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Old 08-21-2009, 02:13 PM   #16
Bilbo1967
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I'm SO glad I have a DVR and can record everything! I haven't HAD to watch a commercial in over 3 years!
Wish I had thought of that - but then again I am just a doofus male!
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:20 PM   #17
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guys I don't think it's acceptable for anyone and most especially adults to tease people about their weight, or use over weight people as the butt of all jokes. And it's certainly not acceptable to make fun of an entire group of people on giant billboards. Maybe I'm too PC but I can already see the outcry if they replaced the fat woman in the picture with a black person...How would people react then?

Sorry, as a human being I can't tolerate that kind of behavior. It's not acceptable and I don't care if someone thinks that "fat" people need to exercise more. Even if it is the person's fault for being overweight it's still not right to make jokes about it because it's not funny. You don't know when you make jokes if the person is overweight due to life style choices or medical reasons like having asthma and needing to take steriods to help which does cause weight gain. And still even if every overweight person on the planet got there through their own efforts it still wouldn't be right.

hate to say it but in America the food poor people can afford is VERY fattening, to buy fresh fruit and vegetables (which I've never seen coupons for) costs an arm and a leg. There are hardly any bike/walk paths in most major cities past the Mississippi River, gyms are incredibly expensive too, and after working 40-60 hours a week sometimes you just want to go home and relax! If health care and keeping people fit was truly important cities would have built their cities up instead out of out so people could walk to work or take a subway. And the work weeks would be shorter so people have more time to be with their families and be active.

Basically, based on all these factors I'm shocked that other people are shocked that as a nation the United States has gained a lot of weight.

Last edited by Amalthia; 08-21-2009 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:21 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bilbo1967 View Post

Sainsbury's. Doofus, gormless looking dad wanders off to look at tractors at village fete whilst intelligent, empowered wife takes daughter to do something more interesting. Later, doofus, gormless looking dad returns to eat all the sausages whilst intelligent, empowered wife looks on with toleration.

They're just the ones that spring immediately to mind!

What I find insulting is why would a smart intellegent empowered woman be shacked up with a moron??? I mean what does that say about how they think of women too???
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:32 PM   #19
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What I find insulting is why would a smart intellegent empowered woman be shacked up with a moron??? I mean what does that say about how they think of women too???
Yep - fair point - I hadn't thought of that
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:38 PM   #20
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Weight challenged? Now I've heard it all.

I'm with you on many things, in particular that we shouldn't be intentionally cruel or hurtful to people. But I have a bit of a problem comparing people making fun of overweight people to, say, people hating on homosexuals or people being racist pricks.

There are a small number of people who have glandular or other problems which cause their obesity, however, unless the genes causing these problems have magically spread like wildfire through specific parts of the western world like the US and the UK and to a lesser degree other prosperous countries, I can't really see obesity as anything else than poor lifestyle choices with regards to eating and exercise over a long period of time (and sometimes even over generations) for the vast majority of obese people. You can't change your skin color or sexual orientation, but you do have control over what you eat and the amount of exercise your body get.

Note that I am not making any statements about which group you belong to; I don't know you. I realise this is a sensitive topic, I was a chubby in elementary school and got pestered something awful; I grew out of it. The last three years or so I have let my eating discipline slip while moving into a more and more sedentary lifestyle and I gained about 25 kg. I quit smoking half a year ago and since I didn't want to gain another 10 kg I started tracking what I was eating obsessively and took up sports and exercise again; I lost 20 kg of blubber (possibly more, I also gained quite a bit of muscle mass). Not by any kind of hardcore diet; just watching what I eat (and what was in it - chips and crisps are evil!) and moving a little more.

In case anyone is interested, here is a freeware and open source bit of cross-platform (java) software which allows you to track your eating habits and will tell you how you are doing in terms of calories, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals. Track your habits for a few days and be honest about your food consumption; you might be surprised. I know I was. It helped me see where my eating habits were, well, wrong and helped me make some simple corrections which in turn helped me lose weight and feel better by virtue of giving my body what it needs.

http://spaz.ca/cronometer/
The term weight-challenged is my slight dig at the other <fill in the blank> challenged politically correct terms we use here in the US.

