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Author Topic: FAT  (Read 3674 times)
The Burgomaster
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FAT
« on: April 26, 2010, 02:27:25 PM »

I was at my parents' house yesterday and my dad was channel surfing.  He stopped on Bill Maher's show and for some reason they were talking about weight.  They showed a photograph from the 1800s.  It was a picture of the "Fat Man" from Ringling Brothers circus.  Yeah, he was fat, but nowadays you probably see several equally fat (or fatter) men just about every day.  The point Maher was making was that about 100 years ago, people would pay money to see this unusual, astounding fat man who worked in the circus.  Today, there would be nothing really unusual about this guy . . . he certainly wouldn't be considered astoundingly fat.  It made me wonder what things will be like in another 50 - 100 years.  Will people, on average, continue to get fatter and fatter?  One of Maher's comments about the circus guy in the picture was, "He's a medium at Walmart."  I thought that was amusing.



 
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retrorussell
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 02:51:11 PM »

I gotta admit, I really can't stand to see fat people sometimes.  I mean, a little love handle, gut hanging over the belt loop, a slight extra chin, that's okay.. but when you're 300+ pounds of NO MUSCLE, or you pant and wheeze from just moving around, or you can't bend over to pick something up off the ground, that's where I can't stand to look at you.  Then for a split second I might look back to see if you really WERE that fat, or I just imagined it.  Nope!  You really ARE that fat!  Eww!  (turns away again)
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Flick James
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 03:06:38 PM »

Don't get me started. There is a cultural reality going on in America. It's as if people see being fat as a matter of freedom, and also of status. We're not much good at anything else anymore except blowing s**t up and being fat. I saw a news article that I found amusing and disturbing. The U.S. military is not running into a problem with there not being enough qualified people to join the military because everyone's too fat. We've got 12-year-olds with diabetes, and it's commonplace. We've got schools that are serving pizza for breakfast to elementary school children on a regular basis. I love this country, but what the f**k is happening to us? We are the fattest, laziest country in the world, and you can believe that. I've done alot of travelling, and when I go to other countries, I do not see as many fat people as you see here. It's disgusting.
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Paquita
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 04:23:23 PM »

I donít think the comparison to a circus in the 1800s is very fair.  There was no internet, television, or Walmart back in the 1800s for anyone to see how many really really fat people there were, and the fat guy at the circus is just the fat guy that decided to join the circus.  Other fat guys of the time probably didnít get around much for people to see them and I donít think they were lining up to have their pictures taken.  Iím not disagreeing that people are probably fatter now on average than they were years ago, but I donít think fat people have ever been uncommon.  Especially considering that being fat is not always directly related to over-eating and under-activity, it can be genetic or due to a health condition.   Iím no historian, but wasnít being fat considered a sign of health and wealth back around the 1500ís?

On the topic of circus freaks, Iíve seen several bearded ladies, I see about 2 a year.  Thatís something that people would have paid to see in the 1800s too, but theyíre everywhere now and probably were then.  They usually shave or remove the hair with treatments, but sometimes, youíll find a gem that just donít give a hoot!
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Flick James
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 05:14:43 PM »

I don’t think the comparison to a circus in the 1800s is very fair.  There was no internet, television, or Walmart back in the 1800s for anyone to see how many really really fat people there were, and the fat guy at the circus is just the fat guy that decided to join the circus.  Other fat guys of the time probably didn’t get around much for people to see them and I don’t think they were lining up to have their pictures taken.  I’m not disagreeing that people are probably fatter now on average than they were years ago, but I don’t think fat people have ever been uncommon.  Especially considering that being fat is not always directly related to over-eating and under-activity, it can be genetic or due to a health condition.   I’m no historian, but wasn’t being fat considered a sign of health and wealth back around the 1500’s?

On the topic of circus freaks, I’ve seen several bearded ladies, I see about 2 a year.  That’s something that people would have paid to see in the 1800s too, but they’re everywhere now and probably were then.  They usually shave or remove the hair with treatments, but sometimes, you’ll find a gem that just don’t give a hoot!


To answer one of your points, yes, long ago, it was considered a sign of wealth and position to be overweight, simply because the wealthy few were the only ones with enough money to both eat well and be physically inactive. The majority of the world had to work their asses off plus didn't have the financial resources to overeat. Pretty simple equation there. The fact is the number of people who are overweight or obese in this country is staggeringly high. It's worse in some states than others. It's not easy to point the finger at any one source. Some of it are ignorant parents who take the easy route and feed their children cheap processed foods that actually cause or exascerbate many of the health problems you mention. There is an unprecedented number of children with type II diabetes, well beyond anything experienced before. Some of it is school lunch systems, who constantly push nothing but highly processed foods that are high-starch, high-fat, high-fructose, without offering other options. Plus, their kids. They don't know any better. If you give a 7-year-old kid a choice between regular milk or flavored milk saturated with high-fructose corn syrup, they're going to go with the unhealthy choice. If you give a child a choice between eggs and fruit for breakfast and pizza, what do you think they'll pick? Finally, people have easy access to cheap, fat-laden food on a constant basis. The entire culture is geared to obesity and health problems from the outset. It's extremely sad and, personally, extremely frustrating. I've travelled quite a bit and, even though the average Italian eats a fair amount of food (they do love to eat), if you travel the countrside you don't see alot of fat people. They eat alot, but they eat fresher, healthier food, and they exercise more. A walk after dinner is a common practice. In fact, walking to the restaurant and walking back is a common practice. I understand what you are saying, but the comparison the original poster made makes a valid and scary point. Our current culture conditions us into a fat and lazy lifestyle. It's what we've become, and it's a problem. It's one of the aspects of our culture of which other countries love to riducule us.
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akiratubo
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 05:56:24 PM »

Look at Wall-E.

