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Fat City: a brutally truthful article on obesity

Calypso

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http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/march/1361848247/karen-hitchcock/fat-city

"Nora had been listed to have bariatric surgery... She said she was terrified of dying during three operation and had canceled her appointment. I felt sorry for her and wanted to help get. But where to start? I told her that what was going to kill her was her current state of health, not the surgery. I asked her if she wanted to see her daughter grow up and have children. She looked shocked. She started to cry. I told her to go home and empty her cupboards of crap foods."

It's so refreshing to see a doctor get straight to the point. And I agree that we need to shock people into health.

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Sasja

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I agree as well. Of course we shouldn't use it too fast because shocking people isn't very nice, but I find these people truly don't understand just how bad their way of eating is and how it affects their health. The attitude that people are now developing doesn't help this either. The whole ''real women have curves'' and ''don't eat less, eat better!'' only makes excuses for these people. It trivializes the problems that obesity gives them. I sometimes want to scream at them when they insist that they don't have to change the way they eat, or when obese people are proud of their body because they don't care about what people think about them. (If I have to see one more Tumblr post about how 'big is beautiful' I'm going to explode :shy:) That's not the point! You're damaging your body! :smash:
 
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dietcokediet

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I find it difficult to believe that an extra scoop of ice-cream will end up as fat somewhere on my body, even though I know how it happens at the enteric, metabolic and cellular levels. Perhaps this is what happens when we reach the head of the queue and order too much: a fantasy where eating has no consequence, where that pile of French fries and the burger with extra cheese are not our future bodies.
I feel like this would be a good technique to use as tool to avoid a binge disaster.
 
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Lucie

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"Globally, we are carrying 18.5 million tonnes of excess fat under the skin of the overweight and obese, which – if it were still food rather than adipose tissue – would feed 300 million people for life. Fat people have been compared to petrol-guzzling cars. I feel terrible typing these sentences. I apologise; they are ugly."

Whoa...


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jbeyes

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Long article, but so worth it! I loved loved loved it

A ban on advertising, graphic counter-campaigns, plain packaging and high taxes have all played a part in making Australia a country with one of the lowest percentages of smokers in the world. How might this approach translate to food? New York City funded an anti–soft drink commercial that showed a man guzzling a glass of blood-streaked liquefied fat. The tagline was “Don’t drink yourself fat”. Why not plaster packets of chips and chocolate with full-colour photographs of the rot that grows under an apron of fat, or a gangrenous foot caused by diabetes?
These kind of campaigns should exist. NOW.

We tell him that surgery may not be appropriate for him, given his situation. The patient is perturbed. “Well, what are you going to do for me if you won’t do the operation? Don’t you have some kind of ethical responsibility to help me lose weight?”

This is where the obesity-as-disease concept leads us – to a situation in which people demand that medicine shoulder the responsibility. What about the responsibility of the individual? And of society? My patient cries because the highlight of his day is returning from the supermarket with a plastic bag full of junk that he will eat and drink in his empty lounge room. What can I do for him? I can threaten him with his early demise, intensify his shame. I can offer him some evidence-based motivational lifestyle interventions – swap Coke for Diet Coke! Prescribe exercise? Walk for an hour at an average pace and you’ll only burn off the equivalent of one slice of bread. .
Lovely patient to have, typical fat person that decides that society owns him for being overweight. I seriously would not have the patience to not tell him to shut up and get a grip.


The state’s bariatric ambulance must be mobilised. (A standard ambulance can only take a person weighing up to 220 kg.) The patients require special beds, special scanners – sometimes in the zoo – and a small army of medical staff to treat their failing organs. The worst problems involve the skin – it rots and becomes infected when it folds on itself – and the lungs, which are slowly squashed under the mass of flesh so that the patient’s intercostal muscles can no longer move to let in the air.