I wasn't as concerned with the PETA advert as I was with the notion that it is okay to poke fun or be abusive towards overweight people. Obviously by my posting in the first place, I belong in the overweight category. Obesity is not a choice. One of the biggest misconceptions, in my opinion, is that overweight people are that way because they have no self-control or our lazy. There are any number of factors that add to weight gain, both physical and emotional. I agree that being obese is not the same as skin color, however, (and I'm not one of them) some people believe that sexual orientation is a choice. Whatever you believe, using a stereotypical group of people, any group of people, as the brunt of a joke is offensive.

I am of the belief that people are entitled to their opinions and to make their own life choices, even PETA has the right to make the comments that they have. I just wonder why the PC police doesn't find it offensive when a section of our population is singled out for abuse.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by kazbates View Post
Obesity is not a choice. One of the biggest misconceptions, in my opinion, is that overweight people are that way because they have no self-control or our lazy.
I'm sorry, Kaz, but as an obese person myself I really can't agree with you. Being obese is is a "choice" for the overwhelming majority of people. The equation is simple:

Take in more calories than you expend = weight gain
Expend more calories than you eat = weight loss

and eating more than you need to is a matter of self-control.

I am trying to lose weight, and finding it damned hard. Why? Because I lack self-control and find it extraordinarily difficult not to eat the things which I love and which are really bad for me. I'm not going to make excuses and say "it's not my fault" and "I don't have a choice". It is my fault. I got fat because I ate too much and didn't take enough exercise.

I'm not going to make fun of anyone for being too fat, but equally I'm not going to make excuses for anyone (other than the tiny, tiny minority who genuinely have a medical condition which means that they can't control their weight).
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:00 PM   #22
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Weight challenged? Now I've heard it all.
How about gravity challenged then?
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:00 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by kazbates View Post
Obesity is not a choice.
Not a conscious one; but perhaps it is not as much as choice as it is a result of choices. I do not think I agree with you here.

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Originally Posted by kazbates View Post
One of the biggest misconceptions, in my opinion, is that overweight people are that way because they have no self-control or our lazy. There are any number of factors that add to weight gain, both physical and emotional.
I agree that there are a number of causes, reasons, and complex interaction at work. That is not the same as it not being a choice or result of choices.

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I agree that being obese is not the same as skin color, however, (and I'm not one of them) some people believe that sexual orientation is a choice.
I have a word for them but this is a civil discussion on a civil site. Let us leave that sleeping dog lie.

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Whatever you believe, using a stereotypical group of people, any group of people, as the brunt of a joke is offensive.
Many jokes build on stereotypes. I agree that it can be offensive though. Can be.

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Originally Posted by kazbates View Post
I am of the belief that people are entitled to their opinions and to make their own life choices
I agree; however, there are limits to this; for instance when their choices hurt others. I'm still conflicted on what the stance should be when a person's choices hurt only themselves (and whether such a thing is possible what with family and friends and our general interconnectedness/interdependecies). At the same time I am a proponent of people's right to self-terminate so I guess I need to work on that section of my ethics code some more.

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I just wonder why the PC police doesn't find it offensive when a section of our population is singled out for abuse.
That I could not tell you; I am not very PC at all.

Last edited by acidzebra; 08-21-2009 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:45 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by kazbates View Post
Why is it socially acceptable to ridicule or poke fun at Overweight people?...
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Originally Posted by kazbates View Post
...particularly when obesity is rarely a choice....
I'm usually smart enough to avoid these minefields, but this is a long-standing peeve of mine, so here I go.

First, I agree with you that it isn't acceptable to make fun of others. For any reason.

At the same time, I don't think it's fair for overweight people to feel victimized. Except for some infrequent medical issues, it's simple: if you take in more calories than you burn up, you gain weight. Why is that "rarely a choice"?