That's where we're going.
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claws
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2010, 12:17:31 AM »

Growing up as a American on U.S. Military bases in Europe I was always baffled to see that many overweight American women. Most were outright FAT. We would always wonder where they buy pants that size.
The situation hasn't changed much over the years. They still roam the Commissaries with their slim/thin soldier husbands loading shopping carts with fatty junk food, or can be seen standing in line at Popeye's, BK or Charley's Grilled Subs. Scary.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 12:19:34 AM by claws » Logged
The Gravekeeper
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2010, 03:26:48 AM »

I'm strangely reminded of that pro-fat group. While I agree that no one deserves to be made fun of because of their weight, I strongly disagree with the group's opinion that all sizes are healthy. A little fat is very healthy for most people, but when you're just plain obese it is extremely unhealthy and, frankly, unattractive. Okay, sure there are chubby chasers, but even most of them have their limits.

I'm not attacking people with gland problems because that's a different animal entirely. No, most people who are obese have become unhealthy through their own choices (with the exception of children; they don't have much control over what they eat and can be easily influenced by their parents to embrace a sedentary lifestyle). Too bad junk food that'll take years off your life is still cheaper and easier to get than real food.

@Flick James: My sister's in a dietician program, and guess what? They're doing research on the Mediterranean diet and are finding that it's one of the healthiest in the world. Well, if you get regular excercise of course. I hate seeing fad diets because they always neglect to mention that you need to excercise to both lose weight and keep it off. Hence why people who go on said diets without any change in their activity level gain back the weight they lost as soon as they go off it.
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Newt
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 07:40:27 AM »

A generation or two ago, it was common to say a fat man was 'important'.  Only people with the means to eat that 'well'  and the lifestyle that allowed them to avoid physical exertion were that fat.

I get tired of grossly obese people telling me they are as fit as I am and that they probably eat less than I do.  You cannot make something out of nothing.   If you could, why is there a hunger problem in much of the world?  Sorry: I don't buy the metabolism/hormones/excuse-of-the-week.  Legitimate cases of that would be very very rare.  If you have a fuel-efficient car, you simply add less fuel - you don't stock up and carry extra.

Here's a paranoid thought: in quite a few animals, a high-fat diet keeps them calmer.  Have to wonder...if it works the same way with humans - wouldn't that make the popluation as a whole less prone to 'uppityness' and easier to manage? Who would have an interest in that? Hmm?
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2010, 08:04:08 AM »

I've done alot of travelling, and when I go to other countries, I do not see as many fat people as you see here. It's disgusting.

I've done a lot of travelling too and I totally agree.  In general, people I've seen in other countries (especially Spain, France, and Brazil) are not nearly as fat as Americans.  And many of the women in other countries are naturally thin . . . you don't see them obsessing over dieting and working out . . . they just seem to eat healthier than Americans.  One thing I believe is true outside the U.S. is people don't eat a lot of snack foods between meals.  You don't see a lot of potato chips and Doritos and stuff.  They also seem to eat more fish than Americans . . . and it isn't fried in batter either.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 12:50:48 PM by The Burgomaster » Logged

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HappyGilmore
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 10:23:20 AM »

While we're on the subject:
"FAT" by "Weird Al" Yankovic
Small | Large


But yeah.  I'm slightly overweight, but I'm not disgustingly obese.  But, I'm eating better, and working out when I can based around my work schedule and weather conditions.  I'm hoping by July to shed the 15 pounds or so.  My main thing is drinking: that's where I put on the weight.
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Flick James
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 06:11:48 PM »

I'm strangely reminded of that pro-fat group. While I agree that no one deserves to be made fun of because of their weight, I strongly disagree with the group's opinion that all sizes are healthy. A little fat is very healthy for most people, but when you're just plain obese it is extremely unhealthy and, frankly, unattractive. Okay, sure there are chubby chasers, but even most of them have their limits.

I'm not attacking people with gland problems because that's a different animal entirely. No, most people who are obese have become unhealthy through their own choices (with the exception of children; they don't have much control over what they eat and can be easily influenced by their parents to embrace a sedentary lifestyle). Too bad junk food that'll take years off your life is still cheaper and easier to get than real food.

