhealthy behaviors, why should weight cause someone to be such a pariah? Also, I'm not sure where it starts, but I know at 5'4 and 165 and a size 12, I was treated differently than I am now 30 lb lighter and a size 2..  (and I was extremely physically active then, too, running over 40 miles per week and strength training - a more well rounded fitness routine then I have now actually). not sure exactly how much the very obese must see... but it's sickening.  Other choices people make do not have the same reaction.


                  I don't think it's too much to ask for acceptance.  Anyhow, I think it is more appropriate, and more beneficial, if healthy habits are the focus and not weight.  Too many sedentary people who make poor food choices think they are somehow better off than someone heavier regardless of any other factors.  Healthy behaviors should be the focus..


                  and aside from that, it's not really my business if someone else is happy being heavier to shame them somehow... that's just despicable.


                   Though I do want to add--- insurance choosing not to insure based on weight is not discrimination.  It's business.  It's like everything in insurance -statistics.  That's how they make their money.  I have to pay a higher rate because of family history (even though my family history is due largely to unhealthy behaviors); my husband has to pay a higher rate because of his obesity.  It's not personal, it is steeped in research, and is certainly not discrimination.   Though there is definitely discrimination out there, that is not an example.

                  And I agree with the previous poster that not being attracted to someone because of their weight is not discrimination any more than it's discrimination to only be attracted to a certain gender.

                    "Linda Bacon, author of "Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight...,"

                    LOL, too funny...

                    Anyways, I'm not very patient with fat people, at all. To the point of having some problem with it. It's all about self control. It's hard to put the french fry down and pick up an apple, but good grief, it's not impossible. It's not that hard to go for a walk in the afternoon. From someone who has control issues and has overcome them, I KNOW fat people can overcome their fat obsession and become truly healthy. Just take a look in the "before and now" thread and tell me its impossible to lose weight!

                      Ok, I lost 50 pounds and I still have a ways to go before I'm where I want to be. But let me tell you, at my high weight? I was disgusted with myself. No, I didn't have high blood pressure, I didn't have diabetes, I had virtually no health problems. But I was FAR from healthy.


                      Now, I'm 50 pounds lighter, but I still wouldn't call myself healthy. I run 3-4 times per week. I life weights. I do other cardio on my non-running days. I try to make healthy eating choices. But I am still not "healthy". Not enough to be content... I still have more weight to lose to be healthy.


                      I hate when obese people claim they are healthy. I don't know who they are trying to satisfy.


                      I'm all for being proud of yourself. I believe you have to be happy with who you are before you can change. But, being in denial is not healthy.


                      (Ok, rant over.)




                        The obese should not be discriminated against.


                        However, acceptance of obesity as the norm is not a good thing.


                        When I used to visit America (some 15 - 20 years ago) I was shocked at how fat many people were.  Now I see the same trend here in the UK.  I guess that articles like this demonstrate that the problem is only likely to get worse.

                          I thought there were some interesting points made in the article - thanks for the link, Jeff.


                          Interesting to see their rationale behind the "driving up health costs" leading to discrimination. If you compare obesity to those who don't wear seatbelts or those who suffer from constant stress, then surely we should respond to them in the same way... which we do! Those who lead stressful lives are advised to make 'lifestyle changes' and I think anyone who sees someone without their seatbelt would also tell them to belt up. In exactly the same way, clinically obese people are advised to make some changes and loose some weight. That doesn't strike me as discrimination, as corresponding advice is given to all three. If they do not follow this and then mount hefty medical bills for obseity-related conditions it is frustrating, just as it is frustrating to hear that people are still driving without seatbelts. I do not see this 'singling out' of obesity. Or maybe they just picked a really poor comparison.


                            Not sure I learned much from that article.  Except that I thought it was interesting San Francisco included height discrimination in their ordinance.


                            I've been a fan of Kate Harding, who is a fat acceptance blogger, for a while now.  She has a great FAQ page on her website, the Shapely Prose where she links to her counter-arguments to much of what's being said here, so I'll leave it to her.  (She swears quite a bit, so if you don't care for that kind of thing, don't link through.)


                            Particularly, I would recommend:


                            Don't You Realize Fat is Unhealthy:



                            And, the BMI Project:



                            “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the fight in the dog. – Dwight D. Eisenhower


                            My blog is JT Running DC.  It's awesome.

                            Mr Inertia

                            Suspect Zero


                              And, the BMI Project:





                              Not sure what she was trying to prove with that, but by and large the BMI index shows a pretty good indication of the pics. People who are obese per their BMI looked obese in their pics with few exceptions.


                              The BMI as a metric has been discussed at length on these boards. Any reasonable person will agree that it's a single measurement that can give some good insight into a persons body comp. No reasonable person thinks it's the ultimate tool and gives a total picture of overall health.

                              Hey, nice marmot!

                                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.



                                "The world is my country, science is my religion."-- Christiaan Huygens