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...I eat too much and don't get enough exercise....
I wrote a diet book, but couldn't get any publishers interested. They said my book didn't have a good angle. So now I'm self-publishing. Here's the book in its entirety: eat less, excercise more.

It's easy to gain weight and hard to lose it. Why? Because if you add 100 extra calories a day to your diet, you won't even notice it. But you'll put on about an extra pound per month. But if you try to eat 100 calories a day less than you need in order to lose weight, you'll be hungry. And people really really don't like to go around hungry!

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Originally Posted by krisk View Post
I'm SO glad I have a DVR and can record everything! I haven't HAD to watch a commercial in over 3 years!
I'm so glad I don't have a T.V. at all! I haven't HAD to watch a commercial in over 20 years!

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How about gravity challenged then?
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:56 PM   #25
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I'm sorry, Kaz, but as an obese person myself I really can't agree with you. Being obese is is a "choice" for the overwhelming majority of people. The equation is simple:

Take in more calories than you expend = weight gain
Expend more calories than you eat = weight loss

and eating more than you need to is a matter of self-control.

I am trying to lose weight, and finding it damned hard. Why? Because I lack self-control and find it extraordinarily difficult not to eat the things which I love and which are really bad for me. I'm not going to make excuses and say "it's not my fault" and "I don't have a choice". It is my fault. I got fat because I ate too much and didn't take enough exercise.

I'm not going to make fun of anyone for being too fat, but equally I'm not going to make excuses for anyone (other than the tiny, tiny minority who genuinely have a medical condition which means that they can't control their weight).
I'm truly am not trying to make excuses for obesity or trying to justify a person's reasons for being obese. That wasn't the point of my original post. Whatever the reasons for their condition, these people should not be ridiculed in any way. It's the fact that the entertainment industry, the media, etc., feel that ridiculing the obese is acceptable is what bothers me the most. I don't think any group of people, no matter what their circumstance, should be held in contempt as are the overweight.

Whether it's a lack of will power or not, they still deserve compassion.
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:08 PM   #26
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I'm fat and offended.

Also offended by the doofus husband portrayals. Mine, for one, is the light and joy of my life!
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:10 PM   #27
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I'm usually smart enough to avoid these minefields, but this is a long-standing peeve of mine, so here I go.

First, I agree with you that it isn't acceptable to make fun of others. For any reason.

At the same time, I don't think it's fair for overweight people to feel victimized. Except for some infrequent medical issues, it's simple: if you take in more calories than you burn up, you gain weight. Why is that "rarely a choice"?

<SNIP>
I agree that the result of over-eating and under-exercising can be obesity. It is a problem here, for sure. What I meant was, becoming obese is not a "conscious" choice. I don't think anyone sits around and thinks, "Okay, today I am going to eat way too much food so that I can becoming clinically obese." If we all had 20/20 foresight, our lives would be perfect.

For the record, I don't feel victimized. I am comfortable in my skin and don't really care what people think about my appearance. But I know there are others who do care and I just wish people were a little more compassionate.
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:10 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Bilbo1967 View Post
Slightly thought here (but definately an associated peeve of mine):

How come (at least here in the UK) all men in adverts are portrayed as, well, basically, morons (whilst all women are, of course, intelligent, empowered and capable)?
In the US (and perhaps elsewhere as well), adults (teachers and parents) are portrayed as being stupid, especially in popular kids' shows and movies. I'm so over it. The teacher always looks like a bumbling idiot, kids easily snow parents and teachers alike. What kind of a message does that send our youth? (I could go on forever, but I'll abbreviate it here *soap box*)


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I'm sorry, Kaz, but as an obese person myself I really can't agree with you. Being obese is is a "choice" for the overwhelming majority of people. The equation is simple:

Take in more calories than you expend = weight gain
Expend more calories than you eat = weight loss

and eating more than you need to is a matter of self-control.