@Flick James: My sister's in a dietician program, and guess what? They're doing research on the Mediterranean diet and are finding that it's one of the healthiest in the world. Well, if you get regular excercise of course. I hate seeing fad diets because they always neglect to mention that you need to excercise to both lose weight and keep it off. Hence why people who go on said diets without any change in their activity level gain back the weight they lost as soon as they go off it.

I'm a fan of the Med diet. It's not about starving yourself, it's about eating the right things. There are plenty of people that are little heafty, and I'm fine with that. In fact, I can get very attractive to a girl who is a little chunky, but healthy. There is a difference there, and usually I think it's easy to discern a healthy chunky person from an unhealthy overweight person. The processed junk really is bad for you, it stores more easily as fat and has other issues as well. Don't even get me started on chicken nuggets. Those are made from all the parts of the chicken they throw away: skin, cartilege (sic?), etc. The growth hormones they feed to chicken, a small amount of it goes into the good meat, but most of it goes to all the parts they make nuggets out of.

Oh, and claws, I'm with you on the military wives. That is a strange phenomenon. I was in the Navy for six years, and I've personally witnessed the "cow crew" at the comissary. Blew my mind. And the sad thing is they're buying all that junk to feed not just to themselves, but to their children. I know that some may take offense to my comments, and I apologize, it's not very nice, I admit. I'm not a mean guy. But seriously, I care about Americans, I'd like to see us get healthier and stop being the laughing stock of the rest of the world. If that takes a few abrasive comments, so be it.
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2010, 01:07:49 AM »

I'd like to point out though, in fairness a lot of people who aren't overweight are thin because they smoke like chimneys (Maher, for instance, is a big smoker).

Personally, I'm not sure if the obesity stuff is as bad as the media is making it out to be.  For instance, a lot of people on these "committees" that determine how unhealthy people are usually do NOT consist of doctors or nutritionists, they're often people in companies that sell weight loss products (a mutli-BILLION dollar industry).   Good book on the subject at http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Myth-Americas-Obsession-Hazardous/dp/B0009S5AAS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272432935&sr=8-1

Now, that being said, yeah there's some unhealthy people in the country today.  (Although, personally, I look on the bright side, in a world where many are starving, our biggest problem is we're eating too much doesn't seem so bad.) 

Me, I've been heavy all my life.  I was heavy before it become a so-called "epidemic" (another term incorrectly used to describe the situation).  Not really happy about it, tried numerous times to lose weight and whatnot, and yeah, I'm probably one of the guys you look at in disgust as they waddle on by (but I'd like to think I'm not too bad... I don't use an automatic wheel chair to glide around the store when I go shopping).

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I'm heavy for a variety of reasons.  (Well, yeah, there's the obvious, "I eat too much" explanation) but beyond that...  I was born to fat parents, so I've got a genetic predisposition to it.  My mom would constantly lecture me on the dangerous of being overweight, while at the same time, fixing us meals with macaroni and cheese and baking huge meals for holidays and special occasions, considering that to be a way of showing affection rather than, you know, stupid stuff like hugs and saying, "I love you."

In addition, I suffer from severe depression have from as far back as I can remember.  Maybe if I felt I had something to live for it'd be easier to lose weight and keep going, but I've got no wife, no girlfriend, no kids, what few friends I have all moved away or just don't keep in touch for various reasons, sucky job, college degree that's, so far, not worth a damn, etc, etc.  In short, eating, jerking off and playing computer games are about the only joys left in my life. 

But, on the upside, I don't drink, don't smoke, and don't do drugs, or act out in other anti-social ways, so I'm not really hurting anyone else.

So, I guess it's a trade off. 
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2010, 02:03:13 AM »

I agree that obesity is a problem, a serious one. But I want to bring up two things.

First, you have been bred over billions of years to preferentially choose high-fat, high-carbohydrate meals. It isn't a coincidence that a double-cheeseburger with bacon tastes so delicious. The thing is, for most of humanity's lifetime, these things were very hard to get. If you live in a first-world country, this is no longer the case. In fact, it's harder and more expensive to get food in the U.S. that isn't high-fat and high-carbohydrate. A salad at Jack-in-the-Box is almost $7, while you can get twice the caloric intake at the same restaurant for $1. A person has a choice, but if we're looking at broad social trends, it's no wonder people are getting fatter.

Second, while it is grossly unhealthy to be obese, it isn't necessarily better to be the thin, zero body-fat ideal that's pushed on us by the media. If you are otherwise healthy, it is far better for you to have 10-15 pounds of extra body fat on yourself. Those six-pack abs may look appealing, but you aren't necessarily better off for them. Obesity is bad, but a bit of pudge is probably better for you in the long run.

Really, your best bet is to go out and enjoy the great outdoors. But where's the money in that? Better for companies if you sit inside watching commercials all day; your life is their money.

Stay active. Eat what you want (but not too much!). Enjoy your actual, non-television life.
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2010, 02:17:00 AM »

It's not just America - the UK and Australia are also very fat, and many other countries are becoming fatter at a more rapid pace than the US is now.  Basically playing catchup. 

However, I think the level of fatness is starting to level out.  I don't think it's going to get a lot worse. 

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