Fat head Wednesday May 3, 2006, 8 comments
I am the first to admit I am very unforgiving when it comes to obesity. It is terrible of me to look at someone who is morbidly obese and have to fight my first instinct to judge them as weak of character and lacking in personal pride. I admit this is the case. It is perhaps a weakness of my own character, and something I believe I should strive to change.
I should be less judgmental.
I have recently developed a little more sympathy for the morbidly obese. Things I have been reading are slowly beginning to chip away at my wall of opinion, leaving me more open to ideas I wouldn’t previously have considered. Maybe its just old age – senility kicking in.
I still place the majority of blame for most cases of obesity firmly in the court of those afflicted though I now recognize that a war is being waged against these same people, in much the same way drug dealers take advantage of people and push their wares on the troubled. They’re called pushers for a reason.
In the end, it is each individual who decides to put that next bite of food in their mouths, but psychology companies masquerading as marketing firms hired by chemical companies pretending to be food producers long ago launched an offensive on these people, targeting them with addictive substances in the guise of food – substances which fool the brain into thinking it needs more food.
The “food” companies win, because the obese buy more food with lower nutritional content to feed their addiction. The marketing companies win because they win bigger contracts for bigger markets from bigger food companies. The health companies win, selling more medication to deal with ORCA (Obesity Related Complexes and Afflictions – rather poignant, isn’t it). Everybody wins, but the people. The rich get richer, the poor get sicker.
So, its time to put the garbage food down and start educating the public. People need to understand how their bodies work, and what processed food is doing to them. Companies need to understand that pursuit of the dollar must take second priority to the health and welfare of their customers. Governments need to realize that the electorate is the ONLY reason politicians have jobs.
The sooner we get the fat out of our heads, the sooner we can get it off the thighs of the public. Letes have governments with conscience. Lets have businesses with hearts.
Lets have consumers with brains.
I have been researching around this a lot recently. I was fascinated to discover that the advent of the ‘fat-free’ era coincides directly with the onset of the obesity epidemic. Successfully persuading the naive consumer (we were back then) on the concept that you can eat as much as you like as long as it isn’t fat. Despite the fact that these products were equally high in calories – and empty calories at that. At least fat fills you up and keeps you feeling full. Not the demon it’s been portrayed.
Low-fat peanut butter. 1/3 less fat. They take it out, and replace it with sugar.
Yes, 1/3 less fat, and yet the same or often enough more calories. Calories are where it’s at, they really are. Consume the same amount of calories you burn. Rocket science!!
mmmmmmmm….. peanut butter
”...weak of character and lacking in personal pride,” good to know where my 3XL pigeon hole is. (actually, I shouldn’t lash out at you. You’re admitting that you have a problem with how you see people and are working at it)
Does anyone choose to be fat? It isn’t something you just decide one day. ‘Hey, I know. I’ll become overweight so people can laugh at me!’ Once obese it becomes an endless cycle. You feel bad about yourself so you eat more… rinse and repeat. But I guess the same can be said of the drunkard or the junkie. Unlike alcohol or other drugs eating can’t simply be refused. You don’t just quit. A drunk can choose to throw all the bottles of gin out one day and go cold turkey, but we all have to eat.
For some, food is a method of escape from abuse, loneliness, depression, divorce, stress, etc. It takes them back to a time and place when we were babies and food meant comfort and love. All was right with the world if our tummies were full.
Sometimes it’s because we won’t or can’t cook for ourselves. Which is easier after a long hard day; going home, cooking (and then cleaning up afterwards) or stopping at the drive thru and picking up a bag of something?
How did I get to be a “Round Boy?” (well, besides the eating too much, that is). I don’t know, but as far back as I can remember I’ve been fat. I’m not proud of it and I have tried over and over again to loose the extra weight. I now eat healthier than I ever have in my life (thanks to Sweetie) but yet I still carry around all those years of over indulgences. Hell, at one time I was playing hockey 4 times a week and still I stayed round. I think the best way to descibe the situation is that it’s like having a lot of credit card debt. Even if you don’t spend any more, you still have that hole you need to dig out of.
The point I’m trying (and failing) to make is that I agree with you; education can help. But so can some empathy and understanding.
I’m not saying you should feel sorry for the obese, but perhaps a little understanding can go a long way.
Has being fat hurt me? Yup, and it still does. But at the same time I have learned to look past a persons appearence and to try and see the real, true soul that is inside us all. Being fat has also helped make me the artist that I am (unemcumbered by a social life I was able to hone my craft). Being fat has also helped me appreciate simple acts of kindness. Sure, there is plenty that I’ve missed out on, but there are also treasures for those who can see them.
Geez, how’d I get so far off point here? Do I smell cake
Dug, no offense was intended. It is a thorny subject, and one that has surrounded me any my family. Two of my three dead grandparents died of diet-related causes.
I do think one has to be careful when using a statement like “does anyone choose to be fat” though. Of course, nobody wakes up one day and decides to be fat, and of course, one cannot simply stop eating. But with every poor food choice, that decision is being made.
An alcoholic can stop drinking rye and water, but still must drink the water. If the obesity is a result of poor eating habits, those habits can and should be changed.
If those poor eating choices are made because food is being used as a surrogate, or for comfort, then the problem is more complex, but still, in the end, the same. The underlying issues must be resolved.
Depresion is a reason for drug abuse, but its not an excuse. Depression can be a reason for emotional eating, but its not an excuse either.
I’m sorry if I offended Dug. You know how profoundly I respect you.
Not a problem, we’re cool. Things have been a bit too much lately and I’m not doing very well at expressing myself. That first paragraph kind of threw me and I felt that I should try to explain (as our beautiful little boy smiles at me I can’t help but think that one day I will be an embarrassment to him. I’ll admit, it’s currently a touchy subject, but how were you to know?)
I really should stick to visual communication, I’m not very good with regular language.
And yes, I agree with you that poor choices in diet are killing us. In these parts, places like McDonalds™ makets itself to those who can least afford to eat thier products. Salt, whipped lard and processed sugar should be right up there with crack and meth. Sadly, I didn’t appreciate the joy that is an apple or grape until well into this shape that I’m in now. I hope that our boy can learn from my mistakes (because I’ve learned the hard way and know first hand just what kind of a Hell it can be).
Of course, that jerk in London always giving me pie isn’t helping, either. ;)
Anyway, we’re cool. It seems to me we’re on the same side here, just looking at the issue from different sized pants.
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