To get that fat takes dedication and persistence.
I can only imagine what it would be like to get to the point of needing zoo resources to analyze my body because I'm THAT fat. If that is not motivation enough to lose weight, then nothing will ever be for these people.


We could say, “You are free agents, totally free, so pay for your own consequences.” We could make people pay at the point of choice, via a food tax, or we could limit choice. The other option, always unspoken, is: let us have our cake. Let’s just eat and eat, get fatter and fatter, and work out how best to live with it. This is where we are heading now: fatness, outside of morality, as an accepted consequence of the world as we have made it.
I actually had to read this twice, because as absurd as it seems to have a "food tax" , I think it could work, of course not in this world, in this reality right now and the imposed - consumption world we live in, but it could serve as an incentive, but then again, you would have to be very aware that the money these people save by not paying taxes, by not overeating, needs to be destined to other part of consumption, and that would end up inventing a whole new market to spend money in. Still, as crazy as that proposal sounds, it made me understand why the author brought it to the table.
When she states that the amount of government revenue spent into this disease is so high, she tries to imply that "if you want to be fat and cost the government a big amount of money, pay for it" It is hard and out there but since it's a choice then it could make sense.

The choice is in your hands. Are you going to eat it?
Great way to end this article, such an interesting read and of course, every bit is true. Societies , some more than others, should read this sort of articles, in order to understand that YES, the big food-chains will make campaigns that will lead you to over eating or just eating very bad food, but the consequences for them will be that they will only get richer and on the other hand, you will only get fatter, unhealthier and unhappy. And that the choice is always your, your responsibility, your life.

Also loved the sentence she quoted from Kant :

" Kant famously formulated that no man would sleep with the woman of his dreams if the consequence for him were death immediately afterwards. "
Motivational for us too, since its pretty much literal when it comes to food, we already know that it WILL make us fat ;)
 

Exquisite

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What a fabulous article. It reminds me of 'Supersize Me' the documentary where they made a point of, you can go up to a smoker and say 'put that out! you're killing yourself!' and it is somewhat socially acceptable, but you cannot go up to a fate person and say 'put down that cake! you're killing yourself!' because it is so much a taboo subject.

To me it's all very 'ooh, don't hurt their feelings!'

Gets me annoyed.
 

espressoenthusiast

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"I was embarrassed to mention her weight; it felt like I was a puritan taking the high moral ground. It felt mean."

And yet these same fatties claim that the medical community is 'out to get them' or criticize skinnies for being 'ugly' or 'sickly and anorexic'. It's really astonishing. This article was truly wonderful, thank you for posting :highfive:

This section was my favorite:
"These dire facts are not my opinion. They are based on empirical data extracted from large international trials and studies. I wish it were not so. I wish you could get really fat and stay healthy. I wish you could get morbidly obese and be considered beautiful. Maybe it will change with time, as we all become enormous, and we’ll look back on the skinny-is-beautiful era with distaste, regarding high cheekbones, defined jaws and long sculptured thighs as skeletal and ugly. I cannot imagine this, but neither could I have imagined that we’d end up in a world so fat."
 

espressoenthusiast

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ugh and this is amazing too.. (this article is giving me goosebumps)
"He said: If you make a fat person thin, you are sentencing them to a lifetime of hunger.

This depends on your definition of hunger. Eating is not a purely rational, biological act. I can give you a diet that will keep you full all day and make you lose weight, but it won’t be very entertaining: it will be mainly made up of watery vegetables like cabbage and celery, egg whites and very lean meat. The pain of abstinence, of unmet desire, is something quite separate from the pain of an empty stomach. The pleasures of eating are complex and multifaceted. In our society, consumption is a form of entertainment and pleasure. Eating is part of this: from the theatre of a meal at a fine-dining establishment to a bag of chips augmenting the television-viewing experience. Most people do not overeat because of a feeling of hunger emanating from the stomach; they are giving in to a desire to consume – they are seeking pleasure or relief, or hoping to fill a void."