I am trying to lose weight, and finding it damned hard. Why? Because I lack self-control and find it extraordinarily difficult not to eat the things which I love and which are really bad for me. I'm not going to make excuses and say "it's not my fault" and "I don't have a choice". It is my fault. I got fat because I ate too much and didn't take enough exercise.

I'm not going to make fun of anyone for being too fat, but equally I'm not going to make excuses for anyone (other than the tiny, tiny minority who genuinely have a medical condition which means that they can't control their weight).
I have read this thread and thought long and hard before I responded (and my response will probably still be stupid, but, eh, best I can do). First off, that ad is ridiculous and obnoxious and totally not ok. Honestly, I don't even get it, coming from PETA. I can understand it (but still don't like it) coming from the American Health insitute or something, but what the heck is the message PETA, a society for ethical treatment of animals, doing with a sign like this? Saying they don't like people compared to whales? It's abusive to the whales? I don't like it.

Secondly, I do agree that it is *not* ok to rip on obesity and obese people. It's not kind.

However (and I guess this is my BIG third), I do fully agree with Harry here- it is, imho- a choice for the vast majority of people. yes, I agree there might be emotional aspects to it, psychological, physical, etc. But actual obesity is almost always avoidable or "fixable." High costs of healthy foods doesn't make it easy, but walking is free. After having my 3 kids in 3 years, I tipped the scales onto obesity. I worked my way back to healthy weight. I had a lot of misconceptions about what I could and couldn't do, but turns out, I was fooling myself. It was hard work and discipline, but I won't pretend it was the hardest thing I've ever done. I fully admit that my losing those 60 lb was mostly likely much easier for me than it would have been for some other people, but also harder for me than it would have been for other people. In other words, I had to work my tail off like anyone else would, but I didn't have that emotional overeating baggage built up over years that some have.

What I really don't like to see is the general idea that obesity is "ok." It's not; it does drain the healthcare system, it does cause health problems for those who are obese, and it creates emotional trauma as well. Even people who don't get made fun of for size often still don't feel good about themselves. It's to do with self-perception as well as the perception of others. It doesn't feel good to be short of breath, carrying extra weight, and not fitting into clothes well, regardless of how kindly people look upon you. it doesn't feel good because it's not the way we were intended to live.

When you look at normal distribution (bell curve) of natural human qualities, you'd be looking at a rate of maybe 5% of people in the obese or morbidly obese category. So why do we have a range amongst the states of 20-33% obsesity? Because it's no longer a normal distribution. There are too many people in the obese category that shouldn't be there, by nature. They are there by choice (choices that have been made). And I don't agree with that crap about people suing McD's or whatever for making them fat. We all make choices. As limited as some people's chocies may be (for economic reasons or whatever), there are still choices. When I go to McD's, I have chosen to.

I won't pretend that it's easy to make good choices in this day and age. Often, the junk food is cheaper, it's more easily accessible for people living in a very busy society, eating is very social, eating is comforting, portion sizes are bigger than necessary, and we keep telling outselves it's ok to be all shapes and sizes. But when people say that, they are usually saying it's ok to be fat. I agree, people come in all shapes and sizes (I'd love to change some things about my shape, as a matter of fact! ), but, just by natural distribution, 95% of us were not meant to come in the extra-large size.

Kaz, I do love you so, but I also feel passionately about this, and wanted to share my perspective.

(and I see we posted at exactly the same moment... it took me a while to come up with my dissertation here In fact, you probably made all those posts above me while I was still working on this one)

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Old 08-21-2009, 05:39 PM   #29
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amalthia View Post
What I find insulting is why would a smart intellegent empowered woman be shacked up with a moron??? I mean what does that say about how they think of women too???
I guess it's because he's good in the sack...

At least, that's why smart men supposedly married dumb women...
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:36 PM   #30
nomesque
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Here's my oddball take on why everyone is nasty to obese people...

Because it's a visual reminder of the lack of control almost everyone has over some area of their life, be it eating, alcohol, drugs, anger, gambling, spending...

And it's hard to ignore. And something inside us feels the guilt when we see evidence of someone else's lack of control, and we snark.
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